New answers tagged

9

For TV/Displays I'd imagine there'd be no need to go through a CRT phase, unless there was some significant advantage to creating them that was a significantly lower hurdle for a low-tech society to cover. You are grossly underestimating the amount of technology needed to manufacture integrated circuits. In our mid 1800 a vacuum tube is at reach, and in ...


3

Cellphones would be easy - look at subsaharan Africa. Cell networks were for years rather more popular, with better and more varied services (compared to Europe, neverming USA), precisely because the landlines were extremely underdeveloped and were unnecessary anymore, and cell networks are easier to build. Barring external hindrances (e.g. king or the ...


2

Humans are pretty good ambush predators. Of course that's not all they do, and I would think that anything that fills the "human" niche would have to be a generalist, like humans.


1

As for why greater intelligence would be an evolutionary advantage: Ambush predators could have used greater intelligence to improve their hunting techniques- traps, ranged weapons, and artificial camouflage spring to mind. In humans, developing tools (spears, atlatls, and such) made our basic "chase the animal until it collapses from exhaustion" ...


0

Echolocation. These shoggoths, or whatever they're called in your universe, emit pulses of ultrasound and use the echoes to pinpoint the location of prey, obstacles, et cetera. This combines well with super-hearing- after all, you need very acute hearing to make echolocation work in the first place. https://www.britannica.com/science/echolocation


7

Thought detection In Robert Sheckley's short story Odor of Thought the protagonist (a human) is on a planet where the wildlife has no eyes. Instead all the animals detect thoughts and use that to hunt or orient themselves. In the story, the sense isn't perfect but enough for the animals to know what's nearby. This can be a very concerning way of detection. ...


16

The ways are MANY light vision. Just because their world is naturally dark, does not necessarily mean they are blind. They might have perfectly functional eyes, for use when they go shopping (a.k.a. interdimensional raid of Death and Destruction) Sound. As most blind creatures do, it has excellent hearing able to pinpoint direction and range and rate of ...


5

As long as it is to the evolutionary advantage of the creature then yes, it could happen. It makes sense that, for a predator that ambushes it's prey, it would be beneficial for a species to have the ability to work well together, predict it's prey well in advance and perhaps even create tools to assist. The more prey they can catch the better the mutation ...


1

The possibilities of what might be achieved from genetic manipulation are mind boggling. What we see in the natural world is just a tiny fragment of what is biochemically possible. The problem is knowing what DNA changes are required to produce the required bodily changes. Given the enormity of the possibilities gaining this knowledge would require god like ...


5

Frame Challenge: Assumptions are being made in the question regarding DNA modification being a kind of magic. Pretty Much a Normal Diet It's a pretty common sci-fi trope, but DNA modification isn't magic. If the DNA in every cell in your body changed to that of a capuchin monkey right now, it would be some time before you noticed anything, and it wouldn't ...


2

Unlikely there is no reason to give up functional limbs for poor gliding. Spinning is not something that helps flight it wastes a lot of energy that could go into actual propulsion. it helps maple leaves because they are parachuting and wasting energy is what you want.


4

The ability to recognize yourself in the mirror. This is a rare gift in that only five types of animals on earth posses. Humans, great apes, elephants, dolphins and oddly enough, manta rays. Everything else just ignores a mirror and intelligent creatures like monkeys will think that it is another member of the species and will even pick fights with them. ...


2

Using tools is a classic example of early sentience. Crows can do that but we don't consider them sentient. A primitive language perhaps devoid of syntax and containing only a limited vocabulary is a good sign. Whales, dolphins and laboratory apes all appear to have such languages, but none of them have been granted voting privileges yet. Stepping away ...


1

I'm sure that it would be biochemically possible for your creature to develop the characteristics you describe, the main issue would be why? What evolutionary advantage would it gain from this? The other issues to consider are the weight of the creature and its environment. If gravitation was less than on Earth it would help a lot otherwise something the ...


0

They could surely glide extending their appendices. I am not sure they could actively keep themselves spinning to have a more active flight. While it is possible to turn on oneself without external torque with an appropriate motion (what cats do when falling and turning midair) I am not so sure that it can be done while keeping a flight favorable attitude.


1

Answers regarding what it will do have already covered the effects as it sheds mass as energy. That also covers how quickly we'll notice it since it will be blatantly obvious. However, you also asked how to stop it. From the tone of your question, it sounds like impact is very soon. In that case, it's too late and all you can do is clean up the mess. ...


36

We'd definitely notice. A 365000 tonne black hole has a luminosity of $2.6*10^{15}$ watts. On the K-scale of civilizations this is about 0.95. 1.0 is roughly consuming all of the energy the Sun deposits on the Earth. Even an advanced Earth-based civilization cannot pass, and practically cannot reach, 1.0 -- before 1.0, you literally cook the biosphere, as ...


