How can a severed head still make the gurgling, throaty growls and grunts without any lungs? For that matter, how do skeletal zombies make the noises as well?

1 Answer 1


There is no canonical - or logical - explanation for this. On a minor note, the producers have said that they will never show us a zombie so decayed as to be purely skeletal - they will always have enough muscle tissue to move around, if they are moving around.

But when we see a zombie head, and hear it growling or moaning (season 4, episode 1, the Irish girl's camp comes to mind), it is merely for effect, and doesn't make any sense, nor is it probably supposed to.

Fortunately for everyone involved, this rarely comes up.

  • I'd need to rewatch that, but I know I can make sounds with my mouth and throat without using air, just by contracting my throat muscles. Maybe the zombos can do the same.
    – user31178
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 3:30
  • @CreationEdge - You can make clicking noises, but not groans or growls. Both of those require air moving through the vocal cords.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 3:33
  • 2
    I can click and pretty much gargle, but of course can't do sounds using vocal cords. But, I can make this sound like a frog ribbit that doesn't use my vocal cords, but trapped air inside my mouth. Too bad the zombies aren't ribbiting, or we'd have an explanation.
    – user31178
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 3:44
  • 1
    There are a few things like this that fall apart when you think about them. For example, the guy at the CDC showed us a brain scan of a zombie reanimating and proved (scientifically!) that the only part of the brain that's active is near the base of the spine. And yet, Daryl kills one zombie by stabbing it up through the eye and out the top of the skull with a bolt from his crossbow - no damage done to the part of the brain that's actually doing anything, but the zombie still stopped. There are a number of "kills" like this in the series that logically should not have slowed the zombie down
    – Steve-O
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 14:34

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