New answers tagged

2

One plant can't be super-efficient at everything. Think of it in terms of where the plant is spending its resources. It is gaining energy from the sun (photosynthesis) and taking in carbon dioxide, water, oxygen and nutrients from the air, ground water and soil. It then has to allocate those resources to doing various things. For instance: Get bigger to ...


3

It depends a lot on the existing culture and who discovered the stones first. If the culture that first discovered them were nomadic tribesmen with a warrior culture, they could coordinate raids on a massive scale across vast distances to great advantage. It would enable a particularly charismatic chieftain to have a much wider influence than he normally ...


4

This sounds to me like the equivalent of having radios that are too expensive to be mass-produced, but not so expensive as to be prohibitive for governments/militaries/wealthy tradesmen. The biggest impact I'm immediately seeing is for warfare. Throughout the history of warfare strategy, communication has always been a pain-point. The general may be on a ...


3

I know you asked for a more economic solution, but I'll opt to give a more political one, as economy has always been secondary (and directly related to) how well the government functions. Govenments would form more quickly. Imagine having the communications technology to call the police or the fire brigade instantly as a caveman. Humans would adapt this ...


3

Waterworld If the planet in question had low land mass compared to ocean, then they may simply have run out of land to live on relative to population size/growth. Or there may be land, but formed in small, widely separated continents which are inconvenient for trade. Creating trade outposts in the ocean because they can, could provide lucrative ...


5

If as you say there is nothing "wrong" with the land and nothing is driving them into the ocean, then pretty much all answers will be pointing to something being really really "right" and more attractive and figuratively pulling them into the sea. The actual reasons could be a list of several possibilities depending on story needs.... Essentially, it ...


3

Living in the ocean could provide advantages. One being war. Since the ocean is one of the least explored places on the planet, it would be the perfect place for a civilization to hide and plan out their attacks against their enemies, and it would be very hard for said enemies to fight back, since the ocean is hard to traverse.


4

Resources that need to be mined underwater Valuables to be found in the water A new species found under water that enslaves / lures them (while the new species takes the land :))


1

Explain it to them beforehand and patiently understand if they don't want it If we want to exchange our cultures with other intelligent beings, it'd behoove us to tell them beforehand what exactly we're doing. Holding a rock concert at decibels which are hazardous to human hearing which lots of flashing lights seems like a not-great idea and something which ...


3

There's no noise in the universe because sound only travels through materials. Once sound hits the vacuum of space, no one would hear anything. You'll kill the ears (and maybe the rest of the person) of everyone on Earth, but no one else. As for flashing lights - people might just assume that you're doing some heavy nuclear testing on Earth. As long as you ...


3

Puppetsock's answer is great. I have a few things to add. Your Bronze age people are going to need some things to make use of the inland sea they have created. The first thing, as is all survival scenarios, is drinkable water. They are going to have to create some stills to get drinkable water. If you want them to get kind of steampunky you could do ...


4

What you describe is very similar to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is called "dead" because there are no macroscopic organisms. No fish, no plants, no algae. There is a small amount of microscopic life. When rainwater lowers the salt content there can be a "bloom" of bacteria that temporarily flourish. But the low range of salt content is round about 30%. ...


5

The crop is the only thing the people there can grow As other people have pointed out this is a very real problem with large ungulate farming in many places across the world. What they haven’t pointed out are some of the other reasons why it keeps happening despite being environmentally detrimental. In some cases despite being negative on a global level the ...


5

The rarity factor alone is enough. Beef doesn't necessarily taste any better than pork, but if you eat pork all the time, then beef becomes a rare and sought-after delicacy. Socially, those able to afford it will serve expensive beef at their feasts to signify their superior status, and look down on pork-eaters, regardless of which is better or more ...


13

Your question isn’t a hypothetical, it’s a serious real world issue. Beef production in the western world has extremely negative impacts on our environment due to massive methane emissions, deforestation and disproportionate water use. (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/environment/2019/01/commission-report-great-food-...


2

I'm going to drop this here first: https://www.mcdonalds.com/ Yes that wasn't your question, but I thought it was humorous - imagine if your world had burger trees that were rare and would definitely make you fat, but still became a delicacy. Anyhow, there's a few reasons for it: It's rare: That's it. That's the selling point. If it's rare, only the rich ...


