The Settings: In a collaborative project with my friend, we develops mix of science fiction and fantasy setting together. We develops a world on which the whole planet was one sentient being. Mainly the planet itself is intelligent, harnessing energy from radiaton decays on its core. It later realizes that life emerged on its surface, and altering its atmosphere and geological condition to evolve life in the way it could utilize the life as additional computing power and awareness. In that world, life on the surface develops swarm intelligence, as the whole plants and animals interact in the way that each individuals unaware of higher intelligence they were a part of (sort like an ant wouldn't aware of the whole colony's intelligent behaviour).

Here is the problem, as I practically doing all in science part of the world, while my friend doing all of them in magical part. We went to some disagreement, and as he's the one that proposes this joint work, I tried to respect his desire.

At first we worked on system that allows the planetary intelligence to 'grant' a sufficiently intelligent species to control some aspect of the world (like, creating winds, cast lightning, etc, in a similar manner that's covered on this question. Basically I put some rational explanation over his magical view). Well, that's all acceptable. But one day, he makes his "avatar" (well, his character in the story) bend space-time using privileges the planet granted on his character. And I have to find workaround, a solution to make it possible (duh)

The Question: Is it possible for planetary intelligence to bend space-time? I mean, by developing some sort of warp organs or whatever. Is it possible? How would the planet evolve that kind of organ if possible? What would be evolutionary advantage (for the planetary intelligence) of having such space-time bending ability?

  • $\begingroup$ Well, are we bending it a little or a lot? $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2015 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Hendrik: simply by existing you are bending space time so forget about giving your planet a brain or a kidney, I recommend thicker skin the largest organ at least for human. However be warned if an object become massive enough it will bend space time so much the escape velocity will exceed speed of light resulting in a black hole. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Mar 28, 2015 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ well, let us make it on small scale, @SerbanTanasa . I just tried to be as realistic as possible, but two heads never come in the same term forever (we had made it canon though x_x) $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2015 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ And @user6760, the mass of the planet will not magically increased, for sure. It will remain on earth-like size and mass, I would not allow such that drastic deviation, heheh :p $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2015 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ What exactly do you mean by "bend space time"? Time travel? Teleportation? Changed gravity? Moving the whole planet through space? $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Mar 28, 2015 at 16:34

2 Answers 2


As we currently understand it, the "bending of space time" is directly related to mass (and, in Newtonian mechanics, was known as Gravity *).

So, the only possibility of voluntarily "bending space-time" would be creating massive (in other words, super dense) chunks of matter. However, as user6760 pointed out, it has some hard limits (getting to matter so dense that it becomes a black-hole) and other "softer" limits (that kind of density is obtained with the gravitatory attraction of big stars, so it is hard to imagine a being capable of a similar force).

That said, my advice would be not to overthink the "science" part. You are not submitting a paper to an academic journal, you are writting an story for fun. So, you are setting an artifical environment for the actual story to happen (v.g., a planet where, every hour, you see a "flash" of the situation in the next ten minutes, or whatever you like).

You can:

  • Explain it with "future science" ("as explained by SJuan76 in 2094 in his Nobel winning theory") or "obscure science" ("as Einstein had predicted in a sheldom mentioned article...").

  • Just state that it is not known how it works, and the best minds are studying the phenomena.

  • Just don't mention the cause.

What it is more important to the world is for the effects to be coherent. If in your world, every Sunday it rains cows from the sky, make it so and explain how people are dealing with that. And, if the heroes are in a complicated situtation, do not make the main character explain that by doing X or Y, it will not rain cows but pigs (which, for a happy coincidence, is precisely what the party needs at that same instance).

*) Of course, Newtonian gravity did not explain bending of the light, which is why "space time bending" is more precise.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for "as explained by SJuan76 in 2094 in his Nobel winning theory" ROTFL $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2015 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ After a lot of thought, you were right, we don't have to explain it throughoutly $\endgroup$ Apr 1, 2015 at 1:22

As the accepted answer by SJuan76 and comments state

As we currently understand it, the "bending of space time" is directly related to mass (and, in Newtonian mechanics, was known as Gravity

Whilst this is true, it is not quite true. As everyone has seen a million times. Mass is related to energy by E = mc^2 and so a large enough energy at a single point could "bend"* space. Ways to achieve this amount of energy are numerable and hypothetical. As an exmaple; zero-point energy. Absolute zero at -273.15c is the lowest internal energy an atom can have. So theoretically if you are at room temperature of 25c, then there is almost 300c of potential energy around you at any time (celcius is not an actual direct measurement of energy).

Also, I see that you and others are throwing around the term space-time, but perhaps you want to stay clear of it in your story as it isn't a real thing per se. It is a concept to unite the 3 dimensions of space and time, just to solve a few (important) equations. - And if Albert Einstein doesn't exist in this imaginary world, then neither would the concept of space-time. Bending space is enough to describe the process.

*Only bent from our perspective of it.

  • $\begingroup$ A Celcius is equal to a Kelvin, and a Kelvin is a measure of a certain type of energy. To noticeably bend space with temperature, 300K is not nearly hot enough. No single scientist existense is required for the physical processes to be real, as they are the same processes from any point of view. Relativistic Riemann space-time is a real thing. There's a big observable difference between the space-time and space plus time separately. $\endgroup$
    – avek
    Mar 25, 2017 at 7:37

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