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Now, I have started working on a game called In The Flesh, and I have decided to use this site to work on it.

The Game Itself

In any case, the main idea of In The Flesh is that it's a sci-fi automation game, but instead of using machines to do your work, you instead use biomachines: artificially created creatures with no free will, created entirely to do their creator's bidding. I've also came up with the species that use these things called the carofinxit, or "flesh molder."

The Carnem Deus

The first thing that came to mind though was why they would prefer biomachines to regular technology. I am still figuring that out, but one of the things I came up with for this is the Carnem Deus, or "flesh god," a massive creature in a deep slumber the size of a planet. It normally idles, showing no evidence of life, however, it is still alive. Many of the resources found in the game are just various kinds of tissue. As a result, regular resources like copper, tin, iron, or what have you are inaccessible to the carofinxit, leading to biomachines. While this fits in perfectly with the theme, I got to wondering, "is a creature of such monstrous proportions possible?"

The Biology

First of all, the name is a bit misleading, as while the carofinxit worship the Carnem Deus, it is far from it. While it is mostly alien in its biology, it still has organs resembling the functions of earthborn creatures, having organs similar to that of the heart and lung. It slumbers most of the time, but when it awakes, well, bad things happen. VERY bad things. When a Carnem Deus wakes up, it causes disaster for any who live on it. This event has come to be called "The Reckoning" by the carofinxit.

The Reckoning

The Carnem Deus only wakes up every couple of centuries, or whenever it gets irritated to the point of stirring. During this time, it activates various functions throughout its massive body to clear itself of parasites. Unfortunately, that includes the carofinxit. At the end of a naturally occurring Reckoning, the Carem Deus jettisons components of itself into space to reproduce (Inspired by Willk).

The Square Cube Law

To clear things up, disregard the square cube law. I know by now that the square cube law is best ignored in most cases. Although, I am open to any ideas about how the creature could overcome this.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't have much idea on how this site works, so be patient with me. It would be better if you help yourself by visiting help center, faq and How to Ask, wouldn't it? $\endgroup$
    – SJuan76
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 8:32
  • $\begingroup$ I think this will heavily depend on what exactly you mean by a biological "creature". If we go with Wikipedia: "There is currently no consensus regarding the definition of life. One popular definition is that organisms are open systems that maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, have a life cycle, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to stimuli, reproduce and evolve." If your planet-sized creature metabolises and grows, what does it metabolise, and where does it get the extra mass from in order to grow or reproduce? $\endgroup$
    – kaya3
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 10:32
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    $\begingroup$ That said, if you want this to be part of your game's world then rather than ask if it's possible, start from the premise that it is possible in your world, and then ask what else is entailed for it to be possible - or, you could just apply the "rule of cool" and have it be a part of your world without feeling the need to explain how it is possible. $\endgroup$
    – kaya3
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 10:34
  • $\begingroup$ ive worked on a concept similar, a megacell, but due to its functions and stuff it's more like a gigantic version (about the size of mars) of a fairly normal cell, not any organs that resemble those of normal multicellular systems because its too long of a distance to pump resources across with such a system. $\endgroup$
    – zackit
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ the way i handled square cube law was by making it live in a fairly distant but still habitable range orbit, making it almost completely hollow (removing mass so as to decrease heat production) and having it be covered in water and some thin gases to release heat. $\endgroup$
    – zackit
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 13:21

9 Answers 9

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Your planet sized creature lives in a gas giant.

jupiter and earth

https://www.universetoday.com/22710/jupiter-compared-to-earth/

Your creature is not the mass of a planet but it is the size of a planet.
See that red thing on Jupiter? That is one. The planet beast floats in a gas giant, accumulating energy and resources, building its body. Perhaps it has organs to facilitate the movement of the substrate through itself, like a sponge moves water through its structure. There may be organs dedicated to collecting energy - molecules to undergo energy-producing reactions, or perhaps electrical energy harvested from planet-distant regions of the gas giant atmophere.

It is bad for things living on the surface when this creature "wakes up" because that is when it reproduces. Large components of the body are jettisoned into space, to seek out new worlds.

But first, the planet beasts DANCE!

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  • $\begingroup$ @CarnemDeus, so your game now takes place on a gas giant? $\endgroup$
    – Len
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 14:12
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There will be many issues with a "living planet" sized organism, with gravity being the largest hurdle.

If the planet has a surface gravity similar to our Earth, then the structure of the creature has to support a truly incomprehensible weight. The pressures involved on Earth results in magma, and its hard to imagine a life-form that incorporates magma intentionally.

You could cheat a bit and say that the entire surface of the planet has been covered with a living mat.

Then you could have a single super-organism that would react to disturbances, once they got intense enough that is.

It could still use geothermal power by going down how ever deep it needs to in places.

Distributing resources around the entire planet sized surface will still very much be a challenge, but monumentally easier than trying to structure the entire mass of a planet.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well, the OP did ask us to ignore the Square Cube Law. $\endgroup$ Commented May 16, 2021 at 7:23
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    $\begingroup$ @The Square-Cube Law That’s a bit rude of them to ignore you! $\endgroup$
    – Mrpenguin
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 3:38
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Short answer yes, but it depends a lot on your wording "planet sized".

For example both the glass in my window, and the spider web in front of it, are "window sized"..... I think you can see where I'm going with this.

You can't have the planet sized entity literally be solid and planet sized, for reasons other answers explain. But it could have fibres/roots/mycelium. It could have body parts that spread thinly through the earth's crust, preferring shallower depths, where it can probably survive the temperatures and pressures, and find something more than molten rock to eat. It could be found wherever people look, and have ways to react over a massive area, if its sensory system was irritated.

I think that's the way to go.

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You might want a fleshy Dyson Tree

enter image description here

Pick a succulent plant and adjust it's surface structures and its colors. This is how you get a "flesh" plant.

Here are a few links from the Orions Arm project. Yggdrasil Bush, Yggy Dyson Trees Canopy Plant

Pick any kind of Dyson Plant and adjust its optics. Do the same for the ecosystem.

Concering planet sized, you don't want an actual planet. You want an asteroid at the center and potentially a more streched out surface for better solar energy production and waste heat management. You could have low-gee flesh forests hundreds of kilometers deep.

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    $\begingroup$ 😲 I love this concept! Can I use it?! lol $\endgroup$
    – Len
    Commented May 16, 2021 at 5:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Len No reason why you couldn't. $\endgroup$ Commented May 16, 2021 at 9:11
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Scientifically, no, that's not possible.

According to National Geography, the most massive terrestrial planet ever found so far is TOI-849b, which has a Mass of 40 Earths.

(Normally, planets this massive should be gas giants, but this monster defies any theories scientiests currently known.)

But, "size" is NOT the key as to how big the creatures would grow, the "gravity" is.

(Note that the mass of the planet is not equal to its gravity, it also depended on its size. m ∝ gr². Which means, given the same mass, the lower the gravity, the bigger the planet is.)

With higher gravity, creatures would have to fight off its pull and stay steady and evolve into flat-like creatures, such as centipedes.

On the contrary, lower gravity will more likely to create colossal creatures.

But on the other hand, because these creatures live in a low-gravity world, it will make them "weak" in other worlds.

Regardless of their size, they will have big problem to even "stand up".

Now how do this weak creature, who can't even stand up, become a "god" of another world, not to mention "VERY BAD" things will happen if it wakes up, it's a brainteaser which probably beyond the scientific explanation.

But if this god was from the same planet, then everybody has the same footing to evolve, what make this Carnem Deus guy so special and evolve into an all-so-almighty-you-better-not-wake-me-up deity, that's beyond my ability to explain.

But hey! Wait! What if your planet is "very small"!? Then even a "human being" will be "as big as the planet"!?

Well, the current smallest planet ever found is Kepler-37b, but still, it's a little bit bigger than the Moon!

It still goes back to the problem stated above - In order to grow into enormous size, the gravity has to be lower, but the lower the gravity is, the weaker it will make the creature relatively.

So, in conclusion, I'm sorry that you're out of luck.

Fictionally, well, everything is possible.

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    $\begingroup$ I disagree. If we ignore the origin of the organism, then it might be possible for a very alien biology to exist on this scale. However, this does invalidate one of the requirements OP stated... there wouldn't be anything like hearts or lungs (what would it even breathe?). It might give rise to a secondary biology in the detritus of its skin, but from time to time would need to feed... raising gigantic hundreds-of-miles wide solar arrays of some sort to the surface. Hope that's not where you built your city. $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnO To me, "Alien Biology" is something that fall into "fiction" category. Because, we have absolutely no knowledge of it. We don't even have solid prove that any alien life forms exist. So, it could be anything and everything. Hence, Science Fiction to me. $\endgroup$ Commented May 14, 2021 at 16:22
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Carnem Deus is a massive biological, organic version of Utility Fog

Here's wiki's definition of a Utility Fog: Utility fog (also referred to as foglets) is a hypothetical collection of tiny nanobots that can replicate a physical structure. As such, it is a form of self-reconfiguring modular robotics.

But instead of quadrillion of little robots, it is made of quadrillions of living symbiotic creatures, cells if you will, that altogether add up to a massive monster.

It covers the entire planet, laying dormant most of the time.

But when it is awakened it can lift a head the size of a mountain, raise an arm the size of a peninsula like Florida, or open a monstrous mouth the size of the Grand Canyon.

It can take whatever shape it wants and whatever size it wants. So you can have the organs you want. In fact, any body parts you want (behave with that).

It will look like the countryside while it sleeps and lives off the planet it's on. It can be plant-like in its biological functions, feeding off the earth and sunlight and oceans. Various parts of it getting different kinds of nutrition, and then spreading it around.

When it gets angry it turns into a massive earthquake or avalanche or extends a city sized fist!

But you have to figure out how to kill it! lol

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Short answer, no. Even if the creature is idle it would need huge amounts of food/energy for it to even exist. Considering space is mostly just large amounts of gaps between systems with nothing in it, the creature would need an efficient way of getting good amounts of food and if they have a heart and something lung-like it would imply thos are constantly active wether or not you're doing anything. Find a good way for it to exist without food (or a good way they get food) and how it moves for it and that would at least get rid of that problem.

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I don´t know if this will count but if your living planet is simple enough, the answer can be yes.

Think in the Physarum polycephalum or other species of the same family and add the capacities to do the Photosynthesis and to avoid the square cube law you can add the capacity to strategy suicide the old cells that are under the surface of the "planet".

So the "planet" will be the creature like crust and the others part of the planet will be the remaind of this creature + a couple meteorites + the original planet/planetoide/asteroide

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If you wish it to be something scientifically possible, no. It's not just the square cube law... Too many problems, and to start with a simple one: a planet-sized creature, with biology like that of an animal, would need a moon-sized meal here and there in order to sustain itself. The orbital mechanics of such a feast alone are enough to keep your local astrophysicist awake for many nights.

However, I think that more useful than nerding this out would be to list fictional planet-sized creatures so that you feel more comfortable writing this creature for your game.

  • DC Comic's Mogo is a sentient planet and also a Green Lantern.
  • Marvel's Ego, a sentient planet from Marvel that has a literal brain at its core.
  • Sid Meier's Planet - yes, that's what They're called. Not actually a planet but a fungal colony that covers most of the surface of a planet. It is therefore planet-sized in a way - it occupies the surface area of a planet without occupying the volume of a planet. Fungi also have organs like fruiting bodies, so...
  • The Brethren Moons of the videogame series Dead Space are Moon-sized zombies.
  • There are at least seven sentient planets in the Doctor Who universe.

Etc., etc.

By the way, intelligent planets are an example of a trope called Genius Loci. You may wish to read the TV Tropes article in the link.

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