Friday, June 15, 2007

Zombies and Fire

No matter how you look at it, zombies and fire are a bad combination; here's why:
Zombies (unlike humans) do not feel pain. So fire is not a deterrent in the same sense that it would be for a human. It doesn't initiate any kind of avoidance on the part of the zombie. Of course, it will have the same physical effect on a zombie as it would a human, the zombie will deteriorate at an accellerated rate due to combustion. In other words, you will have a big, stinky, charred zombie mess. Ultimately, this is not a bad thing. It is what happens in the interim that is problematic.

Since the fire will not cause hesitation on the part of the zombie, the zombie will continue to remain mobile, until the fire destroys said mobility. This means that the zombie has the potential to spread the fire, to the surroundings and perhaps back to you (and you don't want to put "stop, drop, and roll" to the test when trying to escape from a zombie). So if this zombie is in or near combustible materials you have the potential to become trapped by the fire (which humans should avoid).

The second, and perhaps more important reason, not to use fire is because of the attention is draws. Specifically, zombie attention. If you're on a non-zombie-populated, deserted island, fire works really good for signalling. However, zombies are drawn to movement, and a flaming, stumbling zombie in the dead of night surely qualifies as movement.

This is not to say that fire can't be used under controlled circumstances. Fire is very good at disposing of zombie corpses and limiting the possibility for contamination. But steps need to be taken to ensure that the fire does not spread, nor does it attract attention. But fire should not be used as a weapon against zombies.

On a incredibly unrelated side note, a friend sent me a link for this zombie t-shirt, which I think is a really nice design, and it might serve its purpose if you're ever caught in a zombie situation and your mind draws a complete blank. Plus it gets bonus points for a cool picture:

Design by Olly Moss, available at


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