7
$\begingroup$

I haven't seen my exact question answered in my research, so hopefully this is not a duplicate.

I am building a world where the human race on another planet has a reason to genetically enhance themselves to become as strong as possible. Using a combination of advanced science and magic, they have achieved 10x the strength, durability, and stamina, of an un-enhanced human, without changing their size or appearance. Based off of my own research so far (not exhaustive yet), all the discussions I can find talk about a max of 3 or 4x the strength of a normal human, which by itself would necessitate things like :

It would follow that 10x stronger would have more needs and side affects than 4x times stronger, so I am looking at what those would be.

Side effects I have considered and have ideas for:

Overheating
Not enough space for better organs
Body too heavy
Blood flow difficulties
Need for too much food
How to make it pass on to children

My question is:

Assuming I can convincingly explain why the 10x human was able to be created in the first place, are there side affects I haven't considered that would make this implausible? What have I not considered that might ruin any believability this could work scientifically?

I know I could explain it with magic but like I said would like at least a good foundation believable from a scientific point of view, the magic would have just been there to make doing the original adjustments/surgery easier, or picking up just a little slack.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You say only that they are 10x stronger, but seem to imply that this is done by an increase in the density of the body tissues. That is not the only way to achieve what you're looking for, though. For instance, muscle tissue could be made out of a different, more elastic substance, or bones made out of a tougher but lighter substance, etc... Are you dead set on it being accomplished by an increase in muscle/bone density? $\endgroup$ – Mike DiBaggio Oct 7 '16 at 19:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are other apes that has less mass, etc than us, that has 10x strength. The difference seems to come from simple muscular connections, but I don't remember quite what is the case or which ape it is. $\endgroup$ – Durakken Oct 7 '16 at 19:41
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I always assumed that was because they were swinging through the trees looking for snacks all day instead of reading stackexchange. ;-) $\endgroup$ – intrepidhero Oct 7 '16 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ I am also interested to know if increased muscle mass and density is the intended solution. Given the diminishing returns of standard strength training, I feel like demanding ten times potential strength is already pushing the boundaries of possibility. $\endgroup$ – Lord Dust Oct 7 '16 at 21:54
  • $\begingroup$ @mike dibaggio and Lord Dust, interesting point. I am not opposed to a different way of increasing strength. I was actually considering different materials added to the bone, but I hadn't thought of something different for the muscles, I like the idea of applying new materials there as well for increased elasticity. I mainly thought of density as part of it as I need more durability along with strength and stamina. $\endgroup$ – Majaii Oct 8 '16 at 2:18
6
$\begingroup$

Would the people become 10x heavier? If so, drowning becomes a serious risk, as these hypothetical humans would obtain a much smaller percentage of their needed swimming-force from their buoyancy, and being 10x stronger would not save them. (Ex. Suppose that normal humans are 10% denser than water, and are twice as strong as they need to be to tread. Aka, they can tread 2*10%= 20% of their own weight. Therefore, your hypothetical humans would also be able to tread 20% of their own weight, but now buoyancy only provides an additional 10% of their weight. Meaning they have only 30% of the necessary force, and are not nearly strong enough to swim).

If the people stay roughly the same weight, then they become much more dangerous to each other and themselves. They can now jump about 3 times as high, greatly increasing the risk of landing badly. A toddler could easily push you out of a window. And it becomes impossible to subdue somebody without using weapons, as one small kick from them will launch you(and them) into orbit, meaning that cops and bouncers will favor the use of deadly weapons.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Some very good points, I had considered swimming, but not the physics like you mentioned, very helpful. $\endgroup$ – Majaii Oct 10 '16 at 12:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for mentioning weight. Your center of gravity still has to remain over your feet while you are lifting anything. Otherwise you will tip over with the object you are lifting. Even in my case I notice I'm not standing perpendicular to the ground when carrying a heavy load. It would be very difficult to lift a car off the ground for example even if you were a hundred times stronger. $\endgroup$ – Stephen Lujan Jun 6 '17 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenLujan You'd have to lift the front or rear end off the ground while the other end is still supported by the ground, move towards the centre while still holding it up, and then grab the entire car with your hands outstretched sideways, and then, assuming you can find the grips, lift it up. Very difficult to prevent it from tipping forward or backward. $\endgroup$ – Milind R Feb 12 '18 at 13:09
6
$\begingroup$

Increased strength most often comes at the cost of accuracy and there is a condition related to hyper strength issues. Simply put, a hyper strong being lacks the ability to control this strength in regards to tasks that require small and accurate movements. Exaggerated, this can result in completely crushing a beer bottle when the hyper strength being simply menot to drink from it. A small caring caress to a lover from the hyper strength being might be a crushing squeeze of their head instead. The ability to operate small tools that require finesse instead of brute strength can become impossible to use.

