Without changing a planet from being habitable for humans and keeping a similar ecosystem why could intelligent races never access electricity?

What in society or behavior could stop people from discovering electricity?

With this way of solving the problems I need a plausible explanation why a certain behavior or society has risen and why this keeps people from discovering electricity. Also what other changes are attached to this solution?

It should be a solution which still enables intelligent people to advance in other parts of science/technology.

  • $\begingroup$ (scream) a 2 in 1 question, quick put it on hold! (sigh) $\endgroup$
    – user55267
    Dec 31, 2018 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ There are to ways to solve this question so thats why it is in two parts. Both ways to answer this resolve the same question. $\endgroup$
    – Soan
    Dec 31, 2018 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Is this now narrow enough? And why is it to broad in the first place? It is one question (how to keep people from discovering electricity) now you have two ways of solving this either there is no electricity in the first place or the electricity is for some reason not accessible to suggest these two in your question should not make it to broad or am I mistaken? $\endgroup$
    – Soan
    Dec 31, 2018 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ I would suggest you to split your question in two: one for the social changes, one with the physical changes. Since you already have an answer addressing the social changes here, I would opt for putting the social changes here and post a new question for the physical changes. We prefer edits not to invalidate existing answers. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Dec 31, 2018 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ Is this how you meant it? $\endgroup$
    – Soan
    Dec 31, 2018 at 14:37

2 Answers 2


Phisiology: humans in your world have a nervous system that is very sensitive to electrical fields. They will wince in pain if lightning strikes within a hundred meters. Trying to access any technology that leads to mastering electricity in its early stages will be as painful as kidney stones, and that should be enough of a deterrent.

Chemistry: your humans live in this world:

50% O₂ 25% Neon 23% Nitrogen and 3% trace gasses?

Whenever someone (re)discovers electricity, they die in a really spectacular bang!


First contact between humanity and electrical phenomena cause by humans were based on electrostatic. I.e. rubbing an amber stick with a wool cloth would leave it electrostatically charged. The investigation on these phenomena ended up in Maxwell theoretical corpus.

Removing amber, wool and glass from your world would probably delay or impede the spark (both figuratively and literally) of electricity from touching the human.

Removing Amber can be achieved impeding the evolution of the tree species which produced it in the past.

Removing wool could happen either by eliminating sheep's and goats from the world, or altering the climate to make their domestication and usage for clothing unnecessary. I.e. in ancient Egypt line was the most used fiber, lacking the need of protection from cold weather.

Removing glass is a bit harder to achieve while not stopping at all the technological advancement of your humans.

Considering that high air humidity hampers the build up of electrostatic charges, you could also have a more humid world climate, making it more difficult to accidentally charge anything.

However, I think these attempts might just delay the inevitable: humans are curious, they cannot be stopped from searching, at most delayed. As long as electromagnetism is part of your world, they will investigate it.


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