Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Zombies: Is there any geological evidence?

Those who know me well know that I am a geologist as well as an avid reader of weird fiction. I enjoy both with the same passion and obsession, as I'm sure most will identify with, on some level at least.

So today I will explore the possibility of geologic zombie evidence. Yes, I know... you might be wondering if such earth-shattering (pun intended) evidence really exists and if so, why haven't other well-respected geologist (like myself) not published anything on the subject; those questions are both valid and sound, but I won't be answering either. Rather, I will proceed with much arm waving and geologic jargon in the hopes that a semi-logical conclusion may spill its way out of my mind.

As can be seen by the figure below, older things are below younger things in the rock record. This is called the law of superposition. (Note: that had nothing to do with zombies.... yet!) It's a nice figure though, isn't it?

Any geologic evidence to be found in the rock record would be in the form of a mass extinction and/or bioturbation. Mass extinctions and bioturbation can be found all over the rock record. One mass extinction that most people know about is the extinction of the dinosaurs. But that was nothing when compared to some of the other mass extinctions. These mass extinctions have numerous explanations, but zombies, I think, really explain it all.

As we know already, zombies, when they strike, come in mass numbers and kill/turn many of like species with them. So at such an event, we would be able to observe both massive amount of death as well as disturbed graves, in the form of bioturbation. Biotubation is usually found in marine sediments and is caused by burrowing critters that dig into a recently deposited sand/clay layers and then dig its way out. Zombies grave sites would have a similar dig-in/dig-out pattern in the geologic record.

So, my thought is that zombies could come from different species than just humans. Maybe the dinosaurs all died because of a gang of zombie T-Rex's,... think about it... they didn't have very big brains. And we all know how much zombies like brains.

Brachiopod zombie!!!

Or maybe the zombies of the past were brachiopods, or trilobites, trying to dominate the marine floor with their zombie powers of persuasion. At this rate, zombie species could have come from any corner of the Kingdom Animalia, and could explain many of the geologically puzzling mass extinctions of the past.

As far as more recent zombie events in the rock record we have a limited amount of data. But if we project the frequency of mass(zombie!!!) extinctions, we can clearly see that we are due for one.

The above evidence and arm waving, I feel, is a sufficient explanation of geo-zombies. But if any of you geologically-ignorant need some things explained to you, just leave a comment for me and I'll tell you what's up.