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Context

There is an inland sea called the Poisoned sea (name subject to change), which is around the size of the Mediterranean sea. A vast majority of the land masses in the Poisoned sea are the corpses of utterly ginormous chimeric kaiju called God-eaters.
Relevant information on the God-Eaters

  • The God-Eaters' anatomy varies for each individual God-Eater, with each individual having a different the body parts of earthly animals, think something like the Tarraque or the Manticore.
  • All of the God-Eaters are warm blooded.
  • Relevant terrestrial creature: Spinosaurus
  • The God-Eaters' sizes range from 150 feet to 10 miles.
  • The only magic the God-eaters have is the magic that allows them to exist at such a large size.
  • The the age of the corpses range from to 1 year to 60 million years.
  • Most of the corpses rest on the seafloor, and on average 50% of the corpse is above the water.
  • The 2 most common ways a God-Eater would die is ether being partially eaten by another God-Eater or being killed from the inside by god stabbing its heart.

The Question

What environment would these giant corpse islands actually be like?

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    $\begingroup$ You haven't really given us a lot to go on. The biology is highly variable, so what isn't variable? Are they made of meat? $\endgroup$
    – KeizerHarm
    Jan 24 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ @KeizerHarm their biology is a menagerie of body parts mixed together, the Tarrasque from France is a good representation of this. $\endgroup$ Jan 24 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ @JoinJBHonCodidact I am going to base all the God-Eaters' main body shape off that of a crocodile with the head shape and mane of a lion besides that all God-Eaters are warm-blooded. $\endgroup$ Jan 24 at 21:23
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    $\begingroup$ Now we're cooking with gas! I've edited the question, retracted my close vote, and deleted my previous comments. May Glarnak, God of Worldbuilding, smile upon your answers! $\endgroup$ Jan 24 at 21:53
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    $\begingroup$ @Goodies The question is asking if humans or human like creatures could live on one of the islands. $\endgroup$ Jan 25 at 17:47

2 Answers 2

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You will get an island rich in fossil fuel

At first, the surface of the God Eater will be decomposed by scavengers, fungi, and bacteria, etc. Larger scavengers like vultures will do the most damage at first assuming they can get past however thick the skin is of this thing... however, when everything within a few miles is just more meat, this means that the scavengers will be forced to poop where they eat, eventually covering the outer lay of the creature in excrement. This will prevent other large animals from wanting to keep eating away at it. Below the surface, maggots and worms will be busily turning the outer few feet of flesh and excrement into soil; however, the deeper you get, the less air there will be. This will prevent the worms and maggots from getting too deep. Beyond this outer layer, decomposition will be very slow and limited. Studies of landfills show that buried organic matter can decompose hundreds or even thousands of times slower than on the surface, and those studies are not for nearly as deeply burred organics as the insides of a God-Eater. As the surface of this creature becomes soil, plants will begin to take root which will help prevent the new soil from eroding enough to expose more flesh.

Slowly, the outer layer of this creature will begin to sink as water is pressed out of it by its own weight and forced up to the surface. About 50% of the creatures mass thought will never be pressed out or decomposed. It will become a fossil fuel like petroleum or coal. Assuming the creature started off sticking out of the water by enough to not sink under the surface, the bulk of the creature will become a solid mass of fossil fuel with its skeleton mostly in tact to maintain some of its shape, and only a thin outer layer of soil (relatively speaking) will form any time soon.

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    $\begingroup$ Oddly, this reminds me of Terry Pratchett's book, The Fifth Elephant, where one of the giant primordial elephants that hold the world on their backs actually died and crashed into the world. The carcass was mined (as in digging tunnels!) for the rich fats. One of the statistics delivered with each load was the percentage of BCBs involved with the load. "Burnt Crunchy Bits." $\endgroup$ Jan 24 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ The body mass beneath the water will be continuously eaten away at by marine animals, and anaerobic bacteria will continue to liquify the flesh beneath the skin, so no solid flesh will remain to vitrify under pressure until coal or oil. Fossil fuels are formed by gradual accumulation of layers of decomposing matter that can’t be successfully consumed by the existing ecosystem. Not by single windfalls of enormous quantities of nutrient-rich heterotrophic flesh. $\endgroup$
    – Daniel B
    Jan 24 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielB I should have saved the link on the landfill study, but it said that biomass buried under water decomposed even less than on land. The outer layers under water will quickly become a carpet of algae and seaweed, just like the above ground stuff will be overtaken by plants. In fact algae blooms will likely kill off all near by fish until the plant life and coral has a chance to fully bury it. Also, last I checked, the leading theory behind the carboniferous age was that there was no decomposers who could break down cellulose, so all that stuff was undecomposed going into the ground. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Jan 24 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ Was the biomass in question freshly killed meat? Either way, I’d be curious about the study. Regarding the Carboniferous age, that’s rather exactly my point: the kaiju cells lack anything like cellulose or lignin that would inhibit decomposition, so they aren’t going to accumulate the way that plant matter and plankton did. $\endgroup$
    – Daniel B
    Jan 24 at 22:53
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    $\begingroup$ @DanielB The cells don't need cellulose or lignin to inhibit decomposition. Being buried in such a large mass all at once does that. It makes the biomass inaccessible to scavenging, too anaerobic for worms and maggots, and anywhere decomposition does start will quickly get hot enough to kill the decomposing bacteria because it cant dissipate heat well enough. We see these things happen a bit in whale carcasses, where a beached whale can take months to break down, and this is MUCH bigger than a whale. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Jan 25 at 14:27
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First, an inhospitable nightmare landscape

