According to a study by a group of researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in the event of an actual zombie outbreak the best place to hide during the expected full-scale takeover is the northernmost Rocky Mountains—or at least anywhere else but the major metropolitan areas.
The investigative team will present their new study, dubbed “The Statistical Mechanics of Zombies,” on March 5 at the American Physical Society meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The study’s abstract notes: “We build up to a full scale simulation of an outbreak in the United States, and discover that for ‘realistic’ parameters, we are largely doomed.”
Alex Alemi, a Cornell physics graduate student told Phys.org.: “Modeling zombies takes you through a lot of the techniques used to model real diseases, albeit in a fun context.”
The research group utilized World War Z’s oral history of the first zombie war, analysis of actual disease epidemics and specific equations accounting for rate-of-infection and population in order to establish specifically how and where a zombie outbreak would spread across the United States.
The Cornell collaborative stated that motion pictures often portray a zombie outbreak as something that affects “all areas at the same time” but Alemi points out that’s not “how it would actually go down.” Alemi and teammates suggest that the northern Rocky Mountains are the best bet for anyone hoping to survive a zombie outbreak.
Alemi believes the big cities would fall first and quite quickly. It would take zombies weeks if not even months to actually “to penetrate into the less densely populated areas of the country.”
Alemi concluded: “Given the dynamics of the disease, once the zombies invade more sparsely populated areas, the whole outbreak slows down — there are fewer humans to bite, so you start creating zombies at a slower rate. I’d love to see a fictional account where most of New York City falls in a day, but upstate New York has a month or so to prepare.”
Zombie Outbreak? Head For The Rockies