Home Sci-Fi Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Sci-Fi By Joe Burgett -

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via Medical News Today]

25. Metabolic Meltdown

This is not so much an attack on humans as much as it is a horrific problem we’re facing. Metabolic disorders are not uncommon in places like the United States. However, they occur all over the world. Those that cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity can actively reduce cognitive abilities and leave people with fatigue and a lack of regulated energy.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Med Tech Europe

On top of this, your fat cells become less efficient at storing and regulating fatty acids. This allows them into the bloodstream and that causes serious health complications. It even increases cardiovascular disease. The insulin resistance is the first step to diabetes, an inability to regulate glucose, and causes obesity. In essence, this real zombie apocalypse involves people getting obese, lacking energy, and dying off early. All while having cognitive issues overall.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via World Federation of Neurology]

24. Encephalitis

The problematic condition Encephalitis simply means an inflammation of the brain. While that may not be considered a huge problem overall, it is actually quite troubling. Especially if it begins to worsen. The real trouble with it is knowing what actually caused it to begin with. Encephalitis is often attributed to concussion symptoms. However, it’s also caused by various viruses or infections.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Ccch Clinic

One of the many is the herpes-related encephalitis condition. While caused by Herps, it is still rare in people who have it today due to the fact that most of the world has some strain of Herpes in them. This can cause severe disorientation, speech abnormalities, memory loss, convulsions, altered reflexes, hallucinations, confusion, and partial paralysis. It is quite clear that a person with a severe version of this could come across as zombie-like to the average person.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via Medium]

23. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Also known as Todd’s Syndrome, the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is absolutely insane. It is one of the rarest brain disorders known today and only affects a small number of people annually. It’s usually connected to people who have brain tumors or happen to be involved with frequent drug use. Essentially, the condition affects a person’s perception of the world around them.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Frontida

Things like Micropsia, Macropsis, Pelopsia, and Teleposia are involved here. Objects around them will appear larger or smaller than they are. However, the person may also feel larger or smaller than they truly are too. It affects most of the senses including vision, touching, and even hearing. Imagine for a second that a person knew how to make this happen to multiple people around the world at the same time. That could cause some truly problematic issues.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via Gizmodo]

22. Neurotoxins

Most of the time, when you see neurotoxins on a list like this you expect a number of things to come along with it. Usually, these types of things involve some form of paralysis. However, not all neurotoxins work the same way. On top of this, it also depends on how the toxin is used. One of the deadliest is found in the Pufferfish. Eating this part of the fish has killed several people and continues to do so annually.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Eater

However, if the toxin from this fish is applied to the human skin…it is still being absorbed by the body. It will actually make someone go into a death-like state. This will then allow a person to “rise from the dead.” If they are somehow given this on purpose and put into this state, then wake up in the assumption that they are dead, imagine how that could be weaponized!

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via The Independent]

21. Computer Chip Implant

There are a lot of smaller devices today, many working off of chips that are no bigger than your smallest fingernail. Funny enough, they are actually getting smaller by the day. Imagine for a second that you could actually use a chip implant in someone and have access to their body or brain. If you have control of their central nervous system, you could force them to do things they do not want to do.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Medical Expo

The person could consciously be doing this or you could find a way to put them to sleep. Meanwhile, if you only have access to their brain, you could make them basically go crazy and do the things you tell them to do. Like an inner voice inside their head, similar to a God-like figure. Several mass shooters in the past have claimed the voice of God told them to do what they did. Perhaps a real zombie apocalypse could occur in a similar way.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via ScienceMag.org]

20. Microscopic Invaders

For just a second, consider what microscopic means. For those unaware, micro typically means small. Thus, the invasion would typically be something that would be so small that it is likely unable to be seen by the naked eye. Usually, this has to do with viruses or infections that can pass through the air. However, for this example, we are going to use gas instead. There are several gases that are clear and unable to be seen.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Health Scope Mag

Thus, someone could breathe in a gas that has been released into a home, locker room, etc. Usually, our bodies fight off particles floating around that we could breathe in. Our nose hairs fight a lot of this, funny enough. On top of this, granulocytes, lymphocytes, and monocytes help as well. However, if someone decided to make a gas that could bypass these natural protectors, this man-made gas could create a real zombie apocalypse.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via Stocksy United]

19. Radiation

You may not know this, but in America, we keep track of how often someone is exposed to radiation. This exposure happens every time someone has an x-ray, CT scan, and even an MRI. Radiation exposure tracking has been such a big deal that you right now are on a record that every hospital can attain access to. Why do we keep track of this? Simple. Radiation is dangerous and has been proven to kill living beings and even mutate them.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: News Medical

