Halloween may be over but vampires and consuming blood are always in season. Need proof? A report out of Poland covered by many scientific media sites says a physicist spent an entire month working on a ‘Vampire Apocalypse Calculator’ he claims will compute our chances (by ‘our’ he means all humans) in an apocalyptic battle royale with vampires. If you’re a vampire stocking up on war rations or a human getting in shape to go undercover to fight for the resistance, a guy in Spain is now making human blood sausages. Can things get any stranger? Of course they can!
“It was quite a time-consuming project. I started by finding an interesting paper regarding vampires, where the authors subtly suggested the existence of vampires based on real-life data.”
Dominik Czernia, a physicist at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Kraków, has some unusual reading habits. He told ScienceAlert he was perusing “Mathematical Models of Interactions between Species: Peaceful Co-existence of Vampires and Humans Based on the Models Derived from Fiction Literature and Films,” a 2012 research paper whose conclusion was that “it appears that several popular culture sources outline the models describing plausible and peaceful vampire and human co-existence.” Intrigued, Czernia decided to build an online calculator to test this hypothesis.
"That drew my attention and I decided to test it out in a scientific way with the well-known theory predator-prey model, based on game theory."
The website for the calculator explains the predator-prey model, which incorporates “the dynamics of ecosystems, chemical reactions, and even economics” to build a ‘survival of the fittest’ scenario. To define the vampire side, he points out that almost all cultures have some sort of vampire/blood-sucking myth, so he took the most common traits (don't age, can’t reproduce, can fly, can fully regenerate from wounds, consume human blood, fear sunlight and religious symbols and can be killed by decapitation or a wooden stake through the heart. On the other side is humans, whose main advantage is a substantially larger population … at first. That’s a spoiler alert to what Czernia’s calculator calculated when he fed in the world population in the year Bram Stoker’s "Dracula" was published (1897 - 1,650 million people) and the number of vampires (one).
“The selected scenario is an example of an epidemic outbreak that might be caused by a deadly virus. The increase in vampire population inevitably leads to the demise of mankind. The 13th month is the crucial point, where the explosive growth of vampires wipes out mankind in about half a year. It's all over. The expansion of vampires is unstoppable. Bloodsuckers have control of the world, killing the last human after 30.8 months.”
You can try the calculator yourself on the website while munching on some human blood sausage from Alloza, a remote village in northeast Spain. That’s where woodcutter (a profession prone to bloody wounds) Raúl Escuín makes Spanish morcilla (pronounced mor-thee-ya and usually made from pig’s blood, rice, onions, and spices) with his own blood. Don’t want to eat Raúl’s blood or anyone else’s? He offers workshops on making morcilla at home with your own blood – which he points out is technically vegan because it doesn’t abuse animals.
“It’s something that I have been thinking about since I was a child. It just doesn’t seem that weird to me.”
And you thought your childhood was strange. Raúl has a registered nurse collect 40 ml (2.75 tablespoons) of blood from his arm, fries it with rice, onions, water and spices, stuffs it into a vegan casing, boils it and then slices it like regular blood sausage, fries it again and eats it himself. He doesn’t promote eating someone else’s blood sausage because that would be “cannibalism.” However …
“So far everyone who has tasted their own blood sausage, has been surprised by how tasty it is!”
Yes, he conducts workshops around Spain, but you can also get the general idea by watching his handy video (see it here … if you dare).
Vampire apocalypse and human blood sausage. All of a sudden, Washington DC doesn’t sound so strange at all.