A newly published physics paper says that in the event of a zombie outbreak, your best bet for survival is to hide out in a sprawling mall.
Physicist Davide Cassi at the Università di Parma in Italy asked himself the question: If I were being chased by predatory “random walkers,” what would be the best hiding place to maximize my chances of survival? For the purpose of the paper, “random walkers” refers to entities that wander without direction or purpose, and who kill any human beings they come across. In other words, zombies.
Cassi used a physics model – called, of course, a “random walking” model – to predict the movement behavior of these not!zombies, and found that the chances of survival were significantly higher for someone hiding (presumably remaining motionless) in a complex structure such as a school or a shopping mall. Basically, the more hallways, stairways, and rooms a given building has, the less likely you are to be surprised by some hungry flesh-eaters.
Of course, this study doesn’t take into account the zombies’ ability (if any) to track down their prey via, say, sense of smell. On the other hand, nor does it account for the humans’ ability to make like Frank West (or Dead Rising 2‘s Chuck Greene) and grab the nearest lawnmower, either.
So there we have it, folks. In the event of the zombie apocalypse (or, “zombocalypse”) head for the nearest major shopping center.
Davide Cassi’s paper will be published in Physical Review E.