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In my novel the protagonist hallucinates a building in the middle of the desert, almost like an oasis. Would hallucinations from stress or heat stroke create a vivid and imaginary environment he could interact with or is that the wrong way to approach vivid and prolonged hallucinations.

edit: I understand now this is more of an opinion and/or non-fictional world question. I will keep my questions to specific building of fictional environments, people, etc.

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    $\begingroup$ Have you done any basic research on symptoms of heat stroke? What can't you find there that we need to help with? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ All the information I have found just says yes it can cause hallucinations but it doesn't explain if they can be vivid or not. Also, I am interested in how it looks from the perspective of the reader/viewer would it seem far fetched or should I change the environment of the world to create vivid hallucination if perhaps he falls into a dream/state $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ What kind of sophont is your protagonist? How is her brain wired? Keep in mind that we deal with fictional realities here, so you will need to be more specific in what kind of worldbuilding problem or issue you're actually considering! $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ Also please note that it is considered disrespectful to the community to award the "green checkmark" within the first day or two after asking your question. You have no other responses to compare with the one you've got. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ @LucasAvigliano Your first comment is nice good. For the future, don't hesitate to show a bit your research in the question and show things you are not sure of. E.g. : "I checked on X site that heat strokes do Y thing, but I'm not a doctor/it doesn't tell anything about Z, so I can't really know if it'll feel the way I want my character to feel.". As long as you're honest about your skills and explain quickly what you have found so far, few can complain that you haven't made the efforts to look by yourself before asking for help :). $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 17:38

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Heat exhaustion has not been know to cause hallucinations. Usually it causes cramping and mental shutdown. Heat stroke definitely results in mental shutdown. This might push someone into a delusional state, but there are significant differences between delusional and hallucinating.

If a hallucination in the desert is caused by heat, it's probably a mirage. In video, mirages have fancifully been exaggerated to suggest people are seeing entire cities, but the reality of them is that the hot air near the ground makes a convection layer that reflects light in a way that closely resembles water.

Sleep deprivation is much more likely to cause delusions and hallucinations. The two are often coupled in a person who is being forced to cross a desert.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you I really appreciate the answer $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ Sleep deprivation definitely causes hallucinations, but not prolonged ones. Desert mushrooms on the other hand.......... $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 23:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Kilisi There aren't much mushrooms in the desert... Well, at least for the common folk's mind. Cacti like the peyotes, on the other hand... $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 0:36
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From experience heat stroke just knocks you over, you're not capable of interacting much with anything.

Sleep deprivation does cause hallucinations, but they're flashes & illogical at best, not prolonged and consistent hallucinations.

I can't imagine a combination of the two would produce your desired effect. It's more likely you'd be prostrate on the ground and very near death.

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