Is there such a thing as a real zombie? National Geographic takes a closer look at the undead phenomena in the documentary, “The Truth Behind Zombies.”
Obviously the dead can not come back to life or we would have a serious over population problem, but is it possible for people to exhibit zombie-like characteristics? Absolutely. National Geographic presents a scenario to us where Rabies, combined with a virus such as influenza, could cause a “walking dead” pandemic. Rabies, which is usually spread by the bite of an infected animal, causes aggression, hallucinations, confusion, paralysis, and madness, if not treated. The incubation period is anywhere from ten days to a year. However, if some mad scientist was able to mutate Rabies with the flu, the virus could go air born and spread rapidly throughout the world with a much shorter incubation period. (The Spanish Flu killed over 40 million people in 1918). Although you would not have your atypical flesh eating zombie like in the movies, you would have large populations of mad people foaming at the mouth, and roaming the Earth.
National Geographic researched the origin of the zombie by traveling to Haiti. What they found were ritualistic ceremonies were voodoo doctors created zombies by basically brainwashing people under the influence of liquor and potent drugs. One of the drugs used, tetrodotoxin, comes from the puffer fish. This poison produces a catatonic state, which causes witnesses to believe that the person who has ingested it is dead; but is instead suspended in a semi-vegetative state similar to a coma. The victim is then buried, and later dug up. You could just imagine the looks on the faces of the locals when old Pierre shows up at the tavern to have a beer, after they have just buried him.
The investigation goes further by indicating that the power of suggestion has been used many times in history to create cults of zombies. References to Hitler, the KKK, and the mass suicide propagated by Jim Jones, are mentioned as examples. A more current example of mass brainwashing can be seen in action right on Capitol Hill today. It appears that a faction of the Republican Party (the Tea Party) is turning some of our citizens into political zombies right in front of our face. This is scary stuff. See it on Netflix and have a Happy Halloween.
My Rating: 3 of 5 Zombies.