Melting glaciers unleased the danger of spreading "Zombie" virus | Credits: Google Images
Melting glaciers unleased the danger of spreading "Zombie" virus | Credits: Google Images

Melting glaciers unleased the danger of spreading “Zombie” virus: Scientists warned about “the real threat”

The changes that our earth has gone through lately are manifested with unusual phenomena of weather, such as heat waves during autumn months, record temperatures, and also large snowfalls, among others.

It is also melting the permafrost of the major glaciers around the world quicker than ever before.

Permafrost is a permanent form of soil or sediment that remains continuously frozen for a very long period of time, and it covers about 20 percent of the earth’s northern hemisphere. However, it has been shrinking a lot in recent years.

Most negative effect of melting glaciers: Zombie virus emergence

This ground has been below zero temperatures for hundreds of thousands of years, with the layers in the deepest sections being older than the human species itself.

The melting could potentially lead to an old virus outbreak, representing a potential source of contagion.

Scientists note the most important fact of permafrost is that it is cold and dark with a lack of oxygen – all these conditions are ideal for preserving biological material, reported

Following the health crisis due to the COVID-19 virus, scientists say that a similar situation could happen with these viruses, which have been frozen for thousands of years.

Once these Methuselah microbes (also called ‘zombie’) strains have been isolated, it could lead to an emergency caused by a virus from a distant past.

This is why experts are already developing a surveillance network to detect the first cases if they do emerge.

Jean-Michel Claverie, a geneticist from Aix-Marseille University, said, “At the moment, analyses of pandemic threats focus on diseases that might emerge in southern regions and then spread north,” as reported by the Guardian.

The expert also showed regret that “little attention” has been given to a possible outbreak that could originate in the northern end and warned further, “There are viruses up there that have the potential to infect humans and start a new disease outbreak.”

Scientists shared a common fear of impending outbreak

A decade ago, a team headed by Claverie isolated a live virus in Serbia and showed that they were capable of infecting unicellular organisms despite having been stored in permafrost for thousands of years.

According to scientists, those viruses were not hazardous to human beings, which does not eliminate the possibility that other such beings out there are present with the capability to infect humanity.

“We have identified genomic traces of pox viruses and herpes viruses, which are well-known human pathogens,” said experts, as reported by

Other alarming consequences of the thawing of glaciers

What else is more concerning is the result of global warming and rising temperatures across the world.

The melted ice in the seas would further ease maritime traffic and also developmental activities in places like Serbia, which would further lead to the planning of extracting oil and minerals from there.

Claverie warned, “Those operations will release large quantities of pathogens that still thrive there. The miners will come in and breathe the viruses. The effects could be calamitous.”

Moreover, such behavior by humans is also a cause for the spread of the virus, as reported by

She pointed out, “If you look at the history of epidemic outbreaks, this has been one of the key factors. The Nipah virus was transmitted by fruit bats that were driven from their habitats by humans. Monkeypox has been linked to the expansion of urbanization in Africa.”