For a « realistic » way to have telepathy, here what I know and think so far :

1. I know that technologies using brainwaves as interface already exist in some form. Many animals have electroreception through the organs called ampullae of Lorenzini. How could a mutant version transmit and not just receive electromagnetic waves.

2. I am aware that the side-effects of constant exposition to low level and non-ionising electromagnetic radiations(radiowaves) includes : nausea, headaches, fatigue, suicidal thoughts leading to suicide, depression, loss of libido, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, cataract formations.

3. The way the brain translate this form of stimuli into comprehensive information is the last thing to explain that elude me.

But beside that last point, in what ways could the facts I presented be portrayed in a story ?

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    $\begingroup$ Assuming you're being realistic, there is no evidence supporting the second of your points. It's mostly nonsense promulgated by quacks and hypochondriacs - no demonstrated case of EMF sensitivity in humans has ever been proven. $\endgroup$ – jdunlop Mar 7 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ "I am aware that the side-effects of constant exposition to low level and non-ionising electromagnetic radiations(radiowaves) includes : <long list of non-effects>:" you are aware wrong. The only effects of non-ionizing EM waves are thermal; as long as we are speaking of low power EM waves, those thermal effects are dwarfed by the power of the usual metabolism, solar irradiation and so on. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Mar 7 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ @jdunlop one can see by a simple experiment that certain kinds of EM wave are readily picked up by computers and mobile phones and can convey content from the likes of twitter and youtube which are more than capable of inducing headaches, nausea and fatigue. Checkmate, skeptics! $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Mar 7 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ So there's would be no side effects from from low level electromagnetic radiations, good. Now, what about the idea of a mutant form of ampullae of Lorenzini, that can emit and not just perceive electromagnetic waves. $\endgroup$ – Timothé Lépine Mar 7 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @TimothéLépine that's like mutant eyes that could shoot lasers, or mutant ears that could talk. Its easier to evolve something more suited to the job, like a voicebox for sound or electrogenic muscle tissue for zapping. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Mar 7 at 20:42

Many animals have electroreception through the organs called ampullae of Lorenzini

The common feature of all those animals is that they are either aquatic, or they live in an extremely moist medium with their electroception operating over a short range... have a read of this answer of mine on a question about above-water electroception.

Basically, if you can't complete an electrical circuit via some kind of conductive medium (like water) between their muscles and your electroceptors, you'll get no signal at all, like trying to see in total darkness. Your merfolk from a previous question would be able to use electroception whilst in and under water, but not above it. Another species might be able to use electroception to communicate by touch, giving them a potentially undetectable commnication medium but at the cost of range.

So forget electroception; you'll need actual biological radio equipment for your needs. I won't talk about that here as it has been discussed in depth elsewhere, such as on this very site.

  • $\begingroup$ Communication by touch, kinda like a more simplistic version of the vulcan mind-meld in Star Trek. That awesome. Thanks ! $\endgroup$ – Timothé Lépine Mar 7 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ So, telepathy by purely organic means could only be done by touch, but for long range, neural implants would be needed. $\endgroup$ – Timothé Lépine Mar 7 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ @TimothéLépine pretty much. A radio might evolve, perhaps, but it seems unlikely to arise naturally. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Mar 7 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks again for your help ! $\endgroup$ – Timothé Lépine Mar 7 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ @TimothéLépine - it's also deeply unlikely that any sort of "telepathy" would evolve by touch, any more than evolution gave us language. An intelligent species that could generate and was extremely sensitive to electric fields could communicate with them, just like we can use our mouth noises to communicate. $\endgroup$ – jdunlop Mar 8 at 5:43

Does It Have to Be Biological?

As has been discussed to death on this site, brains are all different. So having brain-to-brain communication is likely to be a lot of gibberish. This is why humans developed language in the first place - the serialized, translated transmission of thought.

On top of that, radio emissions require an antenna of a particular length. Coherent emissions from a biological source are unlikely, much less using them for complex communications.


Implanted telepathy. Either via a cochlear implant (straight-up language, just of a sort that can't be heard by people around you) or by some sort of brain-computer interface. You'd also have to have a battery, as sustained communication at any substantial distance requires more electrical energy than (for example) even an electric eel can routinely produce.

Your society could start performing these implants at or near birth, so children grow up being able to "tune in" to local wifi and communicate "telepathically" to other IP addresses.

  • $\begingroup$ Not absolutely, the implants could be connected to the specific parts of the brain to enable telepathy. $\endgroup$ – Timothé Lépine Mar 7 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ The energy required for the implants could taken from the body by using this method :newatlas.com/nanogenerator-blood-flow-electricity/51280 $\endgroup$ – Timothé Lépine Mar 7 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ @TimothéLépine - there's a big difference between "powering a pacemaker" (25 micro-joules per beat) and say, a walkie-talkie, at a joule per second. Forty thousand times the power would be required. You're not getting that out of nano-turbines in the bloodstream. You could conceivably implant something that harvests energy from major muscle movements, but you'd still need batteries. $\endgroup$ – jdunlop Mar 8 at 5:48

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