# Zombies and math

#### makaveli

Has anybody noticed that Zombies multiply in an exponential manner?

Btw, I'm new!

Related General Discussion News on Phys.org

#### Diffy

Thats because Zombies are in the rabbit family.

#### disregardthat

wouldn't they produce like a fibonacci sequence then?

#### dodo

A logistic model should take over, as soon as they conquer the planet. You know, zombies always kind of pile up.

#### Diffy

I think it is mostly because it doesn't take 2 zombies to produce a new zombie. All a zombie has to do to produce a new zombie is bite a human. Where as 2 humans have to have relations in order to produce 1 new human.

Start with one zombie, that zombie bites a human and now there are two zombies, those two zombies each bite one human each now you have 4. those 4 zombies bite 1 human each, now you have 8 zombies. Repeat, now 16 zombies, then 32, etc.

#### HallsofIvy

I have a question! When did a "zombie biting a person produces a new zombie" pop up? I thought that was werewolves. Zombies are created by Voodoo.

#### ManDay

Afaik zobies arise from the dead by vodoo and will infect their victim by killing it so it becomes a zombie in turn. Werewolfes cannot infect people afaik. Vampires hoewever...

#### dodo

Oh dang, now the population model needs to be stratified by species: humans, zombies, werewolves, vampires... What next? Age groups? Tax levels?

#### arildno

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
I have a question! When did a "zombie biting a person produces a new zombie" pop up? I thought that was werewolves. Zombies are created by Voodoo.
Sigh. You haven't seen many zombie movies, have you?

#### Schrodinger's Dog

Afaik zobies arise from the dead by vodoo and will infect their victim by killing it so it becomes a zombie in turn. Werewolfes cannot infect people afaik. Vampires hoewever...
Actually you can blame Hollywood for that. Originally Zombies were just the animated dead body and slave of some witch doctor, but now a days they can infect ,such is artistic license. And werewolves infect others with a bite sometimes too, but again there usually more to do with the Dark Satanic arts. Vampires do too, but then they pretty much always have.

Last edited:

#### arildno

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Actually you can blame Hollywood for that. Originally Zombies were just the animated dead body and slave of some witch doctor, but now a days they can infect ,such is artistic license. And werewolves infect others with a bite sometimes too, but again there usually more to do with the Dark Satanic arts. Vampires do too, but then they pretty much always have.
You are being unkind to the werewolves. That their bite is infectious is a modern invention.

Here's a bit of the legends, from wikipedia:
Becoming a werewolf
Historical legends describe a wide variety of methods for becoming a werewolf, one of the simplest being the removal of clothing and putting on a belt made of wolfskin, probably as a substitute for the assumption of an entire animal skin (which also is frequently described).[12] In other cases, the body is rubbed with a magic salve.[13] To drink water out of the footprint of the animal in question or to drink from certain enchanted streams were also considered effectual modes of accomplishing metamorphosis.[14] Olaus Magnus says that the Livonian werewolves were initiated by draining a cup of specially prepared beer and repeating a set formula. Ralston in his Songs of the Russian People gives the form of incantation still familiar in Russia. According to Russian lore, a child born on December 24 shall be a werewolf. Folklore and literature also depict that a werewolf can be spawned from two werewolf parents.

In Galician, Portuguese, and Brazilian folklore, it is the seventh of the sons (but sometimes the seventh child, a boy, after a line of six daughters) who becomes a werewolf (Lobisomem).[15] In Portugal, the seventh daughter is supposed to become a witch and the seventh son a werewolf; the seventh son often gets the Christian name "Bento" (Portuguese form of "Benedict", meaning "blessed") as this is believed to prevent him from becoming a werewolf later in life. In Brazil, the seventh daughter become a headless (replaced with fire) horse called "Mula-sem-cabeça" (Headless Mule). The belief in the curse of the seventh son was so widespread in Northern Argentina (where the werewolf is called the lobizón), that seventh sons were frequently abandoned, ceded in adoption, or killed. A 1920 law decreed that the President of Argentina is the official godfather of every seventh son. Thus, the State gives a seventh son one gold medal in his baptism and a scholarship until his twenty first year. This effectively ended the abandonments, but there still persists a tradition in which the President godfathers seventh sons.

