In the Twilight series, it is very well known to readers and anyone that's heard about the series that the vampires in the series "sparkle". Is a reason ever given as to why the vampires sparkle in the sunlight? If so, why?

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Stephenie Meyer often mentions that vampires from the Twilight series have stone-cold and marble-like skin.

I doubted his icy marble skin would smell anything like food. - New Moon

That she was a vampire was obvious. Her skin was marble white, the texture a million times smoother than human skin. Even under the clouds, she glistened ever so slightly. - Breaking Dawn

Notably, their skin is compared to marble and crystal:

Edward in the sunlight was shocking. I couldn't get used to it, though I'd been staring at him all afternoon. His skin, white despite the faint flush from yesterday's hunting trip, literally sparkled, like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface. He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating arms bare. His glistening, pale lavender lids were shut, though of course he didn't sleep. A perfect statue, carved in some unknown stone, smooth like marble, glittering like crystal. - Twilight

Apparently, the in-universe explanation is that vampires' skin is similar to a precious stone that sparkles in the sunlight.

  • 7
    reading that hurt me – Petersaber Jun 12 '15 at 9:34
  • Why would reading that hurt you? – Homura Akemi Sep 29 '17 at 20:15
  • Because some people are allergic to purple prose? – BenGoldberg Nov 26 '17 at 3:19

If I recall correctly I remember reading that Stephenie Meyer had a dream about vampires sparkling in the sun and she included the detail in her books. I found an FAQ on IMDB that mentions the same thing here.

In this link Stephanie Meyer herself answers that question in the "Vampires and Pregnancy" section.

  • 3
    This is basically a "link only" answer. Perhaps you should edit it to summarize what her answer is at the link. – Monty129 Sep 24 '14 at 21:15
  • 1
    Because in this universe, hard and reflective makes sparkling. "However, the cells that make up their skin are not pliant like our cells, they are hard and reflective like crystal. A fluid similar to the venom in their mouths works as a lubricant between the cells, which makes movement possible (note: this fluid is very flammable)." – Lodewijk Jun 13 '15 at 8:32

I'm pretty sure they sparkle because their skin is compared to marble. Or, she simply could have thought, "I'll make vampires sparkle in my book."

'Cause it's cool [1].

(Sorry, that really seems to be the only reason. None other is given in the books or movies. According to popular legend Stephenie Meyer literally dreamed it up.)

[1] may also be considered "cute", "fun", "beautiful", "amazing", "inspiring", "dreamy", "gay" (as in happy by the writer(s) and real fans.

  • 10
    Not only is it not an answer, it's also not correct. Sparkling vampires will never be cool. – phantom42 Jul 2 '14 at 1:33
  • I've added more words to help precision fixated people and people that really don't want to think about what is implied by something. No offense intended, I kind of knew I'd get some flak for such a giddy answer. – Lodewijk Jul 2 '14 at 1:57
  • @Lodewijk: the question wasn’t asking about implications. It was asking if the mechanism by which the sparkling occurs is ever explained. Put in as much thesaurus content as you want, it still won’t make this an answer to the question. – Paul D. Waite Jun 12 '15 at 13:29
  • Uhmm... "Is a reason ever given as to why the vampires sparkle in the sunlight? If so, why?" I answered the first with "no", and the other answers pretty much seem to agree. I answered the second, too. Phantum42 was correct, but I meant it is thought to be cool by fans and/or writers. I'm sorry you didn't understand the answer. – Lodewijk Jun 13 '15 at 8:27

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