Anatomy of Deterioration


You’re chilling in your apartment and the kids start shouting that the zombies are coming. You start to brainstorm ways to get out of this mess. You grab our weapons, you’ve listened to all of the articles, you’ve got your bug out bag ready. You have your rations carefully packed to make optimum room inside your bear canister. But you stop look around, and start putting things away. You look at all the ammo, and all the food you’ve stocked piled, and you tell your kids to be careful but relax. Go find the bleach, and get some masks. They give you unnecessary feedback at what you think is the best way to get yourselves killed, and you patiently explain that zombies regardless of what they are are created of human flesh. Though they will need to sustain themselves on the living they will be gone in a few weeks. If they are not given a steady supply of human flesh than they will have to suffer to the laws all ex living things have to suffer through. Death and decay rests for now one, not even zombies.

Providing that the zombies are not created through any supernatural  means we need to know what happens when the body dies. If you read the “Anatomy of Infection” Than you know how the body reacts when infected with the “Z” virus. Now we are going to take a look at what happens to your body when you shuffle that mortal coil.

Nature has one of the best eviction plans under the sun stars and moon. Once you’re gone your body will go through 5 stages.

  1. Fresh,
  2. Bloat,
  3. Active Decay
  4. Advanced Decay
  5. Dry Remains

We will go through the stages so that you can better understand what will happen once the “Z” infection has run it’s course through the unfortunate victim.


Once you’re gone your blood will stops pumping oxygenated blood to the rest of your body. No blood means no air is getting to your cells, which will also die. The boy starts to break itself down almost immediately. Brain cells die within minutes leaving the rest to de at different rates.Depending on where the last palace your body was receiving oxygenated blood at the time of your zombie demise. Also keep in mind the ambient temperature of the room also plays a large part of how fast your body goes through the stages. The hotter the temperature the faster the decay, the colder the slower.


Once the bucket has been kicked blood pools to the parts of the body that are touching a surface due to gravity.I would say the ground, but if you were unfortunate enough to get surprised by a zombie while using the restroom…well it sucks to be you. This causes the skin farthest from any reasonably flat surface to turn a waxy grayish color while the opposite looks like a supreme hickey.

Active Decay

Your intestines have a bazillion micro organisms inside of ti that have taken real estate inside of your body. Just because you were evicted doesn’t mean their lease is up. At least not right away. Since the cells that were keeping these organisms at bay are no longer receiving any instructions to do so they begin to eat through your body. No longer bound to your stomach they are free to smorgas board the rest of your body. Now take note. This is the stage that zombies are stuck in. Or rather right before. They hover between trying to get back past bloat, and fighting to stay out of this stage. They are in the grip of these organisms looking for that which keeps them fed and alive. Which is you, and your precious precious flesh. As long as they are getting a steady diet of live cells, they can continue to subsist. Otherwise the infected organisms will look for more flesh to inhabit to continue subsisting.

Advanced Decay

This section is not for the faint of heart, so skip it if you’re squeamish. Now that there is nothing to manage your bodily functions such as the creation and expulsion of gas things things start to get a little messy. The hydrogen sulfide in your stomach starts pushing your internal organs out of through… we’ll just say all available exits. Think of it like a battery that has swollen. If something were to pierce the side or put it under extreme heat it would explode or jump forward. Your body works in the same way. Consequently this is where the rumors of life after death usually come from. At this point, what the microorganisms don’t eat through bacteria comes through for the sloppy seconds.Then proceed to break down the tendons and ligaments that are left in your body.

Dry Remains

Now we get to the last stage. So in this example we have been assuming that your body is on some sort of man made surface. So picture if you will all of these stages in the middle of the forest. If you look at the area around the body you will note that there is nothing growing where the body was left. That’s because what is eating through the body is also eating through the surrounding vegetation in the area. You have to remember that the acids in our stomach could eat through a car. By this stage the vegetation can safely grow back, and all that is left is the cartilage and bone that will be bleached by the elements that are surrounding them.

So now that we know what is happening, we’ll go into what that means for us on the living level in our next part of this series. Deterioration Theory.

Deterioration Theory

If you read “Anatomy of Infection” and “Anatomy of Deterioration” you know that death comes in cycles. Rapid unpleasant cycles.Now the question is do zomies deterioate? If so then will all you have to di bunker down and wait it out until the zombies putrefy? Will they walk and lose limbs as they chase you due to their bodies getting eat through by their own natural fauna? If they don’t you will have to get back to gathering your weapons.

So back to the question of if zombies deteriorate. That all depends on if zombies are created by man or some supernatural force. If they are man made than they will eventually deteriorate. yes while we can use substance such as formaldehyde to slow the decomposition, we can not stop decomposition. Even in mummification the body decays until dry remains are left. Science can not staunch the stages of death. They may be able to delay it for a little while, but there is no satisfactory way of keeping the body from decomposing. If zombies are created by humans than your biggest worries will be what to do in the first 3 months of the zombie apocalypse. Your concerns will revolve around the human element that is left, the time of year it happened, and how to stay healthy during that time.

People Will be acting blindly due to fear and not being prepared. There will be looting, hysteria, and immobilization due to fear. Zombies at this time will also be replicating due to the stupidity of humans running around outdoors. They will be scared, desperate, and doing some very unsmart things. This is the worst part that you will have to whether the initial wave of zombies. You will have to decide to escape or stay where you are. Most people have at least two to three weeks of food in their house at any given time. Water might be a problem. Although if the person who cuts off your utilities is still there cutting off utilities they are either trapped or very dedicated. So come up with a game plan early, and make sure you stick with it;. For better or worse you and those close to you may be the only ones you can depend on. Pick your team wisely.

The time of year is another consideration that you will have to take into account. Now if you live in an area that pretty much has a 365 day growing season due to favorable weather conditions then you will not have to worry too much about the rate of decay. Unfortunately for those who live in areas that get cold during the winter you are going to be in a bit of a pickle! Deterioration goes faster when there is heat to act as a catalyst. Microorganism move because there is heat to keep them active. However if you find yourself in the apocalypse during the dead of winter you need to plan for a longer siege. Things slow down when it’s cold and that includes decay. That means that you will have to probably plan for a few months of getting by before things start to get better.

Now that your team is acting as one, and the weather conditions are awesome you come to the unfortunate part of disease. yes you’ve lived through the zombie hordes, but they are still rotting on the side of the street. They may not be chasing you, but they are still a very real danger. They may not be alive anymore but bacteria is. You have no idea what the person who was bitten had in their system before they were bitten. Nor will you know how the disease will have mutated while being stuck in the active decay stage. You will have to dispose of the corpses ASAP so that other living things such as rats and scavengers birds don’t eat the flesh, and have the disease further mutate.

Now this scenario is contingent on the zombies being man made. However if the zombies are supernaturally made that is a whole other set of problems. Because if the zombies rise from the dead due to religious power or magic than we can not assume that any of the laws that hold true nature will hold true for them in that instance.There is no reason to assume that the zombies will follow any action that a normal dead body would follow.There will be no stages of death to rid us of the problem.

This brings up another problem. If zombies are rising due to supernatural means will shotting them in the head stop them? What will it take to make the corpses still. If there are no stage of death than there may not be any end to the zombie problem. There will be no waiting the issue out or shooting our way through.On the bright side however the human element and the disease will no longer be a worry!

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