We all have grown up listening to different stories of monsters, some of them were bloodsucking and some bear sheer evil traits. They have always been a part of our stories. In recent years, we may find such monsters in movies, books and television shows. The highest rated shows among them are also one of my favorites which includes The Walking Dead and Twilight series.
All of these concepts gives Goosebumps to some while some enjoy watching and reading about them again and again. The question that arises here is what is the reality? Do vampires exist? What is there historical back ground? Do they really suck blood? How are they related to bats? Is the whole concept of vampires a myth or reality?
Lets discuss this in detail:
What and Who are Vampires?
Vampires are dead mythical creatures who walk among the living. Vampires also known as “Dracula” are human corpses that are returned from their graves to harm humans. They are said to be supernatural, possibly demonic and immortal entities who have fangs, are afraid of sunlight. They cry tears of blood, sleep in a coffin during the day and have extreme levels of strength and speed who can only be killed with a weapon made of pure silver, Holy water or sunlight.
One of the most famous vampire is Bram Stoker's Dracula, though those looking for a historical "real" Dracula often cite Romanian prince Vlad Tepes (1431-1476), after whom Stoker is said to have modeled some aspects of his Dracula character.
Matthew Beresford, author of "From Demons to Dracula: The Creation of the Modern Vampire Myth" (Reaktion, 2008), notes, "There are clear foundations for the vampire in the ancient world, and it is impossible to prove when the myth first arose. There are suggestions that the vampire was born out of sorcery in ancient Egypt, a demon summoned into this world from some other."
How to identify a Vampire?
I know sounds a bit weird and scary but how do identify a vampire was the question that came up to my mind. So, I tried searching for it and came to know that there are no significant characteristics.
The one universal characteristic is blood sucking. According to one Romanian legend you'll need a 7-year-old boy and a white horse. The boy should be dressed in white, placed upon the horse, and the pair set loose in a graveyard at midday. Watch the horse wander around, and whichever grave is nearest the horse when it finally stops is a vampire's grave or it might just have something edible nearby; take your pick.
Are Vampires the Blood-Sucking Bats?
BLOOD – a term that usually sound scary to us in whatever perspective its used. Humans are not expected to drink blood as usually it is done by animals. Mosquitoes, bats and other creatures drink blood. Humans are advised to go for extremely bloody food items when they suffer iron deficiencies or anemia e.g. extremely bloody steak or sausages but craving iron and feasting on human blood are very different.
Myths tells us that vampires gain strength by sucking blood out of their victims. But, here anther question arises that if vampires are immortal, why do they need blood to survive? Concepts about that vary from culture to culture. Some feel that the vampire needs blood to flow through their veins to keep their bodies animated and limit the damage of decay. Others feel that the beasts feed simply to wreak havoc and fear.
Now let’s discuss the idea of bats to be translated into vampires. The infusion of bats into vampires has given these mammals extra attention, taking the spotlight off even creepier creatures that reap their nutrition from human blood. Some of the real blood sucking creatures on planet earth includes leeches, lampreys and vampire bats.
It's all frightening and fun, but blood drinking is another matter entirely because it is so rich in iron anyone who consumes blood regularly runs a real risk of haemochromatosis (iron overdose), which can cause a wide variety of diseases and problems, including liver and nervous system damage.
Different Beliefs and Superstitions about Vampires
There are various beliefs and ideas about existence of vampires and their impact on our lives as a whole.
In a book "Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality" (Yale, 2008), the writer noted that centuries ago, "Often potential revenants can be identified at birth, usually by some abnormality, some defect, as when a child is born with teeth. Similarly suspicious are children born with an extra nipple (in Romania, for example); with a lack of cartilage in the nose, or a split lower lip (in Russia). When a child is born with a red caul, or amniotic membrane, covering its head, this was regarded throughout much of Europe as presumptive evidence that it is destined to return from the dead." Such minor deformities were looked upon as evil omens at the time.
In old ages, vampires bought misfortunes to people and their lives. Many villagers believed that something had cursed them with fear of the dead, and concluded that perhaps the recently deceased might be responsible, having come back from the graves with evil intent. Graves were unearthed, and surprised villagers often mistook ordinary decomposition processes for supernatural phenomenon. For example, though laypeople might assume that a body would decompose immediately, if the coffin is well sealed and buried in winter, putrefaction might be delayed by weeks or months; intestinal decomposition creates bloating which can force blood up into the mouth, making it look like a dead body has recently sucked blood. These processes are well understood by modern doctors and morticians, but in medieval Europe were taken as unmistakable signs that vampires were real and existed among them.
Porphyria: The 'vampire disease'?
Lets have a reality check!
Some of us might have heard about the disease known as “Porphyria” which is often associated with vampires. Porphyrias are characterized by irregularities in the conversion of chemical compounds called porphryins into a substance called heme, an iron-rich pigment in the blood. This irregularity causes a buildup of porphryins.
The symptoms of some forms of porphyria include sensitivity to sunlight which caused infections
According to some of the scholars vampires actually suffered porphyria and sought to treat themselves by drinking blood.
Barber notes in his Skeptical Inquirer essay that this idea is widely perpetuated "even though we have no evidence either that drinking blood would alleviate the symptoms of porphyria or that any live people were accused of drinking blood — it was always corpses."
So based upon the above discussion, if we look rationally, the vampire legend arouse due to medical ignorance. However, looking at it again after dark when a scary wind howls outside. Well, let’s just say we won’t be hawking off our garlic stocks anytime soon.
The famous Physicists Costas J. Efthimiou and Sohang Gandhi worked on it.
In their 2007 paper "Cinema Fiction vs. Physics Reality: Ghosts, Vampires and Zombies," The pair work out a mathematical formula to describe the number of humans left after x months of vampirism spreading through a population of size n: x – 2^n + 1.
"... we conclude that if the first vampire appeared on January 1st of 1600 AD, humanity would have been wiped out by June of 1602, two and a half years later," the paper explains. "We conclude that vampires cannot exist, since their existence contradicts the existence of human beings. Incidentally, the logical proof that we just presented is of a type known as reduction ad absurdum, that is, reduction to the absurd."
Do leave your comments and believes about this theory as a whole. Thank you for reading!
Have a nice a scary weekend!**