To clarify the question: the teleportation is unaided - not an invention, it simply comes with being human.

First, there is no need for vehicles. No cars, no buses, no bikes.

Take that back further in history - no trains, no wagons, no need to domesticate horses. No need to develop legs, even.

No wagons means no paths. No paths means no modern roads.

No need to have doors or corridors, even. Take a standard room: some items of functional furniture, but most of the space is to enable movement. No need for any of that, but how much of a role would claustrophobia and aesthetic design play? Would rooms be larger than necessary anyway?

No roads and no doors means no need to leave any space between rooms or even buildings. Cities may just be a haphazard modular mess of disconnected rooms and coordinates to teleport to.

Would some people be unable to teleport, and considered disabled? What would change to accommodate them?

Do share your views.

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    $\begingroup$ Same way a wheelchair can be pushed. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 2:50
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    $\begingroup$ How much time and effort is needed to teleport somewhere? How frequently can you teleport What foreknowledge of your destination do you need? How safe is it? What, if anything, can prevent someone from teleporting somewhere? What can you bring with you when you teleport? $\endgroup$
    – Salda007
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 3:25
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    $\begingroup$ Please add your comment response to the question via the "edit" link. When would you end up in a wall? What does "depends on the skill of the teleporter" mean? A typical person can add how much mass or volume? A very good teleporter can do how much better? What's the Guinness book of world records teleport? What kind of exercise? Running up ten flights of stairs? Or walking across a room? How much of a difference does mass/volume carried make? What happens if someone tries to take too much? $\endgroup$
    – Brythan
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 4:40
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    $\begingroup$ As of now this question is a) asking for way too many things at once as for any answer to be good without being book-length (seriously that's the stuff for a multi-year doctoral thesis), and b) there is as of now no way to sufficiently distinguish a bad answer from a good answer. As there's already some too broad votes I will go with an opinion based one. $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 5:50
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    $\begingroup$ always is impossibly long. At what point of evolution you consider that they are humans you want? $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


In order to adequately answer these questions, we need to understand the limitations of the teleportation.

First, legs are useful, if only to stand on. Second, consider hunting and gathering. Teleportation is great, but it doesn't mean that you'll know where the prey is. You may still have to track it, and to do that, you'll have to walk. Same with gathering, looking at where the berries are and walking a path to gather is useful. Third, consider how buildings are built, in ancient times and now--teleportation would not be useful in shifting a heavy stone, but a horse would. Consider too that if you're using people power to do it, teleportation would not be useful, but legs and arms would be.

1) How much can you carry? Does it vary from person to person and skill level to skill level? If so, you might still have horses. And horses and other beasts are useful because they have more strength than we do. If how much you carry is dependant on skill level, you'd still be limited in some way, such as needing to touch the objects (would you need to have physical contact?) and maybe how much of a load a single person can physically carry.

2) How exactly, would teleportation help in farming? Not much. You'd still need horses or other animals. Domestication of animals wasn't about travel or transport, it was about getting WORK done or getting food. Horses weren't just used to travel over distance, they were used for many other reasons.

3) How frequently can you teleport in a day? How much energy does it take? You will want to be EXACT about this. If the energy is as much as it would take for them to walk the same distance, this will effect EVERYTHING from how much more food they would need to how many times a day and what distance they can travel.

4) How far can you teleport? Do you have to know the area first? Do you need line of sight? Does that help?

The knowing the area first and how far is vitally important, especially in the early days of exploration. If you must know the area first then your people WILL have an alternate method of locomotion. They would have to.

5) What else can teleport? My suggestion is to build your human-like species from scratch and look at the animals around them and what they might have had to do to get food. Take a look at my answer on this question. In it, you'll see a lot of questions on what a species eats and what eats them. I find it unlikely that your humans are the only thing that teleports on this world, simply because you start with the premise that they can teleport far back in their evolution. The question is, how far? If it was something even their lizardy ancestors could do, then there will be lots of animals that will have this ability. But it doesn't mean that legs are useless, as I say above.

Once you have considered all these things, you'll be well on your way to answering your own question. As it stands, it's difficult to even agree that the impact will be what you say it will be, without more information and a closer examination of the limitations and evolutionary development of such an ability.

However, I will say this:

Two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

And this might be an issue, if everyone is teleporting willy-nilly. Even in early days, there would have to be some kind of measure in place to deal with this issue. If everyone in a building is teleporting from space to space and place to place, all the time, it's inevitable that, at some point, someone will try to teleport where someone is already standing, or worse, at the same TIME. Getting a building permit might be hell, because changing where a wall is could get someone who hasn't been to a location in a while killed...

I think that an office desk space might be sacred--you never sit in someone else's chair--ever. It's dangerous because they might pop in the office at ANY time. This would definitely have an impact on culture BUT since you have given no parameters on how teleportation actually WORKS, I don't know that to be true for sure.

That's the trouble I am running into on any premise I come up with. Establish your parameters (edit your question) and you'll get more useful answers.

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    $\begingroup$ This so much. Not to mention, it would have been unlikely the Europeans would have discovered the Americas if they never developed ships. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 5:02
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    $\begingroup$ +1 from me, very well thought out. I was just thinking the ability to teleport wouldn't change general infrastructure (roads, cars, horses, ships, room layout) much, those are based on the most efficient methods of moving stuff, and there are limits on what people can (or would want to) carry $\endgroup$
    – Megha
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 2:53

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