NCBI ROFL: Does garlic protect against vampires? An experimental study.

By ncbi rofl | August 18, 2009 4:22 pm

“Vampires are feared everywhere, but the Balkan region has been especially haunted. Garlic has been regarded as an effective prophylactic against vampires. We wanted to explore this alleged effect experimentally. Owing to the lack of vampires, we used leeches instead. In strictly standardized research surroundings, the leeches were to attach themselves to either a hand smeared with garlic or to a clean hand. The garlic-smeared hand was preferred in two out of three cases (95% confidence interval 50.4% to 80.4%). When they preferred the garlic the leeches used only 14.9 seconds to attach themselves, compared with 44.9 seconds when going to the non-garlic hand (p < 0.05). The traditional belief that garlic has prophylactic properties is probably wrong. The reverse may in fact be true. This study indicates that garlic possibly attracts vampires. Therefore to avoid a Balkan-like development in Norway, restrictions on the use of garlic should be considered."

Thanks to Eugene for today’s ROFL!

  • Anonymous


  • eileen

    Duh, they should have tested on bats instead of leeches! Honestly, I've heard that garlic does repel bats- that's where I think the legend about vampires originates.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone knows that garlic only affects the undead… Leeches are obviously immune to its effects.

  • Ms Avery

    Owing to the lack of vampires, we used leeches instead.


  • biochem belle

    I love that the journal title translates to "Journal of practical medicine". After all, what's more practical than knowing how to prevent vampire attacks?

  • Joseph

    Have they tested this on mosquitoes yet?

  • Ntropia

    Bats? What about porphyria?
    By the way they should have used dead leeches, to be fair…

  • PhantomoftheRouter

    Don’t you mean un-dead leeches?

  • vampyra

    Humans, why will you not leave us alone and all of your so called studies! We are here and have been for thousands of years and we exist and we are very much real. Garlic does not affect us, nor does the cross or holy water.

  • AD

    Come-on !!!!!! just because leeches suck blood they cannot be compared to vampires .Have some respect to Vampires !!!

  • SAJ

    Porphyria, eh? Talk about making easy things complex, sheesh. Just offer the (presumptive) vampire a gin and tonic, and, if refused, whip out a crucifix and apply the wooden stake as advised.

    “Owing to the lack of vampires” in a (cough) study about vampires deserves to be immortalised in the Junk Science Hall of Fame, right alongside the East Anglia conspiracy and Piltdown Man. Simply hilarious!


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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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