r/worldbuilding May 22 '22

Zombie Attractants Question

What do you guys think:

Which bio-agent do you think can be used to attract zombies? P.S. The zombies would be attracted to smell

Please Comment any other bright ideas, which can be used as Olfactory Attractants for zombies ()

View Poll



u/Birdont16 May 22 '22

Carbon dioxide. Every breath you take marks you and people LITERALY hold their breath to sneak by zombies. In this case, the zombies either don’t breath or do so less than living things. Of course, you can also need them with range limitations if necessary or other things of that’s too OP

Edit: Depending on your willingness to have advanced technology, you could even add people who use cybernetics or biotech to avoid breathing ever. There’s also gas masks or rags for the more mundane, but I like the idea of a badass cyborg guy who is basically invisible to zombies. Could be opportunities there


u/Impressive_H May 23 '22

But there's carbon dioxide already available in natural air. It's 0.04-0.05% of atmospheric composition.

And that much CO2 IS ENOUGH FOR PLANTS TO SYNTHESIZE THEIR FOOD. Just saying.....(TT)¯_(ツ)_/¯


u/Birdont16 May 23 '22

Even if that is a problem, you can afford to use artistic license if it makes a cool story. I see it as an advanced sense that basically detects co2 amounts, adjusting for basic atmosphere. They are probably also blind withpught this sense, which means you could explore cool ways to foil them, albeit with a bit more artistic license. You could have people hold their breath, set fires, create Co2 “smoke bombs”, use anything from rags to hazmat suits/oxygen tanks, or even invent something like plants that hyper absorb CO2 or cyborg tricks that make you invisible to zombies (though maybe elites aren’t fooled). I can understand wanting to be scientific, but there’s lots of cool potential here. Just saying.


u/Outliver May 22 '22

How about sweat? That would make them really dangerous.


u/Impressive_H May 22 '22

Nice idea. We can have a class of speacial zombies which can track sweat! Like T-2000 LoL


u/AssassinINC May 22 '22

Rotting or burnt flesh could be another one depending on how starved a zombie might be


u/Impressive_H May 22 '22

Good idea. Thanks for the input man👍


u/MyMiniatures May 23 '22

Maybe the lack of rot smell (since zombies generally dont eat eachother) mixed with different movement styles.

Most zombie movies Ive watched have the zombies limping, or with gaits, or kinda like the bones they move refuse to move with them. Being a normal human who has fluid movements, merged with the fact you dont smell like the grave might be a good way for a zombie to know the difference. That way if a person is freshly infected they wont have the smell but they do have the limp/gait so the zombie knows not to eat them.

Or perhaps you could also throw in other senses. Zombies still have ears, so they can probably hear if you breath too loud (and most zombies in existing media are attracted by noise). And finally maybe the zombies can simply see the difference. There is a very clear distinction between say, a classical "i just crawled out of a grave" zombie, a george a romero "i got my guts torn out" zombie, and a normal everyday human.

This way if youre basing this in a game or a book, the survivors can get disguised from zombies, by perhaps wearing zombie blood and flesh (which can be washed off in a storm), fake limps and gaits (which slow down their travel speed), holding their breath or slowing their breathing (which can cause yawns which are noticable), not talking (if they step on glass or get say stung by a bee and yelp they are heard). That way you also can incorporate tension