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Thread: Could humans eat extraterrestrial creatures?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravens_cry View Post
    Also they are much, much more efficient at turning sunlight into chemical energy, I doubt anything we would call a plant would be that kind of a threat.
    Maybe.

    There are carnivorous plants that consume animals for chemical elements that are lacking in their soil or water environment. Instead of enveloping prey, which limits the size of the prey that can be captured, what if an alien plant had spines that were freakishly poisonous? Something of the order of potassium cyanide.
    Bump into the plant and you're screwed. You drop, rot, and fertilize them.

    If their poison of choice would work on humans effectively would be blind chance.

  2. #62
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    I am aware of carnivorous plants and how and why they do what they do.
    Poisons, whatever fiction may have you believe, take time to work. Even if the end result is inevitable death, it does the plant no good if you've staggered a hundred feet or more away before dropping dead.
    Even insane doses of radiation take time to kill you.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravens_cry View Post
    I am aware of carnivorous plants and how and why they do what they do.
    Poisons, whatever fiction may have you believe, take time to work. Even if the end result is inevitable death, it does the plant no good if you've staggered a hundred feet or more away before dropping dead.
    Even insane doses of radiation take time to kill you.
    Less than a gram of potassium cyanide can kill someone dead in just a couple of minutes. They might have about thirty seconds of consciousness out of that, maybe. Not a whole lot of staggering away is going to happen.

    We don't really know how large the alien plant is. Maybe it's a clonal colony that is spread over hectares, like a banyan tree or water hyacinth. Maybe it doesn't matter too much that the plant doesn't directly benefit from the nutrients--another member of its species, perhaps a daughter plant, would benefit. And it could benefit from the animal poisoning they do.

    Maybe the plant works like a living punji stick pit. Or entangles legs with hooked-barb covered high tensile strength vines--living barbed wire.

  4. #64
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    That's a bit of a sticky wicket then, because for it to get big enough to catch human sized prey and make use of them if they run, it needs to be big enough to catch human sized prey if they run, which presumable means they have plenty of nutrients in order to get that big.
    Living barbed wire might be an option, lord knows the dangers of descending into a particularly thick blackberry patch, but we're not talking about aggressive fruit than are we?

  5. #65
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    Most of the insanely poisonous creatures, at least, make it very obvious that they're dangerous. Not being eaten is the key to survival, not killing the one that does the devouring.
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  6. #66
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    It could be a large pitcher-plant type. As for poisoned barbs, perhaps it could have a similar method of rapid poison as a jellyfish.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  7. #67
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    So we are talking pink slime from the Green Slime? Sorry, I had to go there...

  8. #68
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    aliens are said to be bacterial-Like creatures with big black slanted eyes and big heads with green-like bodies and yellowish-like bodies but they would probably have to test dogs and cats first and supervise them to see if there's a possibility that we could eat aliens and other life forms but there was a UFO crash in Roswell,new Mexico on Mac Brazel's farm site mac brazel was a sheep farmer who heard an explosion at night and then he discovered what it was in the morning he jumped in his car and headed to the police station and got them to come over to his farmland.

  9. #69
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    Maybe we could, but after all the Sci Fi movies I've seen I definitely wouldn't be the first to try it

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Maybe.

    There are carnivorous plants that consume animals for chemical elements that are lacking in their soil or water environment. Instead of enveloping prey, which limits the size of the prey that can be captured, what if an alien plant had spines that were freakishly poisonous? Something of the order of potassium cyanide.
    Bump into the plant and you're screwed. You drop, rot, and fertilize them.

    If their poison of choice would work on humans effectively would be blind chance.
    Here is an algae which does exactly that:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pfiesteria

    And its poison does have (some) effect on humans

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloveouterspace View Post
    aliens are said to be bacterial-Like creatures with big black slanted eyes and big heads with green-like bodies and yellowish-like bodies but they would probably have to test dogs and cats first and supervise them to see if there's a possibility that we could eat aliens and other life forms but there was a UFO crash in Roswell,new Mexico on Mac Brazel's farm site mac brazel was a sheep farmer who heard an explosion at night and then he discovered what it was in the morning he jumped in his car and headed to the police station and got them to come over to his farmland.
    They put periods on computer keyboards are much easier today run-on sentences can be difficult to understand.
    As above, so below

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    They put periods on computer keyboards are much easier today run-on sentences can be difficult to understand.
    Punctuation marks and proper capitalization make things easier to read. I hope he or she doesn't hand me a report typed like that.
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  13. #73
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    Perhaps if we domesticate the alien animals we could farm with them, and through generations of artificial selection make them more edible.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wally View Post
    Perhaps if we domesticate the alien animals we could farm with them, and through generations of artificial selection make them more edible.
    Unless the critters have an astonishingly short generational cycle, people would probably want a quicker return on their investment. If the critter can be processed now into an edible form, and selective breeding just makes that less arduous, or even necessary, it could be a different matter. See Cassava for example.

  15. #75
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    If we want to eat the local animals, it might be easier to alter human physiology than to alter all the potential food animals and the food that they eat. Properly adapted humans could integrate into to local biosphere without disrupting it too much. Humans adapt- that's what we are specialised in.

  16. #76
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    Jack Haldeman

    According to Jack Haldeman in the short story Lousville Slugger, you only get the right to eat another species after you have defeated them in a series of baseball games. And even after all of that, you may not like the taste of them.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wally View Post
    Perhaps if we domesticate the alien animals we could farm with them, and through generations of artificial selection make them more edible.
    If there's something fundamentally incompatible, like for example if their molecules are chirally wrong, then that would be impossible. It's only if they are very close to something edible for us that it would work. We could do the same on earth, so for example breed snakes or spiders to make them more palatable.

    But on the other hand, consider this. We've been breeding broccoli and Brussels sprouts for centuries, and we still haven't gotten them edible!
    As above, so below

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    But on the other hand, consider this. We've been breeding broccoli and Brussels sprouts for centuries, and we still haven't gotten them edible!
    Gee, I feel the same way about bacon made from pork bellies.
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  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by primummobile View Post
    According to Jack Haldeman in the short story Lousville Slugger, you only get the right to eat another species after you have defeated them in a series of baseball games. And even after all of that, you may not like the taste of them.
    So the Indians could have eaten the Mariners, after sweeping them in a two game series.
    Good thing MLB has adopted that rule.
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  20. #80
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    The closer to "human-friendly" an alien planet's biosphere, the more likely that there will be things there that can kill us: not so much predators

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