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There's nothing good on TV so you've decided to take over the world.

The good news: you can have complete telepathic control over a whole species* of animals! That should be useful. Here's what you can do: when you start using the power all the animals of the species go to "waiting for commands" mode*. Doing what you say is on them, so you can give them any task *that they can comprehend**. (I.e. you can't tell a fly to solve a puzzle, you'd have to tell it where to turn each time. You could tell a bee to make honey) this includes "act normal".

When you provide instructions, selecting who this applies to is on you. So you can say "every third male animal which is in Africa or over a source of water do X) As long as you know what you want.

What you want: world domination!. It doesn't have to be formal, as in being the supreme president (?) and have boring government meetings. The key word here is power. You should be able to do whatever you want and have people obey you. don't assume this will be easy. People may fight back if they see fit. It's not necessarily about making the strongest army and finding animals capable of destroying the world, because a) you don't want to destroy the world and b) that might piss people off, and if they kill you, well, that's not good.

People won't necessarily know what you can do (you can tell them) but keep in mind that you want power, and for that people need to treat you a certain way (or do they?)

What's the best plan you can find?


*The definition of a species is pretty arbitrary. Just go with anything that most people would agree are the same animal.

**this is why you can't use humans. You will also go to waiting mode (as you're a human) and no commands will ever come


Edit:

The question isn't which species is able to make the most damage. I was looking for something a little more elaborate. You want to have control and to have people do what you say. If you try to ruin the world people would try to stop you, if they know it's you, or just ignore you if the don't.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by James K, Hohmannfan, Vincent, SRM, Green Dec 14 '16 at 3:18

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Related: Who would win? Dinosaurs vs Mammals $\endgroup$ – a CVn Dec 13 '16 at 21:19
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    $\begingroup$ When you say "species", do you mean the biological term indicating the smallest taxonomical unit of similarity (like house cat and wildcat are different species), or a more general meaning. Controlling one species of ants may not do much good. Controlling all ants, on the other hand? $\endgroup$ – Nzall Dec 13 '16 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ Also, merely asking "which species would you choose?" feels prone to being opinion-based. You could at least add "and why?" to encourage answerers to discuss why they would make a particular choice. Compare Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Dec 13 '16 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Nzall the definition of species in biology is pretty arbitrary, let's just go with something that seems like the same species to the average person. Also, MichaelKjörling I rephrased. thanks $\endgroup$ – Dotan Dec 13 '16 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ Related: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/25724/… $\endgroup$ – kingledion Dec 13 '16 at 21:35
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TLDR; Bees

Update because of Edit: There seems to be a lot of confusion about this being able to destroy the world. Although YES it is possible, keep in mind other methods of gaining power through this. Most of the power in this world comes from money, and if you can control bees, think of being the most successful farmer in the world, and create a legitimate business on it. The ease of decimating your competition raising your bottom line due to them lacking easy pollination methods would allow you to just make your business "a bit" better. You might be hated, but not any more than any other business person, especially if they can't discover why their crops sporadically fail.

"Oh no, your 3rd field failed? Sorry to hear that.....Would you like to purchase from me instead? I have plenty!"

enter image description here

Ever seen the Bee Movie? Bee's are one of Earth's most important animals, and the removal of them from any ecosystem would cause catastrophe not only across the plant kingdom, but the animal kingdom as well (herbivores need food!). Modern agriculture and more than a few industries rely on the byproducts or capabilities of bees. Just think of beeswax, honey, pollination, etc.

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Bees are some of the hardest working creatures on the planet, and because of their laborious work ethic, we owe many thanks to this amazing yet often under appreciated insect.

Our lives – and the world as a whole – would be a much different place if bees didn’t exist. To illustrate this fact, consider these numbers: bees are responsible for pollinating about one-sixth of the flowering plant species worldwide and approximately 400 different agricultural types of plant.

In short, without the polination capabilities of bees, agriculture would suffer greatly. This would give you unrivaled control over the general populace, as you now control the food supply. This method has the added bonus of making you essentially the Supreme President of Earth, so long as you're not immediately apprehended by authorities. To prevent any sort of assassination (if you're going the world owning method) would be to create a dead man's switch. Do you dare to touch the one who can kill you slowly as you die of scurvy?

Let's be honest though, who doesn't want an utter swarm of bees at their beck and call? Gives a new meaning to the term black and yellow doesn't it?

Especially those GIANT black bees....

