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306 votes

Anatomically Correct Strange Women In Ponds Distributing Swords

I suspect that she is a woman. Be able to live or at least spend long periods of time underwater in a lake "Long periods" is relative and opinion based. Kimberly Jeffries can hold her ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
143 votes
Accepted

How can a fish that explodes by itself prosper enough to reproduce on a grand enough scale to persist as a species?

Eusociality Like bees, the fish are eusocial. They live as colonies with the majority of the individuals being asexual workers. The exploding fish are a specialised caste of defensive individuals ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
  • 7,507
140 votes

Anatomically Correct Strange Women In Ponds Distributing Swords

She is a normal woman standing in a submerged bin While she awaits the chosen one she sits on the stool. As soon as she hears the coconuts, she stands on the stool and arranges her samite robe to ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
112 votes
Accepted

Why would two species of predator with the same prey cooperate?

Eels and groupers hunt cooperatively. The groupers are good at finding and herding prey but bad at killing it. Eels are fantastic killers but bad at finding prey. To the point they rarely succeed ...
John's user avatar
  • 81.4k
108 votes
Accepted

Why is this creature afraid of water but not of body or plant fluids?

As a hive mind species, one of their greatest fears is isolation of the individual units from the rest of the hive, this would often mean death for the individual units, and if all of them are ...
Josh King's user avatar
  • 24.9k
107 votes
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Why do gargoyles have wings when they can't fly?

Targeting. Your gargoyles are the modern descendants of creatures whose main mode of predation was dropping from trees into the heads of unsuspecting passers by. The wings don’t aid in flight but, ...
Joe Bloggs's user avatar
  • 66.4k
106 votes
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Why would a dragon's underbelly be so vulnerable?

They have stronger tendons, bones, and scales, scales that can vary in size. CNT is flexible, thus armor, made with it, can be too. So, I just eliminated the last practical reason for why dragons have ...
Logan R. Kearsley's user avatar
105 votes
Accepted

How could elves survive without any fat cell in their body?

Instead of fat, elves store energy as ethanol. Fats are the most dense form of food calories. Ethanol is a close second. From https://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/28511/what-is-the-most-...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
102 votes
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Suppose the Orcs are mammals, why is their skin green?

Flamingos are originally born grey but become pink due to eating brine shrimp, which have a natural dye called Canthaxanthin from their diet brine shrimp and blue-green algae. If an orc was like a ...
Fleon_'s user avatar
  • 771
95 votes

How can I make a humanoid character look less human?

Uncanny Valley The uncanny valley is an interesting phenomena discovered by Masahiro Mori, a professor who made realistic robots. Generally, the more something looks like a human face, the more people ...
Halfthawed's user avatar
  • 40.4k
92 votes

Would a 'World Tree' be feasible in real life?

Water Basins If every 300ft or so the tree grew water basins to catch rain, (or maybe as a place to deposit water that it had already pulled up from below?) the higher parts could draw from these ...
Madcow's user avatar
  • 1,793
92 votes
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Justifying why a troll's skin would turn to stone in sunlight

Their skin contains a set of proteins that will bind to each other and harden when exposed to certain wavelengths, much like dental composite polymers: Composites are placed while still in a soft, ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
90 votes
Accepted

Creating wood actually as hard as granite

Nature already got your back, buddy. Schinopsis brasiliensis is a extremelly hard wood native from northern Brazil. It's main use is on the construction business as a reinforcement for the structure ...
Mermaker's user avatar
  • 9,094
90 votes

What sort of beak would a bone marrow eating bird have?

Just like so many of our creature-design questions, the answer to this one is: "nature beat you to it." Presenting the Lämmergeier, or Bearded Vulture, a species of vulture that specializes in ...
Gryphon's user avatar
  • 10.9k
89 votes
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Why would an underwater creature remain lodged to its prey?

To be annoyingly clingy Your super lobsters seems to have the ability to hunt anything. The barbs makes it easier for a team of them to hunt prey much larger than themselves. The main purpose of ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
88 votes

Is it possible for two symbiotic lifeforms to be born from the same egg?

Mitochondria are responsible for allowing oxygen breathing in all Eukaryotes. Chloroplast are responsible for photosynthesis in plants. They both carry their own DNA, it is thought they are symbiotic ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 289k
87 votes
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What clothes would flying-people wear?

Everyone else is speculating when there are proper reality check examples. Flight suits that allow for free movement of wings, legs and tail are a thing. Some also contain diapers, so that your bird ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
85 votes

Anatomically Correct Succubus

Warning - answer below might not be suitable for some readers. Sounds to me like a parasite is the most likely evolutionary track. We can imagine a creature like Cymothoa exigua - but instead of an ...
Jim's user avatar
  • 2,308
84 votes

Why do my monster minions all have obvious weak points that instantly kill them?

What it offers is worth more than it sacrifices Think of it like this: Why do animals have eyes? The are easily injured, prominently and obviously positioned on the front of our faces for any one to ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 95.1k
82 votes

Could Cobalt bind to nitrogen the same way iron would to oxygen in an alien respiratory system?

I think ammonia would be a good gas to breathe in an ammonia world. There is a lot of it handy, I would imagine. As opposed to N2 which is sort of an ice queen and reluctant to mix it up with other ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
82 votes
Accepted

Despite slain monsters continually yielding gold coins, why does gold's trading value seem to remain constant over the years?

Stuff appears. Stuff also disappears. There is a large but finite amount of gold coin. When a monster spawns out of nowhere, gold coins to accompany it disappear from their various locations ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
82 votes
Accepted

Why is clothing turned inside-out my weakness?

Totally different perceptual system. Mythical creatures clearly don't prey on humans because they have to; they do so because they can. They have not evolved with human beings, they often come from a ...
LSerni's user avatar
  • 55.4k
80 votes

Why would a land animal need to move continuously to stay alive?

Walking aids (or is) its blood circulation Ever sit down and when you get up your feel a bit light heated, or get pins and needles in your muscles? The cause is imperfect circulation. Once you start ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
79 votes
Accepted

Why would merfolk have hair?

A mermaid that "realistically" evolved would look very different from the traditional mermaid in many ways. But let's assume that your mermaids do look like the classic type. Why do they have hair? ...
user2727's user avatar
  • 3,129
79 votes
Accepted

Anatomically correct "XKCDius lethalissimus"

I can see evolution provide 1, 2, 4, and 5. 2, 4, and 5 all occur in nature now. 1 could be explained by other means. We are going to have to stretch to get the laser working. As a base creature, ...
Paul TIKI's user avatar
  • 21.7k
79 votes

How would tiny dragons strike TERROR?

Cities in the Middle Ages were flammable. Like, really flammable. London suffered from two devastating fires and several smaller ones before the Great Fire of 1666 that destroyed most of the inner ...
F1Krazy's user avatar
  • 14.2k
78 votes
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Anatomically Correct Khajiit

Cube knows that Khajiit look like customer's world Lynx. But Cube is going to base realistic Khajiit on another, smarter cat. Anatomically correct Khajiit is based on rainforest jaguar. The reason ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
77 votes
Accepted

Why would shapeshifters choose to keep an original form?

A shapeshifter doesn't "choose" an original form. A shapeshifter's "original" is whatever form it started as - that's what "original" means. That form is whatever it was in before it gained/learned/...
T.J.L.'s user avatar
  • 1,001
75 votes

Could an organism have evolved to kill its prey by shouting at it?

Yes, but with a big ol' Asterisk Sperm whales hunt giant squid. How the whales manage to subdue such able prey has been a mystery. One hypothesis, proposed more than 20 years ago, speculated that the ...
TrEs-2b's user avatar
  • 56.2k
73 votes

Suppose the Orcs are mammals, why is their skin green?

There are two green mammals, actually. And both are sloths. The two toed and three-toed sloth. In this case, it's a type of algae, which is only present on sloth hair and is a symbiotic relationship....
Erin Thursby's user avatar
  • 32.1k

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