Surprise! Most real-life zombies subsist on a diet of berries and nuts, researchers now say – a far cry from Hollywood’s depiction of them as fierce cannibals.
“Zombies are what anthropologists call gatherers,” explains Dr. Henry Coblinsaw, chief author of a recently published study. “Their digestive system has atrophied, making it very difficult to digest meat. And because of their familiar shambling gait, chasing game such as deer or stray dogs is not an option, likewise humans, of course.”
Climbing trees is also impossible, so only low-hanging fruit is on the menu. Wild berries and nuts that have fallen to the ground are a zombie’s most commonly consumed food source.
“An Arizona zombie that was dissected in 2012 was found to have six walnuts in its stomach,” the expert reveals.
In movies like Night of the Living Dead and the hit TV series The Walking Dead, zombies are shown ripping ordinary people apart and feeding on their body parts. But with slowly decaying muscles and low levels of adrenaline, real zombies simply don’t have the strength or energy to do that. According to the researcher, there have been only eight cases of zombies eating human flesh since 1905.
Brain damage due to the loss of oxygen between death and revival is another factor that explains their dietary restrictions.
“Zombies are quite docile, which is what made them such easily controlled fieldworkers in Haiti from the 1700s up until the 1930s,” notes Dr. Coblinsaw. “They rely on the most primitive instincts residing in the surviving areas of the brain. That means eating fruit, nuts and berries like our tree-dwelling ape-like ancestors.”
The only real hazard zombies present to normal people is when a herd ambles through a strawberry patch, field of corn or other crops.
“They are a real pest to farmers,” says the researcher. “They pass through a cornfield, stripping the stalks bare like locusts. The only solution farmers have found is to post ‘scarecrows,’ cardboard cutouts of figures with chainsaws or cricket bats.”
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth
This story was written by the author of the acclaimed horror novel Hour of the Beast. Check it out along with his other books HERE.