The song Diggy Diggy Hole makes some questionable assertions about dwarven anatomy. Specifically:

Born underground

Suckled from a teat of stone

Raised in the dark

The safety of our mountain home

Skin made of iron

Steel in our bones

To dig and dig makes us free

Come on, brothers, sing with me!

Now we could interpret that all metaphorically... but where's the fun in that?

So, how do we design a dwarf that actually meets those criteria?

"Skin made of iron" might have something to do with iron sulfide scales or similar. And I am willing to posit that the "teat of stone" may be merely superficially similar to stone, rather than literally made of rock. But the closer an answer gets to a straightforward literal interpretation of the song, the better.

A list of all Anatomically Correct questions


Suckled from a teat of stone. the teat is a stalactite, stalactites you see are formed form water-filled minerals slowly dripping off of rocks. which your dwarves drink to gain their nutrients at a young age.

Skin made of iron. your iron sulfide theory works perfectly, they have a relationship with bacteria on their skin that lives of them and in return they produce iron.

Steel in our bones. Steel is just iron and carbon. Carbon is everything and everywhere, so they have these bacteria that make the iron for their skin. They then have an organ of acid like substances similar to our stomach that heats up the iron and adds the carbon that is then built into the bones.


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    $\begingroup$ "the teat is a stalactite, stalactites" I believe the proper plural form here is "stalacktitties" :P $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Dec 29 '19 at 8:08
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    $\begingroup$ The teat of stone would have a causal relationship with others - they must get their energy and protein from normal food, but the iron formations in skin and extra iron content in bones requires extra minerals obtained from stalacktitties growing in an iron-rich environment. $\endgroup$ – Peteris Dec 29 '19 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ Wind Rose did an excellent cover of Diggy Diggy Hole, but don't forget that the original song is from 2014 (and it was great even back then). youtube.com/watch?v=ytWz0qVvBZ0 $\endgroup$ – Karl-Johan Sjögren Dec 29 '19 at 18:12

Make the dwarves automata (sorry for not anatomically/scientifically correct, but I loved the parameters and had to share).

They grow from a seed of seemingly randow gears and sprockets, strategically placed under stalactites by older dwarves who are ready to settle down and have a kid.

Their minerals are deposited by stalactites for eons, hidden waterwheels and reduction gears gently unfolding the shape of a dwarf out of water and rock- until the Bootstrap day, when the finished dwarf spits out the stalactite and starts staggering around and asking the older dwarf to borrow it's car.


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