A Transylvanian Metal Gives You Long-Term Garlic Breath
We asked readers to name the worst thing about being a vampire. "Glitter," said Randi R. "Getting backed over in driveways," said Elena C., "because people only use their rearview mirror." Kt K. pointed out that you'll only be able to shop at Walmart. "It's the only store with a greeter to invite you in."
Several readers, like Justin O. and Hondo V., expressed worry that a vampire would have sexual problems. As Remi H. put it, "Can they get an erection? Since there’s no blood press to plump up the weewee." However, you can rest easy. Vampires have plenty of sex; literature describes this in detail. As for how they manage this despite having no blood flow, well, the answer's probably the same as how they manage to walk and talk despite having no blood flow: magic.
The most popular answer, from readers like Rebecca M. and Fayruz L., referred to how vampires can't eat garlic. (They can't eat anything other than blood, pointed out Robert C., but that varies from tale to tale.) No one's totally sure how this aspect of the vampire myth came to be, but it might be because garlic has antimicrobial properties—as does silver, another defense against vampires.
The ultimate vampire weapon, perhaps, would be garlic-flavored silver. Amazingly, something like that really exists.
In 1782, Baron Franz-Joseph Müller von Reichenstein was surveying a gold mine in Transylvania. He discovered a new type of compound there, which he called white leafy gold ore, or Spießglaskönig. Chemists investigated the mineral further and extracted a new element. They named the silvery metalloid tellurium, which means "earth metal."
Industries use tellurium as a catalyst and in alloys, and also in semiconductors and solar panels. Avoid ingesting the stuff, though. It's a bit toxic. And even traces of the stuff in your system can lead to a surprising effect. Your body will metabolize the tellurium, excreting dimethyl telluride, which you'll partially release as you breathe. This makes your breath smell like garlic.
A tiny exposure to tellurium will give you garlic breath for months, and a larger dose could potentially leave you smelling that way permanently. Your friends will assume you've stopped brushing your teeth, but you will gain an advantage against the undead, so it's not a total loss.
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Top image: Christian Rewitzer