7

There are several reasons why one food would be preferred over equally nutritious alternatives. They might apply singularly or in groups. Historical Preference: The food could hold a strong place in the cultural identity of members of the society. The Coca Cola of my fore-fathers as it were or All True Hurkeshmen eat Blarn! Emblem of Wealth and Status: ...


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2) No evidence of significant racial mixing in that time frame. Err, dude. All Out-of-African humans have Neanderthal and Denisovan (and perhaps H. Ergaster or other yet unknown species) DNA in them. Unless this civilization arose in an island in splendid isolation for thousands of years, this would be quite difficult to imagine. Also, we find plenty of ...


0

The food is widely known as feed for farm animals. So eating it would be equivalent to someone today who eats cat food. A culturally influential region might have seen very high demand for meat for a long time. It was more profitable to feed the food to a pig and sell the pork than to sell the food directly. Because of this people saw it on sale less and ...


0

Because it also gets you high. While not physically harmful or addictive in itself, the food is shown to produce artificially elevated mood, lowered inhibitions, decreased fine and gross motor control, and mild hallucinations. These mind-altering effects have been responsible for notable injuries or deaths of those who eat the food or those around people who ...


7

For a differing point of view, Alan Weisman wrote a book called The World Without Us, speculating on what would happen to our built legacy if humans suddenly disappeared from the Earth. He noted, for example (before hurricane Sandy) that some subway systems, like those in New York, would flood within days without active human intervention (i.e. continuous ...


0

The plant releases a toxin that pollutes the soil, and nothing can grow there for 10 years(or etc) The plant absorbs all the nutrients from the soil, and nothing can grow there. Requires too much water, or etc. It has too many nutrients say 40mg of iron, but an adult can only safely handle 45mg/day. Now having 1 serving limits how much other food you can ...


0

Historically, whenever humans went to explore unknown territories (on Earth), they inevitably suppressed or destroyed whatever life forms or civilization they encountered. If we assume that aliens are like humans it follows that we must immediately kill any aliens that might at some point set foot on Earth. And let's hope that the aliens that humans might ...


4

They only need a king on board. Why? Kings Never Drown. One of the most interesting bits of British Isles mythology is that rulers (originally kings, but it got extended (no surprise) in the Elizabethan era) are rulers because of divine right. God put them on the throne, and God would not allow them to simply drown. William Rufus, son of William the ...


12

There once was a guy named Ragnar from Denmark. He and a couple of his best pals built a sailboat without the use of any powered tools and without using any materials they didn't process themselves from natural resources. They then took them on a trip all the way from Denmark along the coast of Germany, the Netherlands and France, up the river Seine and ...


0

Simple: Boat from Dover-to-Calais (it's like, (edit:) twenty miles) Extreme: In the future, there's an ice-age sucking up a lot of the earth's oceanic mass; there's now a land-bridge like during the last ice-age (doggerland)


0

I came up with two ideas that would not need too much suspension of disbelief from a casual reader. 1.) The fruit is worshiped religiously Saint X of place Y was once starving, when he discovered "the fruit". He ate the fruit, and he was saved. But we are not Saint X of place Y, and we are not worthy of eating "the fruit". Only the saints may, and you and ...


7

Condensation, alone, will block the tunnel at the bottom Nevermind leakage. So long as the tunnel is open at both ends, wind will blow through. It will carry air that is warmer than the tunnel walls. Cold air can't hold as much water, so the water will condense out on the cold surfaces of the tunnel. The continuous action of condensation will cause ...


2

It Looks a Little Like a Baby If the seed pods looked a little bit like little babies, then it could be very understandable that there would be a taboo against eating it. In fact, natural selection could well produce something like that if the seed pods that looked the most like babies was left alone. There's a Japanese crab that has the face much like a ...


18

As it turns out, flooding does not matter. As you can see from the elevation map below, most of the land between the strait and Paris is higher than Paris itself. For Paris to still exist you need less than a 70 meter rise in sea level, but most of the land in between is 120-180 m above sea level. Even if you raise sea level by the maximum you can without ...


0

Slavery is a widespread practice. The slaves are kept servile by use of a mind-numbing drug. This plant counteracts the effects of the drug, thus threatening the social order. Overpopulation threatens the world. To survive in the absense of this plant requires a large, expensive basket of foods, some of which must be imported from distant lands, and that ...


