Zombie Taxonomy, the zombie clasification system.
Zombie taxonomy is the practice and science of zombie classification. Zombies are classified by their origin, this can help to determine their physical and mental characteristics. All zombies in this classification system follow the accepted definition of zombies as stated on the Zombology page.
Back to Zombology
The first approach of zombie taxonomy of classifying zombie types is by studying the possible origins of zombies. This will not only allow classification but it will also aid in the understanding of zombie physiology and function. Knowing these are key to learning the strengths and weaknesses of the creatures which will serve in combat against them as well as surviving an invasion.
There are many possibilities of zombie origin, but to simplify things, it can be narrowed down to two categories; biological and supernatural. Biological zombies are easier to understand because they can be explained partially by science. A characteristic of biological zombies is that most of them share the same physiological properties as normal humans and can be killed in the same was normal humans can. See the
section to learn more about possible real zombies.
There are also various types of supernatural zombies; it’s difficult to understand exactly how they work. But there are many things in nature that science is not able to explain. Most of the zombies of this type are considered undead and have supernatural abilities of their own.
here is a basic list of zombie taxonomy thus far; though zombie types are diverse and could be a combination of more than one type:
Ailment "Plague" Zombies (supernatural)
These zombies usually originate from some kind of supernatural disease or ailment. A bite or scratch from a zombie can lead to death. Upon death the corpse reawakens as a zombie with a craving to feed on and kill other beings. There are usually immediate memory loss and personality change. Bodies remain functional as long as there is a connection to the brain and no significant brain damage, even when appendages are missing or not operable.
Chemical Zombies (biological)
Chemicals can affect the neurotransmitters used in everyday brain processes, some chemicals can also desensitize the brain or change the personality. This could cause a person to act mad or in ways that humans do not usually consciously act. It could cause them to crave eating human flesh and nothing else.
Dark Zombies (supernatural)
The dead are reanimated with dark magic usually from some source of evil. These zombies usually crawl out from their graves and destroy any life that they come in contact with.
Energy Zombies (supernatural)
Some form of energy other than magic such as space dust, dimensional forces, hair spray exposed to comet radiation, ect. causes dead tissue to come alive again. There a many "b" movies that have strange origins of zombies that probably fit in this category.
Immortality Zombies (supernatural)
This is the case of some kind of magic curse, spell or potion enchanting a living person to become immortal. The person cannot die of normal means. It takes the physical appearance of a living corpse unable die even if it wanted to, in other words loosing free will.
Medically Revived Zombies (biological)
As long as the bodies’ physiology is in perfect condition the body should be able to move around again. This depends on the original cause of death, for example if the person died of blood loss from a stab wound then the body will not work again unless the blood is restored to the body, the wound is repaired and the heart is reactivated. The brain takes massive damage after only a few minutes as well as other physiological factors must also be taken in consideration. Technology can replace damaged organs and the body can be revived. There could be side effects or personality distortions created by reviving the body or from brain damage while dead. This could also cause the person to act strange and unnatural; the Frankenstein monster could be classified under this type of zombie.
Mummified Zombies (supernatural)
Many ancient cultures mummified their dead, usually some kind of spell or curse was placed on the body to become reanimated under certain conditions.
Parasitic Zombies (biological)
A parasite may it be alien or native could infect a host human and cause dramatic changes in behavior. This has already been discovered in other species including snails and rats. In extraordinary situations a parasite could completely take over the host body causing zombie-like personality changes.
Possessed zombies (supernatural)
A supernatural entity can take control of a host body or corpse. The personality generally would be that of the supernatural being. The weaknesses would also reside on the type and power of the supernatural being.
Radioactive Zombies (biological)
Radiation has numerous effects on biological tissue such as causing brain damage, deformations, or even mutations of DNA. This could result in zombification depending on what effect the radiation has on the organism.
Spiritual Zombies (Supernatural)
The human spirit is powerful, in some cases powerful enough to resurrect its body. this usually only happens much like a ghost and the spirit has unfinished business and still needs its body to complete some kind of task.
Viral Zombies (biological)
Some viruses inject their DNA into the host they infect. This change in DNA could actually result in the creation of a new species. A very contagious various if not controlled could move very rapidly through human populations. Altering of DNA can affect the body and mind in many ways, from alteration of physical characteristics or even manipulating thoughts and causing zombie-like desires to massacre the human race.
Voodoo Zombies (biological)
Much like dark magic zombies, these undead creatures arise from a source of magic. a dead person can be revived by Voodoo sorcerer. Zombies remain under the control of the sorcerer since they have no will of their own.
Fast or Slow Zombies
Another simple way to classify zombie types, which can be a little confusing at first, is by the zombies physical movement speed or other physical traits. It is easy to notice that some zombies move faster than others. This all boils back down to the zombie’s origin. For example: It make perfect sense that some viruses might cause a personality disorder and have no effect on the hosts movement speed allowing the zombie to move and run like a normal human. It also makes sense that another virus my cause brain damage in the process of zombification slowing the victim’s motor functions and significantly reducing the movement speed to a slow uncoordinated walk. As seen above there are many different zombie origins and for each case zombies could emerge with different physical characteristics.
Lesser or Greater
As seen in the
section a zombie is one who has lost the ability of free will, resorting to primitive cognitive function and physically resembling dead or corpse. This is the definition of a basic zombie. There are two orders of zombies, lesser zombies and greater zombies.
Most of the zombies thought of are the lesser zombies, these zombies like the definition above resort to primitive cognitive functions, and have a lack of free will. Some zombies exist as greater zombies, which have higher consciousness and intelligence, and sometimes regain their free will. Other lesser zombies have potential to evolve, become altered, mutate, or are engineered to become greater zombies.
Horde of Zombies
A group of zombies is called a horde. When there are zombies present it is also important to be able to classify them on a macroscopic scale. This can be done in much the same way as classifing a disease or a cancerous tumor. Using a system that organizes horde by how many are in the horde population and how malignant or how well it can spread and reproduce. More info on this system on the Stage and Grade page.