# Tag Info

25

Poisons and venoms will likely be important factors in disabling enemies, especially when they are small. The wide usage of venom by arachnids (spiders, scorpions) and insects (ants, bees, wasps) show that venom is a highly effective means of deterring potential enemies from attacking you at these scales. Additionally, the fact that venomous insects ...

20

Projectiles will be basically useless. No mass behind them and air would stop them very quickly. You can take inspiration from existing animals operating at those scales but really the standard solutions of sharp poky things (spears) and sharp slashy things (swords) would work. I'd expect blunt smashy things (hammers) to be far less effective than at ...

12

No, your humans are too small. A 0.2mm tall human is about 9000 times shorter than a 1.8m human, but its volume, and thus its mass, drops by 90003 or 729,000,000,000. A typical 70kg human becomes just 0.00009mg. Let's look at your expected opponent. A typical black garden ant is about 4mm long, or 20 times longer than your humans are tall. A ...

9

The disparity of forces is so extreme that their chances are incredibly low. However, there could be a thing or two they could try. Their best chance is to somehow turn larger insects/animals against the invaders. If they can stir an ant's nest, for example, and lure said ants into the path of the incoming army that would definitely throw a wrench in ...

7

1500x, using compound microscopes According to the this website (and I make no promises of the verity of the information found there), van Leeuwenhoek did not make compound microscopes. This was due to the limitations of machine tools at the time; high quality machine parts like screws were not common until the 1700s. Probably, he could not get a hold of ...

7

Van Leeuwenhoek did achieve better results than his contemporaries, but his methods were actually worse. They completely relied on those spheres, as well as on his very good eyesight. Your pyromancers would probably be better served in furthering the composite microscope, whose initial manufacturing limitations Van Leeuwenhoek tried (successfully) to ...

6

Chemical weapons or ensnaring attacks would be most useful Chemical attacks don't care about the size of the target, just its chemical composition. The assassin beetle is a particularly nasty example of chemical weapons on this scale. In addition to chemical weapons that burn or otherwise disable an opponent, ensnaring your opponent in a sticky secretion ...

4

Given that each individual ant is roughly elephant-sized compared to your humanoids, and that ants are no slouch in mass attack strategy, direct combat isn't going to be easy. Fortunately, ants have one big weakness - they rely on their queen to reproduce. Therefore, I'd suggest a stealth assassination mission. Pick a few of your stealthiest micro-ninjas ...

4

What humans are good at is throwing rocks. That should be sufficiently primitive. Here, like in many other cases, the cube-square law causes problems. A stone is 8000 times smaller, thus it has an area that is $6.4*10^7$. Its volume, however, is $5.12*10^{11}$ times smaller. Having the impact concentrated on a small area is how spears work, and the rock's ...

3

Light a fire downwind in the grass (provided it's really dry grass). Despite the unpredictability of fire attacks, they would be incredibly effective in this case. A small force of 2000 men on flying "horses" can't oppose 1,000,000 men. Given the fast spread of fire and the relative amount of fuel, lighting a fire in the right place could destroy large ...

2

Basically, what Schwerm has stated. No, you cannot use these weapons effectively against those threats. At 0.2 mm (max limit), your people would be able to wield a spear hardly more than 0.3 mm. By comparison, even a juvenile ant is around 3mm and has 6 legs AND a pair of powerful denticles. An ant bite can send pain waves even in a grown up 6 feet tall ...

2

Ants would a be real problem. While they are not the largest or the strongest insect around, the sheer speed they reproduce would make it nearly impossible for microscopic humans to compete with them.

2

While attacking the traditional way will not work, your humans are small enough that they can crawl in through the joints and other openings on your ant. When inside, they are still large enough that they might survive the immune system for some time. Risky business, but such is life for any creature that small. Inside, the small spears and knives could do ...

2

Other Creatures If they could tame other insects or by use of pheromones control them, they wouldn't need to directly wield weapons themselves and would have access to transport and labour.

2

Crushing and cutting weapons, in the sense of jaw-like and scissor-type weapons. Prying, bending, cracking stuff would be the way to go. The reason for this is that our relative strength increases by a factor of 10 for every decrease in our size for the same number. So if we are only micrometers in size, we have become a million times stronger. At the same ...

2

Well considering that the smallest ants are about 2mm or almost 7 times larger than the humans and the largest are over 1" it will partly depend on what ants you are raiding. Larger ants would likely ignore you like we mostly ignore bugs in the window of our house. The smallest ants might or might not ignore you depending on if they think you might be ...

2

Block the road by chopping down grass across it. Grass has a blade like crossection hence the name. Trees have a circular cross-section and so are harder to cut down. Cut a blade down perpendicular to the enemy's line of approach and it is a long wall. Grass is 6 -3 mm wide and the enemy is 0.3 mm tall so climbing over a blade of grass is like a human ...

2

Too easy. 1- Best and foremost method would be to send a few volunteers to go and live on other (larger) creatures such as normal sized bears, wolves, tigers etc. These animals travel huge distances, carrying your little dudes with them. 2- If there are normally sized humans in the world, taking a ride with them would be the fastest way possible. 3- ...

2

Architecture and cities would be exactly the same. Sadly, the profession of architect would be dead. Very little new urban construction would take place. Basically because neither would be required. Once the human population was reduced to that mice, the whole business of human habitation would be transformed radically. Humans would have to accommodate ...

1

Disease passing between humans and extraterrestrial species is impossible. (Unless you want to handwave the impossibility and make it so, which is your prerogative as a writer.) Our organisms are just too different. Think of it this way: is it possible for the same disease to affect a human and a shrimp? A human and an oak tree? Yet the tree, the shrimp and ...

1

If two planets' life forms evolved separately, diseases from one planet could probably not infect higher lifeforms from another planet, except that there could be rare exceptions when that was possible due to by coincidence two planets evolving very similar lifeforms. For example, diseases from planet A might only be able to infect lifeforms from one planet ...

1

Flying would be an excellent choice. Hitch a ride on a larger flying insect or bird. If water runs through their backyard, or even as periodic flood (rain, or sprinkler) events, boats would also be relatively quick.

1

Radioactive weaponry If your small guys are smart enough and understand more science that we do, you could basically instant-kill living things with the help of gamma rays! If you shoot a radiation so powerful into anything solid, it will excite their atoms so much, that they will to begin to radiate too (sort of a single projectile, which divides into many ...

1

Expanding on March Ho's answer that venom would be the primary weapon for defense and offense. Which Venom? Extremely venomous and large spiders' venom. Including Brazilian Wandering Spiders (their venom would probably be most prized) Brown Recluse Spider Black Widow Why only large spiders? Simply because being 0.2 mm means you won't get the inconvenient ...

1

Keep in mind that an average human is able to feel motions and surface inconsistencies of about one micron in size by touch, scale this down by a factor of 10000 (from 2 meters to 200 microns), then you are looking at a race of microscopic humanoids that can feel individual atoms(0.1nm) by touch, in a sort of Biological Atomic Force Microscopy. a Human ...

1

What weapon? Intelligence. I'm looking at Schwern's illustration when contemplating it, BTW. Diagrams like this ought to be part of the OP's posts. Now that he understands the scale that should be presented goin in rather than needing to be a major part of the answers, for subsequent questions in his series. Anyway, poison comes to mind. As does a rope ...

Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible