Vampire Bats Are Drinking Human Blood In Brazil
There have been plenty of terrifying vampires in literature - Dracula is the most famous one. Who could forget the Count from Sesame Street teaching to count and laughing.
Taking from Boris Karloff's Nosferatu, his line was: "I vant to suck your blood!"
A A A! Credit: BBC
Bram Stoker, the Irish genius, is the author who really brought vampires and his creation Dracula into our imagination and made us feel very paranoid about our necks. And then there were the aesthetically pleasing vampires in Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Vampires were never real, though (or were they), just a folk legend from Eastern Europe that got out of hand in the 17th and 18th century. It was a time when people were scared of corpses coming back from the dead and had just realised how important blood was to the human body.
Enter creepy man who could turn into a bat, slept in a coffin and preyed on virgins. Vlad The Impaler, a 15th century ruler of Wallachia, is widely regarded to have inspired Stoker.
Vampires may not have been real, but vampire bats are absolutely real. But you can breathe a sigh of relief - vampire bats don't actually feed on humans. Mammal blood is too thick for their tiny bat insides to take so they usually drink bird blood.
They're usually don't bite, and little ones look like this.
Yet researchers were surprised when they looked at 70 faeces samples from a colony of hairy-legged vampire bats living in the Catimbau National Park in Brazil. Fun job.
For the first time ever, they found human blood in the bat shit. Bat shit crazy!
Talking to New Scientist, Enrico Bernard, the leader of the study, said: "We were quite surprised. This species isn't adapted to feed on the blood of mammals."
Surprised doesn't cover half of it, Enrico, I think we should be alarmed.
Apparently the birds in the area have all died, which left the vampire bats with nothing to feed on. Some of them starved to death before one bat had the bright idea of trying out a human for breakfast. People have only recently started to live in the National Park and the scientists think that's why bats are starting to turn their beady eyes to the humans.
Apart from not wanting to be bitten by a bat because it would be terrifying, there's another reason to worry. The vampire bats could give you rabies. Great.
I think we need the famous vampire killer, Van Helsing, on the case.
The best Van Helsing. Credit: Columbia Pictures
Featured Image Credit: PA