Skip to main content

Could Vampires Exist in the 21st Century?

Debunking the Debunking of a Vampire Debunker



Thanks to a decade of pop culture's obsession with vampires (particularly those of the teenage variety), the myth of the vampire is as widespread now than it has ever been.  In 2008, near the beginning of the current vampire craze, a physics professor from the University of Central Florida named Costas Efthimiou embarked on a mission to prove that the existence of vampires is a mathematical impossibility.

According to his research, Efthimiou estimated that the world's population in 1600 was around 536,870,911.  Beginning with that date, he theorized that if a single vampire bit one person a month, and those "new" vampires proceeded to bite one person a month, the entire world's population would've been turned into vampires within 2.5 years.

Unfortunately for Professor Efthimiou, the vampire myth contains too many variables to be debunked by simple mathematics.  While JOTB cannot (yet) definitively debunk the existence of vampires, we can debunk Efthimiou's logic.

Here are 5 reasons why Efthimiou's research is flawed:

1. How do we know vampires feed once a month?  Our world is full of living creatures which feed far less frequently.  An alligator, for instance, can live without food for up to three years.  By Efthimiou's logic, a 100-year-old vampire will have fed 1,200 times.  By feeding once every three years, the same vampire will have fed only 33.3 times.  That's a huge difference- one that dramatically affects Efthimiou's study. 

2. Efthimiou fails to take natural boundaries into consideration.  This is the reason why the Black Death of the 14th century killed 25 million people in Europe, but not Asia or the Americas.  Since people cough and sneeze more often than they eat, the professor's logic would have you believe that the bubonic plague would've infected every man, woman, and child on Earth within days. That's why the vampire myth is best left debunked by a professor of epidemiology and not a professor of physics.

3. The professor's research acts on the assumption that every vampire lived a full life.  If villagers and priests managed to successfully hunt down and kill just a fraction of the world's vampire population, by the end of a century, hundreds of millions of potential vampires would not have been bitten.  Archaeologists have found entire cemeteries of corpses staked through the chest, proving that "vampires" were hunted with regularity. (read story about a recent discovery in Bulgaria here)

4. Efthimiou also assumes that a vampire could only survive on non-vampire blood.  While this is, of course, a fundamental cornerstone of vampire mythology, how can we be sure if this is true?  Many historic texts even claim that vampires could survive on animal blood.  Between vampires feeding on other vampires, as well as animals, Efthimiou's figures are way, way off.  Theoretically, a vampire could exist without ever infecting another human being.

5. Finally, the professor's research assumes that, once bitten, the victim automatically becomes a vampire.  Any pre-med student could tell Mr. Efthimiou that this is not the case.  There are people who have been accidentally poked with an HIV-infected syringe who never develop AIDS.  There are people who have been bitten by infected ticks and mosquitoes who never develop Lyme's Disease or malaria.

Additionally, some consideration must be given to folk remedies which might have "cured" vampires.  If any of these herbal or spiritual remedies were successful, this would have significantly reduced the global vampire population.  Factor in suicides, freak accidents, vampires who may have "starved" to death for lack of food, and other mitigating factors, and the cumulative effect could also skew Efthimiou's study.

When all of these factors are brought into the equation, it seems possible that vampires (if they ever existed in the first place) would be capable of surviving well into the 21st century.       



Popular posts from this blog

The Hunt for the Osage River Monster

It's spring of 1844 in St. Clair County, Missouri. A mile or so from the banks of the muddy Osage River a pioneer settler named Matthew Arbuckle is plowing his field when he hears a banshee-like wail in the distance, coming from the direction of the river. Shrill and unearthly, the demonic howl fills the farmer with terror. Wasting no time, he unhitches his plow, jumps on the back of his horse and heads for the hills.

One hour later Arbuckle arrives in Papinville, a town fifteen miles from his farm. The exhausted horse is white with foam; its rider white with terror. In a gasping voice he tells of making an escape from an awful monster. Although he had not seen the beast, he had heard its voice, from which he could tell that it was a monster of immense proportions.

Those who heard Arbuckle's story were bewildered, and those who did not know the pioneer personally could tell, just by the bloodless pallor of his trembling skin, that the man was not telling a lie. Whatever terrify…

The Ticking Tombstone of Landenberg

If you look closely at a map of Pennsylvania, you'll see an anomalous semi-circular border at the extreme southeastern part of the state. This circle, known officially as the "Twelve Mile Circle", serves as the border between the Keystone State and Delaware. Much of the strange circle is surrounded by Chester County, one of the three original Pennsylvania counties created by William Penn in 1682. While there are many historical points of interest in Chester County, few are strange or as steeped in legend as the Ticking Tombstone.

Near the London Tract Meeting House in Landenberg is an old graveyard which contains a tombstone which is said to make eerie ticking noises, much like the ticking of a pocketwatch. Landenberg locals claim that the ticking is the result of two very famous surveyors who arrived in town during the 1760s- Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon.  A young child supposedly swallowed a valuable pocketwatch owned by Mason and later died, and the boy's head…

The Incest Capital of the World?

At the far eastern edge of Kentucky, nestled in Appalachia, resides Letcher County. In spite of its isolation and poverty (approximately 30% of the county's population lives below the poverty line), Letcher County has managed to grow at an impressive rate, from a population of just 9,172 in 1900 to a present-day population of nearly 25,000. However, even if Letcher County tripled or quadrupled its present population, there's still a pretty good chance that virtually all of the county's inhabitants would be related to each other-- thanks to one particularly fertile family whose astounding rate of reproduction can put even the friskiest rabbit to shame.

Around the year 1900, Letcher County was the home of a man by the name of Jason L. Webb, who made national headlines for having the one of the largest families in the world. According to newspaper reports of the era, Jason had 19 children, 175 grandchildren, and 100 great-grandchildren. Perhaps even more impressive was his b…