The island, if it can be called that, is mired in black fog. If you were closer, you would be able to see that the fog is an impossibly dense swarm of blowflies, flesh flies, and carrion beetles.

Of course, getting closer is impossible. Even a mile out, the stench of death is overpowering. Scavenging birds, awaiting their turn, have settled to perch on every rail, mast, and inch of rigging on your ship.

Your hear a distant, fleshy thump, and through a spyglass witness a horrific geyser of rotting flesh spewing from somewhere near the edge of the gargantuan corpse. The bloated form is rupturing in a dozen places, gaseous columns of air fountaining fluids and half-rotted solids, to land wetly on the landscape.

With a shudder, you turn your ship around. The bulk of the terrestrial frenzy will last another three months. You don't want to be around when the bigger gaseous ruptures start.

Then, an underwater reef

When you next return, most of what remains above the waves is yellowed bone and scraps of tattered and desiccated flesh, even now being picked at by the scavenger birds, but the stench still lingers, an impenetrable wall of putrid fetor. There's a temptation to sail in and take souvenirs of the body, but you know that this scent will cling to anything it touches in a thin, greasy layer for years.

The water still teems with life, as the bulk of the creature that lies in the sea is consumed by worms, clouds of ampiphods, hagfish, and sleeper sharks. If eating fish that had fed on kaiju flesh were not the quickest way to a miserable death, you could make yourself rich with a harvest of prawns.

There is little of interest for you here, but the bones have not begun to crumble yet, so your ship cannot sail past. With a sigh, you turn your ship and return to land.


A year later, the waves, the scavengers, and the marine life have sundered and cracked the skeleton into pieces, letting it settle beneath the water entirely. An ignorant captain might sail through here with great confidence, only to founder his craft upon a rare jutting bone spur.

You navigate carefully, gazing into the blue depths. Your son, who is only a baby now, will be older than you by the time the last of the skeleton below is fullly consumed, leaving behind only colorful colonies of coral that have formed along some of its calcified ribs, mimicking for grim centuries to come the vanished shapes of the menacing kaiju.

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    $\begingroup$ I think your time frames are too short. Beached whale carcasses take many months to be reduced to bones. I'd think something 10 miles across would at least take decades for decomposers and scavengers to work down that far. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Jan 24 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki I'll adjust my time frames somewhat! I think that given that OP's time scale is on a 1 - 60,000,000 year time scale, the ultimate answer still matches up, but you have a point that within the first year, it might take longer. I don't think that size and decomposition rate are going to scale 100% linearly, though. Bacteria and insects reproduce exponentially. Ten square miles of flesh will just mean 10,000% more maggots, at some point. $\endgroup$
    – Daniel B
    Jan 24 at 19:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki That's a good point and it brings an issue to mind. Given that time span, decaying flesh would have time to liquefy, producing rivers and lakes of bio-goo (especially if you think of stuff like the liquified oil of the Sperm Whale that was so sought after, there would be lakes from the day the decomposition exposed the mass. But worst of all would be the disease.... Exposed decomposition of a deer can have a nasty consequence. The bacteria colonies alone might actually be visible. $\endgroup$ Jan 24 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ +1 (was starting out, something like your first paragraph.. this answer is it & more) $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Jan 25 at 0:49
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps some of the body parts take longer to decay. For example a monster with a turtle-like shell eventually becomes inhabitable once the flesh bits are all eaten. Or an upright femur with all the marrow eaten out becomes a base of operations for people who salvage useful materials from the rest of the graveyard. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Jan 26 at 15:07

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