vampires from outer space

Consider the origin of vampires.

Are they a natural biological phenomenon? No, vampires have several properties that are beyond the state of the art for naturally evolved animals on Earth—for example, they last forever, unlike any mammal.

Are they the result of human technological skill? No, they’re even further beyond the state of that art. Besides, they don’t seem to be artificial; if they were made, what are they for? Vampires are intelligent, so if they exist for a purpose (unlike you and me), then their creator would have harnessed their intelligence to that purpose, and I don’t see evidence for such a thing.

If vampires are natural and did not evolve on Earth, then it follows that they evolved elsewhere. So vampires (or some component or agent of vampirism) are likely extraterrestrial.

Now consider the extent of extraterrestrial biological influence on Earth. If something as complicated (and therefore large) as vampirism can reach Earth, then tons of alien microorganisms must have hitched a ride. But where are they now? Molecular biology is getting moderately sophisticated—if you can fiddle DNA, then alien animalcules stand out like the Eiffel Tower in a jungle. If they have DNA, then the alien sequences will stand out as evolutionarily unrelated to terrestrial DNA—there are databases and computer programs for that kind of thing. And if they don’t have DNA, then every little bug might as well carry a big red sign, “Nyah nyah, analyze me! I’m weirder than you think!”

It’s safe to say that extraterrestrial microorganisms are rare on Earth. (Up to this point I am 80% certain of my conclusions.) Perhaps they were poorly adapted to Earth, and got outcompeted by the locals. That seems likely, and it can’t be ruled out, but it is surprising because vampires have large obvious competitive advantages over native animals—if the bugs have similar advantages, then they were not outcompeted. So I think it’s equally likely (now I am 40% certain) that the alien organisms were deliberately stamped out, and since humans could not have done such a thing, it must have been done by space aliens, perhaps working to contain the accidental breach of quarantine. Under this hypothesis, which may be 25% likely (so I am 10% certain), it may be that the vampires escaped genocide only through their cleverness; they have at least as much to fear from space aliens as from humans; and they are keeping an important secret from you.

So a person who wears sunscreen all the time might not be a vampire after all. There’s at least a 10% chance that they are a friendly alien, helping to protect humanity from a serious case of accidental biological contamination.

This is, of course, a joke. It has been seriously suggested that alien microorganisms could live on Earth, and we don’t notice because we don’t know what to look for.
Original version, September 1993.
Updated and added here November 2011.