My question is, how do we make humans more able to resist falls(not just free falls, also normal ones and from a "medium" height, 2-10 meters) and be able to move afterwards, at least for the jumps on the lower end. So "action movies"-like jumps should be possible and leave the jumper not stuck on the ground like a sponge.

Some ideas I've gathered from previous answers or elsewhere:

  • Lighter humans, this old essay here is pretty famous and talks about how smaller animals have it easier in terms of falls given the square-cube law, obviously if we keep humans the same size we have to make them lighter. This is an easy solution, although I'm not sure about the details of such a change, if humans weighted roughly 2 times less, what kind of falls would they be able to survive? As far as I can see, human femurs can resist 30 times the human weight and the terminal velocity is 66m/s for real humans, obviously if humans weight 2 times less the second values will be lower but what would it translate to? It seems to me the bones would still break.

  • Stronger bones, bones not breaking would help a lot, obviously bones that are too stiff and let the rest of the body take all the force is bad, but I imagine this shouldn't be a unsolvable dilemma, can't bones be stronger while retaining their relative elasticity?

  • More cartilage, I'm not sure where there is space to place it while not impeding normal function but I imagine if you can afford some, it wouldn't hurt AFAIK. Also if cartillage can fully regrow it would allow people to rationally risk bad falls to do whatever they need to do at the moment.

  • More internal organ cushions, if we remove some vestigials or semi-vestigials organs and use their space to put some cushions or well placed fat, can it help organs to not become a soup in the process? What is the most worth protecting?

  • Better internal structure, maybe placing vital veins,arteries and nerves in places less likely to be perforated or broke by moving organs/force. I'm not an expert at all. I know the human bodies has some bad designs for some pathways but other than that I'm not sure how much room for expansion there is.

  • Better feet, the video here and the scientist behind the idea say that human feet are especially well made for walking, regardless of that discussion can human feet be tweaked to absorb more force in such falls? Maybe fusing some bones that don't move or putting cartilage or fat everywhere, I'm out of ideas on this front, lol.

I'm looking for some general but concrete ideas, I want humans to look as much as possible like humans on the outside but you can go relatively wild with internal organ layout and so on.

Thanks in advance!

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    $\begingroup$ Stories told by older guys tell me that part of the training for the conscripts back in the days was climbing and jumping a 10 m high wall... so apparently it's already possible $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica May 7 at 9:22
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    $\begingroup$ how do we make humans more able to resist falls Train them in parkour $\endgroup$ – Adrian Colomitchi May 7 at 9:22
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    $\begingroup$ The only reason falls kills us is the direction of impact on the bone . Bones can tollerate a lot of pressure straight top to down, but little to no torque or horizontal pressure. Our bones are so frail to torque and horizontal pressure you can break your own arm by playing Armwrestling and its quite common. So just teach your creatures how to fall properly. $\endgroup$ – user75545 May 7 at 9:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Kyu ummm... The only reason falls kills us is the direction of impact on the bone I wouldn't go so far to claim that's the only reason, but yes, with correct landing techniques and a clean landing area, a 10m fall is not necessarily debilitating much less fatal. $\endgroup$ – Adrian Colomitchi May 7 at 9:46
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    $\begingroup$ Accidental falls from 10m and uncontrolled landing, yes, are fatal. Controlled falls and landing, not necessarily. I thought you are asking about "action movies"-like **jumps** should be possible and leave the jumper not stuck on the ground like a sponge. which is quite a far... ummm... jump from "any human must survive a fall from 10m" $\endgroup$ – Adrian Colomitchi May 7 at 11:51

Meet Graham - The only person designed to survive on our roads

Hint - hover over the photos, you'll see the internal structure

A selection of attributes pertinent to the question

  1. Graham’s brain is the same as yours, but his skull is bigger with more fluid and more ligaments to support the brain when a collision occurs.

  2. Graham’s skull is a lot bigger, it’s almost helmet like and it’s got these inbuilt crumple zones that would absorb the energy on impact.

  3. the neck uses one of our existing elements of protection, the ribs, and extended them up to reach the skull

  4. Graham’s knees have movement in all directions. His joints are fortified with extra tendons to give added flexibility

  5. An extra joint in Graham’s lower leg gives him a spring loaded jump - more tendons will also help dissipate the energy of the landing and/or help with redirecting it (transit from fall into a roll)

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  • $\begingroup$ The problem with Graham is it goes strongly against my first point, and increases tremendously the weight of the entire being while not really making it have more drag. But the last 2 ideas are good, I wonder if they can work with normal sized humans though. $\endgroup$ – Blirk May 7 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ Also a larger fluid filled cavity actually makes brain injury easier. what graham really needs is more connective tissue in the brain itself so stress of deformation is not taken by the cells with other functions. $\endgroup$ – John May 7 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ @John What could this connective tissue be made of? $\endgroup$ – Blirk May 7 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ in a body, likely collegen. that is the goto connective tissue $\endgroup$ – John May 8 at 2:17

You'll need them to have another pair of legs so they can tack on the movement without pause. They could transition with their arms as they are, but that wouldn't look very "action moviely".

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  • $\begingroup$ In trying to imagine what you mean the scenario seems very goofy to me. $\endgroup$ – Blirk May 8 at 10:59

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