There's something undeniably creepy about the legend of vampires drinking blood through a single bite to the neck, but just how long would they have to spend clamped on an artery to get a decent meal? As Gizmodo reports, this question is exactly what a team of physics students at the University of Leicester sought to answer in a recently published study.
The students' findings, which appear in their school's Journal of Physics Special Topics, look at the amount of time required to drain a human body of 15 percent of its blood through two fang-sized puncture holes in the neck. The group settled on 15 percent because anything more than that starts to become fatal, which means the vampire's victim wouldn't be of much use to them in their army of the undead.
Assuming the vampire wouldn't be doing any actual sucking, they calculated the rate at which blood would gush through two 0.5-millimeter bite marks in the carotid artery. For humans with an average amount of blood flowing through their veins, it would take a vampire approximately 6.4 minutes to drain them of .75 liters of it. That means a vampire could enjoy a satisfying meal while still having a decent window to make its escape.
The playful report was released in honor of the 85th anniversary of the film Dracula, which starred Bela Lugosi in the title role. The next time you watch the 1931 horror classic, you can judge how the blood-sucking science holds up.