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Sci-Fi By Joe Burgett -

Theories on How the Dead Could Rise Again
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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
Television manipulation and crowd control, Brainwashing concept. 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
Close-up Of Jewel Wasp. Photo Credit: Aris-Tect Group/Shutterstock

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
Emerald cockroach wasp or Jewel wasp with prey. Photo Credit: Dykrub/Shutterstock

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
A cheerful positive man hold two faces masks hides true emotions. Photo Credit: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

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
Portrait of a serious liar guy hugging a woman. Photo Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock

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
Future Terminator Figure Model. Photo Credit: phol_66/Shutterstock

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
3D illustration of an artificially intelligent zombie. 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
Hymenoepimecis Argyraphaga Wasps. Photo Credit: Reddit

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
Silverback spider Argiope argentata parasitized by Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga. Photo Credit: Flickr

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
Dangerous Zika Infected Mosquito Skin Bite. Photo Credit: Nechaevkon/Shutterstock

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
Zika Infected Mosquito bite. Photo Credit: nechaevkon/Shutterstock

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
Dangerous drugs and meth. Photo Credit: Stepan Kapl/Shutterstock

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
Hard drugs on dark table. Photo Credit: WPixz/Shutterstock

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
Apple iPhone5s held in one hand showing its screen with Pokémon Go application. Photo Credit: Wachiwit/Shutterstock

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
Augmented reality marketing concept. Photo Credit: Zapp2Photo/Shutterstock

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
3D Rendering of Concussion Football Helmet. Photo Credit: skizer/Shutterstock

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
Cerebrovascular accident. 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
Himalayan pink rock salt in wooden bowl and spoon on white marble table. Photo Credit: nattha99/Shutterstock

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
Top view of woman sitting in foam bath with sea bath salt in hands. Photo Credit: Olena Serzhanova/Shutterstock

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
Digital illustration of fungi Candida albicans. Photo Credit: Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock

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
Candida albicans visualized using scanning electron microscopy. 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
Toxoplasma Gondii. Photo Credit: Kantarose Boonyuen/Shutterstock

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
Toxoplasma gondii on colorful background. Photo Credit: Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock

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
Mad cow disease/Bovine spongiform encephalopathy BSE. Photo Credit: Deyana Stefanova Robova/Shutterstock

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
A cow with Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as Mad Cow Disease. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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
Nanobots going through the bloodstream and repairing some blood cells. Photo Credit: Andrea Danti/Shutterstock

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
Nanorobot with camera, micro-processed with claws and radio sign to aid to combat diseases. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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
Cotard’s Syndrome is a rare neuropsychiatric condition, hypochondriacal delusion and then as Delusion of denial. Photo Credit: NEITPIX/Shutterstock

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
Gustave Dore heresy. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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
Neurons and neural connections 3D render; Neurogenesis concept. Photo Credit: viktorov.pro/Shutterstock

1. Neurogenesis

Likely the most compelling possibility for a real zombie apocalypse can come from Neurogenesis. This is, in largely 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
Representation of a brain and the nerve links that go down the spinal cord. Photo Credit: Joaquin Corbalan P/Shutterstock

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.