Thursday, August 26, 2010

Real-Life Zombies

We have all seen the classic moment in a zombie horror film: the first infected person falls dead. The corpse is taken to the hospital and declared… dead. The body is taken to the refrigerated morgue area and covered by some plastic sheet while the mortician is distracted by, oh, say... a sexy intern at the morgue. Or, more probably, a phone call from a much-less-sexy detective.

Morticians are most often the creepy, awkward guy in the movie; the one obvious  exception is Linda Fiorentino in Men in Black—a film with no zombies….

...unless you count that bug-in-a-man-costume guy as a semi-zombie. Technically he was an alien, but he certainly had some characteristic zombie traits. But I digress.

The creepy mortician is still looking away. The covered figure rises—and… ATTACKS!

This is a classic moment in film, oft repeated in several different genres for a spooky, death-defying scene.

What scared me to learn is that this scene actually has a basis in truth!

There is a medical phenomenon known as the Lazarus Syndrome: the spontaneous return of circulation after failed attempts at resuscitation. According to the mighty Internet, it has occurred 25 times in medical literature since 1982.

Note to uber-Nerds: this is not to be confused with the Lazarus Pits that Ra's al Ghul uses to extend his longevity and fight Batman.

A 61-year-old woman from Delaware was once declared dead with no pulse before being discovered in the morgue alive and breathing. This is by far the most interesting event to ever occur in Delaware.

There are other incidents of this happening in Colombia, Belgium, Missouri, and the UK: people with no pulse rising up and (in some cases) suffering no side effects.

I think the implications of this are clear: zombies are real! Some of them may very well be walking amongst us now.

I know some of you might be skeptics. You might say "come now, just because people are strangely resuscitated doesn't make them members of the undead!" 

Let's see what the nay-sayers say when they don't survive the Zombie Apocalypse.
Come to think of it... you'll probably say something like "braiiiiiinnnnnns", because you'll be a zombie. So the joke is on me.

Some alternative theories on the ability to rise from the dead:

1. Secret Android Robots living amongst us
2. Human Puppets

3. Biblical stuff
4. Increasing popularity of Romeo & Juliet death-like-coma potions

Lastly, let me use this time to mention this: in Baltimore, Maryland, a cult member agreed to cooperate in a prosecution under the condition that charges against her would be dropped if her son (who died due to her negligence) rises from the dead. There is even a stipulation that he would have to come back as himself. Not as a potted plant or in a corn chip.

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