The popularity of zombie-themed movies, college courses and even exercise routines proves that the walking dead are still a hot trend, but luckily zombies will never walk among us, right? Not according to Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed that the country is developing an electromagnetic gun that attacks a person’s central nervous system, leaving the target in a brief zombie-like state.

Plans to introduce the weapon were announced last week by Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov who said "when it was used for dispersing a crowd and it was focused on a man, his body temperature went up immediately as if he was thrown into a frying pan. We know very little about this weapon, and even special-forces guys can hardly cope with it."

The weapon uses electromagnetic radiation like that found in microwave ovens, and, according to the UK Mail Online, Putin plans to use the guns "for achieving political and strategic goals.”

Few details about the weapon have been revealed, but the concept of a “zombie gun” isn’t new. For decades, military technologists have been working to develop weapons that can incapacitate a person by attacking the central nervous system, and previous research has shown that low-frequency waves or beams can affect brain cells, alter psychological states and make it possible to transmit suggestions into someone’s thought processes.

Although such a weapon isn’t likely to kick off a zombie apocalypse, Forbes’ contributor David DiSalvo says that “if the weapon can short-circuit the executive function capacity of the brain, then it’s plausible that the target would become silly putty, or possibly revert to a primal state and eat someone else’s brain (too early to tell).”

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Laura Moss writes about a variety of topics with a focus on animals, science, language and culture. But she mostly writes about cats.

Russia creating radiation gun to turn people into 'zombies'
It won't cause a sudden craving for brains, but the weapon attacks the central nervous system, leaving its target in a brief zombie-like state.