2
$\begingroup$

I asked two questions (see here and here involving lightning for a species I created, called Viji. Viji are a race of metal-armored humanoids, and they live on mountains, so it seems obvious lightning will be a problem for them.

And as Shalvenay said about arc flashes on this question:

"This is the least-known mode of injury involved in most electrical incidents, but it causes the bulk of the actual damage, and can seriously or fatally wound a victim without shocking them.

(See this this later answer of mine for more in-depth discussion on arc flashes in a similar situation.)

Arc Flashes consists of a combination of intense heat (temperatures of ~20,000 Kelvins), radiant energy (from far IR to deep UV), concussive blast caused by the vaporization and rapid expansion (tens of thousands of times) of metal, and rapidly propelled superheated shrapnel (a result of the other factors); taken together, an unmitigated arc flash is easily equivalent to nearly a pound of TNT going off in your face, if not more. This would be the primary damage mode the knight would have to contend with, and could easily destroy significant portions of the knight's armor and gambeson instantaneously, while leaving him contending with the equivalent of a small pipe bomb going off at point blank range."

In other words, if I want Viji to be able to survive a lightning strike, they have to be able to handle arc flashes. Since Viji are already capable of ingesting and integrating minerals and metals from ingested rock and ore into their tissue (which is how they get their metal armor), and nature can be surprisingly adaptive, I feel like this should be possible.

So, my question is: Can Viji Feasibly Adapt To Handle or At Least Mitigate Arc Flash Damage?

Specifications:

  1. Viji are a highly modified predatory subspecies of Homo Sapiens, which have metal armor; this armor is essentially bony plates, but with steel in place of calcium. Viji came to be more or less naturally, which is why I'm asking about feasible adaptations, something that Viji could naturally develop given the right conditions.

  2. The adaptations I'm looking for concern:

  • Intense heat

  • Radiant energy

  • Concussive force/shrapnel from rapid heating and expansion of metal armor

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

Their armor is lined with copper.

Lightning rods are made of conductive materials like copper and aluminum. This helps direct the electricity in the wanted direction and earthing the lightning rod. Due to conservation of energy if a lightning rod wasn't grounded it would heat up considerably: meaning fire (possibly an explosion). Viji would similarly have to have copper lining their metallic iron armor which directs the electricity away from vital organs and into the ground, otherwise it's ATLA season two episode twenty all over again.

Another thing is that all the muscles will be tensed up when electrocuted. This can actually be helpful as Viji armor has joints and parts of the armor aren't necessarily connected. The shock would make all parts touch each other and would keep Viji safe.

If Viji can see an arch flash coming they will stab the ground with their limbs to brace for the shock. Conversely if they are in the air (for whatever reason) possibly after jumping the shock will be lethal. A thing to look out for.

Lastly (and this may not be important) Viji armor being made of iron and lined with copper will be magnetized after a shock. It may lead to some funny scenarios... or possibly a power up. It depends, your choice.

$\endgroup$
3
  • $\begingroup$ Fascinating, thank you! I had no idea it would be so easy to deal with arc flash! However, I'm not sure what show you are referencing, or what you mean by magnetism acting as a powerup....could you please explain? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 16 '21 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias Oh right. ATLA is short for Avatar the Last Airbender (best animated show in my opinion). The magnetized armor can both be an advantage and a disadvantage. A magnetized Viji can for example attract steel weapons disarming enemies. Or the Viji will end up attracting its friends instead and end up stuck to them. $\endgroup$ Oct 17 '21 at 9:18
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, thanks for explaining! I'm familiar with the show itself, but have never seen the acronym before. I also appreciate a clarification of your thought process, because as I tried to interpret your words on magnetism, disarming never crossed my mind.... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 18 '21 at 13:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .