This is a topic that has been on my mind for a while. I figured the forums would be a good place to start. As we all know there comes a time when your adventures on SoM take a sort of bizarre turn. That is when someone comes into the chatter claiming to be a "vampire", "werewolf", "mermaid", "demon", etc. Now granted most of us know a fluff when we see it, and these kind of claims make it all the more easier to point out who they are. But are they really fluff? I've been doing a little bit of research of my own for a few months and gathering what I can from variety of sources on the internet, I have been convinced that these so called "fluffs" could maybe not be as fluffy as we think.
(I may cover mermaids and demons and other creatures that fit the criteria in other threads if this one is at all successful.)
"A werewolf, also known as a lycanthrope, is a mythological or folkloric human with the ability to shape shift into a wolf or a therianthropic hybrid wolf-like creature, either purposely or after being placed under a curse or affliction (via a bite or scratch from another werewolf)."
We already know that it is physically impossible to be able to change your physical appearance. Therefore shape shifting in this realm is virtually impossible. However, it is not in the astral realm. Those of us who understand Astral Projection know that the astral realm is very different from the physical realm. Just have a good amount of intent and desire viola! You've transformed yourself in whatever way you wanted. Again, this only applies in the astral realm. In the physical realm, things aren't as simple. While you may not be able to be an animal on the outside, you may have some animal in you on the inside. Allow me to elaborate.
A therian, in the simplest of terms, is someone who believes that they are an animal trapped in a human body. This can be any kind of animal on Earth, though the most popular kind of therian is a wolf (surprise). (Side Note: There is also a sub-culture of "Otherkin" who consider themselves to be partially non-human or having a connection to a mythical archetype in some way, usually believing to be mythological or legendary creatures. This includes dragons, elves, angels, demons, fairies, aliens, etc. But we shall stick with the Wolf Therian archetype for now.) Now I know what you're thinking "This is some kind of Tumblr bull and it's just kids who are just going through a phase because they feel like they don't belong and blah blah blah." But if we take a look at this subject from a more professional and mature, we may find some validity in it.
Humans have always been fascinated and even identified in some way with other animals, such as the animal headed gods/goddesses of ancient Egypt. According to ancient Egyptian belief, along with ancient Greek, Buddhist and Hindu belief (Jainism and Toaism), animal reincarnation is not all that uncommon. With the prerequisite of a belief in an immortal soul, a person who has led a good life should reincarnate into a better form, as opposed to ones who lead an evil life. This can include reincarnation as an animal. Now given this information would it not be relevant to assume that a soul that can be reincarnated from human to animal, can also reincarnate from animal to human? And in said process would it also not be relevant to assume that the animal like traits and qualities of such animal carried over to the new human body?
"A Vampire is a mythical being who subsists by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures." (Note how this definition does not specify that vampires need human blood to survive. In fact, it doesn't even specify that they actually need blood to survive . It only states that they feed off of it. This information will come in handy later as I explain more about vampires.)
Usually when people think of vampires, most of us would imagine an undead, immortal being terrorizing neighborhoods in search for literal blood. And Hollywood has glorified these creatures like no one's business. With amazing strength and speed, and only a few weaknesses (such as sunlight, a wooden stake to the heart and garlic) it's no surprise why children and young adults like to fantasize about vampires, let alone being one. Unfortunately since we live in a boring reality, teh dead cannot reanimate and therefore undead vampires cannot bite a human to turn them into a vampire, that it is completely impossible to become a vampire, right? Not exactly.
The human brain is most easily explained as a bundle of nerves sending signals across our nervous system to help our bodies function the way they are supposed to. In the event of a sudden adrenaline rush, bloodis transferred from the skin and viscera to the brain and muscles, causing paleness and muscles to become strong. The extra blood going to the brain causes quicker thinking. The increased production of red blood corpuscles, allows for quicker coagulation, as well as quicker and deeper breathing. The blood also leaves the different digestive organs while being rushed to the brain and muscles. This results in cessation of digestion. If a person was constantly in this state of being, would it not make sense that they would feel the lack and need for blood or other forms of energy from an outside source to feel reasonably normal? As for ingesting blood, would it not be reasonable to assume that, much like water, that the blood would be absorbed long before it reached your stomach? (Of course, if anyone thought of ingesting blood infected with AIDS and was tested for HIV three months later, they would test positive, because the blood was absorbed through the body, making the stomach acid irrelevant in this situation, or in any situation involving the conumption of blood.)
This is just an small explanation as for the idea of vampires being smarter, quicker, stronger, slightly faster healing, paler, and more psychically aware. The endogenous retrovirus belief is one of the most plausible arguments as to why vampirism is believed to exist. Though it is highly controversial, the people who call it fiction have much more far fetched explanations on what causes real vampirism. (You can listen Zachary Moore's Endogenous Retroviruses and Evolution podcast here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EQgawJkxKF4)
Yale University ''Endogenous retroviruses contribute to the evolution of the host genome and can be associated with disease.'' The belief that being a vampire was caused by a disease dates back at least as far as the black plague. Making this far from being a new belief, and the black plague happened long before movies were even thought of. Meaning this is definitely not due to the latest vampire movie, or any vampire or non-vampire movie for that matter. The claim that it is just an energy deficiency problem, dates back no farther than the movie ''Lifeforce'' which was created in 1985.http://vector.bcm.tmc.edu ''endogenous retroviruses are a sub-category of oncoviruses that include the lentiviruses. endogenous retroviruses are negative single-stranded RNA viruses in which tRNA serves as a primer for the mRNA synthesis. The mRNA is then reverse transcribed into DNA, which is then integrated into the chromosome at a multiplicity of sites, particularly those that are transcriptionally active.''
Technically a real vampire is still a human, and in all honesty, they don't actually need blood to survive. They are just infected with the retrovirus. You could even say that they may be the next step in human evolution. This is difficult to believe because many of the attributes of a vampire are considered far more developed than those of a human. Strength, speed, enhanced mental and/or psychic abilities, the ability to digest human and animal blood more efficiently are but a few of the differences. The reason this happens is the basic human DNA is altered by the endogenous retrovirus. The endogenous retrovirus is not the same virus as HIV, for the retrovirus is not associated as an STD.
Do I believe people mean all of this when they say they are a werewolf or a vampire? Of course not. I do believe most of them are full of it and only serve to make the chatter annoying when mods aren't available. However I am not quick to discredit their claims. This is all up for debate and I am open to criticism (otherwise I wouldn't be posting it in the first place). I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions on this matter and whether you believe it or not is up to you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endogenous_retrovirus << (And other wiki searches of vampires and werewolves)