Must Reads

Researchers: When Zombies Attack, Hit Them Hard & Fast — Or Else!

A line of undead 'zombies' walk through a field in the night in a still from the film, 'Night Of The

Don't give them time to multiply. Pictorial Parade/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Pictorial Parade/Getty Images

There apparently is a serious reason for this research. Something about learning how to fight new, highly infectious diseases.

But who cares about that!? The real story is that researchers in Canada have used math to figure out what us living folks need to do when the zombies come out.

You might say RUN!

But the experts say:

A zombie outbreak is likely to lead to the collapse of civilization, unless it is dealt with quickly. While aggressive quarantine may contain the epidemic, or a cure may lead to coexistence of humans and zombies, the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often. As seen in the movies, it is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble.

Who's done this ground-breaking study? As the BBC reports, the researchers are from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. Among them is professor Robert Smith? (and like the BBC, we need to note that the question mark is not a typo — it's part of the professor's name).

The report, as you might expect, has many formulas and lots of language that we without math doctorates can't decipher. There's no confusion about this warning from the researchers, though:

We show that only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all.

The experts, by the way, modeled their zombies on the "classic" movie model — "slow moving, cannibalistic and undead."

If the zombies are faster? Uh-oh.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from