New answers tagged

4

I have a lame answer but here it goes: Capsazepine. Capsazepine stops the painful sensation of heat and pain caused by capsaicin (and some other irratents such as the venom of some taranchula species) by blocking the activation of the TRPV1 ion channels. It has also has been experimentally used to desensitize the receptors permanently, to provide relief from ...


0

Trees, livestock, maybe root crops. You may want look at the more "primitive" (i just don't like the term) forms of farming practiced by many tribal cultures. Which are often about trees or root crops instead of grains. Trees take care of themselves, fruit or nut trees, plantains and taro are popular. there are many tree crops favored by many cultures ...


6

The other answers ignore a common method for people have used for transforming terrain to improve habitability: Fire. Firstly, on finding the air toxic, most of the settlers will return to their sealed escape pods. These escape pods were designed for space, and atmospheric re-entry, and hence they are tolerant to thermal heat. Escape pods also have radios, ...


4

Water hyacinth. http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=70 The water hyacinth is an invasive weed in Florida. Despite its ability to profligately take over aquatic ecosystems, it is edible and makes a fine animal feed. https://www.allaboutfeed.net/Feed-Additives/Articles/2014/8/Use-of-water-hyacinth-in-fish-feed-1572246W/ Your people will grow water ...


24

Other answers have addressed the serious problems with living in pepper spray, so let's assume you've dealt with that and move on to the food issue: Chickens. Okay, presumably you've brought some sort of gene stock for farming because you're not an absolute idiot. Let's assume that enough of it survived to get started. I've never heard of any plants being ...


2

An alien biogenesis and billions of years of random evolution would result in a completely different biochemistry. Whatever organisms lived there might well be based on carbon and water but probably not DNA as we know it. The amino acids used (if they were used at all) might be different with a different handedness and D-amino acids are toxic for most life ...


8

Staying indoors solves this problem. The colonists just have to survive long enough to prepare "indoors". Most of the raw environmental danger is immaterial. It is exposure to the environment that is a problem. The described environment is so harsh and so inescapably unpleasant that the colonists would likely prioritize separating themselves from that ...


4

They probably wouldn't have known what the plant life was like on the planet before colonizing it so they probably have the means to grow Earth food. Even if the green houses on the ship were destroyed, they can purify water by distilling it and use it to wash \ soak the local foodstuff to make it more mild. Another way to counteract the spiciness is to ...


13

It sounds like the simplest solution will be to build greenhouses and tents to live in and grow Earth plants to eat. Air and water can be filtered to remove the toxins or at least bring them down to tolerable levels. Since the "heat" in the local plant life is not tolerable, but I am assuming the plants are otherwise edible or useful as raw materials, then ...


8

I take it you want them to survive? The things that might kill them off early on are: (a) the level of capsaicin vapour in the air which might act sufficiently like a perma-pepper spray that they just can't see well enough to accomplish anything. Either they need masks (if you want to up their reliance on technology) or the airborne level needs to be low ...


41

The colonists will rapidly be desensitized to capsaicin. This assumes that the "spicy hot" on this world is capsaicin (the active molecule in hot peppers) or something that works similarly. There are other spices perceived by us as "hot" including those in horseradish, black pepper etc. Each has a different mechanism. As regards capsaicin: this ...


9

Capsaicin is irritating: when coming in contact with eyes or mucous membranes of mammals, it produces pain and breathing difficulty, that's why it is used in pepper spray and by polices to disperse ill intentioned targets. Since you state A certain concentration even permeates the very air they breathe. this means that they will constantly feel like ...


4

Well, they have no choice, so they have to take the heat. The component that makes peppers hot is called capsaicin. Pure capsaicin has 16 million scoville, so that's the maximum any of the plants or creatures may have. So they could for example drink lots of alcohol with their food, because capsaicin is soluble in that. The better idea - since you don't ...


2

I found this excellent answer on the history stack; original linked. If you like it, go upvote the original! https://history.stackexchange.com/questions/174/how-was-napoleons-invasion-of-russia-supplied/176#176 There were four main methods of supplying troops during the Napoleonic period; (1) The individual soldiers would be issued with rations ...


