Why vampires would have a population problem

I accidentally came across this article on the Short Sharp Science website. For your convenience, I have pasted the text here. I think the funniest part is the reactions to the article, which can be found on the website. I like Paul W.’s answer: think of bacon!

Enjoy!

Vampire_Population_Graph.jpg

(PS: this graph doesn’t go with the article, but is from the article by The Gospel of Mac and is called ‘On the sustainability of a Vampire Population.’ Also a good read 🙂 )

by Michael Marshall, reporter

Maths blog Punk Rock Operations Research points out a major problem with the notion of vampires, which believers in our bloodsucking cousins would do well to note.

Assuming vampires are effectively immortal, and that they can reproduce by turning normal humans into vampires, their population would explode. So in the imagined worlds in which they exist, what prevents them from over-running the planet?

Colleagues in the New Scientist office suggest that there must be a high death rate caused by Slayers and other natural hazards, balancing out the high “birth” rate or mortals converted by bites. Such a mechanism could be modeled using the classic Lotka-Volterra equations for predator-prey populations. Although, of course, vampires are capable of making prey out of their supposed predators.

However, I think a more plausible explanation is the tendency for vampires to involve themselves in doomed love affairs with slightly dotty young women, causing them to spend centuries mooning around in crypts not getting much done. An extreme case of this was recently documented in a dumb emo teen movie.

This would mean that new vampires were only produced at a very low rate, allowing the population to remain fairly stable.

Empirical evidence to distinguish between those two hypotheses would be welcomed. Or perhaps you can suggest your own theory.

 

Header image: Dark Horse Comics

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