I've recently seen a post about talking to animals, and there have been very interesting discussions there. But this made me think of how a theoretical human, with basic physiology, could work with animals and receive benefits from their abilities. I'm wondering if it's possible to create a sort of symbiotic relationship, similar to the way we interact with plants with the carbon dioxide/oxygen cycle.

One of the main considerations that made me spark this question was looking at pufferfish. From my understanding, it seems like some pufferfish are able to breathe in pure oxygen through their gills to inflate themselves rapidly. This might seem impossible given our inability to communicate with them, but to a person who can alter their behavior, this could be an opportunity to get a burst of oxygen through this. This might be somewhat inhumane, though, and I am certainly looking for more peaceful methods whereby the animal would not be inconvenienced by this.

For rough specifications, I've only thought of the following requirements:

  • The human can keep a steady stream of communication/manipulation to the animal
  • He'd highly prefer that the animal is not hurt in any way
  • He has most control over life of visible size (i.e. minimum would be size of a tadpole, probably)

Basically, would our hero have much benefit in interacting with animals on a deeper level, and create relationships of this kind? Thanks for reading, y'all!

  • $\begingroup$ It looks like your asking about the actions of an individual rather than asking about how to build a fictional world. Such questions are off topic on this site. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jun 12, 2020 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ Oh.. I see; I think I have seen some other similar posts that haven't been closed, like worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/32084/… $\endgroup$
    – Daneolog
    Jun 12, 2020 at 20:59
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    $\begingroup$ Quite right, that one would almost certainly be closed by today's standards as the site has evolved over time. It's unclear what you are asking regarding pufferfish. They inflate with water, there's no "stream of pure oxygen" involved, where would they get it from? Are you asking about a source of oxygen for divers? Not realy sure how you expect pufferfish to help. $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2020 at 21:16
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    $\begingroup$ You can make a very strong argument that humans and domestic dogs are already symbiotic creatures $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Jun 12, 2020 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ That's what I was saying, but from what I remember there should be types of pufferfish that filter out the limited amount of oxygen and inflate themselves with that. Might've been a misunderstanding, though. I suppose I was just using that as a (misinformed) example of the kind of relationship that I'm looking for $\endgroup$
    – Daneolog
    Jun 12, 2020 at 21:55

1 Answer 1


Communication and relationships with animals would be enormously beneficial

There are many, many reasons why a symboitic relationship with animals would be very very beneficial for us. Here is only a small sample:

  • Most of us have pets, like cats and dogs. We keep them for all kinds of reasons, but imagine if the relationship was able to be expanded such that we can see what they see, smell what they smell or hear what they hear, feel what they feel, via communication with them (such as speech, role designating, or simple coexistence)? Their senses are far beyond our own, and we would greatly benefit from their point of view, and they from ours.
  • Our own desire for companionship translates to our love of certain animals. If we can communicate more in depth, not just be being close but by communicating our thoughts and feelings, we would grow more compassionate and likely take care of our natural environment more. This will benefit us both directly and indirectly.
  • Keep in mind, a symbiotic relationship goes both ways - so we must ask the next question, how will this benefit them? Animals we have deep connections with will gain our unique problem-solving, imagination and reasoning skills, so animals can likely accomplish a lot more from us.

There are many more - but we can only be a better person by knowing the world (and the animals) around us better.


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