In other cases, the transformation was supposedly accomplished by Satanic allegiance for the most loathsome ends, often for the sake of sating a craving for human flesh. "The werewolves", writes Richard Verstegan (Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, 1628), "are certayne sorcerers, who having annoynted their bodies with an ointment which they make by the instinct of the devil, and putting on a certayne inchaunted girdle, does not only unto the view of others seem as wolves, but to their own thinking have both the shape and nature of wolves, so long as they wear the said girdle. And they do dispose themselves as very wolves, in worrying and killing, and most of humane creatures." Such were the views about lycanthropy current throughout the continent of Europe when Verstegan wrote.

The power of transforming others into wild beasts was attributed not only to malignant sorcerers, but to Christian saints as well. Omnes angeli, boni et Mali, ex virtute naturali habent potestatem transmutandi corpora nostra ("All angels, good and bad have the power of transmutating our bodies") was the dictum of St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Patrick was said to have transformed the Welsh king Vereticus into a wolf; St. Natalis supposedly cursed an illustrious Irish family whose members were each doomed to be a wolf for seven years. In other tales the divine agency is even more direct, while in Russia, again, men are supposedly become werewolves when incurring the wrath of the Devil.

A notable exception to the association of Lycanthropy and the Devil, comes from a rare and lesser known account of a man named Thiess. In 1692, in Jurgenburg, Livonia, Thiess testified under oath that he and other Werewolves were the Hounds of God.[16] He claimed they were warriors who went down into hell to do battle with witches and demons. Their efforts ensured that the Devil and his minions did not carry off the abundance of the earth down to hell. Thiess was steadfast in his assertions, claiming that Werewolves in Germany and Russia also did battle with the devil's minions in their own versions of hell, and insisted that when werewolves died, their souls were welcomed into heaven as reward for their service. Thiess was ultimately sentenced to ten lashes for Idolacy and superstitious belief.

A distinction is often made between voluntary and involuntary werewolves. The former are generally thought to have made a pact, usually with the Devil, and morph into werewolves at night to indulge in mischievous acts. Involuntary werewolves, on the other hand, are werewolves by an accident of birth or health. In some cultures, individuals born during a new moon or suffering from epilepsy were considered likely to be werewolves.

#### HallsofIvy

Thanks, Schrodinger's dog, I rather suspected that. Arildno, I hope I won't get in trouble with the werewolf anti-defamation league!

#### CaptainQuasar

Zombies just seem to multiply in an exponential manner. It's because they use an utterly antiquated notation - it's dead, really, no one else uses it. And complicated - you really need to have eight brains to understand it.

#### Math Jeans

You know, it really does seem to depend on the type of zombie you are referring to.

#### Dragonfall

People, people, please. We all know that zombies arose from the headcrabs unleashed onto our planet after we lost the seven hour war.

#### CRGreathouse

Homework Helper
Zombies just seem to multiply in an exponential manner. It's because they use an utterly antiquated notation - it's dead, really, no one else uses it. And complicated - you really need to have eight brains to understand it.
You win.

#### leprechaun

Since we are talking about creating more zombies... what is the gestation period of a zombie? If we consider their "reproductive" rate it must be shorter than that of a lagomorph to see the population explosions Hollywood depicts. We all know Hollywood would never commit any sort of inaccuracy.

Rabbit fun-fact: they are incapable of vomiting

#### Math Jeans

Since we are talking about creating more zombies... what is the gestation period of a zombie? If we consider their "reproductive" rate it must be shorter than that of a lagomorph to see the population explosions Hollywood depicts. We all know Hollywood would never commit any sort of inaccuracy.
Well, it really depends on the type of zombie.

You could be talking about the zombies in Dawn of the Dead in which a bite would make another zombie, or you could be talking about 'reanimated' zombies that do not reproduce through biting.

#### disregardthat

I'd think their reproductive time-span is quite short, haven't you seen how fast they multiply in the movies?
But I have a question, when do we have to take global warming in consideration?

"Zombies and math"

### Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving