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The lycanthropes lounged around in the sun, enjoying the limited amount of sunshine. "If only we could move to Florida, we could enjoy this weather all year round," one began.
"Need I remind you why we can't do that, Donovan?"
The first wolf sighed. "No, I was just chasing butterflies."

In a world I'm creating, monsters, such as werewolves, vampires, etc. exist. But they are super-limited in where they can live by the climate. My first idea is that the climate effects their mental state so they can control themselves (vampires don't need to drain a full person, werewolves control the shift). Is this feasible considering how a human's mental state is affected?

Edit: I was putting this story in a modern setting on a planet that is almost, with the exception of some crazy island/land bridgy geography that would allow one to walk to almost all land points from any other point. The monsters are severely outnumbered by the humans, so they keep themselves hidden from general society.

Edit 2: While all the current answers are intriguing and helpful, the original point of the question appears to have been lost. What I am asking is: Observing the affect climate and environment has on humans, would it be far-fetched to say monsters require certain climates to keep from killing everything?

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    $\begingroup$ Many proteins are strongly environmentally sensitive. So are microorganisms (Ebola wouldn't survive too well in US climate, for a recent example). Is Lycantropy an infectious disease in your world? $\endgroup$
    – user4239
    Jul 7, 2015 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ Generally, no (except if 8 or more ounces of blood is downed in one go) $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2015 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ But it is a virus-like modification. $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2015 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ @HadesHerald can you assist us with a general timeframe (or tech level) and location? No need to be too specific, but that would help us to be more creative. $\endgroup$
    – Mikey
    Jul 7, 2015 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ Well, why are there no alligators in Alaska, nor any grizzly bears in Florida? FTM, why won't I ever move to Florida? Putting aside the question of my monstrosity, it's just too darned hot there. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Jul 7, 2015 at 23:29

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HadesHerald, you can do anything you want with a backdrop like that.

Some ideas on how to explain it:

Food Items

In your world, it could be that specific flora & fauna are found only in their current dwelling location: Apples aren't found in Florida, oranges aren't found in Oregon. Unless its current day, there may be a plant or animal that they require, which doesn't live in Florida's sub-tropics. Folic acid from apples, for example.

Coriolis Effect

Although it is intrinsically minute, and we can't feel it; the Coriolis effect is altered as you approach the equator. Although your lovelies could go to South Australia to get some sun, they can't cross the equator, because they are affected by it for whatever reason.

Magnetosphere

Similar to above, there is an affectation based on the magnetosphere, requiring your guys to hang out most comfortably within the polar cusp, in order to receive the maximum solar wind. This works nicely for your vampires, who can not get solar anything during the days; they require solar wind for their daily dose, and must hang out in Canada year round.

Just-for-fun: Culture-shaming

Vampires are notoriously pale, werewolves notoriously hairy; two things not appreciated on Miami Beach!

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One possibility would be to tie their breeding patterns tightly to specific climates. So sure, they can move elsewhere, but they start slowly dying off. You would see isolated examples living elsewhere, but their main society/cultures would be explicitly tied to certain locations.

For example, maybe werewolves only become fertile when they experience a 6 hours of natural light / 18 hours of darkness pattern for at least a week while living outdoors in nature. Maybe vampires need at least 16 straight hours of darkness for 3 months straight to turn/create a new vampire. Etc and so on.

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  • If lycantropy etc... is a viral disease (as your comment confirms): We know that human resistance to viruses is dependent on the climate. Quoting shamelessly from my own answer on Skeptics.SE

    Temperature-dependent innate defense against the common cold virus limits viral replication at warm temperature in mouse airway cells (Ellen F. Foxman, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1411030112)

    "Altogether," she added, "these temperature effects can result in an 100-fold difference in the level of cold virus" at 33C compared with 37C after three days - enough to turn an asymptomatic viral population into sneezing, runny-nosed misery.

    As such, your werewolves may be unable to infect new people in different climate, as the lycantropy immune response changes.


  • Additionally, lycantropy virus might depend on some local stuff in weird ways. For example, for the virus to work properly, it needs specific antibodies in the body - which are ONLY available by an immune response to specific flora, limited geographically.

  • Similar to last option: local diet. You as a lycantrope need fresh salmon meat. Which is conspiciously absent in Florida. And if you don't eat salmon, you start getting weird hives, itches, and irritations.

  • Your "turning" body may be temperature sensitive. This is less likely with wolves who are pretty adaptable. But a were-polarbear would be mighty disadvantaged in Florida, what with being way too hot.
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Assuming non-scientific monsters:

Something in their monstrous metabolism requires some rare element. Say, vampires require a tiny bit of osmium. This occurs naturally only at a part per billion, they can only survive in the area where long ago an osmium-heavy meteor hit.

Since they aren't aware of this need all they know is they wither and die if they move away from their historic location. If they understood they could simply buy some osmium. (A quick search turns it up at $810/oz, buying it wouldn't be prohibitive.)

Different monsters might have different elemental needs, thus different habitats.

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How about having them require hibernation to stay sane?

Then, they can only live in northern climates where it gets cold enough to trigger their hibernation.

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