0

They see it as a manifestation of their deity, and eating it would be considered sacrilege.


2

Let's look at it obviously: We have a big water to cross. So we need a floating object, which usually is a boat. Boats are with humanity since the stoneage, starting with unihulls and canooes for fishing and then going to bigger rafts, outrigger-canoes and ships for netfishing, then pure transport vessels were developed. So we can say, that for some reason ...


3

The short answer: it's not possible that no one in England would not know anyone is in France because of things in your very premise and in history. 1) As others have pointed out, much, much earlier than the 17th century with much, much earlier tech, people were aware and traveled to and fro. I'm talking Bronze age. In the B.C.'s. 2) Even barring number 1, ...


4

The other answers give many real world examples. The reason why your people don't eat the fruit is: "Because it's always been done that way." There are many real world examples of this too.


14

Boats? The Romans did it, sometimes with whole armies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_conquest_of_Britain The Phoenecians did it much earlier, with cargos of tin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenicia And if you're in really good shape, you could swim :-) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_successful_English_Channel_swimmers As for remaining ...


32

There is always the way they used to: By Boat. Sail boat, Row Boat, viking longboat, doesn't really matter. The travelers are going to be the Same as smugglers from ages past. France has a pretty long coastline, so all you really need to do is find a small out of the way cove and drop anchor then take a small rowboat the rest of the way in. The whole ...


2

Because it causes unpreventable, massive wind. You know the saying about "Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole"? If you eat it, no one will be willing to touch you with a barge pole. Because of the smell.


68

Collapse of the tunnel isn't what would make it impassible first. The tunnel itself might well last a century or so, but if there's no electric power for as little as a few weeks the tunnel will be closed by water seepage that can't be pumped out. This water entry happens in all tunnels that go deep enough under the local ground surface – mountain tunnels ...


43

Thanks to SeanC's research, we can read that the "permanent fixings" should have a lifetime of ~120 years. I'm uncertain as to what sort of error bars are on that figure, or whether there's a good safety margin, but it is a good start. Once the lining starts breaking down, the tunnel will become unsafe. Most of the tunnel is bored through marl, a relatively ...


6

Because Capitalism Water is plentiful. It falls from the sky, is piped into most homes at a rate that is nearly free for drinkable quantities, and is quite safe to drink in most developed areas. Yet there are many people who won't touch tap water unless you pour it in a plastic bottle with a brand on it and sell it to them for a few bucks. *see Idiocracy:...


8

It has an unfortunate appearance, which results in it being associated with other taboos. For example, if your people have a taboo against eating the Sacred Cows, then this particular fruit looks like a cow's head. If your people have a nudity taboo, it resembles body parts that are traditionally covered up (and, in most of those cases, even more so if it ...


3

One reason could be because it resembles other things that are dangerous to us. Tarantulas are mostly pretty harmless but we don't eat them possibly because they resemble other highly venomous species like the brown recluse. Eight legs, lots of eyes, etc. Kind of related to what causes batesian mimicry. Milk snakes (non venomous) evolved to look a lot ...


9

The fruit is healthy, but it attracts something that isn't It could be insects. Disease carrying flies or poisonous bees could be heavily attracted to the fruit. The bees pollinate it, the flies eat it. And when people try to grow and harvest it, the bugs result in deaths. It could be large predators. Wolves in the area have learned that the smell of ...


1

Eating the food makes you more healthy, but there are mighty people living from selling expensive medicine who can't let people cure themselves so easily. Disclaimer: No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.


6

The ruler needs to control his people. To control his people, the ruler must control the food supply. The Umatupu plant, being highly nutritious and growing well, severely impacts the ruler's ability to control the food supply. Lucky for him, the clergy have deemed the Umatupu plant as taboo because it is the mysterious plant mentioned in section four of ...


30

Because it can't be managed Out of all the edible plants out there, only some are suitable as large-scale crops. A plant might not be suitable for mass cultivation, or even cultivation at all, not because it's not nutritious and delicious, but because: it's thorny/brambly and hard, or even impossible, to harvest as a result (raspberries are a niche crop, ...


6

A couple more ideas! The food is a main export of a nation or company and there is heavy disinformation against it, or many patents / gmos invoked with it and some economy is heavily dependent on it (like soy), leading to economic war and association of the food with that enemy nation or culture. The plant that is nutritious can also be used to make drugs (...


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