Vampires Debunked

Posted on Saturday 28 October 2006

Over at Live Science they have an article, probably due to the upcoming Halloween holiday, about a researcher who has come up with simple math that proves that vampires can not exist. It is actually a funny story to read, and you can see it here. Here is the basic idea behind Efthimiou’s reasoning that vampires are impossible.

Legend has it that vampires feed on human blood and once bitten a person turns into a vampire and starts feasting on the blood of others.

Efthimiou’s debunking logic: On Jan 1, 1600, the human population was 536,870,911. If the first vampire came into existence that day and bit one person a month, there would have been two vampires by Feb. 1, 1600. A month later there would have been four, and so on. In just two-and-a-half years the original human population would all have become vampires with nobody left to feed on.

The only problem I have with his logic is that his assumptions are far too simplistic. If you’ve even read a single piece of vampire-related literature, you would understand that not everyone who is bitten becomes a vampire. Also, most of the literature clearly requires that only certain victims of vampiric bites actually rise again as vampires. Generally, the victim has to be bitten multiple times over an extended period of time.

Another weakness in his logic is the assumption that the vampire population would double every month. The exponential progression of the vampire population doubling every month makes the drastic assumption that the humans would not fight back or attack the vampires. Anyone who has studied human history should clearly see what an absurd suggestion that is. One thing mankind has become very adept at is survival and warfare.

Efthimiou also assumes that vampires wouldn’t fight each other over territory and food, which is not very likely—almost all species of animal will fight over territory and food, and vampires, being descended from humans would likely wage a very vicious type of warfare in that case—leading to massive numbers vampire deaths.

In any case, whether vampires exist or not, they are a part of the human culture now. Somewhere, there is something that is the basis for the myth of the vampire, as the idea of a bloodsucking creature exists across across cultures and different ethnic groups.

Happy Halloween!

This entry is dedicated to Heather Brewer, who is an author that writes about vampires.  I know Heather through her blog, Bleeding Ink. Her recently published book is called The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites.  You can get it at

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