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The vehicles are modular, composed of multiple genetically engineered animals with the ability to clip together with specialized structures. The vehicles appear designed with a humanoid size in mind, and the cockpits can be used by humans. The vehicles have their own will (with the brain in the cockpit), but this can be overrided by the controls in the cockpit. There are also vehicles with a large brain in place of a cockpit. These cannot be overrided. A wide variety of tools were made for the vehicles. The society that made this technology is now extinct, and has been for multiple generations of the vehicles

What scenario could lead to these vehicles not being discovered until modern times?

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  • $\begingroup$ "extinct, and has been for multiple generations of the vehicles" - so those vehicles are subject to evolution, and can not stay in some sort of hibernation? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Aug 19, 2021 at 16:54

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They're elusive, intentionally avoiding humans by observing signs of human activity, sounds, smells, etc.

If the population is small enough they could be like certain species of primates, big cats, and sea life which were known for centuries but never formally documented and often written off as legend until a specemin or two could finally be captured by dedicated scientists.

Lowland gorillas, snow leopards, giant squids, etc.

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They are widely known.

Dogs. Cats. Rats. Fish. Monkeys. Everyone knows about them. Everyone has seen them. What they don't know is that certain groups of them can merge to form these vehicles.

Through most of history the lack of travel has meant that the right species have rarely met, and the few that exist have hid in remote areas to avoid being hunted down. They have gone down in legends as monsters, dragons, and other terrible creatures.

Increasing travel has brought more animals together, and some of them have started to reform these vehicles.

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    $\begingroup$ “The five mini lion robots come together to form one super robot!” -Wade Wilson. $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Aug 19, 2021 at 18:01
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They live in remote place tops of mountains, middle of deserts, artic, Most of these places were inaccessible until fairly recently. Even if they were discovered would probably be some time before before they figured out that they were designed to clip together.

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They are all deep water animals.

These genetically engineered vehicanimals do their thing in the lightless deep ocean, which is where the creatures that built them lived as well. On the rare occasion that decomposition and gas formation brings a dead one to the surface it is no longer recognizable as any specific thing.

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