New answers tagged

1

They had a profound impact on neighboring cultures that do keep accurate records. Real world example, when Bulgarians came to Eastern Europe they didn't have their own alphabet and so they didn't keep records. However, being a thorn in the Byzantine's back side, the Byzantines kept their own accurate records of their interactions with them.


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I'd have thought they'd speak their adopted language only, unless their own was hardwired in as part of the changeling process. Unless you are having clandestine "speak changeling" courses as they are growing up. Or once they "escape" to the wilderness, the 1st thing they do is learn their own language.


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Your assumption that they would adapt the language of their victims is correct. If the changeling babies spend their youth pretending to be human, the only language they will be taught, and subsequently know, would be that of their victims. They will not magically know the older languages of their species, nobody will have taught them. Advanced ...


4

Song. Do you wonder why you, an ordinary (but special!) human, know hundreds, maybe thousands of songs? Why you can sing along to songs that were on the radio many years ago? Why do tiny kids love songs and want to sing? It is our birthright. Before we could write, and maybe before we could talk, humans could sing. That was how humans preserved their ...


3

Three Basic Theories They're True. Magic came from the gods, and they either both are retelling the same event, but with a spin, or there were multiple instances of a god / gods bestowing magic onto the world and each religion focused on a different one. Ideas spread between the religions. Maybe they both incorporated the same pre-existing fable into their ...


1

The basic elements from any foundation story come from the observation of the surrounding environment, and those are deeply rooted in the collective mind of the population of the planet. I.e. water is essential to sustain life, thus life is born from water with the intervention of some god and the addition of some other ingredient for making i.e. mud. You ...


0

Grazing. We don't think of it as a sport, but I am sure your fun-loving sapient equines would turn it into one, or several. There would be speed contests for finding a particular plant. There would be social clubs that go out to graze together in interesting areas. There would be special parks, with high admission fees, planted with gourmet grasses and ...


0

One, Two Three, Four, I declare a neck war! -- two horses place their heads side by side and at the start of the contest, try to force their opponents head down to their chest. Bite the Tail of the Donkey -- many horse chase after a single 'donkey' the first one to nip some hairs of the donkey's tail wins Tic-Tac-Dung -- self-explanatory Break-a-leg -- ...


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Football / Headball Catch Jump far Running in circles Twister :)


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Hi welcoming the city is of strangers. How the city is oriented (spread wide like LA and Paris or tall like New York and Tokyo)... or buried like Moria. How regimented the activities (random wantonness of New Orleans or regimented order of Pyongyang). Clothing: functional, decorative-but-modest, decorative-but-risqué (or absent, if warm enough) Polyglot or ...


0

Good Urban Planning If architecture is the design and style of buildings, urban planning is the design and style of an entire city. While it is true that we tend to reflect on the character of a city by the prevalent building designs, the reality is that those buildings that impress us in a given city are usually in the CBD or similar. The fact that there ...


2

I hope I'm answering your question properly. Here it goes: Efficiency vs Aesthetic: what was the purpose of a structure? Sure, a building may house a library, a DMV, etc., but is it built to be pretty or to be functional? Symbols/Flags: Kind of cliche, but do the citizens of this city show off their patriotism? Is it embedded in their culture? This can be ...


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.


2

The hair dryer might be interpreted as a control mechanism for the technical device. It might also mean that this is a way to communicate with the red technical device. Or it could be that the car implements its knowledge into the human being as it controls it (red being the dominant colour) in the picture - also, it is bigger. It might not be clear that the ...


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 ...


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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 ...


1

Dinosaurs would be much less popular, dragons it depends on if dragons are still alive There's a saying in paleontology: if turtles were entirely extinct today people would be fascinated by their remains. Turtles are bizarre, their bodies are so strange with their limbs inside their ribcage, skulls that make no sense compared to living reptiles, that if ...


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The question is answered, but I'll add my two cents because I don't think all the answers separate enough the explorers from the backers who fund the explorations. Among the individual explorers there were some people motivated by greed as much as the conquistadores, but also scientists or people just seeking to enrich their culture. You see that most of the ...


0

You have not placed on the table one important (very important) piece of information: How technologically advanced is your civilization? If the U.F.O phenomena is "really" about advanced extraterrestrial beings visiting Earth it looks like they do not intend to destroy our culture. Even the fictional fierce aliens from the Predator franchise https://en....


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Some nice real-world examples such as Ibn Battuta or Zheng He have already been mentioned. Some others might be: Your civilization is under attack by mysterious outsiders and you need to urgently make peace/find allies/learn as much about them as you probably can. This is what motivated e.g. Carpini and Rubruck Because your kings wants to go on a spiritual ...


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Isn't this the entire premise of Star Trek (OS & TNG)? To seek out new life & new civilisations, not for conquest or exploitation but to culturally & scientifically enrich society through discovery and diplomacy.


1

The problem you are up against is that in a society made up of individuals who are distinctly unique, any motivation can potentially be subverted to darker aims. Monopoly is a board game, its designed and intended purpose is an evening's entertainment amongst people who (presumably) want to have fun...and yet games of Monopoly can potentially devolve into ...


4

Strange Tidings and Lost Cultural History These things are easier to overplay the more you lean into fantasy - though they can played in more mundane settings as well. On the strange tidings front, a sufficiently prosperous nation could be inclined to investigate disturbing rumors from abroad. For instance, from a medieval European perspective the far east ...


3

This sounds to me like the Ming treasure voyages by China from 1400 to 1430. First, the voyages where never intended to start some conquering or colonizing of new found lands. Instead they intended to project unrivalled power, technology and wealth (they succeeded). Several of the countries visited become tributaries to the Chinese empire so there is a ...


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One thing you need to understand is that, for the Spanish and English in the colonial era, the "three Gs" (God, glory and gold) were noble causes. The notions of the "divine right of kings" and the continuing Great Commission of Christianity painted these men as not one iota less than the missionaries of God, charged by His Anointed Kings with spreading the ...


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Exploration as such has rarely been destructive, and when it was destructive is was mainly due to unforeseen side effects. The main motivation behind great exploration efforts has almost always been purely commercial. Prince Henry the Navigator put a lot of capital behind Portuguese exploration efforts because Portugal needed a route to India bypassing the ...


28

They are passionate about natural history. https://amazingwomeninhistory.com/mary-treat-biologist/ The Victorians were exactly that - super excited about insects, shells, fossils - all sorts of things. And not just exotica - they got into the things that were in their own back yards. I shed a wistful tear, marveling at a world where middle class folks ...


13

Trade Exploration to establish new trade can be very profitable and was the main cause for exploration during the Age of Exploration. Many European countries opened more trade stations than they established colonies. Spices and tea were especially popular, but also silk, artwork, chinaware, and more. Knowledge New ways of doing things are always in high ...


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If wealthy people are investing heavy in exploring, make sure it's because they get a return in their investments. To be able to call "dibs" in a new and exotic market can mean both a reputation and an economic boon.


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As you said the ruling family puts a lot of money in to it...if it costs money it has to make money or it will eventually collapse in on itself. So if conquest or religious taxation is out of the question the only solution would be trade. If your people are reluctant to use violence they could instead make trade deals with lesser evolved civilizations. If ...


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 ...


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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: ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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.


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.


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.


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 ...


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