1

If the BH was massive enough to be a danger to Earth.... not a lot you can do. You can't really move the Earth out of the way. So the best you could do is send as many people as you could to colonies on Mars or the Moon. As for when people would notice, that depends on the size of the black hole. As it gets closer, we'll start to notice distortions in light. ...


37

Dont do anything. 1: a BH of that size would evaporate in 129 years (which surprised me I thought it would be shorter). This makes my point of it evaporating in microseconds moot so ignore point 1. 2: a BH is tiny. At the mass of the empire state building it is smaller than atoms, and its questionable it will actually hit anything as it passes through the ...


4

Trees use smell. If your trees get eaten by masses of insects, nothing will seem to happen at first. But soon the trees will start to smell tremendously, and before the week is over masses of birds have eaten most of the insects and an equilibrium is created where some insects survive to eat the trees while birds get their share and enough trees survive. ...


1

Imagine just minding your own business while you see a UFO. You would be pretty scared right? For predators, this is like the same thing. You don't mess with the things that you can't understand. What you can't understand is what you fear. Just think about deers. They are pretty smart when it comes to escaping from threats. But any car with it's lights on? ...


4

Two possibilities: To warn off predators that the algae are bitter or poisonous. Easier to be recognized the second time. To attract commensal fish that will eat dead and decaying algae, or fish that would eat the algae.


2

Bioluminescence is used as a defence mechanism to draw predators towards the creature trying to eat the plankton. Furthermore, the tiny flashes of light disorientate and surprise predators.


1

The atmospheric entry would be the easy part: meteorites don't get hot on the inside: "Rocky asteroids are poor conductors of heat [...].Their central regions remain cool even as the hot outer layers are ablated away." — Donald Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near Earth Object program at JPL. The next part would be getting out, so we'd need to posit ...


0

My answer to: https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/240935/novel-sentient-lifeform-enslaves-all-life-on-planet-colonises-other-planets-b/240976#240976[1] Mentions the classic science fiction story "Seeds of the Dusk" 1938, by Raymond Z. Gallun, in which intelligent Martian plants send billions of spores into space and one lands on Earth and ...


0

You may find an answer here: Panspermia (from Ancient Greek πᾶν (pan) 'all', and σπέρμα (sperma) 'seed') is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by space dust, meteoroids, asteroids, comets, planetoids, and also by spacecraft carrying unintended contamination by microorganisms. Distribution may have occurred spanning ...


4

You have two major issues here, even for a redundant implementation: Spontaneous decay of the reactor fuel. As you state, the pebble bed reactor rely on the packing of the pebbles to be operative. If the employed fuel is naturally radioactive, over the thousands of years it is supposed to work will change its concentration in the pebbles. Unless you can ...


3

As the previous respondent noted a seed (or better yet a spore) might survive a multi million year journey through the cold and vacuum of space followed by the heat and impact of a descent to the Earths surface if buried deep inside a meteor large enough for the its core not to heat up too much as a result of air friction and the kinetic energy of impact. ...


14

Eon-long stellar journeys and flaming atmospheric entries are harsh environments for any life form, not only plants; but plants have evolved a wonderful mechanism for surviving temporary harsh conditions. It is called, "a seed". Wrapping its vital genetic information in a nutrient-rich medium and then wrapping that kernel in a hard shell, along ...


0

You have some big problems. Lets start with orbital mechanics 101: Your orbit includes the point where you last changed your orbit. Your last major encounter is with Earth, therefore the orbit of the moon intersects Earth's orbit (that doesn't mean it encounters Earth again, merely that distance from the sun.) There's no way the asteroid belt can drag it'...


3

Lets look at this step by step: Flyby with Jupiter to capture into the solar system: Totally believable. The rogue planet must pass in front of Jupiter, and it will make its orbit elliptical. Tearing away the moon: Totally believable. Encounter of the moon with earth: Totally believable. Destruction of earth's climate: Totally believable. The encounter ...


1

At a first glance it looks problematic, since you state Meanwhile the ice giant is flung into an elliptical orbit, with its perihelion at around Mars's orbit, and its Aphelion just outside of Sedna's perihelion. Eventually though, through interacting with the other giant planets, settles into a metastable orbit between Jupiter and Saturn. If this ice giant ...


1

Let the aliens be protoplasmic creatures (like the classic 'Blob'): giant, semi-translucent ameboid-type things that ooze around, using pseudopods to manipulate technology and squishing themselves into powered machines to do heavy work. Bullets get sucked in, doing little damage; bombs blow them to pieces that slurp back together into the original creature; ...


