New answers tagged

5

A picture is worth a thousand words... ...and a species that begins by communicating with pictures would likely never stop. Humans developed writing to imitate the sounds we use to communicate. When we talk, we talk in sequence, placing one simple concept after another. We do this because, lacking chromatophores, we are physically incapable of producing ...


0

The biological weapon: The ability to hibernate in cryo-sleep and then revive implies an incredible control of their own biology. They can repair cellular damage from ice crystals and also repair the DNA (or equivalent means of inheritance) damaged by radiation. And no, you can't just ignore the radiation by saying the cryo pods are shielded. Over a time ...


0

Use their mastery of advanced technology to hijack mass and social media in order to subtly influence the politics of the most advanced nation and cause them to select the worst possible leadership. Political, economic, ecological, and martial disaster ensue.


2

I would go for the horror factor. The aliens infiltrate our solar system and take up residence in the planetary neighborhood, without tipping off Earth to their presence. They then use evolution to their advantage, altering and introducing key terrestrial crop plants to Earth capable of out-competing our plants. These invasive species were given an alternate ...


7

They don't need to. Simply put, a civilization capable of traveling vast, interstellar distances to colonize another world already has the technology sufficient to sustain themselves without needing to colonize another world, much less commit xenocide in order to do so.


0

Easy. Stay in a geosynchronous orbit behind Mars. Meanwhile, research biological vulnerabilities of humans to build a deadly virus that could be disperse with very small one-way entry vehicles. In 2 or 6 months, Earth population could be 10% or 15% so the planet can be invaded easily.


0

With the threat of orbital bombardment By exerting influence at upper echelons of global government, through mind control / infiltration via shapeshifting tech / religion / cabal By engineering global catastrophe through nuclear war or accident / metrological / biological / toxiclogical / mind control / killer robots etc, and then sleeping in orbit while ...


0

Grey-ish Goo If you're talking entirely separate evolutionary process, these aliens will have absolutely no compatibility with our ecosystem. They will have to transplant their own crops, environment, etc to be able to live and sustain themselves. Therefore, they need to eradicate our ecosystem first and foremost. Therefore, they design an organism, ...


1

How about this? Slightly tongue in cheek, but would allow you to have the Stackexhangerians have arrived a few years ago, and do it all without those silly Earthlings knowing anything about it. Spend a couple of years learning all the languages and infiltrating all electronic systems you can. Then, encourage mass communication on a global scale (push that ...


3

Niven-Pournelle's "Footfall" handles this scenario so well that you need to read it to avoid copying them without having read it :-). They even start out from the same general location. Worse/better they have tech that they inherited and do not fully understand. They use space domination, kinetic weapons (from orbit ANYTHING is a weapon). They have ...


1

We come in peace, but the Facebookites don't! (Yes this is basically the plot of that Doctor Who episode from 2005.) Land somewhere not too populous but connected, maybe Australia or the U.S. Midwest. "Crash land" a small pod in a desert next to a decent sized city, leaving your ship in orbit around Mars or something. Sightings in every newspaper, people ...


0

A depressing answer is that they don't even intend to do that. They come here in peace, hoping to share everything they know with humanity. Unfortunately, their micro-organisms "have other ideas". There are four possibilities when separately evolved biospheres meet: 1: Mutual incompatibility. They cannot eat our biochemicals to any dangerous extent, and ...


1

Land in a region of civil war. Conquer a small region large enough to stay for some month. Attack the fighters, and allow civilians to flee. When the acquired region is occupied, defend it, and make it clear to the fighter of the civil war. The fighters will just be fully occupied with fighting themselves, and understand that they do not even need to fear ...


1

How does an alien race from a dying world annihilate most of humanity to colonize the planet for themselves? Is this not what the rich and greedy already do? Jungle munching machines, mass forest fires, and incomes high enough to numb oneself from the guilt of killing without question. Taking, taking, taking. Eyes always on the next conquest, never ...


0

Nuke them from orbit; its the only way to be sure. But with a little more nuance than that. Our intrepid Stackers have come to Earth in a nuclear-powered spaceship. Knowing that they don't have enough power left to go anywhere else anyway, they craft a series of small, nuclear devices meant to be detonated 30-50 km from the ground and drop them over key ...


1

Land on Ceres or another suitable body. Build a mass driver capable of launching 1000 ton payloads at Earth. Start making payloads. You can just use a metal skin and fill it with whatever is on the surface of the planetoid you wind up at. When you have a few thousand of them, start firing them at Earth. Wait for the pulverization to be finished, then ...


5

Part 0: observe and infiltrate, if possible. Learn the language, the people, the conflicting factions, the lie of the land. Get you some high quality, high resolution surface images of everywhere. Note everything that looks like a power generation facility (lots of cooling towers and or lots of smoke), an industrial facility or a major population area. Part ...


