For Science!
8 Ways to Make Vampires Realistic

CJ Miozzi | 9 Jul 2014 15:00
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2. Superhuman senses and strength

Vampires are always described as possessing superhuman qualities, both physical and sensory. Let's start by addressing the former.

While a fictional vampire's strength often comes from supernatural sources, we don't have to resort to any of that poppycock - it's entirely possible for a human-sized creature to have incredible strength. Take the orangutan, for instance, which stands four and a half feet tall, weighs about 150 lb, and yet is said to be seven times stronger than a human (that exact figure is contested, but what isn't is the fact that apes are stronger than humans).

Why are they stronger? The answer lies, once again, in genetics. Scientists have identified genes that contribute to the development of certain key muscles in apes and found that they are deactivated in humans, barring exceptional athletes. Could it be that because we evolved to rely more on our brains than our brawn that we've genetically lost the ability to be as strong as other apes?

Needless to say, our homo vampiris will not have suffered the same evolutionary fate and would retain superhuman strength.

As far as heightened senses are concerned, nocturnal animals generally have highly developed senses of hearing, smell, and night vision. Not only would the homo vampiris have to be a nocturnal hunter due to its albinism, but it would also gain a distinct advantage over its prey of choice, due to a human's poor ability to see in the dark. Lions prefer to hunt at night for the same reason.

Beyond the regular senses, many creatures have adapted the ability to locate prey in the dark using chemical detectors. Certain snakes and - surprise, surprise - vampire bats can even detect infrared radiation, allowing them to "see" body heat. We'll give our homo vampiris such a "sixth sense" to make it the perfect hunter of man.

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