It’s funny how science fiction universes so often treat humans as a boring, default everyman species or even the weakest and dumbest.
I want to see a sci fi universe where we’re actually considered one of the more hideous and terrifying species.
How do we know our saliva and skin oils wouldn’t be ultra-corrosive to most other sapient races? What if we actually have the strongest vocal chords and can paralyze or kill the inhabitants of other worlds just by screaming at them? What if most sentient life in the universe turns out to be vegetable-like and lives in fear of us rare “animal” races who can move so quickly and chew shit up with our teeth?
Like that old story “they’re made of meat,” only we’re scarier.
HOLY SHIT THEY EAT CAPSAICIN FOR FUN
YOU GUYS I HEARD A HUMAN ONCE ATE AN AIRPLANE.
A HUMAN CAN KEEP FIGHTING FOR HOURS EVEN AFTER YOU SHOOT IT
humans are a proud warrior race with a pantheon of bloody gods: Ram-Bo, Schwarzenegger, etc.
REMOVING A LIMB WILL NOT FATALLY INCAPACITATE HUMANS: ALWAYS DESTROY THE HEAD.
WARNING: HUMANS CAN DETECT YOU EVEN AT NIGHT BY TRACKING VIBRATIONS THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE
WARNING: HUMANS CAN REPRODUCE AT A RATE OF 1 PER SPACEYEAR. DESTROY INFESTATIONS IMMEDIATELY
THE HUMAN MOUTH HAS OVER THIRTY OUTCROPS OF BONE AND POWERFUL JAW MUSCLES.
HUMAN BITES CAN BE FATALLY INFECTIOUS EVEN TO OTHER HUMANS
WARNING: HUMANS CAN AND WILL USE IMPROVISED WEAPONS. SEE CLASSIFIED DATA LABELED J. CHAN.
HUMANS CAN PROJECT BIOWEAPONS FROM ALMOST EVERY ORIFICE ON THEIR BODY. DO NOT INHALE
OH GOD THE HUMANS FIGURED OUT DOOR HANDLES OH GOD OH GOD
More seriously, humans do have a number of advantages even among Terrestrial life. Our endurance, shock resistance, and ability to recover from injury is absurdly high compared to almost any other animal. We often use the phrase “healthy as a horse” to connote heartiness - but compared to a human, a horse is as fragile as spun glass. There’s mounting evidence that our primitive ancestors would hunt large prey simply by following it at a walking pace, without sleep or rest, until it died of exhaustion; it’s called pursuit predation. Basically, we’re the Terminator.
(The only other animal that can sort of keep up with us? Dogs. That’s why we use them for hunting. And even then, it’s only “sort of”.)
Now extrapolate that to a galaxy in which most sapient life did not evolve from hyper-specialised pursuit predators:
- Our strength and speed is nothing to write home about, but we don’t need to overpower or outrun you. We just need to outlast you - and by any other species’ standards, we just plain don’t get tired.
- Where a simple broken leg will cause most species to go into shock and die, we can recover from virtually any injury that’s not immediately fatal. Even traumatic dismemberment isn’t necessarily a career-ending injury for a human.
- We heal from injuries with extreme rapidity, recovering in weeks from wounds that would take others months or years to heal. The results aren’t pretty - humans have hyperactive scar tissue, among our other survival-oriented traits - but they’re highly functional.
- Speaking of scarring, look at our medical science. We developed surgery centuries before developing even the most rudimentary anesthetics or life support. In extermis, humans have been known to perform surgery on themselves - and survive. Thanks to our extreme heartiness, we regard as routine medical procedures what most other species would regard as inventive forms of murder. We even perform radical surgery on ourselves for purely cosmetic reasons.
In essence, we’d be Space Orcs.
Our jaws have too many TEETH in them, so we developed a way to WELD METAL TO OUR TEETH and FORCE THE BONES IN OUR JAW to restructure over the course of years to fit them back into shape, and then we continue to wear metal in out mouths to keep them in place.
We formed cohabitative relationships with tiny mammals and insects we keep at bay from bothering us by death, often using little analouge traps.
And by god, we will eat anything.
- We use borderline toxic peppers to season our food.
- We expose ourselves to potentially lethal solar radiation in the pursuit of darkening our skin.
- We risk hearing loss for the opportunity to see our favorite musicians live.
- We have a game where two people get into an enclosed area and hit each other until time runs out/one of them pass out
- We willingly jump out of planes with only a flimsy piece of cloth to prevent us from splattering against the ground.
