153

Bears don't wear pants. Squirrels don't wear shirts. The trees don't wear hats. Why would a physical embodiment of the natural world wear clothes? Clothes are a construct of human society, and spirits simply have no need for them. Clothes aren't natural, so it makes perfect sense that a nature spirit would shun them. Otherwise, where do you draw the line? ...


90

Their skin contains a set of proteins that will bind to each other and harden when exposed to certain wavelengths, much like dental composite polymers: Composites are placed while still in a soft, dough-like state, but when exposed to light of a certain blue wavelength (typically 470 nm), they polymerize and harden into the solid filling (for more ...


86

Supposedly birds (those with eyes set on the sides of their heads) compensate for monocular vision with rapid head movements, their brains stitching together images from multiple angles into one 3d image. From http://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-research-science/a-birds-eye-view Another way birds compensate for monocular vision is rapid head ...


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

Square-Cubic Law tells us that at some size the neck of our giant breaks under its own weight(2), but how large is a giant that has a ring that fits a forearm? Our Giant's finger's diameter is the diameter of the forearm of the human. I am a rather slender person of 2 meters height, my wrist is pretty much skin over bone. To fit my wrist, that'd be $d_{w}=...


60

Deeply. In fact, in Ovid's metamorphoses, Perseus tells that he found Medusa (and the snakes) sound asleep, a condition that canceled the petrifying ability of the monster, thus making it easier for the hero to succeed. I am also suggesting that sleeping on the side does not bring pain to the Gorgon, nor to the snakes. First, some snakes seem to sleep ...


55

Another classic trait of trolls, is a tremendous regenerative ability. Sometimes to the point where only fire can kill them. So I'd suggest trolls create a chemical in their body that boosts their regenerative abilities, and any damage will increase the levels of this chemical. Sadly (for the troll) this chemical reacts with UV light from the sun, and ...


47

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 ...


47

For why silver kills werewolves, I'm pretty sure the original idea had to do with the magical associations of the metal - silver was for the moon, with associations of water, transformation, and purity, just like gold was for the sun. Given the moon plays a big part in a lot of werewolf legends (and given that these stories were based on magical worldviews),...


47

This sort of question comes up quite often in warfare. The answer is simple: the demons have found a way to nullify the advantage of attacking from the air. This is a very common approach in warfare. Instead of trying to attack your opponent where they are best, simply deny that space any value at all. A guerilla fight might be one such example. If the ...


46

Dune provides a pretty good model here, and so does the Cold War - balance your heroes against one another. In Dune you had several powerful groups, each with their own type of power, balancing one another out. The Emperor had the most effective military in the galaxy in the form of the Sardukar, extremely well-trained and disciplined soldiers who could ...


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 ...


44

Despite Will's excellent answer, I feel compelled to answer myself as I had asked this question only a couple days before in biology and the question excited me too. Our body is built to have multiple check's in place to aid us. Think about all the people blind in one eye in the world. They all are able to easily walk and judge depth due to several checks we ...


37

Well, why does the US with their massive military not conquer the entire world or at least the Western Nations they have a cultural affinity with? I mean there are several reasons, mainly their population would object, their opponents would rally together and politics. Alexander the Great conquered much of the known world at the time. Sure he stopped ...


37

If we look at the range of human sizes recorded today: We have Robert Wadlow ad 2.72 meters and Chandra Bahadur Dangi with 0.55 meters, So Humans are already appearing with a variation of 1:5 If we look a a species apparently more prone to genetic variations: Smallest dog I could find is the chihuahua starting at 0.15 m shoulder height to the Irish ...


36

The answer is clearly the "human" nipples. Horse necks evolved so that they could reach the teats while standing up. Human necks just don't have the necessary range of motion to be able to do this. via Wikimedia Did you know that horses can stand/walk around within minutes of being born?


