Zombie Termination Machines

As a fan of The Walking Dead, one thing that I find myself focusing on is why the survivors that have banded together haven’t come up with more effective means for killing zombies on a much larger scale.  One of the constants of human development has been developing new and ever better means for killing. That inventiveness needs to be put to use. Given that roaming zombies and packs of zombies represent the most significant risk to the survivors continued existence and given that new zombies continue to show up, a fair amount of energy should be devoted to developing innovations in zombie killing.  The parameters that you need to solve for are:

  • Minimize danger to survivors in the implementation, maintenance, and functioning of the solution
  • The solution should function regardless of whether there is one zombie or numerous zombies
  • The solution should function automatically; you need to be culling the pack even when survivors are resting or engaged in other tasks
  • The solution should address all the zombie bodies that will result from operation
  • Better solutions should not rely on preapocalypse engines which may suffer from unrepairable breakdown or loss of fuel
  • Better solutions should kill the zombies as opposed to various forms of incapacitation. For Walking Dead zombies, this involves a sufficient injury to the brain
  • Better solutions should be more portable; in case you have to abandon a location

So what is your design for a ZTM?


  1. cgoeson said:

    I can think of a few ideas but moving the old bodies away is challenging… I think I could take care of 2 or 3 but not many more than that. I’m thinking of a small animal in a cage just above head height with a spring platform at the bottom. The weight of the zombie triggers a geared sword with a bit of a delay so the zombie is at full reach up toward the critter before the sword swings down on its head. The pressure plate could be rounded and a bit of a step up so the incapacitated zombie falls away. That should work for a few before the bodies would need to be cleared away and the critter changed out.

  2. I always hated this about the show, too. As threatening as the zombies are the living abjectly fail at devising zombie termination solutions.

    AFAIK there is only one way to terminate a zombie, brain injury. That brain injury can be delivered in one of two ways — puncture or fire. For a mass zombie extinction program fire seems like the best solution as consistently delivering puncture wounds with the correct force at the correct height is challenging. Other than the limited “kill zone” zombies have a lot of weaknesses. They are stupid, slow, uncoordinated, predictable, and easy to dismember.

    My idea involves Zombie Killing Fields. There are lots of pre-existing cleared areas like pastures and parks. I would saturate the ground with layers of highly flammable materials (dried grasses and bushes, tree branches, tree pitch/sap), place a noisy animal in a sturdy cage in the center of the field, wait for the mass of zombies, then torch the field (could be done with flaming arrows from a reasonably safe distance). The kill ratio would be pretty good, plus it simultaneously solves the zombie-carcass elimination problem. There would also be a lot of highly compromised zombies that would be easier to eliminate than a healthy zombie. There are a lot of variants on the Zombie Killing Field utilizing formations like gravel pits, ditches, cliffs, and bridges.

    Another idea involves immobilizing zombies. A river or field of wet concrete in conjunction with zombie bait would result in a large number of zombies being completely immobilized or suffer from very limited mobility (cement shoes). This would at least make the process of terminating them easier. It does, however, use a non-renewable resource — concrete.

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