I've been getting nowhere myself on this.
My goal is to create a human or humanoid that absorbs heat to survive. As a result this can quickly freeze things solid. I need a way to make this, for lack of a better term, 'cryokinesis' (no tech or magic) in a way that could freeze someone solid without killing them or having them suffocate under the ice. My thinking was to have them somehow placed in suspended animation, that way they would not be functioning enough to break the ice, and still be alive.
But how would the ice form? How would the freezing be done? What would the biology of the human/humanoid need to be? (keep in mind that this being is still related to humans if not completely homo sapien. No aliens or monsters.)

Is there any way to make this work?

  • $\begingroup$ Are you looking for an active or passive method? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jan 31 '16 at 2:15
  • $\begingroup$ If by 'active' you mean 'willfully done' and by 'passive' 'constantly active,' then I would say active. But if it can only be done passively, then I would still accept it. $\endgroup$ – Anonymía Jan 31 '16 at 3:21
  • $\begingroup$ I've been thinking about this, but I can't come up with anything that results in a creature evenly remotely related to humans. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jan 31 '16 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ In general, I can't seem to find ANY mythical examples of a creature related to the cold, except for the Yeti which just lives in a cold place. And the frost giants, which again are magical, and I think they went extinct in the mythology. Is it just that nobody on earth has considered such? In all history? There's not even a deity relevant to it. $\endgroup$ – Anonymía Jan 31 '16 at 5:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Jack Frost, Yuki-onna, and this list suggest there are examples. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jan 31 '16 at 5:30

Normally heat moves from warm to cold. To freeze something, it would have to be even colder already.

We know that things can be made colder through the consumption of energy. A home air conditioner or refrigerator does that.

There are mundane (to us; how our technology works) and exotic ways to accomplish refrigeration. Let's suppose that a living process manages to achieve it: it would be different from technology we are used to. You can imagine one metabolic process producing chemicals that are "used" elsewhere and cause an endothermic reaction. That's obviously possible and rather simple. I expect a naturally evolved system to be more like chloroplasts: nanotechnology exploiting the subtitles of quantum mechanics to be far more efficient at the job.

Anyway, a life form could plausibly develop refrigeration. Why? Maybe it's initially a side-effect of other processes. Maybe some enzymes or other metabolism works better at a colder temperature. Maybe this allows the organism to forage in hydrothermal vents.

With such a thing in biology's toolkit, it might end up being used as a defense. How about a venom that causes a freezing reaction? I don't think it could be powerful enough. How about storing liquid nitrogen and spraying it? Ice-breathing as opposed to fire-breathing!

Now freezing someone solid without killing him, by any means, just would not work. That's really a different idea than having an organism that can make things freeze.

  • $\begingroup$ I like the idea of chloroplasts that work on heat, but I was hoping the victim would live. Could a humanoid creature, in the sense that you could mistake it as a human, evolve a form of toxin that produces not only endothermic reactions (how?) but also produce ice-nucleating proteins that allow ice to form at higher temperatures (how?)? If so, then what would a realistic effect be? How would it be delivered? Perhaps it is produced by special separate glands like a toad's poison and frost over things by way of deposition (separate glands because I don't want the creature to 'sweat' it out)? $\endgroup$ – Anonymía Feb 1 '16 at 3:28
  • $\begingroup$ No. You don't get ice at higher temperature. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Feb 1 '16 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ I wanted the creature to place people within ice without killing them. So what you mean is that all real and fictional laws are saying 'No to that, sir'? $\endgroup$ – Anonymía Feb 1 '16 at 3:33
  • $\begingroup$ The manner in which they are put into ice will not change the fact that it's fatal. Consider a stasis-like effect other than a block of ice? $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Feb 1 '16 at 5:06
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed. Hypothermia, frostbite, and asphyxiation would arise within a block of ice. I have recently heard of using cold temperatures to place bodies in stasis. If they would still die under the ice, despite the cold putting them in some sort of suspended animation, then I'll just need to avoid complete frosting over. Due to the stasis keeping them motionless for a while, they wouldn't need to be completely iced over, would they? $\endgroup$ – Anonymía Feb 1 '16 at 13:12

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