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    $\begingroup$ And the coolness of swarming bees on your enemies. $\endgroup$ – user25818 Dec 13 '16 at 23:36
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    $\begingroup$ @MattBowyer Per the OP "the definition of species in biology is pretty arbitrary, let's just go with something that seems like the same species to the average person". So I rolled it back to reflect that. :P $\endgroup$ – Anoplexian Dec 13 '16 at 23:50
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    $\begingroup$ In that case, stopping all the bees could be an issue! $\endgroup$ – Matt Bowyer Dec 13 '16 at 23:52
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    $\begingroup$ That would have been my answer, too. Especially the pollination would cause ecologic collapse -> severe famine if the bees do not pollinate crops. This vital property means also that weapons are useless. Would have given you more than +1 if I could :) $\endgroup$ – Thorsten S. Dec 14 '16 at 0:07
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think the world will take too kindly to having their crops held hostage. Once you've painted such a big target on your back, how do you stay in power? A team with beekeeping outfits and a few cans of raid would "bee" able to take you out without much hindrance. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Wang Dec 14 '16 at 3:18
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For real power, I would choose cockroaches.

They are hard to kill, there are lots of them, and you can use an army of them to slowly rise to power over the world. Imagine if every gun aimed at you didn't work because a roach was in the clip instead of a bullet. Imagine if anyone who talked out against you was swarmed with roaches. Imagine if your followers never had to deal with cockroach infestations (but everyone else did).

You could play it "evil guy who controls cockroaches" way or you could play it "Savior of Humanity from the cockroaches" way, but either way you win.

For symbolism/cool factor: Dogs (assuming it also carried over into wolves for coolnesss). Man's best friend? No, more like THIS man's best friend.

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Mosquitoes


Mosquitoes are the most deadly animal on the planet they also exist on every continent except Antarctica. (Also there are no mosquitoes in Iceland and a few other small places lucky them.) So they exist basically everywhere they can be used to carry plagues to people you don't like and torture others.

Can humans stop my mosquito army? The short answer is no here are my reasons:

A) We are currently trying to eliminate certain mosquito populations already and have yet to be successful.

B) You will have control of you're mosquitoes and you can outsmart our newest method of killing mosquitoes that mostly rely on breading behaviors.

C) Female mosquitoes can lay 300 eggs at a time. Their average lifespan is already about 2 months if several mosquitoes are eliminated they have probably already birthed the next generation of mosquitoes so no biggy.

D) Actually eliminating mosquitoes would destroy earths ecosystem.

The only problem is they will die or hibernate in harsh cold conditions so you will only have control over people in tropical climates or during the summer. This can be overcome by invading peoples houses during the winter, or finding any buildings they can stay in that will keep them warm.

Mosquito repellent and/or deet is not a problem because this only works on mosquitoes because they don't like the smell. Using mind control you can force them to like the smell and they will continue to attack humans.

Another thing to note is that only female mosquitoes "bite" humans this should be no problem though because mosquitoes approximately outnumber humans 10 to 1 so you should have 5 mosquitoes (sex ratio is 1:1) per person around the world at any given time. Simply telling mosquitoes to only feed on humans would cause global distress.

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  • $\begingroup$ and short lifespans, and humans have focused a lot of effort on eradication methods (like the really cool genetically modified male mosquitos that can outcompete other males and reduce populations by 95%) $\endgroup$ – Marshall Tigerus Dec 14 '16 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ @MarshallTigerus Yeah they can only live about six months and die rapidly but they can reproduce exceptionally fast. If you have control over all mosquitoes simply tell them not to reproduce with the modified male mosquitoes. Also I'm pretty sure the questions gonna be closed because it's too opinion based. We could have discussions like this for ever... Go pick on the bee guy I only have one upvote! $\endgroup$ – X_Wera Dec 14 '16 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ Now you have two :) $\endgroup$ – Marshall Tigerus Dec 14 '16 at 21:31
  • $\begingroup$ It is female mosquitoes alone who feed on blood. Males are much more docile, in the sense they prefer nectar. For Mozzies to be successful world domineering beasts, females will need to be used - if indeed blood borne viruses/diseases are to be spread; Males will only be good for annoying the enemy with their incessive buzzing... $\endgroup$ – Harry David Dec 15 '16 at 2:23
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    $\begingroup$ @X_Wera I agree it is! I just resented being the "bee guy". ;P $\endgroup$ – Anoplexian Dec 19 '16 at 22:00
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Norway Rats are a good choice they live everywhere humans do, there are trillions of them, and they can chew through concrete. plus most of our ways of killing them rely on behaviors a army of controlled rats might not have (food seeking). depending on how good your control it they are large enough to operate many machines as well. Consider how many house fires are caused by rats chewing through electrical lines, now imagine them all doing it at once, especially after opening all the gas lines.

Although I should mention squirrels are well documented as the perfect creature for defeating supervillains.

