Walking Dead fans, eat your hearts out.
Yes, AMC’s cult zombie series may be midway through its seventh season, but if a real-life zombie apocalypse occurred, then chances are most of your favourite characters would have been eaten alive by flesh-eating ‘walkers’ long ago.
At least that’s the view of ‘zombie experts’ at Leicester University, who predict there would be just 273 human survivors left after three months - outnumbered a million to one by zombies - and that a zombie apocalypse would take just 100 days to wipe out the human race.
The study by physics students was published in the Journal of Physics Special Topics.
The young scientists assumed that each zombie would find at least one human a day to feast on and have a 90 per cent chance of infecting its ‘lunch’ with a bite.
The students used mathematical methods to predict the spread of real diseases and applied this to a ‘zombie outbreak’ - similar those seen in the likes of The Walking Dead and cult films such as 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead.
The University said: “Without the ability for humankind to fight back against the undead hordes, the students’ calculations suggest that if global populations were equally distributed, in less than a year the human race might be wiped out.”
But hold on, maybe The Walking Dead isn’t so far-fetched after all. Perhaps the likes of Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon would be able to survive a real-life zombie apocalypse.
Indeed, despite the odds being stacked firmly against humans, in a more hopeful followup study the students showed it would be possible to survive the zombie epidemic under certain conditions - such as having children and learning how to better fight zombies - and that given enough time, the zombie population would be wiped out and mankind would eventually start bouncing back.
Course tutor Dr Mervyn Roy, a lecturer in the department of physics and astronomy, said: “Every year we ask students to write short papers for the Journal of Physics Special Topics.
“It lets the students show off their creative side and apply some of the physics they know to the weird, the wonderful or the everyday.”
The Walking Dead returns in February