The legend of vampires is probably as old as human imagination itself. Although there is no historical record that ascertains the correct era of emergence of these deadly creatures, they have always been very much a part of folklore. Just when mankind is about to reach newer intellectual levels and rubbish the existence of vampires, they keep on making a grand comeback and creating a lasting impression on the minds of people. Starting with Varney the vampire to Dracula to the more recent Edward Cullen, vampires have always fascinated fickle-minded human beings. These characters from popular novels and Hollywood movies ensured that vampire myths were here to stay. What more, they have also led to an emergence of a new cult, vampirism! As a result, today, the belief in vampires is stronger than ever.
Vampires are portrayed as pale-skinned blood drinkers with long fangs and fingernails. They are believed to sleep in coffins and hide from sunlight. Some legends also go further and declare them immortal. Interestingly, a bite from a vampire causes a person to become a vampire. Needless to say, these fascinating creatures have enthralled mankind for centuries. Every year, scores of people come forward to claim an encounter with a so-called vampire. There are groups of self-proclaimed vampires who practice blood drinking either secretly or in public. Vampires have also been associated with killings, which can be linked to 'blood hunger'. Authentic pictures of people (including children) with pale skin, long fingernails and pointed fangs have been published from time to time. However, they are different from the mythical creatures that we are familiar with.
The sightings of vampires in some way or the other have reinforced the common belief in vampires. Although there is no point in denying that vampires exist, you can be assured that they are hardly any different from you and I. Firstly, they do not bite anyone and everyone they come across to suck their blood. Secondly, they do not sleep in coffins or shy away from sunlight. And lastly, they are not immortal or undead, as you might like them to be. Real life vampires can be classified into three types, depending upon their representation of vampire-like characteristics.
People Suffering from Porphyria
Porphyria is a genetic condition which gives a person a vampire-like appearance. People born with this genetic disorder are pale skinned, have extreme aversion to sunlight, suffer from dementia and madness. These people are also in constant need for blood transfusions. This genetic abnormality has been discovered only recently. Until then, such people were either feared or ridiculed for being vampires.
In fact, this condition might have been responsible for the origin of the vampire myths and legends. Centuries ago, people were oblivious about genetic disorders. Naturally, people with such unnatural physical appearance were perceived as monsters or more precisely, vampires. Besides, the only way to suffice the need for blood transfusion for such people was to drink it from other humans. This further cemented the belief in vampires and made them feared amongst people.
These people are often responsible for publicizing vampirism on such a large scale. They are fanatics who create a fantasy world around themselves and refuse to come out of it. Often, they are hardcore fans of imaginary vampires like Dracula or Edward Cullen, who wish to reincarnate themselves as new age vampires. In their attempt to become vampires, they alter their physical appearance through surgeries. They also adopt a vampirish lifestyle which includes drinking blood, shutting themselves during daytime and venturing out at night. Although, this group is harmless in general, some of them may contribute to murders in their frenzy.
This is a more serious group of self-proclaimed vampires who have certain peculiar beliefs about vampirism. They lack the life essence or 'chi', a form of energy. The only way to derive life essence for them is to draw it from others. Since, blood is the greatest form of life energy, they resort to drinking blood from others. However, they only drink a few ounces of blood every day and more often than not, they have their own donors who volunteer to give their blood.
Why Vampires Cannot Exist
Now that you know that there are no real vampires, you might also want to know why they can never exist. Costas Efthimiou, a professor of physics at the University of Central Florida proposed a mathematical hypothesis which dismissed any possibility of existence of vampires, at least in a way perceived by common people. Efthimiou theory is based on the proposition that if a vampire bites a human, s/he also turns into a vampire. Efthimiou proposed that if a first vampire came into existence on 1st January 1600, there will be two vampires by February, four by March and so on. If all of these vampires go on a biting spree, then the whole of earth's population would be vampires in two and a half years. Since, the population was about 537 million at that time, by July 1602, earth would have been a planet of vampires, with no more humans to feed upon! This obviously does not leave any scope for existence of vampires in reality.
Another theory against the possible existence of vampires is based on medical science. Since, vampires are essentially human beings with 'special powers', their internal structure is similar to humans. This means, their nutritional requirements will also be similar to humans. If they only feed on blood, this requirement cannot be met. Besides, human digestive system is not designed to synthesize such large volumes of blood only. Thus, blood can never pass through the body without inducing any serious medical problem. The result would often be severe blood vomiting and diarrhea. Interestingly, none of us have heard of a sickly vampire, who throws up his last meal every now and then!
Thus, vampires are a myth through and through. However, vampire supporters can continue to fulfill their fantasies through reel life vampires!