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 ...
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83 votes
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What could a reptilian race tell by candling their eggs?

Developing comments between @AlexP and me into an answer... As other answers have said, candling of reptilian eggs is possible. For in ovo testing of chicken sex, if the male and female have ...
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  • 18.8k
68 votes

How can I make a humanoid character look less human?

It doesn't blink. Unless it knows it is being observed, because a very little kid once asked it why it did not blink. It had not noticed blinking before then. Now it tries to remember to blink if ...
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  • 273k
66 votes

How to get cool night-vision without lame drawbacks?

Let's start with a dose of reality I have "superior night vision" (hah), aka, super-light-sensitive eyes. As a teen I could read comfortably under a full moon and I can see comfortably at light ...
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49 votes

A Strand of Hair One Inch Wide

You would end up with a head full of horns or quills. Human hair is made from keratin. It's the same with your fingernails and toenails. In fine form, hair is soft and flexible. With thicker amounts ...
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48 votes

Can a person lie if his eyes tell his emotions?

In this setup lying will not change the color. My only point is that it will be harder to lie and I want to know the loopholes so that I can get my story straight Well, I can think of a fairly big ...
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  • 14k
45 votes

How can I make a humanoid character look less human?

It’s too perfect. A major breakthrough for animation was the addition of imperfections. Before high resolution texture packs allowed for the addition of skin flaws (and before people realised the ...
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44 votes

What advantages could I give to "Halflings" to make them viable

Masters of the Jungle Your halflings are well adapted to life in the jungle. Their small frame makes it easy to maneuver through dense foliage and their low weight makes it easy to support themselves ...
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  • 2,455
43 votes

Why would humans want "mindless" human clones and even be legal?

The mindless clones are used as "friends with benefits" by their owners, and for those kind of benefits no android or robot can compete with the real thing. Of course this is not something ...
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  • 237k
41 votes

How to get cool night-vision without lame drawbacks?

Giant pupils. Humans are limited in how big our pupils can get because somewhere along the line, evolution selected individuals where the iris was small enough that you could see the whites of our ...
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  • 273k
39 votes

How to protect a tail while wearing armor?

You can go for something similar to the plates on armadillo tails It will protect the tail and allow some mobility. You can also add blades to the plates, so that it can be used to hurt enemies ...
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38 votes

Why would humans want "mindless" human clones and even be legal?

Well OF COURSE you want your Spare Parts storage clones to be mindless. We all want to live forever, or a good imitation thereof. So it is a very good idea to have a spare body hanging around, one ...
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35 votes
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What stops a race of giants from wiping out humanity?

First and foremost, disease would be the best weapon to employ against an enemy that outclasses you in all physical respects. Giants like to fight and are great at breeding? Good, they'll be in ...
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33 votes
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Could someone be convinced they are a robot?

Yes Simple answer is yes. People have an image of themselves. This image changes over time and the idea of being human fits into this. But there are plenty of irregular personal views that go along ...
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28 votes
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Under what conditions would humanoids evolve eyes in the backs of their heads?

If it did evolve it would probably form as a development of the parietal eye. This is a third light sensing organ that exists in some species of fish, reptiles, and amphibians. This organ is missing ...
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26 votes

What qualities could a hominid evolve to make it a better farmer?

Farmer traits: Fecundity. If you are a farmer you are more likely to have food than if you are a hunter/gatherer. If you have food it is less likely the kids will starve. If you have lots of kids ...
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26 votes
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Can humanoids be reborn from a tree?

For various values of "dryad" this is entirely possible. Look into agrobacterium tumefaciens for inspiration. Those bacteria alter the DNA of their host plant to create a tumorous growth. Look into ...
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  • 5,696
25 votes

Under what conditions would humanoids evolve eyes in the backs of their heads?

You need to constantly threaten those humanoids from the back - for example big silent owls and manual tasks that require a lot of time The eyes need to provide an advantage for these humanoids, so ...
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25 votes

Preventing a word from being spoken

Realistically, I don't think you can guarantee that a particular word won't be spoken. But you can minimize the risk. Change the language This isn't goint to be easy, because you need to make a ...
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24 votes
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Anatomically correct multiarmed humanoids

This is quite a difficult question to answer, for the sake of the bigger picture. You see, the arms require skeletal support (primarily the clavicle and scapula). As well as muscular support (all the ...
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24 votes

What advantages could I give to "Halflings" to make them viable

Don't make them so weak Make them proportionately strong, which makes them weaker overall but doesn't critically disadvantage them. They're going to have to be appropriately strong just to survive, ...
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  • 114k
24 votes
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Preventing a word from being spoken

The vocal organs of your people have been modified such that at least one of the phonemes is impossible to voice. There are human languages which are phoneme restricted, so language will continue to ...
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  • 9,858
23 votes

Preventing a word from being spoken

Say it never or say it all the time Persons will effectively mess with the Destroyer by saying the word over and over, really fast. The Destroyer will be shunted back and forth, back and forth. Lots ...
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  • 273k
22 votes

Humanoid that has a low terminal velocity

Spread out flat a.k.a. (apropriately enough) spreadeagle. To decrease terminal velocity, you want to maximise drag, while minimising mass. So, lightweight/honeycombed bones, and flaps of skin like a ...
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  • 15.1k
22 votes

How can I make a humanoid character look less human?

Invalid wobbles When I watched Downsizing, something felt really wrong in the scenes where downsized and regular people were interacting, but it was so hard to put my finger on it. I think it was ...
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  • 1,597
22 votes

Why would humans want "mindless" human clones and even be legal?

People don't really trust the androids The uncanny valley is a thing, and this reason only would put the android at a disadvantage against a clone: the idea that 60% of people who would choose a human ...
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  • 7,074
22 votes

How can a male klepton species sustain a settlement without kidnapping women?

Collecting baby girls In many parts of the world, particularly in historical situations, you can obtain all the girls you want by picking them up where their parents abandoned them. It was ...
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  • 20.6k
21 votes

Humanoid that has a low terminal velocity

In addition to the other answers: Make your humanoids small! The advantages of small size for falling are a universal principle of elementary physics, clearly and memorably explained by J.B.S. ...
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21 votes

What could a reptilian race tell by candling their eggs?

This is pretty much a let me google that for you kind of Q&A: Reptile eggs can be candled, just like bird eggs. (Probably because, you know, birds are dinosaurs, etc.) Reptile keepers can ...
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20 votes
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Could winged humanoids perch on public transit?

I have moved my entire household including cages with birds between cities. The birds do NOT stay on their perches. The motion of the vehicles is so unnatural and extreme that they hunker down on ...
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