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The Facts About Vampires

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Vampire Strength

There are no records of vampire autopsy, few confirmed records of vampire injury1, and no confirmed radiological records of known vampires. This means that much of our knowledge of vampire anatomy and physiology is speculation at best, guesswork at worst.

Historical accounts are almost unanimous in describing excessive, even superhuman strength - and yet the same accounts describe the vampires as anything from 'cadaverous, as if ravaged by tubercolosis'2 or - equally often - as healthy inviduals, though unusually pale, and often slim3. I have been unable to find any accounts describing individuals who appear to be unusually strong.

All this leads to the inevitable conclusion that changes have taken place within the connective tissue of muscle and bone as a consequence of vampirification.

The changes within muscle are probably accomodation for working with a higher-energy magnesium-based blood supply - plus changes to assist in rapid repair after injury.4

It is also likely that the proportion of 'fast twitch' muscle fibre is greatly increased in vampires.

The skeleton
Most human muscles consist of both slow and fast twitch fibres; slow twitch muscles are good for maintenance of posture, while fast twitch muscles are good for rapid the movements needed in fight or flight. They contract quickly, but tire fast, as they consume considerable energy.
flea jumping

In one sense, vampires are just like fleas - They cheat a little.

Human beings, indeed, all mammals, depend on the quality of their musculature and their physical fitness for speed, jumping ability, and stamina; while fleas depend on resilin.

Resilin is an elastomeric protein found in many arthropods. It is one of the most efficient elastic proteins known, with an efficiency of almost 97%.

In insects, resilin has to last for the lifetime of the adult, and is used for hundreds of millions of extensions and contractions.

In vampires, the structure is interwoven with more conventional muscle, and thus allows some amazing feats of athletic achievement5.

This is analogous to the crossbow.

The string is forced back, either by winding or by lever, and the energy expended is held in the string; the energy is stored over the period of winding or leverage, and released in an instant.

This does not mean that vampires can emulate the humble flea's ability to jump over a hundred times their body length; the stresses and challenges are very different in tiny creatures like fleas, when compared to beings of human stature.

crossbow

Paul Maudala, a leading vampirism researcher from Belgium (until his disappearance in 2001), largely agrees with these theories, but has added the 'stored energy theory'. Discussing the ability of fleas to catapult themselves unreasonable distances from the stationary, Maudala suggested that vampires have a form of living fuel cell within their connective tissues that enable energy to be rapidly released, enabling great strength or speed to be utilized for a short period.5

But it may explain the apparent appearance and disappearance of vampires in many eyewitness accounts, the invariable failure of strong humans to physically restrain elderly-looking vampires, and other 'mythological' elements reported in vampires6.

The vampire's physical abilities also benefit from their diet; rather than be slowed down by the need to digest a big meal, the vampire derives instant benefit from blood assimilated from victims; predigested, as efficient as filling the gas tank1.

Changes to bones may be more radical, and it has been suggested that bone is partly - or completely - replaced with a cartilaginous material. This allows for greater flexibility and strength, while reducing weight.

These changes would certainly account for the ability to leap vertically from a standing start - and the ability to survive falls or leaps from great heights.

References

  1. Poot G., Poot H., Poot J.K., (Deceased) (1995) Vampire Anatomy: Deductions From Incomplete Records. Cryptozoology Research 31; 1, 34-39
  2. Sledzik P.S., Bellantoni N., (1994) Brief communication: Bioarcheological and Biocultural Evidence for the New England Vampire Folk Belief. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 94; 2, 269-74.
  3. Anthauser P.J., (1952) Vampire Attacks in Carpathia, A study of 238 cases from 1900-1913. Annals of Haematological Diseases 167; 8, 223-226
  4. Maudala P., (1988) Vampirification, Chemicals and Control: Diet and Delivery. Cryptozoology Research 24; 10, 44-48
  5. Maudala P., (1993) The Vampire In Fight or Flight: Shark, Flea or Superman? Cryptozoology Research 29; 7, 23-32
  6. Jaffe P.D., DiCataldo F., (1994) Clinical vampirism: blending myth and reality. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry Law. 22(4):533-44.
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The Vampyreverse 10 January 2016 Copyright Andrew Heenan Privacy