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A traditional army made up of animals isn't going to be of much use...Humanity is far too far advanced on a military level to really be threatened by any single species at this level. For this to be effective, you need to hit the environment or our food chain.

Plankton! Borderline answer, as they are technically plants...but these little creatures are the bottom of the food pyramid and produce a large portion of our environments oxygen. Someone telling the Plankton to kill each other on sight would collapse the oceans biosphere very quickly and take a dent out of the oxygen supplies available on earth, who knows what effects a complete plankton die off would have, but I guarentee you that with this power, you'd hold the earths biosphere hostage.

Chickens! Best count I can find online is around 49 billion chickens per year are consumed on this planet. Enraging the chicken stocks (ya, food source suicide is seeming like a likely route for you) and having them slaughter each other will have a few effects...a hurting food supply chain being a minor worry to the amount of chicken corpses that would need to be disposed of (or face harsh health risks). Maybe the chickens were willing and able to take down pigs or cows while they are at it, ya might as well collapse the entire farming industry here.

Rats! They've spread plague accidentally in the past...if this can be turned into a coordinated effort to give rabies and whatever other disease they carry to humans, their pets, and their food sources...these rats could be very destructive. Imagine entire herds of cattle needing to be put down because rats had given them all rabies. They could also chew through vast amounts of wiring, use their numbers/breeding rates to overwhelm power stations with their own dead bodies, climb into motors and plug exhaust pipes...assuming these rats didn't care about their own mortality, they could be extremely effective with bringing our society to it's knees. I'm pretty sure they could end the internet if they knew what they were doing...that'd be a hostage point and a half...obey me or I kill the internet!

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  • $\begingroup$ Although I like the rat and plankton parts, chickens are far from necessary. There's plenty of substitutes for it, (turkey, quail, pigeon if we're hungry enough for it), and the bodies are flammable after all. Good answer otherwise, +1! $\endgroup$ – Anoplexian Dec 13 '16 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ Phytoplankton are as you say plants but many different species of phytoplankton exist, there are also Zooplankton which are numerous species of animal. But controlling one species of either would still mean that you do not control the vast majority of the other forms. $\endgroup$ – Sarriesfan Dec 14 '16 at 0:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Anoplexian - turkey, quail, and pigeon all have different breeding cycles...we have chickens down to 41 days from egg to plate, and that has taken several thousand years of our own selective breeding to do so. 49billion chicken bodies on fire should be enough smoke to give us an ice age ;) $\endgroup$ – Twelfth Dec 14 '16 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Sarriesfan - semantics as to what defines a species vs a breed vs an order. Honestly the entire kingdom to species chain is an obsolete classification methodology anyway...for the poster to decide what constitutes a species. Infact he posts it as a comment as to what could constitute a species. I can get away with chickens as a species despite them existing as several species as well, somehow you've honed in on plankton? No comment as to the variety of rat species either? nitpick at best. $\endgroup$ – Twelfth Dec 14 '16 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Twelfth it does not confuse the boundary between species but entire kingdoms within Taxonomic rank. Phytoplankton as a group are as different from Zooplankton, as are trees and grass from snakes and buffalo. $\endgroup$ – Sarriesfan Dec 14 '16 at 20:07
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It's hard to choose one species, but here are some good starting points.

While any individual species may not be able to do harm, consider withholding an important one - and using it to blackmail world leaders into getting what you want.

Livestock

Preventing livestock from eating food will be much more effective than having them physically attack each other or people - although they are numerous. Chickens, pigs, cows - even horses may suffice. You can ruin economies and starve populations if you play your cards right.

Disease Carriers

While a logistical nightmare, you could consider using rats, birds, and other disease-carrying animals. If you have the ability to affect a large amount of people, surely you can hold them for ransom.

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    $\begingroup$ Mytochondria are not animals (and only by a really large handwave can they be considered separate species). Also, crops are not animals. $\endgroup$ – Pedro Gabriel Dec 13 '16 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ @PedroGabriel Oh s**t I assumed organism, my bad. Editing. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Dec 13 '16 at 22:47
  • $\begingroup$ @PedroGabriel my basis for separate species is different DNA; saying they're human because they're in humans is like saying gut flora are all "human" too which is simply not true, even if we all have them. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Dec 13 '16 at 22:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Zxyrra Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. $\endgroup$ – Anoplexian Dec 13 '16 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ @zxyrra: The difference being that the gut flora may survive on their own, while mitochondria are so much a part of the cell, that they lost their viability. They are no longer organisms (even symbiotes), but rather organelles. $\endgroup$ – Pedro Gabriel Dec 13 '16 at 23:44

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