Yes folks, you heard it here first. The hissing, brooding, perhaps sparkling vampires that we know and love or hate are…drumroll please…NOT likely to occur naturally! “But Ted,” you say, “what about my dreams of worshipping at the feet of the Queen of the Damned? What about my lifelong yearning for an everlasting yearning for human blood? I want to SPARKLE, DAMMIT! Too bad, you’ll just have to make do with a goth chick, some clamato, and lots of glitter, because scientists have found that humans are not good at picking our own blood out of a crowd by smelling it.
Some researchers at the University of Ghent in Belgium did a run-of-the-mill study on how well humans do when asked to smell various red fluids and pick out which ones are blood. From reading the abstract, it looks like the real purpose was to gauge the disgust reaction and to figure out whether we’re grossed out by blood in particular or if we just dislike thick red fluids in general. They tested 89 people and found that while we’re good at smelling animal blood, we’re bad at smelling human blood. And any species that is bad at smelling its food is not likely to be a species for long.
And I just realized something. This doesn’t necessarily mean that human vampires will never evolve. All it means is that it’s more likely that we evolve into “vegetarian” vampires, a la Twilight. I shudder at the thought.
Aim: In this study it is examined whether or not humans are able to detect real blood.
Methods: Human subjects (n = 89) were asked to distinguish different kinds of blood from red control fluids under varying visual and choice conditions. Relevant differences between subjects were tested for through written questionnaires, including standardized scales for disgust sensitivity (DS-R) and blood phobia (MBPI) and performance on two clinical olfactory tests.
Results: Analysis of variance shows that humans are excellent detectors of animal blood (in casu pig blood), whereas the ability of detecting human blood is much less developed. Surprisingly, differences in olfactory capacities and personal experience with blood have no effect on blood detection, while blood fear lowers and disgust sensitivity ameliorates this performance.
Read the full text of the article at the link below.