Today, we know that radiation can help in treating things like cancer. However, it slowly kills people. Marie Curie, the woman responsible for most of our knowledge today on radiation, died from radiation poisoning due to her massive amount of exposure to it. Exposed to vast amounts, it is possible a real zombie apocalypse could come out of it if people even survive the major exposure they’ll have to endure.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via ClickOnDetriot.com]

18. Fungal Meningitis

While there are many things that can attack the body, a fungus can do more than some think. They can save lives, such as the case of how we discovered what we know now as the antibiotic medication, Penicillin. This accidental discovery by Alexander Fleming saved the lives of millions, with more antibiotics branching off of it. Yet fungi have also taken lives as well, putting through some severe illnesses. One of them is known as Fungal Meningitis.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Npr

While normal meningitis is pretty bad, it’s usually bacterial and can be treated relatively easily. Fungal meningitis has many of the same symptoms and has to be treated with antifungal medications. Yet, it’s also possible to have this version of meningitis longer. Since it is a fungus, some wild chemist or biologist could add whatever they needed to it in order to give certain things to the person who will be infected by it. Possibly then creating our real zombie apocalypse scenario.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via Flickr]

17. Ophiocordyceps

Our first of a few parasites on the list is called Ophiocordyceps. Technically, it is a parasitic fungus that typically latches on to different species of insects that are often found in the jungles of Africa. In ants, this stuff becomes absolutely incredible. It will sort of force the ant to climb up and attach itself to the underside of a leaf, usually about 25cm from the ground. The ant will then die and the Ophiocordyceps will begin to grow.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Ny Times

In a few days, the deadly spores will come about and can begin to infect humans that come in contact with it. If one does come in contact, it can actually infect people pretty easily. The Ophiocordyceps will then take over the brain of a person. It won’t randomly put them on autopilot but it can cause them to make insane decisions. This is the same parasitic fungus used to create the zombies in The Last of Us video game. Obviously, it is heightened for drama but does have potential.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via Charles Sledge]

16. Brainwashing

Brainwashing actually has been quite successful over the years. Thus far, we only know of a few instances of confirmed brainwashing that caused some big changes. The reason this can be hard to do is that it has to be a systematic overhaul of a person’s beliefs and what they know to be true. It’s like if someone told you that your name is not what it is. You know your name is what it has been and believing anything other than that was not possible.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Branko Devic/Shutterstock

However, it has happened. Memorably, this occurred during the height of the Korean War. Colonel Frank Schwable was shot down and captured. He along with several other prisoners of war made false claims that the U.S. used germ warfare against Korean people. They claimed America dropped anthrax on them and much more. 21 American soldiers refused to return to the nation as well. This proved brainwashing had to have occurred. Zombie brainwashing anyone?

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via Pinterest]

15. Jewel Wasp

The Jewel Wasp is known for being parasitic. When females want to have their young, they will find a cockroach to lay their eggs in. The wasp will sting the roach in the brain, causing it to become immobile for a period. Yet it will still be able to walk around and some other complex behavior. The wasp will then literally drag the cockroach back to its burrow of sorts where it will lay one egg inside the insect on its abdomen.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Jjs Photo Graphic Blog

This wasp will actually allow the cockroach to go back to its own home too. The wasp will usually follow it and block up the entrance to its home, trapping it inside. About three days later, the wasp larva will hatch and begin to eat its way out of the roach from the inside. Literally, the mother wasp controlled the cockroach and forced it to become a walking zombie that will then become the larva’s own personal zombie that it can control. Imagine if this were used in humans.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via IEEE Spectrum]

14. Capgras Delusion

The Capgras Delusion is completely insane and was coined by French psychiatrist Joseph Capgras. It defines someone who holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or a close family member such as a pet has been replaced by an identical imposter. While it might seem strange, this is a completely real psychological problem people have faced. Officially, it belongs to various similar issues under the spectrum of the “delusional misidentification syndrome.”

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: The Conversation

This is an issue where a person misidentifies people, places, and even objects. Some believe that time has been warped or substituted too. It can be pretty mild for some and quite chronic in others. How could this influence a real zombie apocalypse, you ask? Simple. What if this delusion was possibly weaponized, causing people to believe everyone they know to be an imposter? They could go on a killing spree, appearing to victims as mentally out of it the entire time.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image TheWorkPrint.com]

13. Artificially Intelligent Zombie

Let’s be honest, if there is one thing that you could actually believe could cause a real zombie apocalypse, it’s artificially intelligent beings. Seeing as people are already afraid that there will one day be an invasion of robots or AI, it would not be shocking at all to see this happen. A person could program AI to become just like the zombies we know from the movies.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: GrandeDuc/Shutterstock

They could equip them to be exactly the same as what we expect, thus causing them to walk or move the same way. These AI zombies of sorts could even be programmed to eat human brains. While technology that could do something like this is likely very distant in the future. Do not assume someone will not think of trying it. This might be the most realistic possibility of any on the list.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via YouTube]

