161

How many kids? This is the toughest factor to find. While Santa isn't specific to a single religion, traditions differ in various parts of the world, and belief rates in Santa Claus are not tracked by the WHO, looking at Christians seemed to be a reasonable, if imperfect, start. According to 2010 estimates, there are 2.2 billion Christians in the world. I ...


147

Growth / size The main argument against mountain-sized dragons is the square/cube law. As an animal increases in size in its linear dimensions, but retains roughly the same proportions, its surface area and strength increases proportional to the square of its length, but its mass increases proportional to the cube of its length. To give an example of ...


119

Regarding: There is no benefit for a wizard or mage to keep this creature around. I disagree. The parasite feeds on remnants of magic power used from experiments or spell casting. Often, it intentionally distracts the caster so that the spell fails, to get more magic remnants. This parasite can be used as a magic residue cleaning device - even ...


93

Dragons would run the FAA One day, you're flapping along, torching pigeons, and those runty little ground creatures that taste good with ketchup start making an awful racket. "Must be that Henry Ford again," you think to yourself. Humans these days and their internal combustion engines. Something sounds different this time. You look around and do a double ...


78

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 won't poop on people's heads. These things are even fashionable. Someone even managed to bedazzle their pigeon. Your flying people could wear such harnesses.


76

It could be an organ for communication. As we know, Dolphins and Whales communicate by sonar sound waves. The teeth of dolphins are arranged in a way that makes them act like sonar antennae (read more about it here). They basically hear with their lower jaw. The same principle could apply to Unicorns. They can create horse-like sounds, but do so only to ...


75

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 aquatic crustacean, this creature is an evolved pubic louse that takes up residence in a women's vagina and eats the sperm of any male that mates with her. ...


71

Bundt cake pen. Frisky slimes gotta move! If it hits a dead end it will start looking for cracks or go up the wall. But if there is a path of least resistance the slime will take it. It will head off down the pan. Yes, it will circle around, but these are slimes. It will not know it has circled around. It will keep going, moving fast, feeling good, ...


70

Alternative answer to keep the spirit of "mirrors as vampire detectors" for a very futuristic setting: In a high-tech world, mirrors could be obsolete and replaced with smart 3d screens which show a reflection of the environment. When such a screen displays a human, it identifies the person and projects some information about them around their reflection in ...


65

Before you read on, I’d like to first apologize for the length and any glossing over of subjects in my answer. Not sleeping well will do that ... and I doubt I’ll be sleeping after having written this. I will however, be using this as a template in my conworld. First, a bit of an explanation. Medusa is a member of the Gorgons. While depictions of Gorgons ...


65

Why would ants unearth pieces of gold? What evolutionary purpose would this behavior serve? It makes their chimneys work better. The workers gather the gold and bring it to the colony. The soldiers use their large powerfull mandibles to shape the soft gold into roughly flat flakes which they distribute around the nest site. The gold's reflection of the ...


64

If you're a dragon, why are you gathering coins one at a time? If I'm a dragon, the biggest baddest dude on Middle Earth or Faerun or wherever, I'm not going to pick-pocket people. I'm not robbing local barons, I'm going to knock over a king's palace and take the Peacock Throne and the Crown Jewels. I'm not going after the loose change in the offering plate,...


64

Easy. They can't. Why are rats not exterminated easily? Cockroaches? Pigeons (in big cities, I remember an anecdote about one city that had a population of 50k pigeons, killed 120k over a few years, maybe one or two decades and afterwards had a population of 50k pigeons)? They respawn / are unkillable They are generated by magic, come from another ...


62

The creatures eat rocks. The excreta from this is fertile loam that is ideally suited to farming. They can be trained to eat from rock formations in such a way as to create walls and fortification. If they eat a metal ore, the metal part is not digested and can easily be separated from the loam to produce pure gold/silver/iron etc. A problem is of course ...


60

The monster doesn't have armor - it has blubber. Bullets don't bounce of the monster - instead they penetrate, but not deep enough to pass through the protective layer of blubber. The blubber isolates the bullets and then spits them out over time. But the monster is allergic to this special wood. Instead of expelling the wood shards, the wounds close ...


