Facts and Theories in LARC Fiction

There are real bits of fact chopped into this sci fi! A fair amount of my inspiration for writing comes from reading up on awesome science facts. Biology reveals creatures whose incredible physical abilities would change the human condition, if only they weren’t so small. Technology often develops a breakthrough that can change dozens of levels of the human society, 3D printing, CAD assisted laser brain surgery, and high tech telescopes have inspired quite a bit of what you’ll read here. Archaeology turns up new glimpses of Earth’s past every day, and there are plenty of unanswered questions. Since I’m a humble story-maker-upper, I’m happy to report theories from alternative history, cryptozoology, and theories which can’t currently be proven or disproven which gave inspiration.

All speculative storytelling aside, here are the truths in the tales.

Biology

Antarctic Krill During long winter months under the Antarctic ice cap, krill can live without food for hundreds of days by reverting to their juvenile sizes. They are tiny little zooplankton with rose colored shells that swim in giant swarms. Colonists aboard LARC3 are endowed with Antarctic krill DNA in the short story Chasing Stars (coming soon).

Ants are Strong Research in 2014 suggests that ants can carry a thousand times their own body weight.  Imagine lifting a stadium full of spectators! LARC3 developed Antman to live under heavy gravity.

Caterpillars Eat a Lot Caterpillars eat 86,000 times their weight in food. My food bill is already steep enough eating only a fraction of my body weight. LARC colonists marveled at the Galactic Butterfly that landed on their new home world, until its hungry offspring hatched.

Cloning Is creating genetically identical copies of an organism. Scientists have grown entire animal clones already. Farmers can clone plants by cutting branches from the original and encouraging root growth on the severed limb. Human clones naturally occur, they are identical twins. The crew of LARC7 was cloned from the original crew after a catastrophic plague in the short story Chip Off the Old Block (coming soon).  

Leeches are Brainy A leech’s brain is segmented into 32 separate ganglia. That is even more fascinating than the fact that they have 300 teeth and suck blood. The LARC3 experimental boy in Leech Brains just wants to play soccer with the normal kids.

Metarhizium Anisopliae This naturally occurring fungus works its way inside a victim’s body and grows until its host dies. People use it as insecticide. Metarhizium Anisopliae mutates and infects on of the LARC3 crew.

Mitosis The process of cell division, mitosis, starts with a cell duplicating its DNA. Then each set of DNA takes a side and the cell’s membrane splits by synching the middle. Wildly different forms of reproduction can’t stand in the way of love in Compatibility Issues.  

Tardigrades These little guys are only .5mm long, but they are one of the most rugged animals alive. Tardigrades are born with their full range of cells, instead of growth through cell division, they just expand. They are highly resistant to extreme pressure, heat, cold, radiation, and even the vacuum of space. When conditions become unideal, tardigrades simply shed most of their moisture, desiccating themselves in a sort of suspended animation. When their environment improves, they rehydrate and come back to life. Colonists aboard LARC3 are endowed with tardigrade DNA in the short story Chasing Stars (coming soon).

Vampire Squid The vampire squid has the largest eye to body ratio in the animal kingdom. Their eyes are 1/11 the size of their entire body. Bright Eyes saves the day in a LARC3 adventure.

Viral Infection A virus is an organism that attaches to a host, disrupts its DNA inserting new information, then replicates from the host, killing it. LARC encounters sentient beings who reproduce virally in Macro Virus.

Archaeology

Aquatic Ape Theory AAT is a lesser known theory about an undiscovered hominin ancestor of humanity that spent time living amphibiously. It’s one of my favorite cryptozoology theories. If there were or are mermaids in the oceans, they could have evolved from the aquatic ape. A Paleolithic Fable reveals how their world could have been

Epic of Gilgamesh Written on clay tablets over 4,000 years ago, The Epic of Gilgamesh describes a heroic king’s adventures involving super natural beings, mythical monsters, and gods. It is widely considered the first piece of literature. Gilgamesh and his posse join LARC in the struggle to survive in Distant Origins.

