The 13th Floor

This is Exactly How Long it Takes a Vampire to Suck You Dry

While science has yet to conclusively prove the existence of vampires, some of the greatest minds in the field have spent some time looking into the matter… including a recent study by physics students at the University of Leicester in the UK.

Testing the principles of fluid dynamics, the students decided to calculate how long it would take for a vampire to drain enough blood to kill the average adult human.

The study took into account several factors: the assumption that a vampire would pierce the victim’s external carotid artery; the amount of blood loss that would eventually lead to heart failure (approximately 40 percent of a human body’s blood supply); the velocity of blood flow based on average blood pressure and arterial thickness; the density of human blood at room temperature; and the imagined size of the holes made in the artery by the vampire’s fangs.

The answer may come as a surprise to vampire fans: it would take a leisurely 17.3 minutes for the victim to die.


The team arrived at this figure based on the fact that fatal blood loss would require 15% of the body’s total blood supply to be drained every 6.4 minutes, and the fatal 40% would be reached after that time had nearly tripled. At that same rate, a complete exsanguination (loss of 100% of blood supply) would take just under 43 minutes.

Their results were published under the title “The Draining of a Lifetime” in Journal of Physics Special Topics, as an appropriately macabre tribute to the Universal classic DRACULA, starring Bela Lugosi — which premiered 85 years ago on Valentine’s Day. You can download a PDF copy of the study here.