5

And a Child Will Lead Them: The aliens don't have technology like we understand. They are psychic beings, and all that gear is a perception filter to make us believe in their invulnerability. They barely even register physical matter. They prepared themselves well to conquer us, and WE are the valuable commodity to psychic beings - psychic minds ripe for ...


2

The aliens are obligate and reflexive insectivores Although advanced technologically, the aliens evolved from insectivores that catch and eat flying insects. They are creatures with the instinct "see small flying creature, catch and eat it" It is almost impossible for them to resist eating anything small that flies towards them. When they see NERF ...


2

They're made of living goo, but the plastic of Nerf darts is poison to them. So, the aliens are made of living piles of goo, sliming around and forming appendages as they need them, with no real high-level physical structures inside like organs. Shoot holes in them with guns, and they'll just keep on going without even caring. Splatter them with bombs, and ...


1

But this raised a question, why can the aliens die from Nerf darts easily, but assault rifles need to shoot them at least a dozen times? This is a bit of a problem... if a dozen assault rifle shots can kill them... use assault rifles. They have range, accuracy... and fire really fast on full auto. They wear airtight suits because they can't breathe earth ...


4

It's all in their heads. These aliens are an advanced kind of creature, one that's become nearly pure consciousness over billions of years of evolutionary history. They're invulnerable to physical damage of all kinds. But... like the giraffe and its recurrent laryngeal nerve, they are still haunted by the genetic remnants of their distant ancestors. In ...


3

Not specific to NERF-guns, but the aliens could be susceptible to slow-moving objects, due to their defense not recognizing them. Compare it with how modern navy ships are defended: when some rocket is closing in, all kinds of automatic countermeasures are activated. If the rocket gets real close, a system like goalkeep will autonomously open fire and turn ...


14

Supply chain disruption and bad coding The Setup The enemy shields are completely impregnable, but use up a lot of energy. They go through one battery every ten minutes. The batteries, which are based on zero-point energy, use an exotic tech that causes them to explode violently if they get within six feet of each other, so soldiers can't carry multiples. In ...


1

The answer is ignitium. The aliens are highly sensitive to nitrogen (it is a rare element on their planet), so they have developed a suit made from ignitium that filters it out of the air. Unfortunately, the foam material that makes up Nerf darts acts as a catalyst when it comes into contact with ignitium, causing the suit to burst into flames, killing the ...


2

Just adding a thought I haven't seen in the other answers: The shield uses mainly magnetic forces and plastic isn't magnetic. Doesn't explain the death, but it's a feasible explanation for why nerf darts go through while basically everything else doesn't. I'd combine that with the chemical reaction to some particular substance in the foam head of the arrow ...


9

A variation on Tortliena's idea: I don't believe they would have a shield flaw that severe. However, how about a corner case: The shield projects an extreme gravity wave at incoming projectiles, this normally throws back anything incoming. However, Nerf darts are made of foam--the shield hits the dart and instead of throwing it back it's compressed down to ...


4

Alien shields are made of special compound which protects them very nicely against impact weapons like bullets by dissipating impact force to larger area and resisting punctures. However, the chemical composition of Nerf tips is (as luck would have it) something that aliens have never met before (so it escaped their testing) -- in contact with shield ...


22

NERF is really an acronym. Stands for Non Earthling Repulsion Force. Nerf was invented by time travelers who knew about the upcoming invasion, and knew about the fatal flaw in their shields. Nerf makes q tiny crack in their air shield, and then the atmosphere kills them.


0

Enlightenment, as it stands, will be easy to find, too easy. When "enlightened" people lose such basic parts of their psyche as a love of rock n' roll, it's going to tell anyone close to them that something's seriously up. If your loved one suddenly dropped their hobbies and interests, you'd likely try talking to them. Whatever the enlightened's ...


4

Secret handshakes would be very complicated! ;-) As would competitive table tennis. And think of what a drummer could achieve! With that sort of a layout, I can see the lower hands having much less strength, and this obviously more suited to fine, delicate precision work. I see them using the top, stronger arms to hold a workpiece in place, while the lower ...


4

From a biological perspective its likely the lower arms will be used almost always in tandem with the upper arms. They wont be doing something completely different (like your "rub tummy while patting head"). So if the right upper hand graps something the right lower arm will either try to support it or will help balance the movement in some way. I'...


5

Extra arms would in most cases not give you more tools, but eliminate your need for a lot of the tools that we humans use when we do not have enough hands. Less need for tool belts When working with your hands, it is common to need to keep serval tools readily available to be switched between. For this, human contractors often wear tool belts full of hooks ...


2

In heavy machinery, there is a common safety feature that the machine must be activated with both hands - to avoid injury. In your creatures, I can see a necessity for such machinery to be activated with four hands.


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