55

I hate to say it, but I can't really come up with a way to justify gryphons, or at least flying ones. Their body structure is such that flight seems impossible, and if they could fly they would have such hollow bones that they would be little threat on the ground (they lack strength and their bones would snap like twigs), making the idea of sharp claws and ...


55

You specify "creature", but would a fungus fit your requirements? Taking inspiration from Armillaria ostoyae, one example of which is the largest living organism, covering 3.4 square miles of the Malheur National Forest in Oregon (aka the Humongous Fungus). Despite its size, as it is a soil organism consisting largely of microscopic filaments interacting ...


54

They don't need one. Let's say you take a walk. You're killing millions of microorganisms every time you breathe. You might step on ants and hardly notice. Crunch a snail when you aren't looking. Essentially, they aren't hostile. They just don't notice the little creatures scrambling around, running away. They're annoyed these little stone things are in the ...


54

Glass jugs Make them big enough to accommodate your slimes; the slime should fill the bottom few inches and most of the jug should be empty space to prevent escapes. A slime that climbs up the wall can't pass the "upside-down" section to get to the entrance. Since it has no bones or structure, it won't be able to hold itself up the wall; so it will just ...


51

Display. A peacock's display feathers have no practical function and exist solely to demonstrate the animal's fitness as a potential mate. From a practical perspective, its display feathers are something of a liability. The now-extinct Irish Elk had antlers so large in relation to body size that they seem unwieldy. It has been speculated that their large ...


50

When your world allows psychic powers (for which you can often find a pseudo-scientific explanation), you could say that vampires are actually completely invisible and their physical appearance is just a hallucination induced into the observers mind through telepathy. Whatever mechanism is responsible for causing this hallucination is not smart enough to ...


50

If people are living in a virtual reality, Santa will be a parallel process that can scale up as needed to handle everyone at the same time. Since the virtual realm will have been designed with Santa in mind from the ground up, there will be various hooks in place to support this. If the entire computer gets bogged down, then virtual time experience of ...


50

Insects Tasty tasty insects. If insects aren't plentiful enough in the Labyrinth, he can supplement his diet with spiders. The Minotaur needs food which is calorically dense, but doesn't require sharp, meat eating teeth. Insects, specifically cooked ones, are the perfect solution. They can be crunched up and eaten, providing a high protein high calorie ...


48

The librarians like them. Wizards don't like the creatures, but librarians like them. For one thing, it keeps the wizards from casting spells in the library. Any librarian will tell you that spell-casting is a fire hazard! And what happens after a tired wizard has "just tried to heat my coffee"? Right, their efforts to stop the fire will do more damage ...


47

A 1000 pound horse needs approximately 15,000 calories a day for maintenance, the average 160 lb human needs around 1800. Take 70% of a horse and 50% of a human, that gives you about 11,400 calories per day as a maintenance level. (Pretty much just breathing in and out). A typical McDonald's meal (Quarter pounder, fries, non diet soda) runs in the ...


47

We have a historical precedent for a world with monsters the size of houses. The difference was arguably higher carbon dioxide, and tropical temperatures, leading to richer and more vibrant plant life. I'm not sure how much it contributed, but the age of the dinosaurs was also largely before plants were mostly composed of cellulose, which is extremely hard ...


46

Snakes for Hair This is pretty easy, actually. In fact, you could even have "realistic" hair-snakes, that move independently, without direct control of the medusa. Each "snake" is, in reality, a scaled tentacle, with some form of motion, heat, or light sensitivity. When something wanders too close, the "hair" will writhe towards the movement. Like the ...


45

Since the library can manipulate memory by making people forget itself, I would just use that. Make people forget any plans the library (or whoever set the protection spell) does not approve of before they can get in. Works best with a second defense that makes it difficult to find the library without the memory magic being activated. A magical gate that ...


44

Decided to take you up on the Yoga Nidra hint: Alice has had decades of martial art training, to reach her 6-dan black belt status you mentioned in the previous chapter. Part of her training involved yoga meditation, to still and steel her mind. After a few minutes prep time staring at the burning embers in the fireplace, Alice will enter a state of deep ...


44

Something that evolution very seldom does is create extra limbs. One of the best reasons for this is that there's no viable intermediate forms; you have to grow the new limbs to the same length as the old ones before they can be useful, and that would take millions of years of having useless stubs. So I propose that your eight-legged creatures actually ...


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