Vampires and Anatomy

Daniel Govar created this vampire anatomical sketch as an homage to DaVinci's work.

Daniel Govar, a comic illustrator, created this vampire anatomical sketch as an homage to DaVinci’s work.


I know what you’re thinking, vampires drink blood, that’s not exactly related to anatomy. The thing is, vampire anatomy is just as important as their need for human blood. Vampires have long been a part of cultural lore. True accounts of vampires are weaved into purely fictional tales. With the start of HBO’s series True Blood and the release of the first Twilight movie, both in 2008, vampires have reemerged in the pop culture spotlight. From The Vampire Diaries to the recent Dracula Untold, vampires are prevalent in the media. Like fashion, stories are recycled. This isn’t the first time vampires have made a bloody splash in the media. Interview With the Vampire and Coppola’s take on the classic Bram Stoker’s Dracula made vampires popular in the early 90’s. Vampires took a brief hiatus and made way for zombies – still popular – and have now been back in the forefront.

So, what exactly do vampires have to do with anatomy? One of the fun things about vampires is that every writer has their own take on how these creatures transform, how they survive, and what can kill them. Most writers agree that vampires need blood to survive and can be killed with a stake to the heart. The idea of vampires having a weak piece of anatomy is fascinating. They are supposed to be unstoppable and immortal, not to mention, already dead. So, how is it that this one organ still serves a purpose? Perhaps it is part of the romanticism often associated with vampires, even as monsters, they rely on the most human organ in order to survive.


Where things can get really fun is the various ideas of how vampires survive and how their own personal anatomy reacts to the vampire transformation. According to Anne Rice, vampires cry blood tears. The same idea was picked up in True Blood. Stephenie Meyer is perhaps the most noted for changing vampire traditions to reflect her own ideas, and ideals. In the Twilight world vampires can be out in the daylight, they must hide form direct sun though, due to sparkly skin. Additionally, they can procreate with humans, certainly an anatomical feat.

Vampires have also evolved in popular culture from pale fanged bat-morphing monsters into incredibly fast, flying, super strong  creatures. The Blade Trilogy helped introduce the idea of vampire/human hybrids and now vampires have anything from sonic hearing to mind reading to the ability to punch through cement. So, when discussing vampires, or when you’re watching the latest episode of The Originals, remember, vampire anatomy is an important piece in understanding who they are and how they work. After all, knowing how to survive a vampire attack is important! If he sparkles in the sun, you’re probably okay.

If you see this guy – who takes any kind of anatomy to whole new level – run!