Have you thought about what you’ll do when the zombie apocalypse comes? If not, never fear. The American Chemical Society has come up with a formula to help keep you safe when the reckoning comes — all you have to do is spray yourself with a few puffs of their corpse cologne.
“Zombies love the smell of humans,” according to an ACS YouTube video on how to recreate the Eau de Death scent with chemicals. “But if you smell like a rotting corpse, they would probably pass you on for shall we say a fresher meal.”
“If you’re one of those doomsayers that says the zombie apocalypse is coming, well, as the world’s largest science organization, we’ll help you prepare for that,” said the ACS’s Adam Dylewski who produced the video as part of a series called “Reactions: Everyday Chemistry.”
In case there was any doubt, the ACS realizes that zombies don’t actually exist. Dylewski said they were prompted to make this latest video as a nod to the finale of the TV series “The Walking Dead,” which is airing on Sunday. The ACS videos in general, which are all inspired by pop culture and headlining trends, are simply meant to pique people’s interest in science, he said.
“Sometimes a silly premise like this can make chemistry or other scientific subjects feel more inclusive,” Dylewski said adding other ACS YouTube clips on the science behind Sriracha hot sauce and everyday Chemistry Life Hacks have received hundreds of thousands of views so far.
The brain behind the corpse perfume is scientist Raychelle Burks, a chemistry post-doctoral fellow at Doane University in Nebraska who says she was inspired by the first season of “The Walking Dead.”
In one particular episode simply titled “Guts,” the characters chop up bodies and smear it all over themselves to mask their own scent, Burks told ABC News. “As a chemist, my thought was ‘there’s a better way. There’s a cleaner way and cheaper way’,” she said.
That cleaner and cheaper way is apparently to combine several chemicals that combine to mimic the smell of a rotting body. While Burks hasn’t actually made (or sold) any of the death perfume featured in the video, she says she has smelled all the chemicals involved.
“I can vouch that the chemicals, especially putrescine and cadaverine, they really do live up to their name,” said Burks, who has previously lectured on popular science fiction and chemistry.
ABC News also asked Burks if she knew there is no such thing as the living undead. “Sure,” she said, adding that the topics she lectures on are simply “a good way to get people to listen to a science talk.”