7

There were already many food preservation techniques used by sailors and armies by the renaissance that allowed them to store food for months or years if need be. Flour can be kept and only cooked into bread/biscuits/etc as needed giving you a reliable source of carbohydrates. Dried and salted meats give you proteins. Certain cheeses can last a long time ...


4

Historically, Japanese armies faced exactly this issue. What they started doing was carrying around miso paste and mixing it with boiling water to make soup. Lightweight, nutritious, easy to produce, and tasty. No factory farming required, and preservation isn't really an issue. You may not want to call it "miso", you could say it's a bean paste or say ...


3

Lithotrops. That's the name. The comment by @starfish prime is correct: the consumption of reduced inorganic compounds (RIC) is essential: Energy is derived via oxidation. That is why hydrothermal vents are the main source of RIC. There are no large organisms on Earth feeding on RIC. Known chemolithotrophs are exclusively microorganisms; no known ...


2

These animals can eat whatever releases energy upon reaction with another chemicals. For example if they live on a planet with an oxygen rich atmosphere, they can eat carbon, iron or any other oxidable metal. Their metabolism will use the oxidation path, which for carbon would be $C+O_2=CO_2 + Energy$ to get energy and sustain themselves.


2

I can think of two broad pathways that fit with your description: altering the structure of the food that is consumed, and altering the ability of a person's ability to digest things. Changing the chemical structure of food can alter a body's ability to process it. This was the case for Olestra, a chemical used (briefly) by Lay's. Potato chips made with ...


3

Your modification allows the character to control their villi. Villi (and microvilli) are tiny, finger-like structures in the small intestine that vastly increase the surface area and absorption ability of the tissue. If the modification were to simply allow your character to retract their villi and microvilli, their ability to absorb any nutrients is ...


2

The only way to know for sure is to try. One of three things should happen: The ability fails as it violates the physics of our world. The ability succeeds exactly as it would in the other world. The ability has a new result. I would ask the D'jini if there are ever accidents back on their plane of existence and what the consequences of those mistakes ...


1

Completely different direction: The "produced" items are not created, but transported from nearby. So, the chocolate cake shows up here, but it disappears there. And the people who lose out on their cake are not very happy about it. And they have a pretty clear idea who did it. As long as it's only one cake every now and then, it's annoying but not life ...


3

There is nothing inherently dangerous about matter that has been created out of nothing (indeed, that's how all the matter around us has originally been created). However the method itself can be dangerous. In real physics matter is created when enough energy is concentrated in small enough volume. This is extremely undirected and it will create all sort of ...


4

Dangers you say? OK, let's assume it's a nice big deep pan pizza, and it weighs 500g (let's stay metric for the sake of the math). There's a nice equation E=mc2 that we can work out how much energy that 500g needs to be created, which equates to 44,937,758,937MJ of energy. The Hiroshima atomic bomb converted approximately 700mg (or 0.7g) material (62,912,...


1

I would have to say that the berries are mildly poisonous to cause the animal that ingests them to have a mild diarrhea. Not bad enough to kill the animal or make it sick enough that the animal never wants to eat the berry again. Just enough to trigger diarrhea which can spread the seeds in the stool and not be digested by the acids.


1

You need a lot of this poison to make a difference. Some animals will eat just a little of a thing, to make sure it is OK. Mice and rats are great example. If they feel sick, they will stop eating that thing. This is why rat poisons like warfarin are slow acting. They take days to kill, because the rat does not feel them acting and so goes back and eats ...


1

It just happens to be lethal prepared improperly and just happens to be that way. Quite a few plants have evolved to be edible by specific species - capsain just so happens to have little to no effect on birds for example, and there are stories of plants that needed specific species to germinate The nardoo fern of australia seems a perfect analog for this. ...


