Rick and his gang of survivors from Alexandria are busy waging war with Negan early in the second year of the zombie apocalypse, but how would humans really fair in the face of a reanimating virus? Students at from the University of Leicester Department of Physics and Astronomy conducted research on the subject as part of an annual exercise testing their ability to apply scientific models to hypothetical scenarios.
In the show, Rick wakes up on day 59 to find the world in chaos and pretty much all of Atlanta gone. According to the Physics students, this isn’t too far off. According to them, if a zombie can find one person each day, with a 90 percent chance of infecting victims with the zombie infection, by day one hundred there would be just 273 remaining human survivors, outnumbered a million to one by zombies.
The studied was peer-reviewed in the Journal of Physics Special Topics and several students pointed out that humans are highly adaptable and reasonably good at overcoming adversity, much like our Walking Dead heroes, but this was not taken into account in the original study.
The team reworked their calculations and published an additional report that considered that people probably would get better at escaping and killing zombies, and could potentially have a lot of babies.
Taking into consideration that those left alive could become strong survivors, like our heroes, the team re-estimated that it would take about 1,000 days, or 2.7 years, for humans to wipe out all the zombies.
The survivors on The Walking Dead, numbering well over the studies estimates, have been too busy avoiding being killed by other humans to worry about killing all the walkers, another thing the study did not take into consideration. Currently, on day 623 or so, they are still just trying to stay alive, and zombies aren’t half the problem.
Once the war with Negan comes to an end and the living can clean up the last of the dead, the study suggests that in a real-life scenario the residents left from Alexandria, Hilltop, The Kingdom, and Sanctuary could potentially bring humans back from extinction in around 25 years.
We’re 2.5 babies in already, so if the survivors can find a way to live peacefully and get rid of the last of the walkers, it seems that the show is falling right in line with what the study predicts. Of course, our heroes peacefully repopulating the Earth wouldn’t make for much of a show.
Source: University of Leicester