A Golem is a creature of Jewish lore, they are living creature created by inanimate objects like clay, stone, hay or wood. They obey their master and will follow their orders. Creating a true golem is impossible both through man made creation and evolution. The question is, how close can I get to the design of a golem?

  • They need to seem to be built out of inanimate objects to the human eye. These can be any objects that appear in the golem habitat.
  • They need to be roughly similar in shape to a human.
  • They need to follow or obey another creature. (I imagine symbiosis can be used here.)

A list of all of the Anatomically Correct questions can be found here

Anatomically Correct Series

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    $\begingroup$ "I am... fully functional. Programmed in a... gulp... variety of techniques." $\endgroup$ – corsiKa Dec 2 '15 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ I swear I've seen this question asked before. But since I can't find it... I won't VTC it. $\endgroup$ – Aify Dec 2 '15 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ Similar (but different) question that focuses on one type of answer: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/27131/2113 $\endgroup$ – Brythan Dec 3 '15 at 2:16
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    $\begingroup$ Take a hoodoo zombie, cover in something like Henry VIII's armor, train enough in cons and social manipulation, and choose your audience well. Much easier done centuries ago. $\endgroup$ – kaay May 5 '16 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ It could work something like the Rock Elemental in the video game Ark: Survival Evolved. Granted, this golem has to be domesticated, but obeys the will of its master once tamed. The golem in question extracts minerals from the soil around it, creating a rocky exoskeleton around itself. $\endgroup$ – Dofork Jun 19 '17 at 13:48

The easy one here is, make a robot! Robots are pretty much the 21st Century realization of the Golem. It mindlessly performs tasks set by its master.

It is also similar to Frankenstein, where he builds a 'living' thing out of the body parts of the dead.

Unlike many of the other 'anatomically correct' questions, in the Golem mythology it is MADE by people. So a robot can be made to look the part and even be fitted with biological or inanimate parts to meet any appearance needed.

Just as a side note we have Decorator Crabs, which use parts of their environment to camouflage themselves, sometimes looking the rocks or other inanimate items in order to hide.

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    $\begingroup$ Actually a Golem "is" a Robot; only difference is the name. It might not be a mechanical robot though. We are approaching level where we can build "robot-like" objects without classical gears and wheels (e.g.: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microelectromechanical_systems). $\endgroup$ – ZioByte Jun 19 '17 at 16:47

Something that I recall about golems is that they're supposed to be virtually indestructible. Basically, the only way you can kill it is to destroy the magic that gives it life, otherwise it'll never stop.

This makes me think of a rhinoceros. Rhinos are covered in armor plating that might, to some, look like solid rock. Plus, all sorts of animals like rhinos love to roll around in mud in order to keep cool. A sufficiently dirty rhinocerous may look like it really is made up of mud and stone (at least to people who don't think that's preposterous).

As for getting it to be man-shaped, well, rhinos are mammals, so they've got a lot more in common with us than most other animals. And they have a long evolutionary history, it's not too much of a leap to say that a distant ancestor of a rhino split off to develop a primate-like physiology while retaining its plating and desire for a thick coating of mud.

As for the desire to follow a leader, rhinos are herd animals, so they should be relatively easy to domesticate. If your golems are shaped like us, it may be even easier to imprint onto them at birth, so they grow up thinking you're the alpha. Just to be safe, you'll probably want to get rid of the reproductive organs as quickly as possible so they don't get aggressive during mating season.

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    $\begingroup$ I thought one way to stop a golem is if you were able to destroy the bit of writing (scroll, spell, or whatever) that made it come alive. Granted, that's Diskworld golems, so maybe golems in mythology don't work that way. $\endgroup$ – AndyD273 Dec 3 '15 at 14:35
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    $\begingroup$ @AndyD273 Yes, you're right. After perusing Wikipedia, I remembered that the golem I was thinking about (Bartimeus trilogy) gets killed when the scroll is taken from its mouth, after which time it walks back to its master and falls apart. I will edit. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Dec 4 '15 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ "rhinos are herd animals, so they should be relatively easy to domesticate" - Are rhinos really herd animals? I thought they were very territorial, and, because of their bad eyesight, occasionally charge large boulders thinking it to be another rhino. $\endgroup$ – DoubleDouble Dec 4 '15 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ I did some research which suggests they are generally solitary animals. But I still think the overall points of looking like a rock are great! Especially since rhinos can't even tell for themselves between foe and rock. $\endgroup$ – DoubleDouble Dec 4 '15 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ @DoubleDouble Yeah, I guess they really don't stick together for long. This answer was originally about elephants, I assumed rhinos had somewhat similar behaviors. Which I now realize was quite foolish. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Dec 4 '15 at 18:42

Make them a plant!

As the plant evolves, it is known to the "master" species as a valuable tool, and thus the humans evolve into a symbiotic relationship with it, providing water, protection, and other such.

Over time, the hardy "golem" becomes massively useful to humans, learning how to do more complex tasks and even understand speech in a mixture of domestication and symbiotic evolution. Eventually they begin to even take on human traits and shape to better serve their needed purposes. Part of this change includes them requiring less and less from the humans, trained in mind to serve the masters who no longer need to provide for them. Now the humans are parasites of a sort, admittedly, but on the upside, the golems are mindless and don't care.

As for the anatomy itself of a clay-like structure, they would probably find carrying fertile soil around to be a very useful ability. They also learn to carry stones, wood, and grit to protect their innards. When they need a recharge, they just sprout some leaves, which die and eventually look like collected "stuff."

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