Vampire Math Sucks

Van Helsing vampire with Bela Lugosi at window
Something’s rotten in the state of bite marks.

You should be a vampire, and I should, too. We all should. (At least in novels, movies and TV shows.)

It’s all a matter of doing vampire math.

A blood-sucking ghoul who lives forever and turns others into fang-gang members could easily in a generation or two convert the entire human race.

Yes, even Vladimir Putin and Honey Boo Boo.

Perhaps the authors of Bunnicula were on the right track, because vampires should multiply like rabbits. Actually, rabbit reproduction pales in comparison, because vampires live forever, only one “parent” is needed, and there’s no limit on “litters.”

So the time till a total takeover could be quite short, depending on two rates:

(1) The rate of conversion.
(2) The rate of vamps getting whacked by slayers with wooden shivs.

As long as the (1) is greater than (2), the result will be inevitable: Zero bipeds on the streets during daylight hours.

Figure out the time period in which (1) is greater than (2) by only a single convert, and that’s how long the vamp population needs to double. The exponential increase is so rapid that 1, 2, 4, 8 passes 1,000 on the 11th go, 1 million on the 21th, and hits 8.5 billion (about a billion beyond the planet’s present population) in just 34 doublings.

One net convert per vampire per day means world domination in five weeks! One per vamp per month and the human race is finished in less than 3 years. Even if it takes a year for each suck-cess, the planet would be all bat-folk by mid-century.

Weird, huh? The Zombie Apocalypse, familiar doomsday math. Inevitable hordes galore. But where are the tales of a Vampire Apocalypse?

The obstacles aren’t demographic or geographic. Nothing’s stopping thirsty ghouls from flying to the next city if the mortal-vampire ratio in the first hometown gets too low.

The basic bite-and-switch idea must be incomplete. Time to puncture the notion that each blood withdrawal spawns a new neck biter. The epidemiology is just too powerful. Other legends must be partly true. Perhaps victims must taste the vampire’s blood to turn. Maybe a fatal draining is required.

That gives vampires options. Zombies stupid. Must eat brains. Must create apocalypse. Vampires, though, have brains, and we’re not talking for breakfast. They’d know that unchecked vamp creation would spur ever-increasing competition for diminishing supplies of food as well as latchproof lightproof coffins, as increasingly threatened humans would set up online slayer universities and ramp up wooden crossbow arrow production. It could get so bad vamps might start shoving each other out into the sunlight.

So maybe that’s why vampires are rare. They practice a form of Earth control. They merely tap their beloved kegs-on-legs, reserving the fun of draining them for post-slaying, rank-replenishing occasions.

The math makes it clear: There’s just too much at stake.

Peter Mucha

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *