The world is in total darkness, moving slow and days are longer than years

(the planets rotates around the sun in 5000 earth days and rotates around itself in 50'000 earth days)

One day is longer than a humam lifetime. Nomadic tribes are constantly moving between total darkness and light to search for resources, they could live on the sun side all the time because the planet has a thick atmosphere and is really far from the sun, so heat is not a problem.

But a lot of vital resources are located in the dark of the planet so continuous journeys are needed to survive.

For young boys with no experience in traveling, they are gifted pet ravens which were trained by their fathers to locate the light even when in total darkness.

The raven could be on the other side of the world in the dark and will guide the boy back home.

Can ravens be trained to make sounds that boys can interpret as instructions on where to go or what to do? Because just following a black raven in total darkness is not easy.

Instructions such as "turn left" "turn right" "sea ahead" "we are on mountain" "storm incoming" "danger hide"

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Oh, and setting a fire means death, because there are dormant parasites attracted by light, a fire would wake them up and they would feast on the boy... Forgot this detail.... NO FIRE or lanterns $\endgroup$
    – user82184
    Jan 25, 2021 at 12:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What do the words "human", "boy", and "raven" mean? The world is profoundly different from Earth, so it is quite obvious that there are no Earth animals and plants there; no Earth ravens, no Earth humans. Unless the question is amended to explain what a "raven" is, no answer is possible. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jan 25, 2021 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ Just a raven, just a boy.... Just humans. $\endgroup$
    – user82184
    Jan 25, 2021 at 13:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I will be pretty much damned if I lick something weird like a lamppost in this everlasting winter night ;D $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Jan 25, 2021 at 14:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ By Raven, do you mean the bird? A normal member of Corvidae family? Sorry, but they are quite exceptionally blind at night, even normal city humans have better night vision! $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    Jan 25, 2021 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


Would it be possible to train a raven to give directions? Absolutely. Ravens are incredibly intelligent, as well as being good mimics. Would a raven be useful in the dark? Not so much. Ravens have poor night vision, and wouldn't be great guides. However, I think that in a world with these properties, postulating an alternate evolution that led to raven-but-with-night-vision birds isn't unreasonable. Of the birds I can think of with good night vision, I don't know if any would be particularly good---owls would be hard to train, nightjars likewise. I don't know if parrots have good night vision, but if they do that would be another really good option (though perhaps setting a slightly different mood).

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Probably not parrots. If you want your noisy parrot to shut up, you cover its cage, so it goes to sleep in the dark. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Jan 25, 2021 at 18:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ditto, parrots (in general) don't have good nighttime vision. However, Kakapos had evolved to have better vision, so there's a reason to believe that ravens can evolve such vision too. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Jan 25, 2021 at 21:46

You must log in to answer this question.