The Difference Between Mummies and ZombiesSeptember 8th, 2011 |
What makes mummies different from zombies? The mummies from the horror stories and movies are kind of similar to zombies. They are both undead, they were both human at one time, and they both can have similar origins like magic. I was having trouble understanding why people weren’t already lumping zombies and mummies together as one in the same. So I did some research to learn the differences and I’m going to share those findings with you in order to dispel any further confusion. Also because I couldn’t think of anything else to write on at the moment.
The first difference I found was a difference in alignment. The mummies in the movies are evil. There’s no denying that. They act of their own free will to manipulate people and circumstances to achieve their own goals, similar to a politician. Zombies on the other hand normally cannot be classified as good or evil. They do not act with a will of their own, therefore even though the acts they commit are horrendous, they cannot be classified as evil. Neutral is a better classification of them because their actions affect everyone without recourse and without a specific goal.
Mummies cannot pass their condition on to others, or at least not as rapidly. A mummy technically has the ability to preserve a recently deceased human in the same manor it was preserved and then after all the rituals were completed, use the spell that brought him to life to return life to its victim. Being as the traditional mummification process takes over 40 days, that’s a slow growing army. However with just a scratch or bite a zombie passes it’s condition on within as long as a few days, or as short as a few hours.
Physical differences are easy to point out, such as the wrappings, and what not. But those differences should be ignored because it has no bearing on the characteristics that make a zombie or a mummy. That is to say, you could wrap a zombie in cloth just as easily, but he still would be a zombie, not a mummy. What we want to focus on about the physical make up of these two monsters are their innards. You see in the mummification process the Egyptians remove all vital organs and preserve them, except for the heart. To the Egyptians the heart was the center of all thinking, feeling, and life and that made the brain useless to them. The Egyptian embalmers would take a hook and shove it through the nose of the deceased and break into the brain cavity. After whipping the brain into goo, they would scoop the brain out with this hook as to remove it from the body and then discard it. If it wasn’t for this step in the embalming process the all the other differences could really be overlooked in this matter and we could very well argue that a mummy was nothing more than a thinking zombie. A zombie can continue to function without any of its organs, except the brain. The brain is the one organ in the body that the zombie needs in order to control motor function. And so because a mummy has no brain organ, it can never be classified as a zombie.
Even though the brain/no brain issue is the most defining feature in this argument, there is one other difference I would like to point out. The way you kill a mummy is much different than the way you kill a zombie. With a zombie all you have to do is destroy the brain. A mummy is a bit different. The mummy is given life though a spell taken from the Book of the Dead that is written on a papyrus scroll and is buried with the mummy. Although in real life mummies are buried with a variety of spells to help the spirits pass through the afterlife, it seems writers have taken license to alter these details for the purpose of their stories. Anyway, whenever someone reads the spell it activates and returns the mummy to a living state and grants the mummy eternal life. Therefore it doesn’t matter how much damage you inflict to it, it will continue to live. It is only by destroying the scroll itself that you will defeat the mummy, and its source of magic. So keep that in mind, with zombies go for the brain, and if you ever face a mummy, you can try to destroy the scroll itself, or do what was done in the original mummy movie and pray to Isis for help.
If you have anything to add or would like to give me a rebuttal to my findings, please feel free to post comments below. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, and you can follow me on twitter @PenguinPrince25.
-Till Fate brings our Future.
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