- Our response to natural disasters is to just rebuild our buildings in the exact same places.
- We climb mountains and risk freezing to death for bragging rights
- We invented dogs. We took our one time predators and completely domesticated them.
- On a planet full of lions, tigers and bears, we managed to advance further and faster than any other species on the planet.
Klingons and Krogan and Orcs ain’t got shit on us
We drink ethanol (in concentrations high enough to be used as an effective as microbicide or a solvent!) for the express purpose of achieving blood toxicity and disrupting normal brain function… AS A RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY!
On the same subject, we also deliberately incinerate assorted substances and then inhale the particulate-heavy smoke and vapor resulting for the same effect. EVEN IN THE FACE OF SAID SUBSTANCES BEING CARCINOGENIC, BECAUSE WE JUST DON’T GIVE A FUCK.
Humans do not have biological castes. Kill their commander and another will take its place. Soldiers left alone on a planet will start farming and manufacturing to survive. Farmers and manufacturers will take up arms and kill you if pressed. Just because two humans look different doesn’t mean they cannot do each other’s jobs.
Breeding does not kill them. A single human can mate dozens or hundreds of times in a lifetime. They often do so as recreation. Xenobiology team six believes they do not have a mating season but this is too strange to be true.
Their appendages are not designed for hitting, so they developed special training to make them very good at hitting anyhow.
The proteins making up their bodies are toxic and cause prion disease. Do not touch anything humans have touched. Do not consume earth foods. Fire does not adequately remove this contamination.
Humans perceive sixteen times the colors we do. Do not hide in bushes or vines from humans. They can distinguish your pelt from the foliage with ease.
We tried venting waste gas into the tunnels to kill the humans when they attacked. Turns out they breathe it.
Everything on their planet came from a single biological strain. They developed comprehensive genetics BEFORE they developed space travel.
They lack radio receptors and cannot be brought into compliance with right-thought simply by broadcasting to them. Even after we learned how to translate it into sound-waves one of their hatchlings drove the Great Authority mad by responding to every demand with a single question: “Why?”
#an individual human being is actually a microbiome in its own right—you are dealing with a legion each time you approach them #they carry pathological agents inside their deep tissues and this is advantageous to their health #one of the most widespread and resilient viruses on their planet is treated as mildly hazardous—even though it causes #massive disruption to the body’s homeostasis #(their young offspring endure multiple rhinovirus infections EACH YEAR yet they seem unperturbed by this) #they have developed such long lifespans that now their primary threat is their own body’s degeneration #humanity has literally figured out how to survive so long that their body gives out under them #and they are not satisfied with that #stupid willful vengeful survivalists who treat mortality like a challenge
I love every single variation on this post, whenever it scrolls across my dash.
Although bipedal and nominally terrestrial, humans are also capable of highly efficient climbing, brachiation, and swimming without mechanical or technological assistance.
In times of plenty, humans will ingest surplus food and metabolize it into a form of stored nutrition which permeates their tissues and forms a protective, thermally insulating layer under their skin. Even a human with minimal ‘fat’ reserves can go for several Terran days without appreciable food intake.
Humans are highly neuroplastic, and retain the ability to learn throughout their life cycle. Indeed, geriatric humans rely increasingly on the synthesis and application of their accumulated knowledge as their physical condition declines.
The human olfactory system is notoriously insensitive, and scents which may incapacitate other species have no appreciable effect on them.
Humans are effectively psy-null. They possess no psionic abilities of their own, and attempts at one-way psionic contact have resulted in severe trauma to researchers due to the alien structure of human minds.
The human skeleton is composed of a hard, resilient mineral-biological composite. This renders them capable of withstanding heavy loads and impacts, and of delivering devastating blows with all extremities. Although somewhat brittle, the stone-based tissue of human bone retains the ability to heal when injured.
his life was totally in danger.
True story; this officer (John Pike) got a settlement of $38,000 because he said he got depressed after pepper spraying these kids. Oh, the depression wasn’t for feeling remorseful for pepper spraying a bunch of college kids peacefully protesting. He got depressed because he said since the media kept playing the video of him pepper spraying peaceful kids without cause, he got threats and didn’t feel safe. He didn’t feel safe. I’m not making that up. This motherfucker collected nearly 40 grand on worker’s comp after assaulting a bunch of college kids.ACAB
"He never got in fights, but he totally could have if he wanted to. Again, he was a very large black man who liked video games, and rap music, and marijuana. Case closed."
