A Scientific Model Of What A Zombie Apocalypse Would Look Like (And Where Not To Hide)

Tyler Durden's picture

The best spots for riding out a zombie apocalypse are sparsely populated areas of Montana and Nevada, which remain untouched even four months, according to a new study by researchers at Cornell University who have developed a statistical model for simulating the spread of a fictional zombie epidemic. As The WSJ reports, with real-life applications to modeling viral outbreaks, Cornell offer dire warnings for those who live in Scranton, PA - with northeastern Pennsylvania as the U.S. location most at risk of being overrun by the undead.



Highly populated areas are a bad bet in general, of course. But Alexander Alemi, a graduate student and one of the authors of the paper, notes that the most susceptible spots change over time.

Seven days after the initial outbreak, lower Manhattan, with the map’s highest population density at 299,616 people, has the highest zombie susceptibility. In fact, the New York City metro area in general is probably best avoided, as are other large cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas.


By 28 days out, however, the pattern has shifted, Mr. Alemi says. Instead of individual cities being at the greatest risk, areas located between multiple major cities are most vulnerable. “You start to see interactions between different cities,” he says. While northeastern Pennsylvania, identified in the paper as the country’s most vulnerable region, “doesn’t have a particularly high population itself, it is near all these other high population areas.”




Also a bad bet—Bakersfield, Calif., which sits uncomfortably near San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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The spread starts slow and accelerates fast..

Blue - clear; Red - Zombies, Green - wiped out

As you can see, for the parameters we chose, most of the United States population has been turned into zombies by the first week, while the geographic map doesn't necessarily seem all that compelling. In the early stages of the outbreak, while the population is roughly homogeneous, the zombie plague spreads out in roughly uniform circles, where the speed of the infection is tied to the local population density. Infestations on the coasts, with their higher population density, have spread farther than those near the center of the country. After several weeks, the map exhibits stronger anisotropy, as we spread over larger geographical areas and the zombie front is influenced by large inhomogeneities in population density. After four weeks, much of the United States has fallen, but it takes a very long time for the zombies to diffuse and capture the remaining portions of the United States. Even four months in, remote areas of Montana and Nevada remain zombie free.

*  *  *

Another good reason to move?

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Cornell also previously released The Zombie Survival Guide...


Source: The Wall Street Journal

Full Cornell paper below...


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ebworthen's picture

We already have a mental zombie apocalypse affecting the majority of the population.

videinfra's picture

Which might lead into an all out world war. 

RU-GAY2's picture
RU-GAY2 (not verified) videinfra Mar 24, 2015 2:35 PM

If you own Bitcoin you can buy your way out of Zombie Apocalypse.

Au_Ag_CuPbCu's picture

So this is how they are spending our finite resources at universities...modeling zombie apocalypses.  Come to think of it, it's no more wasteful than getting a PhD in economics.

madcows's picture

it's what 60 grand a year buys.  who needs chemistry, physics, blah blah blah, when you can "model" a zombie outbreak.  Hire this dude, now.  he's going places.

TruxtonSpangler's picture

If this model works as well as other computer models like the weather, then Im moving to Scranton.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Has anyone here ever fucking walked through a big box store, watched a MSM "program" or witnessed a major college sporting event lately?

The Zombie Apocalypse already happened, FFS.

Publicus's picture

I see the elites are modeling the Ebola outbreak already.

Divine Wind's picture




100:1 this was research carried out using U.S. taxpayer dollars,
that it will serve as the basis for a Ph.D (no oral defense necessary),
and will likely lead to millions in follow-on funding from the National
Endowment for the Arts for an extended cinematic representation
of the research findings.

Three cheers for higher education!

Manthong's picture

I would have sworn Bakersfield had already been knee deep in Zombies for the last few years.

Four chan's picture

zombie is code for black people when the handouts end. hence the hands outstretched and dazed look.

manofthenorth's picture

I am just happy that Alaska is not even on the map !!!!!!

Anusocracy's picture

Those images look like how the US Government Zombie Apocalypse spread across America in the last 225 years.

snakeboat's picture

Pick a starting locale and model it yourself! http://mattbierbaum.github.io/zombies-usa/


Tis good to live in the West.

whotookmyalias's picture

Gives The Streets of Bakersfield a whole new meaning and me a whole new reason to stay away.


