n Twilight, vampires deviate from traditional myth in many ways, a fact often alluded to in the series, usually for humor. Meyer has said she did not research vampire mythology before writing the series. For example, they are unharmed by garlic, holy items, or wooden stakes; they have reflections, and are able to be out during daylight. Vampires are also capable of eating human food, though their bodies are unable to digest it and they must cough it up later. They do not have to breathe, but typically find it uncomfortable to be without a sense of smell.
All vampires possess supernatural beauty, allowing them to lure in prey. Their skin is flawless and has the texture and feel of marble; in direct sunlight it sparkles. Newborn vampires have bright red eyes, however, if a vampire chooses to drink human blood, the most revitalizing kind of blood for a vampire, then their eyes will fade to a deep crimson over the course of a year. If they feed on animal blood, like the Cullens, their eyes fade to golden in color, over a few months. Regardless of meal preference, all vampires' eyes grow darker with thirst, eventually fading to black, and they only tire from lack of blood. All vampires are described as having superhuman strength, with the ability to uproot trees, throw cars, and crush metal. Newborn vampires are known to be exceptionally strong during their first year because of the excessive amount of human blood still in their systems. Vampires have very keen senses and are able to see and hear clearly for miles and move with such speed that they become a blur to human eyes. They are immortal and difficult to destroy, only permanently killed when dismembered and then burned, as their body parts continue to move even after being detached. Vampires are unable to sleep, and thus spend all days and nights awake. After the transformation from human to vampire, a certain ability becomes enhanced, sometimes resulting in a specialized skill. While not definite, the theory behind these special abilities is that the power is reminiscent of the individual's original personality. Some vampires have no special abilities, and instead have a prominent personality or physical trait from their human life magnified.