I usually stay far away from Esquire but this piece is excellent.
even esquire is out he slamming the new york times
You know what really gets to me, and I’m sure many know this, is the blatant abuse and betrayal that white photogs display in POC countries. Every time a photo has gotten famous like this photo did in history, the actual focus of the photo is left behind in the dust while the white photog is hailed as a hero for displaying the ills of that country. He didn’t even fucking ask her name. He didn’t ask for 17 years. The world knew nothing about her life and her story. He captured one moment that made him famous and she got nothing.
Every time I see this photo, I seethe.
whats her name though
When I speak about forms of colonialist violence and how it shapes the way we communicate, I hope that seeing this photograph with the above commentary included helps people understand what I mean.
This is how a person becomes reduced to an idea, an image, an accomplishment for someone else. She becomes “Afghan Girl”: a two-dimensional example meant to represent something over which she has no control. Was she ever paid for this photograph, or the second one above?
Why does Steve McCurry speak for her? Why does he control the conversation, why does he control what we can know about her? Where is her voice?
Who is Sharbat Gula?
Just realized that the anti-abortion argument has a lot in common with anti-vaccers.
They’re both the products of ignorance, of a wealthy society that modern medicine has insulated from nature, from reality.
One that doesn’t realize anymore that pregnancy kills. Not just childbirth: that pregnancy itself damages your body. That developing fetuses will strip-mine your organs, including your brain. That pregnancy and childbirth with those large brains and skulls is so taxing that female evolution for endurance has been the rate-limiting step on human evolution for intelligence, and we still had a spectacular rate of death in childbirth and death during pregnancy because that level of exertion
was still deadly for a species
that will run hundreds of miles for fun.
The female body exhibits humanity’s physical adaptations more strongly than the male body, our pelvises are different so bone spars don’t go anywhere that’ll make us bleed to death in seconds, our muscle tissue is built from the ground up to be able to power itself for hours, because it needed to be.
Deadly diseases are less common now, so people don’t see that pregnant women, already fighting to survive, have less to fight disease with. They don’t realize that reproduction has always been at the expense of the mother’s body. That it may be a price the mother considers worth paying, but it is one HELL of a price. It is not a free lunch.
And coming up short, not having the strength, means death.
M-preg is impossible because male bodies are not built to survive that shit. Running hundreds of miles sure. Pregnancy? Childbirth? Out of their league. Those adaptations are expensive: men don’t have to be built that strong, so they aren’t.
The Puritans, the Puritans, who thought that sperm had souls, would allow anyone who wanted one to get an abortion, because well duh. Masturbation was evil, abortions weren’t, because masturbation was letting souls never be born for pleasure, while abortion saved lives. None of this ‘oh, damage to every organ in your body isn’t enough medical reason’ - pregnancy was an incredible strain on the body, heavy labor was also an incredible strain on the body, and deadly diseases happened. They believed that it was a woman’s duty to be fruitful and multiply, sure, but that meant picking when it was safest to do deadly shit, otherwise you’d be too dead to reproduce.
And of course modern society ignores that once upon a time, morality meant controlling penises, not just vaginas.
i have so many questions
Wolves fighting for dominance as a “thing” came from observation of captive packs. Observation of genuinely wild packs has revealed that it is not, in fact, a “thing.”
Y’hear that, ya shitty modern werewolf writers?
hear that, self-styled “alpha males”?
They weren’t even captive packs, they were a bunch of unrelated wolves shoved together in too-small a space.
So if you’re an ‘alpha wolf’ then you are, in point of fact, not the noble, fierce and imposing leader of a group who respects you, but a scared wild creature with no social support frantically lashing out at strangers to try and gain some semblance of control over a fundamentally uncontrollable environment?
That would explain a few things.
(points) (points) (points)
i have 3 moods:
- skips every song on my ipod
- lets the music play without interruption
- plays the same song on repeat for days
Many white people may never truly understand why incidents like the Michael Brown shooting infuriate blacks and other people of color — even when it’s clear that race plays a large, looming role in how the situation snowballed to the 18-year-old’s death.
This is in part because white people can move through daily life without constantly thinking about how their race will be perceived. Part of having white privilege is the freedom from worrying about racism, a freedom their black counterparts have never known. But it gives black people a unique yet challenging perspective by which they navigate the world.