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.
I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS TO COME AROUND AGAIN SO I COULD MAKE A COMMENT AAAH
Humans are acidic, like how scary is that? JUST OUR SKIN has an acidity of around 5.5, while complete neutral for a substance is 7. And if you think that’s amazing, our stomach acid? That’s like a 1.
BUT OUR BLOOD IS MILDLY BASIC.
You know what that means? Our lifeblood, what we run on, is technically at odds with what comprises the rest of us (in general, not like, super bad or anything, but for the sake of science fiction). We aren’t PH neutral, not totally.
And you’d think that we’d maybe eat basic foods for out stomachs, right?
NO, HUMANS INGEST SO MUCH ACID ALL THE TIME. FEELING A LITTLE DOWN? MAYBE YOU NEED A LITTLE VITAMIN C (CITRIC ACID). FOOD NOT TASTY ENOUGH? LEMONS OR LIME OR SOME ACID. WANT CANDY THAT’S NOT PURE SUGAR? EAT ACID FOR FUN.
IMAGINE HOW TERRIFYING THAT WOULD BE TO A BEING THAT IS MOSTLY BASIC.
"THEIR SPIT CAN DISSOLVE US OH MY STARS"
Every other hominid species that inhabited the same terrains went extinct before the first civilisations were created, even the ones postulated to be more intelligent, stronger, or tougher than them. Coincidence? Don’t think so.
Moreso, despite their incredible healing factor they have one of the lowest pain resistances among higher animals of their planet, a trait that evolved to prompt them to communicate their condition to the other members of their group even when relatively harmless. And gods forbid you from inflicting any harm on one of them, the others will turn into a frantic, bloodthirsty crowd whose only objective is to see you (and possibly everyone that is in any way related to you) dead.
You’d think you’d be safe if you manage to intimidate them, but no. True, they may flee, but they tend to come back in larger numbers. Sometimes they may even immediately react by attacking you even if they only PERCEIVE you as a threat, without you taking any hostile action, a phenomenon quite common amongst their home planet’s species. However, they are unique in actually actively PURSUING whatever they fear in order to destroy it. That’s right, their reaction to fear is to track and follow whatever it is that makes them feel afraid until they find and kill it. And if somehow they get convinced their death is inevitable they will fight even MORE FIERCELY, just to kill as many as they can before dieing themselves.
And if you find their physical traits astounding, you should know that they actually have hard-wired mental blocks that prevent them from using the full potential of their bodies, in order to prevent them damaging themselves, that get OVERRIDEN in times of several emotional distress. There are reports of females of their species who, in order to free their trapped young, moved weights that wouldn’t budge unless several, in humans usually bigger and stronger, males combined their efforts. And it’s not only strength, but also speed and reaction time that improve. You don’t want to witness what a cornered human is capable of.
On a brighter note, there may be hope for at least some species, as humans seem to have a weakness for creatures that are large-eyed and covered with thick, soft fur, as proven by the worship of cats humans partake in through a medium known as “the internet”.
No, not really, because:
Additionally, our most popular pet is a miniaturized apex predator that torments its prey just for the entertainment value (sometimes without bothering to eat it), can hunt in all but darkness, and has talons so wickedly sharp and curved that they often have to be torn free rather than release on their own. It’s durable enough to survive drops of twenty times its own height, highly adaptable and intelligent, breeds prodigiously, and wrecks murderous havoc on most ecosystems where it’s introduced. Oh, yes, and most of our “playtime” with it is spent encouragingits killing instincts!
Targs ain’t got shit on housecats.
Cats are soft, sweet, and fluffy, but they’re also tiny little serial killers.
My cat is doing something in that involves sporadic thumping. I am certain that I do not want to find out what it is. I am also pretty sure I’ll be cleaning up the evidence later.
To the members of my family who keep trying to grab the cat by her collar:
It’s not broken. Cat collars are supposed to pop open like that when pulled on so the cat does not strangle herself when she inevitably gets stuck on something, because cats are not dogs.
Cats are not dogs. You don’t grab a cat by the collar. You grab a cat by the cat.