So, my knowledge of weather patterns and geology is very limited, but I'm writing a book where magic is an abundant liquid substance that behaves similarly to water. I'm not sure exactly what it'll be made of, but I'd like it to have to have the following criteria:

A. It behaves like water ie. clouds, rain, pooling on the ground, ect.(It can be water soluble or not, doesn't matter to me at this point.)

B. It can be absorbed and converted to ATP by this worlds fauna and flora.

Assuming this world is very similar to earth, how will this additional liquid resource affect the worlds weather patterns and landscape?

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    $\begingroup$ How do you want things to be affected? Trouble is, we don't know anything about your magical rain either, you could tell us more. $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2021 at 9:51
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    $\begingroup$ This is too open ended without specific details like magic's chemical properties. $\endgroup$
    – rek
    Apr 11, 2021 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ @rek yes, I agree, that is a gaping hole, trouble is, I haven’t decided yet, I will have to do some research first. $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2021 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ VTC:Needs Focus. This is an enormously broad question. Meteorologists today have trouble predicting the weather 2-3 days in advance - and that's with humanity knowing about every chemical component involved. From our help center, "Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much." Asking about an entire planet's climate and landscape is asking too much. If this can be pared down to a specific question with a narrow scope, I'll be happy to retract my vote. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Apr 11, 2021 at 18:43
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    $\begingroup$ I answered and I didn't write a book. Scope is only "unreasonable" if you're demanding a table of conditions by degree latitude and longitude and altitude. It's very easy to answer in a comparably low level of detail, with a certain degree of tongue and cheek suitable for discussions of universes dominated by magic. $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2021 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


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Magic has the chemical formula C12H16N2, molar mass 188.2 g/mol, density 1.10 g/cm^3, and melting point (if pure) 40 Celsius. Its IUPAC name is 2-(1H-Indol-3-yl)-N,N-dimethylethanamine, popularly abbreviated to DMT.

How did my planet get covered in DMT??? Most planets are discovered by astronauts. Your planet was discovered by psychonauts. Somehow they managed to find their way into the "Advanced Menu Options" on the terraformer. (This bug was patched nearly a thousand years ago - our apologies)

Today, your world is covered with abundant plant life, all of which makes large quantities of DMT as part of its cuticle and/or cell walls. They produce quite a variety of related chemicals (there's a book about it...). This helps to fuel the interplanetary trade in refined pharmaceuticals, but for our purposes, it means that the melting point of the chemical mixture is depressed substantially from 40 C - perhaps to a comfortable room temperature.

What does this have to do with magic? Per the Copenhagen model, conscious beings rely on causality violations to collapse the quantum state-vector. To avoid disaster, they repress memories of things to come, lest they run out and make them happen. Witch hunters fill the gaps if nature fails to take its own course. With their heady mix of mind-altering chemistry, your psychonauts have pretty much ripped away those doors of perception. They have had to undergo a painful process of natural selection coordinated with cultural developments. They now can control, to some degree, what they remember; and the Butterfly Effect emanating out from their reactions causes that thing to happen.

Despite their bold history, the locals mostly are not eager to access this magic, given the propensity for mishap. ("Oooh! I love how you're going to paint that car hood after it's crumpled") They are pretty impervious to contamination of food and drink, but inhalation of vapors is a problem. Especially, any sort of wound is a problem unless carefully dressed and kept dry.

What about the weather? Well, that's the hard part - meteorology is a difficult science, after all. DMT is a liquid, but it is certainly not water! Unlike water (MW = 18), its molecular weight is much greater than that of air, so clouds of DMT do not rise like mighty thunderheads. Instead, they tend to hug the ground where they were produced. DMT weather is more local. The vapor pressure depends on temperature, so hotter areas will suffer more magic inhalation. Some jungle depressions are so spacey that all time and mind break down even for the most hardened locals selected for fifty generations of substance resistance. Chilly high mesas see very little DMT snow, and make good settings for lucrative commerce. Because water travels higher and further, and can precipitate at a greater range of temperatures, the weather patterns overall have some similarity to Earth, with local aberrations.

The DMT usually comes down as snow, which melts on hot days in an oily mess. Water rain on those days will briefly be repelled from the oily ground, causing flash flooding before dissolving the DMT. The ability of the two to mix depends on pH, so this happens differently in acid, piney environments (rapid mixing) versus alkali flats where the magic may linger for a very long time. DMT rains on hotter days. The cooling effect of rain water falling from a great height can lead to rapid formation of DMT snow beneath, the two mixing in a mass of terrible slippery slush that lingers for hours.

In rivers, the liquid DMT sometimes lurks at the bottom in a foul-smelling mass bubbling with methane and hydrogen sulfide from decaying organisms. In the ocean, it can be found in similar arrangements, or sometimes forms a third layer between the briny seep (a lake beneath the ocean) and the upper water.

The hydrology is complicated by issues of DMT stability (let's just say it depends on what the atmosphere is like, since I would hate to break it down before you have fun with it) and the nature of the ecosystem that has formed to make use of it in soil and water.

  • $\begingroup$ Downvote because that old fashioned Copenhagen model has holes you could walk a tank through! $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Apr 11, 2021 at 14:38
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    $\begingroup$ Walking a tank is like walking a bicycle, but better for upper arm strength. $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2021 at 15:07

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