16

Can't beat em? Join em! Your refugees contact a selected Earth government. They ask for help. They say that they are fleeing their dead world and need a place to live. They have advanced tech they are willing to share. Plus they are xenocurious humanoid hotties who only wear skin tight silver lamé space jump suits. There is no government on Earth that ...


7

Pushing asteroids isn't a terrible idea. They've already travelled hundreds of years, so coordinating a cluster of small asteroids to take out all the major cities of the planet in one bombardment wouldn't take much resources, there wouldn't be much we could do about it, and what's another 10 years to wait. The collapse of human society that would surely ...


0

It sounds viable, although I'd doubt the layout is strictly necessary. It doesn't have the requirement of the four-eyed fish to view in two different mediums with different refractive indexes at once, and so it is probably better off without multiple pupils, but multiple pupils is entirely valid as well. I'd especially question the need for one set of eyes ...


0

Trees and all other photosynthetic plants are in a constant state of warfare with one another. A walk in a forest might seem peaceful to us humans, but all the plants are throwing elbows, racing to get as much sunlight as possible. It's just that their timescales are so much longer than ours that they seem to be at peace. Trees live and die by slight ...


2

Their peculiar energy economy might cause some interesting behavior. As noted in other answers, the energy density of photosynthesis is going to be a challenge when it comes to cognition. Perhaps it is the case that your creatures are very dependent on the Elders. The Elders are probably going to be subject the square/cubed effects (surface area doesn't ...


0

Well, when you think about it a plant needs more than just sunlight and water, and a plant is also at risk of other factors around them. If you're making the species part plant, then I'd recommend adding What they need: Water: a plant always need the right amount of water, and I noticed how you wrote down rivers so you have that covered. Oxygen: plants ...


1

One driver for conflict could be disease. Plant beings that would be dormant for large amount of time during their lives (as people are suggesting from the amount of energy one can collect through photosynthesis), they would be quite easy hosts for parasites. Assuming they have no technological means for getting rid of these parasites (antibiotics, ...


3

The Mantis Shrimp (certainly a fast predator on some scale) has triple-sectioned compound eyes (each section having a pseudopupil, as others have called out on different animals' compound eyes), and the eyes are very movable on stalks. While this doesn't optically equal the idea you've asked about, the complexity and distinct functionality of the separate ...


51

This is the four-eyed fish: It has only two eyes, but it two pupils and two retinas in esch. It evolved to hunt by the water surface, catching prey from both above and below. Where there is an evolutionary pressure, there is a way to evolve. This fish proves that what you want is possible. However, do notice that this fish evolved multiple pupils because ...


10

There is no problem. Don't get bogged down by trying to imagine "how the world looks" to such a creature. In the real world, there are all kinds of animals with all kinds of senses coming from all kinds of angles and it just works, because brains are flexible and don't really care where their information is coming from or what form it takes, as long as it ...


6

KISS! (Keep it Simply Stupid) One pupil per eye, multiple eyes because multi-pupiled eyes would become a nightmare from an optical design perspective: The pictures you posted are about the exterior of the eye but the interior is what makes it work, and there is no biological advantage in multi-pupiled eyes as you'd need multiple lenses, irises, ciliary ...


4

Part one, your actual question: My question is fairly open ended: these creatures don't need to collect resources for food or shelter, so what would drive them to do anything but lay in the sun all day? The species prizes the arts over sciences, but I can't see why or how they would have developed the tools to make paints, instruments, sculptures, ...


8

The best way to figure out what motivates your creature is to consider the constraints it lives under. Energy Requirement First, let's see if your creature can get the energy it needs. An average person consumes about 2000 calories per day (food calories, or 2000 kcal). That's equivalent to 2.3 kilowatt hours of power. Energy in sunlight at the ...


2

Why do we always see an alien race as smart and genius and always capable of planetary-scale destruction? I would like to extend your plot to make it more fun and hopefully plausible. There is an alien 'X' race far-far-away, that is at a brink of breaking out of their available resources, they have the high-end tech, but that is all donated by other ...


5

You need some kind of plot device to explain how aliens advanced enough to cross the stars wouldn't simply wipe out humans with their overwhelming technological superiority. You could make the aliens escaped refugees on the losing side of their own war (with another faction of their race, for example). This would justify the aliens showing up a bit ...


3

Yes and no. Yes it's plausible that that motive for the aliens could lead to violence. But it's not plausible that it would lead to war. It would be more like pest control. If you have interstellar travel, the technology gap is just so extreme there's nothing even a united modern Earth could do about it. They could just release their trash on an ...


