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A zombie apocalypse would doom humanity.
A new scientific study has found that in the event of a zombie apocalypse the world’s population would be reduced to a few hundred people within the space of only one hundred days.
The paper was published in the University of Leicester’s Journal of Physics Special Topics which uses a rigorous scientific methodology to answer whimsical and funny problems presented by pop culture. The students tackling the issue of the zombie epidemic used the SIR model to track how the zombie infection could spread worldwide over time.
The undergraduates who worked on the study assumed that each zombie would have a 90% chance of locating and infecting a single human being every day. This rate would make the zombie infection twice as contagious as the Black Death which ravaged Europe in the medieval period which killed approximately a third of the population. They also assumed that each zombie would be able to survive for twenty days without consuming human flesh.
The students estimated that in the space of twenty days a single zombie could trigger an epidemic of crisis-level proportions which would quickly spread to other countries outside of the area of initial infection. The rate of infection would begin to balloon after this point, and by day 100, the students estimated that the human population of the world would have dropped to 181 from the current 7.5 billion. At this point, there would be around 190 million infectious zombies stalking the Earth.
The researchers also tweaked their research to adjust for some level of geographical isolation, presuming that the zombies would not leave their original geographic region until there were around 100,000 zombies there. However, even given the limited ability of zombies to travel the results still didn’t bode well for human beings. The students estimated that there would still only be 273 human survivors by day 100 in these circumstances.
In critiquing their study, the students said that they had not included the possibility that humans could also kill the zombies which they felt needed to be addressed. To do so, they presented a follow-up paper where they included this variable. They gave each human a 10% chance of killing a zombie per day. In the follow-up paper, they also allowed for human reproduction and assumed that every surviving adult woman would have a baby every one to three years. Under this model, humanity’s numbers still plunged, but there was some hope on the horizon. If human beings were allowed to kill zombies and reproduce then, it is likely that the zombies would die off after a period of a thousand days and humanity would be able to begin rebuilding itself.
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