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21

Actually the human body already has an organ that comes close to this; the eye. Astronauts since the 1960s have reported seeing flashes in their eyes, even when closed while in space. It turns out the flashes are the retina being impacted with cosmic rays outside the Earth's magnetosphere. In effect this means that astronauts that received more rapid ...


11

Ionizing radiation, as the name says, induce ionization in the matter with which it interacts. Cells are able to interact and control ionized charges (see for instance the $Na^+$/$K^+$ pump), so it is plausible that a mechanism able to detect charge formation can be obtained by the cells: as soon as a meaningful charge is balanced by the cells, this trigger ...


11

Editted to take account of the fact that cosmic radiation *is* important for this question Important thing to note: what benefit do you expect to gain from your enhancements? In space, and on the surface of airless worlds, cosmic radiation is basically omnipresent. Neutron radiation is only really a risk around badly shielded nuclear reactors and engines (...


7

The Andes Mountains are the dominant topographic feature in South America, extending over 7,000 km from *7N to 45S, with Andean plateau elevations as high as *4,000 m over a large portion of the central Andes. Despite its enormity, previous studies have suggested the Andes Mountains have only a minor influence on large-scale atmospheric patterns over South ...


6

Evolutionary traits. Evolution is about the fittest, and the fittest is also the most energy efficient. So our bodies are constantly adapting to be as efficient as possible. That is why muscles disappear when you stop using them. For humans sex is more than procreation, it's also a social endeavor. The male is encouraged to stay and help the female to ...


5

As of today, about 170 trees are still alive after the atomic bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they are called Hibakujumoku. The heat emitted by the explosion in Hiroshima within the first three seconds at a distance of three kilometers from the hypocenter was about 40 times greater than that from the Sun. [...] According to Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The ...


4

The Amazon rainforest is the result of the moisture-laden equitorial region. If you look at a Koppen-Geiger climate map, you'll note the Amazon, African, Southeast Asian and Oceanian tropical forests all occupy the same latitudes. A mountain range like the Andes simply isn't necessary factor.


4

You don't want a Geiger counter: that just tells you how much radiation there is. To figure out where the radiation is coming from, you want a scintillation detector. A scintillator is a material that gives off visible light when struck by ionizing radiation. Engineer your modified humans to accumulate suitable compounds in the retina, and you've got ...


4

The lava and pyroclastic flows are pretty directional, traveling down the path of least resistance. Trees and pretty much anything is going to go up in smoke. And, the rest of the mountain will be not burnt, so trees might still be alive. I think that depends if the eruption blew the top or side of the mountain off, then you'll have massive amounts of ...


4

Not much bigger than Arthropleura, which was large but also flat. The other major problem arthropods have besides oxygen is molting, how exoskeletons have to grow. Sooner or later they have to molt to grow larger and when that happens they have no hard exoskeleton to support their body until the new one expands and hardens. Get too large and they will ...


3

Cork is a natural flame retardant, and makes trees able to survive fires normally. in a volcano scenario a pyroclastic cloud would have enough force to simple break the trees, though the flow in a relatively narrow channel. The lava would also eventually burn through the cork, well before it cooled down, but again it tends to flow in relatively narrow ...


3

A few adaptations. 1: No heavy exoskeleton. The old square-cube law you know. Exoskeletons get heavy. These big ones have just enough to hold themselves in - a minimal flexible cuticle like that of a maggot. Apneustic respirations. Oxygen dissolves directly through the skin. Some maggots can do this, especially water dwelling ones. Amphibians and ...


3

I asked myself the same question (except for evolution instead of genetical engineering). The answer I found back then was more basic but if you go for full genetical engineering, here are my thoughts: Unfortunately, I could not find a reference but I know that there are some bacteria that benefit from radiation by using it for their energy conversion. They ...


3

Yes, this should be possible. Nature is capable of creating and withstanding acid fluids (most obvious example: the stomach), so having acid blood developed as a defense mechanism sounds not that strange. The blood would most likely still be red if not alternative molecules for the transport of oxygen are used. Only problem I see here is that the whole body ...