(Link for those of you who have no clue what the reference is) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5P6zdlPJ34

SilverIsKing's picture

I was planning on going underground when the ZA hits.  Do they have a map for that?

Money Boo Boo's picture

it's always funny to watch americans make maps of stuff and not even oblige to show the biggest part of North America directly above them. But thanks is warranted for the myopic stoopidity of most americans becasue we in Canada don't have to suffer the intolerable mouth foaming retardation of most amercicans becasue they're too stoopid to even know Canada exists.  As for the zombie apocolyse most of the dumb fucks lucky enough to stumble north will be dead come the first frost because they have no idea what real cold looks like and that suits us all up here just fine.  Fuck off!!

whotookmyalias's picture

Canada doesn't have enough guns to fight off the zombies because you let your government take them all away for your own good. You and your neighbor to the east, Australia, will be overrun so fast there is no reason to make a map.

TruxtonSpangler's picture

Canada = small indian village. AKA Candinavia.

Nage42's picture

Not sure about that one.


Lot of hunting rifles and shotguns outside of big cities (of which there are few).  Might be a case of not owning one, but knowing someone near by that owns a few, so in a civil defense scenario, there would be accessibility.

Kinda hard to know how it'd play out, places like Phillipines and Mexico have very low gun ownership/person, but there seems to be no shortage of guns for when people decided that they suddenly want one...


For my part, I would think that the authors of the paper could secure easy government funding if their population data was coded by race/class also (read: the "infection" could be driven bya bias towards certain criteria), thus allowing government modelers to see how race/class recitivism would play out...

Yeah... just what's needed, giving the "good enough for government work" peeps free research on how to tighten the noose.  /golfclap

MontgomeryScott's picture


EVERY EDUMACATED 'Canukistanian' KNOWS that those lines on the maps are REAL and IMPENETRABLE, Eh...

Coo-lukookookoo kooloo-KOOKOO...


I really enjoyed 'The Red Green' show, by the way. Great sense of humor, Eh... the only place I ever saw it was on the P(urile )B(astards and )S(hitheads) television stations, though, funded (in part) by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (and important subscribers, like you).

Canuckistan is NOT North of Usa, Japan, by the way. It's actually landlocked in the continent of South Ossetia. It's over by K'her'dick'is'tan (formerly known as Rodhams'jina) and Eastern Anglica (and most of it's landmass has now been thawed by the pesky 'global warming change' thingie).

I watch FAUX NEWS for ALL my geographical information! the Communist News Network has NOTHING on them!

Nimby's picture

Your the stoopid one.  Everyone knows Canada is in europe.  Sounds like your just still mad about loosing world war 2

Charming Anarchist's picture

It is funny because this bullshit research is pre-programming and conditioning for the sheeple.  They want Americans to believe in zombies because eventually, there will be sick, starving and desparate people roaming around.  These people will be indistinguishable from zombies and it is to the advantage of TPTB to have the sheeple believe in zombies. eBola was an attempt to provoke such chaos and disorder.  It failed.  The intent of the programmers is to lead people to kill them off ---- just like in the movies.  That is why Hollyweird bombards the sheeple with zombie movies. 

There is no need for such programming in cold Canada because there will never be people around for long anyway.

BLOTTO's picture

Whats the use of hiding?


Either get to the promised land or go out with a bang.

Follow the 'butterfly'...

DipshitMiddleClassWhiteKid's picture

There already is to some extent, but I guess they're just anticipating when the FEMA camps either fail and or get too populated they will just have to let the masses roam around.


It's getting scary out there.


I work in corporate american and the worst part is, most people just keep thinking shits just going to keep going on and on...


They're going to be hurtin'



metastar's picture

The model is faulty. It does not account for pockets of well armed citizens capable of stopping the plague spreading to their region. I believe Texas and Utah are the best hopes for the survival of humanity.

cheech_wizard's picture

Any state with the following: 1) High population of ex-military, preferably sharpshooters, or 2) High population of hunters.

When you absolutely, positively must be able to make a head shot.


