Do zombies exist? Three people came back to life after death in Haiti: what scientists learned from studying their brains
The topic of zombies - people who have risen from the dead for one reason or another - has been baffling the civilized world for almost a century. While at first zombies were ordinary people who turned into puppets under the influence of hypnosis or magic, later they turned into dead people whose only goal is to eat someone else's brain.
But there is probably nothing mystical about zombies coming back from the dead. And they are certainly not trying to eat living people.
Almost 30 years ago, a group of scientists published a study that examined the brains of three people in Haiti who came back to life months or even years after they were buried. IFLScience tells the details.
The legends of zombies rising from the graves originated in Haiti, where it was believed that voodoo magic allows sorcerers to capture the souls of the dead and move them into the bodies of the newly deceased. Sometimes this is done for revenge, and sometimes the sorcerer just needs his own "doll" to carry out any orders.
And then in 1997, scientists decided to put an end to the rumors of the risen dead and traveled to Haiti to investigate three people whose relatives claimed that they had returned from the dead. They studied, of course, the brain activity of the "risen dead," using electroencephalography and DNA testing.
Their first test subject was a woman who died at the age of 30, but three years later her family members found her alive in the street. After the court granted permission to exhume the grave, the relatives discovered that it had been covered with stones.
The authors of the study said that the woman really resembled a zombie from old movies: her head was always down, and she walked extremely slowly and stiffly. The woman also had problems with speech, but from time to time she would mumble "incomprehensible but stereotypical words."
However, her brain scan showed nothing unremarkable. After studying her condition, the researchers announced a preliminary diagnosis of catatonic schizophrenia.
However, they were unable to explain her return from the dead, although they suggested that the woman had not died at all. Scientists assume that she could have been poisoned with a "neuromuscular toxin" and that her body was stolen after burial.
The other subject is a 26-year-old man who returned 19 months after his burial.
His clinical examinations did not reveal any supernatural findings, and the researchers diagnosed him with organic brain syndrome and epilepsy. Scientists also found no evidence that the man was dead at all.
Later, it turned out that the man's uncle had hypnotized him and then kept him chained to a log in his house.
Another case of zombies occurred with a woman who was found alive 13 years after her death. An examination showed that she was still human. Genetic testing also revealed no evidence that the woman had ever been dead.
The authors of the study suggest that in most cases, when people claim that their deceased relative has come back to life and turned into a zombie, there is a misidentification of a person with mental disorders.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL also reported that scientists have discovered zombie genes that wake up in the human brain after death.