Sydney Blackout Leads to Fear of … Zombies. Thank Twitter.

While Twittering news events as they unfold has become increasingly commonplace in the past few months, Sunday’s massive power failure in Sydney became — at least for those following on the social networking Service — less about gridlocked traffic and people stuck in elevators and more about surviving a zombie apocalypse. Anyone searching for actual […]

Last Updated: September 19, 2010 @ 6:22 PM

While Twittering news events as they unfold has become increasingly commonplace in the past few months, Sunday’s massive power failure in Sydney became — at least for those following on the social networking Service — less about gridlocked traffic and people stuck in elevators and more about surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Anyone searching for actual information instead was hit with a meltdown of tweets such as:

failnetorg TODAYS BLACKOUT IN SYDNEY IS CAUSED BY ZOMBIES ATTEMPTING TO STEAL THE COPPERZ FROM THE UNDERGROUND TUNNELS

jaketay RT @mshirbin #Sydney #CBD #blackout brings #zombies to town. Song Thriller heard over the emergency system – Yet another state govt. bungle.

GregoryWebster #Zombies are attcking Sydney during the #blackout. Shoot. Them. In. The Head…….arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, splurt,splat

PixyMisa Newsflash: Sydney, Australia: Reports that government planning to nuke city to contain zombie threat "overstated" say sources. #blackout

maenad_au RT @bikingbadger I've heard you can kill #zombies by hitting them with repeated social media marketing tips.. it's slow but effective

And, in a nod to Edgar Wright's zombie-comedy "Shaun of the Dead" …

getbiglittlekid Good thing I saved those Sade records #blackout #zombies

Within minutes of the power outage at 4:45 p.m. local time, hundreds of similarly themed tweets flooded the network, creating an impromptu alternate reality in the vein of a George A. Romero flick.

One early commenter, who said he was tempted to start a “War of the Worlds”-style hoax, was quickly eclipsed by a barrage of Twitter users doing just that spontaneously.

And indeed, within two hours, the three most searched-for words across Twitter’s 6 million worldwide users were “Sydney”, “Zombie” and “Blackout.”