12. Hymenoepimecis Argyraphaga Wasps

It is quite clear that you should never trust a wasp, especially those that belong to the horrific Hymenoepimecis Argyraphaga species. Found mostly in Costa Rica, this tropical wasp species targets orb weaver spiders to use as hosts for their young. Yes, another wasp species that lays its eggs inside other insects. When the time comes to lay eggs, the female wasp will sting the spider. This sting will actually paralyze the spider long enough for the wasp to lay the eggs in the spider’s abdomen.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Mental Floss

Soon after this, the larvas will hatch and begin sucking the blood of the spider. Several weeks later, the larvas will inject a chemical into the spider that takes over its brain. It’ll remain with the young throughout the weaving of a cocoon. Once molted the larva eat the spider and spent the next few weeks in the cocoon. They’ll emerge a few weeks later as full-grown wasps. Creepy, huh?

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via FamilyDoctor.org]

11. West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus happens to be one of the deadliest diseases on the planet today. It is exclusively spread by mosquitoes, often found in multiple places around the world. However, it is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States today. A person gets this by being bitten by a mosquito, but may not see any symptoms at all initially. While 1 in 150 people who get West Nile have an issue with their central nervous system due to the disease, this could be more.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Health Vermont

Essentially, if a person weaponized West Nile then they could make a virus that attacked the central nervous system exclusively or with other areas. Many get a fever with the issue, however, others see it much worse. Disorientation, tremors, convulsions, numbness, paralysis, and stupor occurs. If weaponized, all of this could be more intense and possibly even controlled. Thus, a real zombie apocalypse could come out of it.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via FindRehabCenters.org]

10. Drugs

Let us be clear here. It seems like a cop-out to say “drugs” and be done with it. However, we are talking about a real zombie apocalypse and how it could happen. Not including drugs on the list would be insane of us. To connect to our version of a zombie, we could add a lot of drugs to this list. Just for a few examples, we’re going to use cocaine and meth. Cocaine is often snorted into the sinuses and goes into the brain, impairing it as well as giving it a major high.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Dna India

This is considered an “upper” on the street. There are various versions of it but all of them make you go completely insane. Most people with addictions to it are smaller, develop sores, and look horrific. Meth is similar, and it’s usually injected into the bloodstream. Meth is made mostly out of household products you’ll see under your sink as well as sinus medications like Sudafed. Like cocaine, it is an upper that could kill anyone who uses it. Most addicted to it will look horrific, like zombies.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via University of Oxford]

9. Augmented Reality

Unlike virtual reality, you are not entering a new world when it comes to augmented reality. Rather, the virtual world comes into our world. Games like Pokemon Go! are classic examples of augmented reality games, and they can be incredibly fun. Yet this type of system could become problematic if weaponized. Augmented reality usually takes a device like your phone to work, yet this could one day become more advanced and just need contacts, glasses, or injectable chips.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Fi

Right now, tech companies are trying to make augmented reality more advanced. Some are attempting to make entire buildings into fully animated augmented reality on the inside via laser or light-based tech. If this type of thing were to become even bigger and weaponized, we could quite literally find ways to implant chips into the blood that affects the brain. From here, fully animated zombies could be used to make people assume a real zombie apocalypse is happening.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via WPSD]

8. Head Injury

Another from the world of possible cop-outs yet completely possible is a head injury. Like augmented reality, you do not always have to have real zombies to make people believe that real zombies exist. If someone were to be injured in the head, their brain will have several issues that will need to be addressed. This could include dizziness, disorientation, blurred vision, confusion, memory loss, hallucinations, convulsions, and so much more.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Puwadol Jaturawutthichai/Shutterstock

Imagine for a second if we knew just the spot to hit someone and then abused this person to a point where they believe a real zombie apocalypse is taking place. Remember, in order for something to qualify as a zombie, it must “appear” as a member of the undead. It could even be a person of strange behavior. Thus, you could clearly make someone with a head injury believe something is happening when it is clearly not.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via LiveMaster.com]

7. Bath Salts

If you have ever seen someone that happened to be high on bath salts, you likely met someone who is absolutely insane. The bath salts are obviously made to use in the bathtub to help with different issues like sinus trouble or even muscle aches. If they are snorted, smoked, or made into a liquid and injected, they could clearly kill a person or make them crazy. Some believe this might be the most likely thing that could cause a real zombie apocalypse.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Amazon

The reason comes from a now-infamous cannibal attack that happened in Miami back in 2012. A naked Rudy Eugene horrifically attacked a 66-year-old homeless man named Ronald Poppo. He ate the man’s face off! Somehow, Poppo survived the encounter and is now blind. This cannibalistic attack by a man high on bath salts could clearly become much bigger and result in people becoming crazed zombie-like cannibals.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via The Candida Diet]