3

Osteogenesis imperfecta type III. https://globalgenes.org/2012/07/11/sweet-bella-is-battling-osteogenesis-imperfecta-and-has-survived-over-40-broken-bones-since-birth/ https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/8695/osteogenesis-imperfecta-type-iii Osteogenesis imperfecta type III (OI type III) is a form of osteogenesis imperfecta, a group of genetic ...


3

The body is able to detect radiation. When there is enough radiation in the enviroment to make you sick, the telltale sign is that you get sick. Just the same, when the level of radiation is lethal, the body signals that by dying. That is a characteristic shared with most animals. Humans, however, have evolved beyond that and gained a skill that allows us ...


2

The simplest answer is contained within the question itself: According to the version of the myth you cite, performance is impaired after sex because testosterone reserves are depleted and it falls to below baseline level. If the additional testosterone released during sex instead remains present and active in your blood, then that would provide enhanced ...


2

Some hormones in the body fluids exchanged during sexual intercourse (between a male and a female) could somehow react, and produce another hormone which amplifies the aggressiveness and awareness of the individual. Depending on how you want the myth to play out, this hormone could work for males, females or both. The human body would decompose this hormone ...


2

Certainly. The mountains in Borneo never reach above a couple thousand meters, and yet you can see here that it is entirely covered in rainforest.


2

To amplify StarfishPrime's comment, a natural defense biomechanism which releases (and possibly generates at the time of injury) acid or alkali fluid is a lot easier to justify than the blood itself. Related capabilities in Terran animals: snakes which spit venom, frogs whose epidermis contains toxins.


2

Oxygen consumption isn't the only problem. Their biology is optimized for their current size. With a significant change in it, they should rework almost every major system. Heat management With increase in size, their insides (which generate heat) increase more than their surface area (which loses heat). It either requires a better cooling system or a ...


2

Maybe not quite what you're looking for, but interesting non-the-less. Why not consider something which, rather than "survives" the volcano, thrives in the environment you're describing? The Eucalyptus is well known for needing heat and smoke to germinate: Most eucalypt species — there are more than 600 in Australia, between 30 and 40 in Tasmania — ...


1

A certain species will not come in two different sizes in the same time period and the same place. It would be literally impossible to make a large version of the species because the larger specimens would keep breeding with regular sized specimens. Here is a realistic alternative: Insular gigantism. This is a case where a few members of a species are ...


1

Would you accept a petrified standing tree. It would still be dead and tree shaped. Perhaps there is a mechanic where by the ash and maybe a follow on rain cloud would create a mud that would petrify the tree. Then over the course of time, this sediment would be washed or blown away leaving the petrified trees still standing. More of a geology answer ...


1

Most volcanoes are not going to completely cover their surrounding area in lava. If it works for your setting it would be rather expected that the lava flow itself killed, and mostly destroyed, trees in one area but could leave them standing but dead in another part of the island that wasn't directly impacted by the lava flow. One way to explain those dead ...


1

Re: the question on how big an arthropod can get, you have a real example that reached an estimated $2.6\,m$ in the extinct Jaekelopterus. Some relevant data: Not an insect, yet an arthropod as you asked. Aquatic. This probably made growth easier. But I think with a bit of genetic engineering you can solve this, as per the other replies. Apparently, oxygen ...


1

Does this describe any real-world disease? Mmmaybe? It doesn't precisely describe any that I'm aware of, but I'm not an expert, so I could easily have missed things. I'd suggest inventing your own based on a real one, because that way there's no danger of you being wrong about any aspect of it. Is a neurodegenerative or similar disorder, leading to ...


1

As said elsewhere, the body already detects radiation in the form of radiation sickness. The root cause of this is the death of cells, especially rapidly dividing ones. The cause of the cell death is DNA damage - radiation breaks the chemical structure of DNA. Because DNA damage can lead to mutations and cancer, many organisms actually terminate cells when ...


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