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Monday, October 30, 2006

Science Debunks Halloween, Part 1: No Vampires

The laws of physics and math debunk popular myths about ghosts and vampires, according to a newly published paper.



Basic math disproves the legend of humans turning into vampires after they are bitten, Efthimiou explains, because the entire human population in 1600 would have been wiped out in less than three years.

Movies such as "Dracula" suggest that vampires feed on human blood and that once a human has been bitten, he or she turns into a vampire and begins feeding on other humans. To disprove the existence of vampires, Efthimiou relied on a basic math principle known as geometric progression.

Efthimiou supposed that the first vampire arrived Jan. 1, 1600, when the human population was 536,870,911. Assuming that the vampire fed once a month and the victim turned into a vampire, there would be two vampires and 536,870,910 humans on Feb. 1. There would be four vampires on March 1 and eight on April 1. If this trend continued, all of the original humans would become vampires within two and a half years and the vampires' food source would disappear.



"In the long run, humans cannot survive under these conditions, even if our population were doubling each month," Efthimiou said. "And doubling is clearly way beyond the human capacity of reproduction." LINK

Ghosts, Vampires and Zombies: Cinema Fiction vs Physics Reality. 2006. C.J. Efthimiou, and S. Gandhi.