Mental Floss

Vampires and Humans Could Never Coexist, Because Math

Andrew LaSane
What We Do in the Shadows (2014) // YouTube
What We Do in the Shadows (2014) // YouTube / What We Do in the Shadows (2014) // YouTube

Vampires: They're just like us! That is, if you don't count the crippling allergy to sunlight or the questionable liquid diet. Films like What We Do in the Shadows (2014) have also shown us that, as neighbors, they might not be all that bad. But according to a recent article on Atlas Obscura, there are some in academia who believe that a shared existence with vampires would be short-lived, and they've done the math to prove it.

In one 1982 paper quoted by Atlas Obscura from an issue of the RAIRO journal, the authors classified the different types of vampires, then used equations such as "bloodsucking rate per vampire at time" to conclude that the "resource" of humans would diminish as the vampire population increases (vampire bites human, human becomes vampire).

Atlas Obscura also quotes a 2013 paper published in Applied Mathematical Sciences, whose authors use information from comic books, films, and popular literature to identify and "draw models of vampire-human confrontation" based on a predator/prey mathematical model. The researchers concluded that living with vampires would "lead to great imbalances in the ecosystems." In one model, based on works by Bram Stoker and Stephen King, the numbers show that the rate of growth in the vampire population “would lead to exterminating 80 percent of the human population on the 165th day of the first vampire’s arrival." Another model, based on the work of Anne Rice, gives humans 48 more years than the first model before total extinction, while a third, more hopeful, estimation says that humans and vampires could coexist if we adopt a system similar to that in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels.

To read more about these completely logical approaches to solving this pressing issue, click through to Atlas Obscura.