Zombies? Crap!

Zombies as portrayed in the movie Night of the...
Zombies as portrayed in the movie Night of the Living Dead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been watching a lot of The Walking Dead lately, desperately trying to catch up on the episodes I haven’t seen, and I’ve been playing the iOS game of the Walking Dead as well, both series. So, you could say I have zombies on the brain at the moment, which may be the first of many zombie-esque puns I will inflict on you, and it probably explains yesterday’s flash fiction. This post could be considered kinda gross at times, so you’ve been warned.

There is one thing about zombies that, to my knowledge has never been truly explained. Certainly not in The Walking Dead, nor Shaun of The Dead, Zombie Strippers, 28 Days (Not technically a zombie movie I know) or any of the other zombie films I’ve watched. It’s not a major thing, but now I have questioned it, it pops into my mind every time I see a zombie chomping down on someone.

What happens to the food that a zombie eats?

There I’ve said it. Zombies in TWD’s case are dead people who roam the planet looking to devour any living or dead flesh them come across. That much is easy, and familiar with everyone, but what happens once they’ve swallowed food? Their drive to eat is not fueled by hunger or need, nor would it seem, the want to reproduce, so it must be on a more instinctive level.

As we know, in a regular, living, breathing human being we eat to stay alive. Any swallowed food is broken down into its component parts and used to fuel the various parts of the body, and the waste is rather conveniently gotten rid off.

My first question would be does a zombies digestion system work? Their brains clearly do, on a limited basis as a zombie can move, attack and eat, so you could also assume that their digestion system worked on that same limited level. Assuming their digestion system does work, what is happening once food has gotten its way into there? They don’t need the nutrients to stay alive, and I’ve seen countless zombies with their stomachs and intestines missing and in a few cases, nothing below the waist at all and they’re still wandering around and eating. How can they still take nutrients or energy from food when they have no stomachs? Yet, when you look at a zombie that hasn’t eaten for a while, they certainly seem to be thinner, weaker and less mobile (for zombies) so we can conclude that they do need to eat for to get energy, but not eating won’t kill them.

So, a zombie eats food, and that food makes its way through the zombie digestive system, and it takes a certain amount of energy (in some form) from the food, but then what? On the assumption that the zombies aren’t nipping off to do their business in the bushes when they feel the need, does ‘it’ just fall out of them… cos I know zombies are supposed to be gross, but there are limits. I mean man.

So what are we looking at if their digestive system doesn’t work which is pretty likely seeing as none other of their bodily systems work; circulation, respiratory, reflexes, etc? Well, if they keep eating and there’s no system to keep things moving, soon everything’s gonna get pretty blocked. They’ll keep packing food in, and it won’t go anywhere. It will just stay in the zombies’ stomach, until the pressure gets too much and then pop goes the zombie. This won’t kill it of course, as nothing except destroying the brain will.

I mean, seriously. How does this work? Does anyone else wonder how a zombie actually eats, or is it just me?

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