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First, this account is a replacement for my old one, Jobah_HigherMind, because I forgot the password after being inactive for four months. But I’m moving away from Algennon questions, at least for now, and moving back to Safespace, my science fiction setting!

The dust planet Ganoda was long condemned as a barren world, useless to the Unified Intergalactic League. As part of the Fringe (a region of Safespace that will certainly incite more questions), it held little interest to the UIL. That is, until a few ecological survey ships landed and were immediately captured by the Motuns, the indigenous human dwellers of this planet. Since sapient beings could live here, the League immediately began a microcolonization project after negotiating for the freedom of the ecologists. This has led to the discovery of one of the most important substances in the Fringe: carrangan. Ganoda is rife with small pockets of water a few feet beneath the surface. Many of these pockets are breeding grounds of the bacterium Ganorius chiretha. G. chiretha is an autotroph, and excretes a film of distinctive mauve fluid over these water pockets after feeding. This fluid is carrangan, and it has two forms. The tempered form of carrangan occurs when the chemical is mixed with water. It flows slowly and is edible, albeit somewhat bitter. The untempered form of carrangan occurs when carrangan dries. It flows slowly, is inedible, and serves as a powerful adhesive. Drying out or dampening the chemical causes it to transition between these forms. So what do you think? Is carrangan possible? If so, how does it affect the ecosystem and economy of Ganoda?

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    $\begingroup$ Well, bacteria cannot feed on water, chemically speaking, water is ash, as in, it's the result of exothermic oxygenation, so you can't extract energy from water as you do from food. Otherwise, such a substance is likely possible, say egg yolk (or white? don't remember) does act as a powerful adhesive when dried, while not transitioning back to edible state when dampened. $\endgroup$
    – Vesper
    Aug 31, 2023 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ Great point! I’ll have to consider actual food sources for G. chiretha now. $\endgroup$
    – Jobah619
    Aug 31, 2023 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ To be honest, and maybe a bit blunt, but not intentionally: I don't see anything miraculous in the substance. As @Vesper said, such substances are already known. Its effect on ecosystem as such is probably nothing extraordinary, unless it has additional oddish properties. $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2023 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ The substance is viewed as “miraculous” by offworlders for its abundance and usefulness as food and adhesive, and viewed as “miraculous” by the Motuns because they consider it a gift from Yeshu, the God Between, and used in rituals. $\endgroup$
    – Jobah619
    Aug 31, 2023 at 14:35
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    $\begingroup$ (If you want to) Merge your accounts by contacting the staff by the contact link at the bottom of any page and explaining your sitch.. $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2023 at 17:11

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Quoting from a comment above: "The substance is viewed as “miraculous” by offworlders for its abundance and usefulness as food and adhesive..."

You asked how this would affect the ecosystem. Even if this is quite open-ended question, there is one thing that is worth mentioning: if the bacteria produces the substance so easily, it is quite likely that many organisms form symbiotic relationships with the bacteria eliminating the need to find and harvest carrangan. This can go even so far that a mutated version of the bacteria becomes endosymbiont, like mitochondria and chloroplast in our world.

Also, some organisms could start cultivating the bacteria for carrangan, just like our ants do with some fungi.

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