Homo Erectus Fossils of Homo Erectus range from 1,900,000 years ago to 70,000 years ago. They cooked food, used spears and knives, and cared for their infirmed.  Their brains were similar in size to ours. A Paleolithic Fable reveals how their world could have been.

Homo Floresiensis Fossils of the little Homo Floresiensis are as recent as 12,000 years old.  They averaged 40” tall and weighed between 40 and 80 pounds. Their wrists were closer to a chimpanzee’s than to ours, which enabled the little hominin to swing through trees. His feet were unusually long and his brain was about a third the size of ours. A Paleolithic Fable reveals how their world could have been.

Homo Heidelbergensis While most Homo Heidelbergensis were in the 5’ range in height, Giant populations lived in South Africa between 500,000 and 300,000 years ago. These hominins used stone tools and red ochre as a pigment. A Paleolithic Fable reveals how their world could have been.

Homo Neandrothalis Neandrothals average height was 5’3”, they had barrel chests, short powerful limbs, round noses, and better sight than humans. They had pale skin with blone or red hair. They painted porcellanite, a glass-like rock, carved canoes, and hunted wooly mammoth. A Paleolithic Fable reveals how their world could have been.

Sumerian Gods Early Mesopotamia had a pantheon of gods similar to those of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Each gods had its specialty area that served humanity. Many were described in clay tablets like the Epic of Gilgamesh.  In Distant Origins, the Gods of Sumer give humanity reason for awe.

Zagmuku/ Idgeul/ Shugarra These devices were winged suits, small vessels, and large craft mentioned in early Sumerian texts that carried the gods through the sky and into the heavens. It sounded an awful lot like space ships to me… Distant Origins offers my take on what these machines could do.

Astronomy

Brown Dwarf Star Bigger than a gas giant planet, but not large enough to become a blazing star, Brown Dwarfs fuse hydrogen, deuterium, and lithium. The coolest brown dwarf can maintain a temperature similar to a desert or tropical region. In Lithium Eaters, LARC encounters life in a Brown Dwarf Star.

Dark Matter and Dark Energy While scientist have yet to encounter dark matter directly, the theory that it exists is becoming more commonly accepted. Whatever it is, astrophysicists estimate that it accounts for 85% of the universe’s substance. In Dark Energy Specters, LARC encounters beings made of the mysterious substance.

Diamond Star 900 light years away, next to a pulsar, a celestial body the size of Earth appears to be made of crystalized carbon, diamond. In Diamond Star, second generation space miners fight for their cut.

Enceladus’s Ocean NASA theorizes that the wobbly orbit Enceladus has around Saturn indicates a liquid ocean under its frozen surface. The moon’s Southern region frequently sprays water through cracks, out into space. In my short story, Life Within Enceladus (coming soon), LARC finds sentient crustaceans and deals with some culture shock.

Perseus Galaxy’s Signal from a Black Hole The Chandra X-ray Observatory and the XMM-Newton observatory has seen a mysterious X-ray signal coming from a black hole in the Perseus Galaxy. In Message from a Black Hole, explorers get close enough to decipher its message.

Technology

CAD Laser Brain Surgery Neurosurgeons have treated malignant brain tumors with laser treatments and MRI guidance. In CAD Changed His Mind, neurosurgeons try operating on other parts of the brain.

Echolocation Jamming Bats in Mexico compete for prey and foil one another’s attempts by crying out a unique signal that disrupts sonar. In Counter-Vibration humans use a device to elude a giant echolocation hunter.

See Where the Facts Meet Fiction

Click on the links above to read my stories related to the facts. Nothing inspires me more than an extraordinary fact, or a strange theory. When I come across a gold nugget of inspiration, I record it into the notepad on my smartphone, then add it to the list of story ideas. Come writing time, I pick whatever jumps off the page and viola! More LARC scifi.

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