My, What Big Eyes You Have – Vampire Verisimilitude

Dr. Karl and I chatted briefly over Twitter about this last night.

JanissPredatorModeSquareAvatarSmallThe word of the day is “Pupillometry.” Vampires can sprout fangs and talons, of course, but our pupils dilate far wider than the color of our irises, giving our eyes a black or dark red appearance when seen “vamped out” since the observed sclera (whites of the eye) almost disappear. As a supernatural predator, it’s one of the hardest things to conceal about ourselves in the wild since sudden widening is an involuntary response to danger and desire… even in mortal humans.

From Wikipedia: “Pupillometry is the measurement of pupil diameter in psychology. The method examines humans (including infants) and animals. Pupillary responses occur from birth and are involuntary. Pupil dilation of 0.5 mm can occur when elicited by psychological stimuli.” Like other parts of a lie detector test, the pupil diameter can provide an involuntary physical clue akin to a change in breathing or galvanic skin response.

Cool, huh? Fine: I’m a science nerd. Anyway…

The size of the human eye is slightly smaller than a full-size gumball, just 24 millimeters wide. The color iris portion is a about the width of an M&M (red ones were my favorite), averaging 12-15 millimeters wide. Like the aperture of a camera, the pupil in the center can expand to a maximum of 6-7 millimeters in diameter, so some color is always visible…if you’re human.

Fun fact: Vampires, have incredible visual acuity. On the standard 20/20 human scale, an eagle might have 20/4 vision while a hawk has 20/2 vision; they can spot crawling ants during a fly-over. Incredible, sure, but if the doctors at Cedarcrest Sanctum are correct, Vampires have a 20/1 visual acuity or better. Let me put that in perspective for you: I can’t just see a fingerprint on a mirror from across a 20-foot room; I can tell you who it belongs to if I’ve seen it before… and which fingertip.

Okay, end tangent; back to pupils. When light decreases, your iris opens the pupil to take in more light and improve your vision, just like a camera, and contracts again when more light is available. The problem is that this also happens involuntarily when something attracts your attention, whether aroused or fearful. Humans have a maximum aperture opening of 7mm… good but not great.

Vampires are essentially nocturnal predators; our irises open far wider — a stunning 16-18 millimeters or about 70% of an eyeball’s width — and are unfortunately more readily noticeable to the observant.

“My… what big eyes you have!” Uh oh: busted.

The good news is we can control this mostly involuntary response the same way you can: being aware of it and guarding our thoughts, which isn’t always easy (for us) when there’s fresh blood around. It’s when we’re lost in thought (read: daydreaming) and are being observed by sneaky humans that we have the greatest chance of getting caught.

We can always make you forget what you saw, of course, but that’s not entirely fair, is it? Hey… I never asked to be a walking lie detector with built-in reprogramming capability.

Keep each other safe.

~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
Twitter @JanissConnelly
Instagram @janiss.connelly
Facebook @JanissConnelly
Tumblr janissconnelly.tumblr.com
Google+ JanissConnelly
Discus @justjaniss

JanissStakeSignature2016
BloodDrop

Debunking Dr. Karl – Vampire Verisimilitude

Dear, Dr. Karl — may I call you that?

An article was brought to my attention earlier this week that both amused and gnawed at me: How long would it take a vampire to drain you of blood?

It’s not a bad read, but, well…hmm. It appears you’re omitting details to fit your revelations rather than follow logic to reach a fair conclusion. I won’t call these facts — that would require more evidence than I’m willing to provide — but I thought you might be interested in a more authoritative opinion.

First off: Santa Claus, Jesus Christ, Sherlock Holmes, and Dracula appear frequently as characters because they’re in the public domain and free to use. Just an FYI.

PerfectPintIt’s true that a victim won’t fall immediately unconscious, but you’re neglecting the amount of blood a vampire needs to survive and how frequently they need it. Single pints (standard units of blood) are donated all the time at the Red Cross with few ever passing out; would it surprise you to know that a Vampire can subsist on as little as this each night? Sure, they may be a bit irritable and need much more if they’re healing from a grievous wound, but it’s enough. Ideally, three pints are more than adequate — three meals a night, if you prefer — and no one needs to die. If a Vampire chooses to feed once and get on with their evening, a victim could still survive this even if they pass out (and they certainly would).

As far as the time needed to “drain” the victim? Let’s substitute in the words “feed upon” and not squeeze out victims like tubes of toothpaste. It’s hilarious to assume Vampires rely only upon arterial pressure when they can SUCK YOUR BLOOD. Easy in-home experiment! Fill a pint glass with ice first and then add your favorite liquid candy (read: soda pop) to the brim, then see which way you can drink all of the liquid faster: pouring it down or sucking it out through a straw. Get it? Good…moving on.

2016IanInYourEye600Playing down the romantic angle for a moment, Vampires can mesmerize their victims. You knew that, right? What may look like willing submission doesn’t have to be, but a smart Vampire will find willing donors they can come back to. Bodies stacking up can be a problem, and anyone who watches “Forensic Files” knows how hard it is to disappear bodies in many places. Why bother? It’s not laziness, it’s efficiency.

“Being set on the pathway of becoming a Vampire” just because they were bitten? This is probably the biggest assumption and fallacy of these so-called exposés. If that were true, we’d be up to our armpits in bloodsucking undead by now. No, turning is an intentional thing, and it isn’t guaranteed, either. Like an elected procedure where the human body is being subjected to a massive trauma or change, things can go south in a hurry and all you’ll have left is a corpse to dispose of (see above).

WorldOfDarknessHaving shot down the “zombie theory” that being bitten turns a victim every time, this also kills the grade-school penny-doubling math-calc that wipes out the human race in thirty-four months. To be fair, Daybreakers was a fun movie about exactly that scenario (all except for the hilarious “cure” part), but the other factor missing is Vampires actively destroying one another competing for that blood bank. Did you think being turned made you instant friends? Nope, because Vampire are alpha predators, not pack-loving werewolves. In the same way killing off your food supply is bad for business, allowing other Vampires to roam your fiefdom is a signal to all that you’re either foolish or vulnerable.

In those films where all the monsters come out together, which one is usually in charge? Top answer: the Vampire.

That’s because Vampires are smart…VERY smart.

Remember that the next time you reveal “big lies about the bite” as far as Vampires are concerned.

They’ll be watching…and so will I.

Love your show!

~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
Twitter @JanissConnelly
Instagram @janiss.connelly
Tumblr janissconnelly.tumblr.com

JanissStakeSignature2016
BloodDrop