2

The berry itself does not contain a toxin, but the body of certain animals will change it into a poisonous chemical. For example, take the chemical methanol. Methanol is poisonous because human livers convert it to Formaldehyde, which then poisons them. Methanol has the potential to blind, as well as kill. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemical-...


4

It did not evolve to be eaten by humans! Or humans did not co-evolve with it. A berry is a bribe, to get an animal to eat the berry and to transport the seed within in its gut. A slow poison is pointless, it lacks even deterrent value. But if it evolved to be harmless to some common seed-distributing animals, it may still express toxins that poison (...


7

It merely inebriates the target consumer but kills humans The substance that is poisonous to humans causes only mild intoxication in the species of birds that usually consume the berries and then spread the seeds through their feces. This is beneficial to the plant, so it produces the substance the birds crave. Humans are much larger than those birds and ...


5

Evolution is messy and slow Based on my understanding, evolution comes about from mutations in individual members of the species which makes them more or less likely to produce offspring and pass on that mutation. This means evolution would favour traits that provide an evolutionary benefit, but not providing an evolutionary benefit doesn't mean such ...


3

The plant was too popular a meal Berries are used to spread the plant in animal spoor, but there are simply too many animals eating these berries. They even eat the berry bushes, because there's just too many and they're all hungry. Even though berries are spreading the seeds, the plants are just being killed too quickly by predation. Slow acting deadly ...


26

There are two evolutionary deterring mechanisms: "Teach a lesson" and "Don't develop a habit". In "Teach a lesson", the effect is quick and not necessarily fatal. Animals who tasted "wrong" fruits learn to avoid them. In "Don't develop a habit" an animal may eat what it wants - it only happens that somehow there won't be any animals that have developed a ...


2

Leave no survivors This is one of those environmental factors that are a bit specific to evolving alongside humans. When you poison most animals, they respond by not eating you anymore, but when you poison a human, we respond by going out of our way to destroy your species to make sure we never get poisoned again. When a tribe of humans wanders into ...


156

It slowly kills the animal in order to spread over larger distances across soil with poor nutrients. So if your fruit kills the host 1 meter away, not much gain. Let the host migrate for days. Now if you kill the host while inside the digestive tract, the seed can spawn a large plant using the decomposing host's body. Nature is full of examples. Wasps ...


43

Dosage is wrong. Poison dosage is a function of size. There's a very humorous urban legend involving the legendary wrestler Andre the Giant when he was diagnosed for anesthesia, which they needed to base off his alcohol tolerance of 2 liters worth of vodka to give him a buzz. (The story is false, the tolerance isn't.) If a berry was developed with the ...


4

The seeds of this plant require darkness and a lot of proteins to develop. When an animal eats it, the seed implants itself in the digestive tract of the animal and slowly releases its poison. After several days, the animal dies and the seed digests its dead body from the inside in order to grow. As the body decays, the new plant emerges and grows to ...


16

There are plenty of toxins that take quite a bit of time to harm humans, or aren't even harmful at all in reasonable doses,because they are more immediately harmful to other creatures. Examples include chocolate, tobacco, poppies, marijuana, willow, peppers, and coffee. A poisonous plant's typical targets are insects and caterpillars, so if it's not ...


9

The berry is poisonous because it evolved to be eaten by a different animal. Plants have fruit to trick animals into distributing their seeds. Any plant whose berries are eaten by an animal whose digestive tract will destroy the seeds will fail to reproduce. So there is evolutionary pressure to evolve berries that are only eaten by useful animals. Maybe ...


11

It bears remembering that not everything that evolves provides an advantage. Most changes are neutral, or only mildly deleterious so there's insufficient pressure to weed them out of the gene pool. The fact that the berries are poisonous to some species that eat them might be entirely co-incidental... for some reason, some random structural protein is ...


59

The simplest answer is that the delayed poisonous effect is a secondary (and from the plant's perspective, inconsequential) effect compared to the primary evolutionary purpose of the compound in question. For example: Let's assume that the poison in the berry kills by initiating a chain of biochemical reactions in a human who consumes it that causes renal ...


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