Thu
Nov 14 2013 6:00pm

The Zombie Apocalypse on The Walking Dead Should Be Over By Now According to Math

The Walking Dead, zombie numbers

Sometimes the number game just doesn't add up. A conversation over at 4chan led BuzzFeed to hand over some helpful illustrations about the Walking Dead universe... and why that little “zombie problem” of theirs should really be over by now.

So, from what we know about population, there are 300 million people in the U.S. If even 99% of the population is infected, there are still three million regular old people around. And if they split off into groups like Rick's (which many will have to do to survive), then they rack up a steady kill count.

The Walking Dead, zombie numbers

...and by that count, the zombies should all be dead within a year or so.

What do you think? Even bringing neighboring countries into account, it still seems likely that they would have finished this up a while ago. You can check out BuzzFeed for the exact breakdown and more helpful image aids!

15 comments
Alex Brown
1. AlexBrown
Given the rampant incompetence of Rick's group, frankly I'm surprised anyone at all is left alive. Why bother securing a fence when you could just devolve into petty internal bickering and making out in guard towers?
Michael R. Underwood
2. Michael R. Underwood
We've seen in recent episodes that most survivors are *not* adept Walker-slayers like our hero group - I think we're invited to believe that Rick, Darryl, Michonne & Co. were and remain an exemplary group who are breaking the curve on average kills per survivor group. Many survivor groups may also now have clustered into far less-populated areas, where they don't *need* to kill off large groups.
David Gunter
3. spdavid
I'm not so sure TWD time is the same as real time but I've always said that the ultimate goal of any zombie outbreak would have to be that everyone turns,they die or rot away and it's over.Yes TWD has everyone infected and they rise when dead but that alone is easily controlable.Maybe the zombies have figured out how to make it through airport security and are flying in.
Marilynn Byerly
4. MByerly
There's also the question of decomposition. Zombies wandering around in the open would also be prey to big scavengers like possums and buzzards as well as insects and various bacteria.

It would very much surprise me if zombies lasted six months.

And, if they don't eat brains, do they collapse and starve to death?
Michael R. Underwood
5. Rue
In addition to the animal, insect and bacterial clean-up crew. You also have the weather. Warm temps would speed decomp. And they'd freeze when it gets cold. You'd think after a year or so if the walkers were still active/'alive' in whatever capacity zombies can claim they'd be pretty much immobile due to decay at that point.
Michael R. Underwood
6. Gweilo
How long can dead eyeballs last? The walkers should all have been blind long ago. And the delicate parts of the ear, the cochlea and so on, would have rotted away or jammed up with pus or useless. Same for scent. So the walkers would have no senses, even if they could still move around they'd just be stumbling randomly, not homing in on any noise or human scent. Walker biology is more absurd the more you think about it. Interestingly we saw some wild dogs chewing on a walker in the last episode. That seemed wrong, dogs don't eat rotten meat. But there are plenty of other scavenger animals that do, hyena, vultures, etc. Birds should be swooping on walkers and pecking them to pieces. Pigs should have gone feral by now and be hunting walkers and chowing on them. Rick would have done better to have bred and releasesd boars around the prison, or kept them between the fences. Of course, he should have just went to the nearest construcion site and got some earth moving equipment and bulldozed some earthworks. And bulldozed the walkers if they built up numbers too fast.
Mordicai Knode
7. mordicai
I always like to point out that we have a zombie disease already; it makes you crazy & bite people, & those bites are infectious. It is called rabies & while it sure ain't good, it ain't that big a deal.
Michael R. Underwood
8. SerenaGrey
I really think most of the walkers should be decayed past the point of having skin by now. Except if there are still survivor camps getting overrun and producing new walkers everyday, or maybe the infection prevents them from decaying as fast as regular dead people would.

As for Rick and crew and everybody else racking up a good body count of zombies... I don't think the count is that high... not as much as millions. There's just a few people who seem to be good at killing walkers, Rick, Daryl, Michone, Beth...etc. and I imagine that it's the same, or worse in the other camps (remember Woodbury?) Last episode showed a shocking lack of walker-killing skill even among adult residents in the prison (which I think is ridiculous and annoying at this stage.)
Dirk Walls
9. dirk
This is why we can't have nice things.
Michael R. Underwood
10. ClintACK
Mordecai: "I always like to point out that we have a zombie disease already; it makes you crazy & bite people, & those bites are infectious. It is called rabies & while it sure ain't good, it ain't that big a deal."

Yeah, but with diseases, the devil is in the details. Influenza was around for centuries before the Spanish Flu, and for about a century since. See also the thousand year history of bubonic plague, where subtle changes in the disease meant the difference between a minor background irritation and wiping out fifth of the world population.

Take rabies, drop some of the unrelated symptoms (to increase survival of the infected), tweak the infection rate and incubation period, and you've got a zombie apocalypse, for some meaning of the word zombie.
Michael R. Underwood
11. SeeingI
Aside from that, where IS everybody? It's like the whole South is depopulated. There should either be millions and millions of zombies everywhere, or else they should have seen signs of the military re-taking the country by now.
Michael R. Underwood
12. srogerscat
What SeeingI said. But I have a problem that is more general: In most horror settngs, Guns Are Useless. In Zombie Apocalypse settings, Guns Are Life. The zombies in TWD are basically Romero zombies. Romero gave us a baseline for How Bad It Can Get in his movies. By that standard, Georgia, which is swimmng in guns compared to Pennsylvania, should be zombie free pretty quick.
Michael R. Underwood
15. Artie Choke
All zombies should be dead because their corpses should be completely rotten by now. There should be nothing else than bones.
Michael R. Underwood
16. FallingGirl
I'm sorry, but these comments make me laugh. Have any of you actually read the comics or the letter columns at the end of each issue? This whole "decomposition" thing has already been adressed numerous times. Yes, a normal human corpse would decompose, but remember THIS IS A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. The normal rules don't apply in this. Kirkman has answered all these theories and questions. Do yourself a favour, go read the actual comic.
Michael R. Underwood
17. EozS
I don't think so. I mean, 99% is just a random number. The survival rate could be 50% or 0.0001% - we don't rightly know. I think there are pockets of survivors everywhere (which we see in the show a lot, actually) but they aren't all necessarily killing a few zombies a week. You only kill when you need to, you know, becaus every encounter is a risk.
What I don't get is how there are still so many zombies period. They wouldn't be very effective hunters and there certainly aren't enough humans to sustain hundreds of millions of them. They all appear to be starving to death which I realize takes longer for a zombie but... years? Months maybe, but not years, surely, since they are wandering around most of the time anyway.

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