2

Terra Nullius Ultimately if you are going to take over another planet as either a new home or for expansion purposes, you may just want to wipe out life on it first. Not the capacity for life, just the life that's already there. For a start, depending on your own biology or organic chemistry, the food and/or environment may be of no use to you, or worse ...


0

Eugenics...on themselves...to change their dietary need.(gives some interesting possibilities of this solution being implemented without general consent and the associated exploration of social manipulation) Long term solution, but it took a long time to get into the predator/prey debacle. Slowly introduce non-prey based materials to supply some nutrition ...


1

Consider insects, or better yet, jellyfish, which "has no brain, nor a heart" (and has more DNA tricks up its sleeve: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/magazine/can-a-jellyfish-unlock-the-secret-of-immortality.html ) Your Romans may be also able to breed - or discover - a brainless mutation of a meaty organism (that may be considered invasive and ...


0

Amputation. Like the old farmer said, "A pig that good, you don't eat all at once." Maybe your aliens will be lucky enough to develop a taste for skinks or some other animal that can regularly discard pieces of their body.


0

They could somehow "legislate" or form a binding consensus that the prey animal has a "right" to a finite lifespan. So they would never kill the prey animal below a certain age. Similarly, they could form a consensus that the prey animal should be killed humanely, or only in their sleep. They would discover that the prey animal could be put under the ...


0

There are some good answers here already, so I can only think of one thing that hasn't been mentioned yet. While you've specified the intelligence level of the predators, you haven't specified the intelligence level of the prey. Are the prey at a point of being able to communicate with the predators and sympathize with their problem? There are some vampire ...


0

If we have biological humans traveling between stars, we are a K2+ civilization, and are capable of disassembling solar systems. If we have star wisps, we are K1+, and we'll arrive and have to build a functioning industrial economy from a tiny object in order to get to the point of being able to "print" biological humans. Current Human industrial ...


10

Unfortunately, I suspect the best choice is Start with a living world, then kill it The dead worlds are unlikely to have water and breathable atmosphere. The living worlds have, well, life — at its worst, deadly on contact, at its best, kudzu and mosquitoes and funguses that eat rubber seals. But if you can hit the planet with neutron bombs, you can kill ...


2

Animistic philosophy In animistic cultures, Humans had the understanding that they weren't different from other animals, it was natural to them to consider any living creature of the forest as their peers, but still, they always have been hunting. Our anchestors weren't vegan nor vegetarian, meat has always had an important share of the diet of our hunters-...


3

How Goldilocks? If a planet lay in the Goldilocks zone but doesn't support life, why is that? Lack of water? No magnetosphere? Too many asteroid impacts? Metal poor? If life isn't there already, the conditions may make it hostile to permanent settlement. If life is present, then at least something was able to adapt to the conditions. If you have ...


3

Milk and blood. https://basia.typepad.com/india_ink/2007/09/got-blood.html Depicted - Maasai with some blood to eat. Your carnivores stick to proteins from their prey animals. They just consume proteins that it is not difficult for these animals to regenerate and so the animals do not need to die. Examples from our world are milk and blood. Milk is of ...


4

Farm carrion Someone made the point that eating animals who naturally deceased is morally acceptable, but it can't be done on an industrial scale because carrion is hard to find. Yes, it can be done on an industrial scale. You farm end-of-life animals. You create prey-animal Paradise. They have a good life. Several times a day, you move the herd to ...


1

The best way to save life it to maintain the natural order. Carnivores are essential to maintaining a healthy herd. In the wild, wolves, lions, etc. only catch the weakest, sickest, & oldest members of the herd. This prevents the herd from being overrun by genetic disorders, diseases, and from overgrazing. Being an herbivore is so "easy", they need ...


6

Most animals actually have very similar nutritional requirements, at least with respect to what nutrients they need, if not exactly how much of each. However, obligate carnivores must eat meat because there are nutrients their bodies cannot synthesize, so in the absence of the ability to manufacture these nutrients industrially, they must get them directly ...


5

They might be able to domesticate and farm a species of animal that can shed and regrow parts of its body, like lizards with their tails in our world but on a larger scale, and then subsist on the shed body parts. It’s conceptually similar to keeping animals for milk or eggs, but you get meat instead of dairy products.


3

Soylent Green Of course it has well known issues, but we'll ignore Kuru and the like for the moment. Soylent green has the advantage of acting as both waste disposal and food supply. The supply of high protein meat based food matches the population level, and while it of course won't fully supply a population it will act as a supplement to other available ...


0

Short version: they don't have to If your species is sapient (that seems like this is the case from the wording of question), they should be able to figure out a way to achieve their goals. Assume the following guidelines are established: The species do not possess the technological advancement necessary to cultivate their food artificially, they rely on ...


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