Speed Reads


A zombie apocalypse would wipe out all but 273 people on Earth in just 100 days

Physics students at the University of Leicester have discovered that a zombie infection would reduce the entire human population to fewer than 300 surviving individuals in just 100 days, Science Daily reports.

The students made a couple of assumptions to arrive at their conclusions, considering the fact that zombieism is (mostly) fictional. First, the students worked with the premise that zombies would each be able to find one person a day, and that their chances of infecting a healthy individual were 90 percent. In the first calculation, the students assumed that people couldn't fight back, in which case the human population would dwindle to 273 in 100 days, with people outnumbered by zombies a million to one. The entire population of humans would be wiped out within a year, assuming the population was equally distributed across the globe.

Later, the students adjusted their calculations to include factors such as the rate at which zombies can be killed, or people having healthy babies during the zombie apocalypse. In the second scenario, mankind could actually recover from the zombie apocalypse, even if thousands upon thousands were wiped out initially. Eventually, the tables would turn and the zombies would be the ones to go extinct.

Dr. Mervyn Roy of the University of Leicester's Department of Physics and Astronomy explained: "Every year we ask students to write short papers for the Journal of Physics Special Topics. It lets the students show off their creative side and apply some of physics they know to the weird, the wonderful, or the everyday."

This, of course, falls in the category of "absolutely necessary to know juuuust in case."