34

I do not dispute any of the disadvantages for centaurs that Pete lists in his excellent answer above. However I suggest that centaurs would have the following very large countervailing advantage: Intelligence, which is closely linked to instant manoeuvrability. For instance, a centaur seeing the enemy soldiers loading their weapons knows what that means. ...


33

Because they’re nature spirits. Clothes are manufactured, in their earliest incarnation using the pelts of dead animals and various bits of dead plant. Why in the world would a nature spirit clad themselves in such things? Later on you get into the petrochemical industry which is astoundingly even worse. You can consider it a form of sartorial protest ...


27

Humans have about two dozen different methods for judging the distance to an object. Only two of them (stereopsis, the relative shift of an object against the background, and convergence, the amount of inward shifting needed to center the object in both eyes' field of view) depend on having two eyes. Your cyclops has the following techniques for judging ...


26

I can think of some options off the bat: No concept of a nudity taboo, if nudity is a non-issue in nymph society then cloths are going to be ignored as unnecessary and or strange. No need for shelter, if nymphs etc... as somewhat magical beings don't feel the cold, or the heat, then they don't need any form of shelter from the elements, clothing is ...


25

Newton's Third Law Lex III: Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem: sive corporum duorum actiones in se mutuo semper esse æquales et in partes contrarias dirigi. Or something like "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." (He wrote in Latin, so I can't confidently say that "Newton said this" in English.) If you are on ...


24

Going off of the lore, the reason that they brought the slain to Valhalla was so that they could fight in Ragnarok. So it would make sense that they simply want to bring the best warriors, no matter which side they were on in a particular human conflict. Continuing on that train of thought for a while, an argument that seems believable would be that they ...


24

Kingledion is right. You can't have a christian view where God is nowhere to be found and the angels rule over the Three Kingdoms. However, if you still wish to proceed with this idea, here are my suggestions: First of, I wouldn't recomend Gabriel to rule over Purgatory. I would recomend Raphael or Uriel. Raphael is an archangel mentioned on the Book of ...


22

This depends on a few things and with some considerations, baby centaurs would probably be best suited to nurse from the human teats, rather than the equine teats. The first thing to consider is whether the offspring is full Centaur or not. Will your story contain a race of centaurs, complete with families, culture, cities, etc.; or will the story contain a ...


22

Well considering they aren't aligned with good or evil here are a few ideas: The Remnant (Those who do not fit good or evil) The Forsaken (Not good enough for Heaven so left behind) The Penitent or Repentant (Hoping to be absolved of their sin) The Unmarked (Neither having the mark of God or the Mark of the Beast) For more effect you could also translate ...


22

Celestial Bronze has to be pretty rare on Earth, surely? If I was a God, or even a Demigod, I'd want to make sure that there was some control over any substance that could hurt me in the hands of the wrong person. Bullets in particular are single use items; once you've shot it, it's not like you can dig it out of whatever it hits and melt it down again for ...


21

"Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics." If each country has a king with a certain number of Great Warriors, and each country expands as far as their heroes can push, there's still plenty of practical limitations. For example: travel times are high in pre-car civilisations. A nation of human/bear hybrids might conquer less land ...


21

The nature spirits are just that- spirits! They have no fixed material form, and instead appear as an idealized, natural version of whatever entity is encountering them. To a human, they appear to be beautiful humans wandering through the forest au naturel. To a bear, they would appear as a bear clad with an ethereal glow. And so on and so forth. I imagine ...


19

It all depends on the needs of Odin's heavenly army. If they need mighty swordsmen for the front line, then for earth-bound mighty swordsmen, today is a good day to die. If however, they need a new camp cook or a couple dozen latrine diggers, the Valkyrie would choose from less courageous stock. Watch out you WorldBuilders! When Odin needs a new scribe,...


19

The frozen troll is the second stage in a two part lifecycle. Part 1: The troll is mobile, and goes around eating minerals to store in its body, and killing and eating animals (or hobbits) to sustain itself. It gathers and stores sperm from other trolls to enable it to reproduce in its sessile stage. The mobile troll focuses on growing, eating and ...


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