6. Candida Albicans Fungus

Another from the world of fungi is something many people come in contact with quite often. However, not all have issues with it funny enough. Essentially, Candida Albicans is a pathogenic yeast that can mostly be found in human gut flora. It is often detected in the gastrointestinal tract and mouth and can be seen in about 40-60% of even healthy adults. It can cause the growth of Candida, which results in an infection known as Candidiasis. This infection involves the overgrowth of fungus.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

While initially considered to be nothing of note if treated right away, a new study found that Candida Albicans could actually involve severe brain issues. A study done on mice found that it caused brain abnormalities that resembled that of Alzheimer’s Disease as well as memory issues. Imagine if this was weaponized and people could be controlled, all having no clue what happened due to the Alzheimer’s disease-like connection. That could become a true problem!

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via Pathology Outlines]

5. Toxoplasma Gondii

Toxoplasma Gondii happens to be a member of the parasite family. This is actually a brain parasite, which is mostly found in rats. Once a rat is infected by it, the parasite can manipulate the brain with the parasite. For example, instead of running away from cats looking to eat them, it’ll actually run toward them, seeking them out! A study on these infected rats found that they were attracted to the smell of cats and their urine.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Gen Eng News

They’ll often approach the cat and be killed and/or eaten by them, which results in the parasite moving onto the cat. This allows it to breed. Cases of the parasite have involved humans too, who likely got it from a cat, funny enough. Another study found that as many as 60 million people in the United States alone have been infected by or come in contact with Toxoplasma Gondii. If this is weaponized, it could control humans and make them become walking zombies looking for insane danger.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via Channel3000.com]

4. Mad Cow Disease

I know what you’re thinking, humans cannot get Mad Cow Disease due to the whole not being a cow thing. This is true, however, humans have an equivalent to this disease known as Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This disease is caused by something called “prion.” It’s a type of protein that can trigger normal proteins in the brain to fold abnormally. This can actually affect both humans and animals. On top of this, it’s even possible to spread to humans via infected meat products.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: The Sun

This prion disorder of sorts is what triggers the Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This is a degenerative brain disorder that leads to dementia and affects people similar to Alzheimer’s disease. The disease will cause memory issues, vision problems, memory loss, depression, loss of the ability to speak, and even sudden, jerky movements. All of this could lead one to believe they are seeing a walking zombie-like figure if they came in contact with a person that had a late-stage version of this.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via CNET]

3. Nanobots

We are closer and closer to finding ways to use nanobots to solve a ton of problems for both humans and animals alike. Right now, it is uncertain how far we can go with them. The theory is that the possibilities are endless due to the fact that you can pretty much put them into anything. Specifically, we can inject them into the bloodstream and have them attack certain parts of the body to help us defeat diseases.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Silist

Right now there are experiments with nanobots revolving around helping remove cancer issues too. However, due to the possibilities being so endless with nanobots, it’s at least possible to see them used for evil. If a person decided to weaponize them and use them to take over the brains of human beings…this could turn into a real zombie apocalypse. Imagine people walking around mindless, having to do whatever someone claimed. They could force them to kill and even eat other humans!

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via HuckMag.com]

2. Cotard’s Syndrome

Cotard’s Syndrome is a rare disorder that is quite horrific to experience. People often call it the “walking corpse syndrome,” if that tells you anything. This mental disorder causes people to have the delusional belief that they are already dead, do not exist, are putrefying, or they’ve lost their blood and/or internal organs. Essentially, these people assume are walking, talking members of the undead. The weird part of this is that they could have conversations with people that are alive.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Indiana Public Media

They will then just have the belief that they are ghostly figures, even if they need to do things normal humans must do like eat and use the restroom. This would be a compelling thing to use as a real zombie apocalypse, at least for those with this disorder. They could assume all are dead, though it would only be something they would see. This would not affect the rest of the world unless these people did something insane. However, we never said this apocalypse had to be something for all.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
[Image via 20th Century Fox]

1. Neurogenesis

Likely the most compelling possibility for a real zombie apocalypse can come from Neurogenesis. This is, in large thanks, to stem cell research that will soon make it possible for people to regenerate decaying organs. The procedure would work for most organs in our bodies but sadly not on the brain. Essentially, when we die our brain actually begins decaying from the outside in. The outer layers of the brain are pretty important and affect our memory, emotions, decision-making, logic, etc.

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
Photo Credit: Atlas Obscura

Unless you decide to revive someone immediately, their outer brain function will be too far gone to bring them back. In a situation such as this, you could technically have an ordeal science has yet to see. If you could bring someone back to life who simply had the outer layer of their brain erased, they’d still be able to live due to the inner parts operating properly. They would just be a mindless zombie. If someone were to find a way to revive the recently dead using Neurogenesis, they could create an army of undead zombies.