Vampires are pretty scary right? They drink blood, hypnotize virgins, spread syphilis (probably). But what if I told you there was one surefire way to weaken a vampire to the point of exhaustion and death? A method that doesn’t involve garlic, silver, or sunlight. What if just resetting Dracula’s alarm clock was enough to shove him onto this side of the mortal coil?
For your pleasure, but mostly for mine, here is the hidden weakness of shadowy bloodsuckers the world over, according to science.
Obligatory Sanguinivores (AKA Exclusive Blood-Drinkers)
This one takes a bit of evolutionary setup, so bear with me. Long ago spiders, bats, and other protein-loving hunters of the night decided they were pretty keen on blood. It’s rich, contains glucose, and carries nutrients. Only problem was, they originally lacked the teeth/tubers to drink directly from the source. The source being large mammals, like cattle.
Just like our modern wolf-spider and vampire spiders, ancient bloodsuckers had to wait for mosquitoes to drink from the mammals first, then fly off into the night, where they could be caught and consumed. Just imagine Twinkies flying through the air in mosquito-wrappers. It was a good meal, if you could catch it. In fact, most spiders still prefer a good bloodmeal to insects alone, and some are so keen they can recognize a female mosquito carrying ‘the goods’ by the way she flies.
But catching enough blood-bloated mosquitoes every night as a bat was iffy at best.
Imagine, as a human, waiting on another animal (like a poodle) to stuff itself on pizza rolls, so you in turn could eat that poodle and enjoy some greasy pepperoni. Does the poodle taste good? Good lord, no. But that’s the price you pay for some pizza pockets, because in this analogy the poodle can drain the sweet snacks straight from the bag for some reason.
So, if you’re an evolving bat species that can’t always find full mosquitoes ready to be snacked on, what do you do? You skip the middle-man, that’s what.
Once blood-suckers made the transition from eating bloated mosquitoes to drinking directly from mammals, their fate was sealed. And it’s the same with vampires. Or any other creature on a strict, blood-only diet. You see, it all comes down to fat.
Notice I joked about Twinkies and Pizza above. Both contain delicious, life-saving fats. Fats are what allow large mammals to sleep for lengthy periods, or even hibernate in some cases. Fats keep us warm at night. And fats allow us to migrate without fear of going a night without feasting. We’ve got a handy layer of fat to draw on for reserves. Our blood-drinking brethren, however, do not.
Sanguinivores, such as vampire bats, cannot hibernate. They can’t even hit the snooze button for fear of dying of hypothermia or starvation. Many sanguinivores will feed up to 50% of their body weight each night, and by morning will have burnt up all that delicious blood without putting on a gram of fat. They can’t hibernate. They can’t migrate. They’ve done goofed, evolutionarily, by becoming the most efficient blood consumer possible. Hell, bats are so used to the idea of coming up short, they actually share blood with unlucky partners, who then reciprocate when they come back with a full tank.
So, you think Dracula’s hand is cold now? Wait until he arises from his slumber. From the word “Go” that asshole is on a mortal deadline to get to a source of blood. Forget about wooing maidens and turning into mist. As an obligatory sanguinivore he’ll be lucky to wake up at all after striking out one night.
Want to kill a vampire, but don’t feel like investigating spooky old crypts? Round up every warm-blooded mammal in the area and have a barn dance. Lock everyone inside, encircle the building with garlic, and listen to the desperate moans of hunger from outside as Dracula goes into shock.
Or, you know, slay him for XP I guess.
Featured image from Wiki.
Originally posted on Statbonus.com