I'll try to find the medical term for it...

add...my searches for the medical term have been futile. I thought it was hyper strength syndrome, but all searching that gets me is a list of hits on a product named hyper strength. I recall it from time in a role playing game...think of it as a human attempting to inspect an ant. Little dexterous nimble fingers can do this without damaging the ant. Large strong fingers tend to squish the ant mid process. Manual dexterity and great strength tend to be inverse relations

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I marked the other comment but this one was very useful too, I had not considered the control issues, that is very helpful. $\endgroup$ – Majaii Oct 10 '16 at 12:04
4
$\begingroup$

FEET An infanteer typically carries 80 lbs of kit, and weighs about 200 lbs themselves. The average human male has about 17 sq in of area on the sole of each foot. This results in about 16 psi pressure on the ground, standing still.

If that infanteer now tries to carry an 800 lbs load, they are now exerting about 59 psi on the ground. Walking will easily double that, or more. For the purposes of simplifying the math, I am not taking into account your engineered human's greater muscle mass.

60+ psi greatly exceeds the ground pressure exerted by modern-day machinery, which sinks on soft ground. If foot size does not scale, I would expect that this will have a significant impact on architecture and behaviour. Importantly, it will greatly limit the use of this "super strength".

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ This is very useful as well, I had not considered the weight on the feet. Might be okay if they have basically carbon fiber skeletons to reduce weight, but still something to consider. $\endgroup$ – Majaii Oct 10 '16 at 12:05
2
$\begingroup$

Actually, there wouldn't be too many problems. If you can enhance a human's strength by 10x, you can change his composition. You can create humans who have bones that have more graphene than bone. We would get lighter bones and more durable ones. We managed to merge skin with spider silk and it became really flexible to the point where a normal gun can't penetrate it. And all we need are denser muscles.

Create a human with more type 2x fibers and of course density and strengthen the tendons and ligaments. Make the human less dependent on water so drop water percentage from 65% to 50%. The human we have created is basically about the same weight maybe a bit heavier but much stronger.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

They would not have to be heavier to be stronger, a slight change to the skeletal stem can double, triple or even quadruple the strength of a human, at the cost of speed and range of motion.

This works just by using mechanical advantage, no super dense muscular tissue needed.

This has to do with our arms being levers and pullies, with all of the load at the end, and the muscle (force) right next.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Can you elaborate? $\endgroup$ – T.J.L. Jan 23 '18 at 16:54
1
$\begingroup$

Something you might want to consider is the physiological phenomenon of muscle contraction, and how that system would create the physical strength you're looking for.

More power means more electrolytes being depleted. Without the excess needed, people would literally have their muscles seaze and in extreme cases their organs no longer be able to move internally, like the heart pumping.

Another perspective that might shed light on the new physical system is comparing regular humans to animals. Humans have insane endurance compared to other animals, but sometimes we are outmatched in speed and strength. Think about how those differences manifest physically, and how their weaknesses might become those of the mega-humans you're talking about.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

They may have a shorter life expectancy than normal human, if they have faster metabolism - specifically, if their cells duplicates faster than normal human cells.

I expect these meta-human have similar mechanism to grow up like normal human. When new cells are produced, DNA is duplicated and distributed in both cells, but each time the end of DNA string will be slightly damaged. We have evolved a sequence called Telomere at the end of the DNA string, to sacrifice itself and protect the main DNA string from the duplication wear. When the Telomere zone is used up, the cell will immediately kill itself: since the DNA is now unprotected, it's better not to mitosis. (cancer cells and stem cells have a way to extend their Telomere, but normal cells doesn't)

And that basically shows that a cell can only duplicate itself a certain amount of times. If your meta-human's body cell mitosis faster, than I expect it to have a short life expectancy.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.