Not Too Important's picture

The model is not faulty. That's why Texas and Utah are 'hostile' states for Jade Helm:

'More States Added to ‘Jade Helm’ Military Exercise'


MontgomeryScott's picture

"I believe Texas and Utah are the best hopes for the survival of humanity."

Well, gee, Skippy, SO DO THEY!

Let's see. they call it 'JADE HELM 2015' or something. Surely you've heard of it?


They seem to name TEXAS and UTAH as 'hostile areas' in their seven-state 'exersize'.

With talk of Jade Helm blowing up across the Internet and the US military pushing back against what they call "conspiracy theorists," the statements below by Roy Potter, a former a 28 year veteran of the U.S. Army, ranked Lt. Colonel, who served in in various Military Police and Military Intelligence positions across the world, are a must hear as he tells listeners they had better "wake up quickly." <snip>


SAY: Is that a well-armed citizen in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Yeah. 'Well-armed'. What a fucking JOKE! When that M1A1 comes rolling down the dusty road out in the flatlands, all the 'well-armed' citizens in 'pockets' are gonna do, WHAT, exactly? Add a squadron of AH51's and a couple of Blackhawks and a C130 equipped like a 'Jolly Green Giant', and those 'well-armed citizens' will throw away their pea-shooters and run like HELL.

It's funny, though. YOU(ALL) paid for ALL of it. I paid too, for a lot of years, before I finally woke the FUCK UP to the bullshit and lies.

Didja file your 1040 yet?

TEXAS, and UTAH. Oh, HELL yeah.




'OPERATION DESERT STORM' in 1991 was fucking PRACTICE for regions such as TEXAS and UTAH. WAKE UP!

24 years later,... and far more technologically advanced,... the AMERICAN WORLD ARMY will make sure that NO MISTAKES are MADE THIS TIME. Heat signatures? NO PROBLEM... LIGHT signatures? NO PROBLEM... SOUNDS of RESPIRATION? NO PROBLEM...

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Sounds so easy, but yet we can't wipe the 30k ISIS warriors off the planet.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Problem: Zombies need brains to survive.

Soution: Trapping zombies in DC or any State capitol will simply cause them to starve.

Fortunately the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevadas is off the map.

HardAssets's picture

Giving the grad student the benefit of the doubt, I substitute 'major epidemic' for 'zombie'. That said, you can tell they are a city boy since they can't seem to imagine any place outside of a town or city.

I do like Missoula, MT however. College town with lots of outdoor activities. And one of my favorite beer breweries doing German style brews is located there.

Go Grizzlies !

trulz4lulz's picture

I'm gunning for my Masters in Cinematic Science Fiction. Its only 75k per year at  Harvard, but they tell me I can be anything once I graduate.


Charming Anarchist's picture

Hollyweird does a much better job pre-programming the sheeple than any scientist ever will. 

Stuck on Zero's picture

Anyone ever spend time in Hollywood?  It's already a zombie apocalypse.

Fun Facts's picture

Zombie Apocalypse = EBT system going down for more than 12 hours

whotookmyalias's picture

Hoo boy, you hit the nail on the head with that one.

walküre's picture

ON topic

cool animation charting the increase in prison population over 40 years


The prisons are run by corporations. It is profitable to incarcerate more and more people. Judges and attorneys are also shareholders in the corp.

Who owns FEMA camps? Once they get sold to Blackstone, the party can get started


TruxtonSpangler's picture

This is what Common Core is all about. It weeds out the smart people and leaves the rest ready for the prison industrial complex. Microsoft is heavily invested in Common Core. Bill Gates is heavily invested in Corrections Corporation of America. Coincidence?

Rusty Shorts's picture

Have you noticed these new schools they are building? same blue prints as prisons...

A Nanny Moose's picture

Again...the purpose of Pewblik Skewlz. I say, bring your shit to mah howse! Let's take the gloves off


cnmcdee's picture

Combat Arms a completely free game has a sub-battle called 'Cabin Fever' - where this cabin is surrounded by poisonous gas and incoming zombies.  It is so fun!!  By level 10 of 20 on hard it's bascially a frantic shoot em up - I recommend at least a couple hours training on the simulator before the real thing.