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Rarebear's avatar

Could zombies reduce our need for foreign oil?

Asked by Rarebear (21075 points ) October 5th, 2012

Okay, stay with me here. Zombie apocalypse hits, but we keep it under control. We quarantine all the zombies to prevent infection. Zombies don’t get tired—they can walk forever (as was clearly shown in the book World War Z).

So what if you put the zombies on treadmills, and then hang brains in front of them just out of reach. They start walking, the treadmill moves, and then you harness the energy of the treadmill to add to the power grid.

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31 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

What a brilliant idea!

Or better yet, why don’t we all let ourselves become zombies, and they we won’t need any energy at all. We’ll walk until our bodies decompose too much to hang together.

marinelife's avatar

Zombie power, I love it. We could use midget zombies indie our car engines.

gailcalled's avatar

@Rarebear: THIS is what you were brooding about during your recent hiatus?

josie's avatar

Where are you going to get the brains?
These days, they seem to be in short supply

wonderingwhy's avatar

What if they unionize, strike, and file a series of class action suits alleging 13th Amendment violations?
I think we’d better call in some vampi… uh, lawyers and get this reviewed carefully before anyone gets too excited.

filmfann's avatar

Would they be called “Dreadmills”?

Would the Energy company be known as PG&Z?

JLeslie's avatar

Yay! @Rarebear is back.

I seriously have thought about adding some thing-a-ma-jig to my treadmill to be able to charge my phone while I exercise. Zombies could power my whole house maybe? Great idea!

Symbeline's avatar

That would work, but not forever. While zombies do walk and never get tired, they do rot. Eating flesh and brains does not restore their state or do anything to prevent the decomposition process. When a zombie is in the late phases of decomposition, it will most likely loose its legs, and therefore be useless in this practice.
Unless one allowed controlled infection towards live humans in order to keep getting fresh zombies, this source of energy would run out rather quick. Plus, purposely allowing other fellow human beings to turn into zombies is just plain mean.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Symbeline Can we spray Zombies with some agricultural agent like Captan to keep them fresh longer?

@JLeslie When you are on the treadmill you are effectively heating your home. Unless your treadmill is outdoors all the energy you expend is converted to heat. In the summer time that is not an advantage. But in the winter your exercising saves you money on your heating bill. One hour of a moderate workout is worth about $0.02 in heating oil.

gailcalled's avatar

@LuckyGuy: Counterbalanced by having to launder all the clothes you (or, I should say, I..) have been sweating in (t-shirt, bra, panties, sweats, socks). Even with cold water, I bet that with the cost of the detergent, I spent at least $0.28 cents in electrical power to run washing machine.

However, I can keep the room at 60˚ because of the heat and steam rising from me afterwards.

Coloma's avatar

Not only would zombies save on natural resources but they would be great, low maintenance, workers. I’d hire them in a heartbeat to clean my barn and do yard work. The only drawback is how easily their arms might fall off.

Ayesha's avatar

Love your question!!

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie Interesting… so I wonder if there is an optimal number of limbs that the zombies can lose, such that they remain productive, but require less clothing, thus keeping the laundry costs low.

Gotta keep your zombie workforce smelling fresh, ya know?

Rarebear's avatar

@Symbeline The rotting issue is a good one. As the body parts decay and fall off, they would muck up with the treadmill gears. Maybe we could get fresh zombies by giving, say Death Row inmates the option of becoming zombies in return for, say, government subsidies for their families. That way we could have fresh meat available. Not a long term solution.

@glacial I’m not as worried about the smell issue. The workers would have to go in armored hazmat suits to deal with them anyway to prevent bites and infection.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sigh. Welcome back!

flutherother's avatar

This makes sense to me. Ten zombies can produce one kilowatt of power which is about 1.3 horsepower. American power needs are around 3 billion kilowatts which would require 30 billion zombies on treadmills. They could be sited in a corner of one of the more remote American states. 30 billion zombies on treadmills isn’t something you want to live too close to but the dangers are not much greater than those of nuclear power.

ucme's avatar

Nah, but the resultant sweat could be utilised as an effective rat poison maybe.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But…..what if they got OUT?

flutherother's avatar

First all the lights would go out and then…

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well…can Zombies see in the dark?

flutherother's avatar

They know where we live.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Shit. Well…we all trade houses then.

Only138's avatar

Hell yeah. Zombies doing the Conan the Barbarian wheel. LOL

Rarebear's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well, they’d be no more dangerous than dealing with, say, nuclear reactors. You’d just need containment mechanism.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Container mechanisms? Like empty peanut butter jars and stuff? Can we stuff them in there?

wundayatta's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think he meant those cargo containers. You know. The ones you see on trains and ships. Then you could ship the zombies, like, wherever they were needed.

GracieT's avatar

@wundayatta, wherever zombies are needed? Because Halloween is so close, I bet there would be MANY calls for them. Want to be the zombie manager? :0)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@wundayatta Ah. Makes much more sense! They aren’t needed here, though. Really.

wundayatta's avatar

And I was just going to give you a gross of containers of zombies free, gratis. Out of the goodness of my heart. On accountta you were so nice about that. Well, don’t come crying to me if you’re cold this winter and I’m out of zombies for your corner of the world. I got customers, you know. Paying customers. You know? The kind that pays with money.

Hmph!

Symbeline's avatar

@wundayatta Well, don’t come crying to me if you’re cold this winter and I’m out of zombies for your corner of the world.

LOL man did I ever laugh.

So you got any zombies bro? Nah man, I’m out. Lol.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wait….wait. Who are the Zombies going to be voting for???

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