You're just walking down the street not expecting anything when you suddenly black out and wake up on a small rock formation seemingly in the middle of the ocean. Looking around you see four other people. They claim to have experienced the same thing as you. As your newly formed group explores the area you discover a few things:

  1. The "island" you are on covers about 10 square metres. This is the only land you see. There is only ocean around you.
  2. There is nothing on this island, it's just rock.
  3. The water around you is rich in wildlife. Tropical fish, crabs, corals, everything seems to gather at this "oasis"
  4. The water is somewhat warm and the sun is burning down hot. You can be in the water for a long time without feeling cold and the sun warms you up quickly once you get out.
  5. You, as well as the other people, are still wearing the same clothes from before the blackout.
  6. There's a small note saying: "You will be rescued in a year".

Given these circumstances, how would one survive?
If it is impossible, what are the limiting factors?

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    $\begingroup$ You will die of dehydration within a few days, unless the "ocean" is a freshwater lake. Assuming there is a magic freshwater supply, you will die of scurvy (or related infection) from a poorly-balanced diet in a few months. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Mar 22 '19 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Don't have any data to make it an answer, but one major concern could be water. Obviously, you can't drink ocean water, so you are totally dependent on rain, and without a recipient, you can't store water for a long time... $\endgroup$ – Kepotx Mar 22 '19 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ you are asking us to write your story for you, not to help you building your world. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Mar 22 '19 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, this really compiles down to the hydration issue now that i think about it, in which case I should just ask something along the lines of "how can one hydrate themselves at sea?" What's the typical way to deal with this? Close this question and open a new one? Or just edit? I'm asking since the new question seems like an entirely different question. $\endgroup$ – Murinus Mar 22 '19 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ Asking about hydrating at sea runs you into the same issues: such a question is NOT about worldbuilding; such a question is too story based. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Mar 23 '19 at 7:19

That's roughly a 10x10 foot rock.


  1. Sun exposure. Solutions: Clothing (let's hope you were teleported in from somewhere cold), Race (the darker your skin the better).

  2. Food. Solutions: You need to fish and/or beat stuff on the shore. Maybe use teamwork and chase crabs inland.

  3. Water. Solutions: Getting freshwater by killing fish and drinking their blood will help but not enough. Many tropical places have a rainstorm every day but that tends to be seasonal. Building/Setting up water traps to catch rainwater is both necessary and hard with your resource constraints. Ditto storing water for days when the rain doesn't come. Maybe you can kill something with a shell to catch/store water...

If there's no rain then this is probably going to kill you.

  1. Shelter. Normally in this type of environment temperature isn't a problem but it's a very small rock, and since it's just a rock there's a very good chance it's underwater part of the year (in bad storms if nothing else).

My expectation is this is a fatal situation over the long term and a year is long enough that it's long term.

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