The ‘undead’ may be part of pop culture and feature in Kiwi online casino slots… but are they real? Not quite and not as portrayed in movies like ‘Rabid’ or ‘Cemetery Man’. What we can say for sure is elements of zombification do exist… in frogs, slugs and us humans too!
The Rise of the Zombies
According to Haitian folklore, zombies are reanimated corpses. They are physically able to carry out tasks but have no will – or brain – of their own. Zombies are brought back from the dead to act as slaves for the Bokor, the witch or sorcerer who uses potions, spells or magic to grant them a horrendous half-life.
Right here in South Africa, the home of Springbok Casino, zombies are part of indigenous culture. Zombified clan members known as maduxwane or xidachane are remarkably similar to their Haitian counterparts. In Africa, however, legend has it that ordinary people are killed and reanimated as a mythical form of migrant slave labour.
Zombies in Pop Culture
Whatever the origins of zombies, one thing is for sure. These ghoulish, partially decomposed characters have captured the imagination of novelists, scriptwriters and game developers. Books like Jonathan Mayberry’s ‘Patient Zero’, Sophie Littlefield’s ‘Aftertime’ and ‘As the World Dies’ by Rhiannon Frater are enough to chill the blood.
Truth be told, it is not only movies and books that have boosted the zombie brand. There is a growing list of video games based on the original Haitian undead – ‘Resident Evil’, ‘No More Room in Hell’, ‘Half-Life’, ‘The Last of Us’, ‘Dead Rising’ and literally dozens more.
Kiwi Online Casino Games Feature the Undead
Explore the games menu at Springbok Casino NZ and you will find a terrifying trio of slots that fit within the zombie parameter – ‘I, Zombie’, ‘The Mariachi 5’ and ‘Diamond Fiesta’. To be honest, the last two titles are arguably more Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ than Haitian zombie – but are great fun to play nonetheless!
That is a quick round-up of zombies in pop culture. Now, to the burning question – how do the undead fit into the authentic human experience? You can read on to find out!
1. Xenobots – Reanimated Swimming and Healing Machines
When you harvest skin cells from a frog’s embryo and leave them to their own devices, you would think they would die. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The cells actually congregate together and grow into healthy and active little bots.
Here is the kicker. The zombified cells not only survive and thrive, they swim around and perform tasks that have nothing to do with frogs – or skin – at all. What is even more amazing is they adapt instantly to their surrounding environment… and here is how.
Instant Evolution of Standard Features
Examine a frog’s skin under the microscope and you will notice hair-like extrusions called cilia. In the normal course of events, cilia are used to repel bacteria and pathogens. They are also used to spread the skin’s gooey mucous around.
In the newly formed xenobots, the cilia are used for an entirely different task. Rather than playing a protective role, they act as a flotilla of oars to propel the microscopic organism around… and at breakneck speed too.
When used in the context of gambling, the rapid movement of xenobots can easily be compared to blistering speed at which games load at our Kiwi online casino!
Awesome Navigation Skills – No Nerves or Brains Withstanding
What is even more amazing is these nerveless and brainless zombified critters can navigate complex maze-like structures like inveterate pros... and, just when you think that is mind-boggling enough, xenobots are self-healing creatures too. Cut one in half and it will instantly zip itself up to its original form.
From Zombie Cells to an Ingenious Human Application
Swimming is one new cilia application… sweeping is the other – and here is where xenobots could become invaluable allies. Scientists believe squadrons of froggy bots could be used to clean up our arteries. Now how incredible is that?
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Now on to the zombie cells in human bots like you and I!
2. Eeek - Zombie Cells in the Human Brain
When we die, our hearts stop beating and everything shuts down – well, almost everything! According to neuroscientists, there are cells in our brains that do not die. What is more remarkable is that these cells become more active after death – and that is the closest we will ever get to becoming genuine zombies!
Cellular Clean-Up after Brain Injury
Why do the so-called glial brain cells kick into action once we are done and dusted? Well, it is really not as weird, twisted or macabre as one would imagine. In fact, the glial cells known as ‘astrocytes’ play several key roles in the brain, one of which is to clean up what is left of neurons following a brain injury or stroke.
Glial Brain Cells Become Active After Death
In other words, their job is to spring into action when things go wrong – and dying is about as wrong as wrong can be. If you think dead is dead, think again. Zombie glial cells live up to 24 hours after death. During that time, they increase in size and activity as they are busy munching bits of the brain in a futile effort to get it up and running again!
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When it comes to frogs and humans, zombification is strictly cell-based. Shift across to the world of sacoglossans and you will encounter sea slugs that are zombies all the way!
3. Heads-Up – It’s Heads-Off for the Zombie Sacoglossans!
Sliding around tropical island reefs is a group of gastropods that are essentially the zombies of the seas. These colourful sea slugs have the ability to detach their heads from their bodies – and live to tell the tale. What is extraordinary is when sacoglossans shed their bodies, their heads are capable of surviving without a heart and other vital organs. The brain is missing in perpetuity.
Now you won’t necessarily witness a colony of slug heads on your diving forays. How come? The bodies actually regenerate in their entirety within a few weeks. Why do these slippery creatures act like zombies of the deep?
According to the scientists who research these kinds of thing, it is unsolicited threats that prompt the gastropods to detach head from body. With that in mind, be sure to keep a ‘safe diving distance’ or you may be responsible for a temporary underwater massacre at the Aliwal Shoal or Great Barrier Reef!
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