Following the recent spate of academic documents “discussing” the potential zombie apocalypse, it appears the mysterious vampire world is next up to receive a scientific makeover.
Studies exploring the concept of the co-existence between vampires and humans are not new. It’s not hard to find previous papers using representations of vampires from Bram Stoker’s Dracula right through to modern tales.
For example, as far back as the early 1980s, an article was published by Richard Hartl and Alexander Mehlmann, both Austrian mathematicians with an interest in the undead. Entitled ‘The Transylvanian Problem of Renewable Resources’, the pair theorized at the optimal bloodsucking strategies for ‘dynamic continuous vampires’.
As part of the study, vampires were divided into three categories. These were the ‘asymptotically satiated vampire’, the ‘blood maximising vampire’ and the ‘unsaitable vampire’. The problem for vampires is that the more they turn humans into their kind, the smaller the human feed source becomes. Hence, the issue of ‘renewable resources’ – us. Hartl and Mehlmann further explored concepts into how vampires could become self-sustainable based in a prey-predator system.
More recently, a study in 2007 decided that vampires couldn’t exist in the manner often shown on TV and in films simply because the human race still exists. If they fed with the frequency shown in some depictions, the study argues the human race would be extinct by now. Even if they only fed once a month, it would only take three years for them to wipe out humans.
All of this, while fascinating, makes one assumption – that movie makers and TV show writers got it right about vampires. These creatures are nothing more than blood-sucking, mindless creatures, driven to slaughter. But what if they are the more intelligent, covert cryptids taking a ‘little drink’ now and then as depicted in many other novels. In that case, anyone sitting next to you in a bar could be a discerning vampire, awaiting the next victim for a sip…