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If Humans Were Tiny?


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#1 Guest_jamongo_*

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 05:12 AM

I enjoy surfing the Internet and reading various scientific articles relative to our universe. Dark matter, dark energy, stars and galaxies so many many light years away, super novas, and so forth. There seems to be some concern with respect to the macro-world and the micro-world, where the laws of one do not apply to the laws of the other.
I try to imagine what life for us would be like if we were about the size of an ant ( with the same intelligence level we maintain now ), while other beings, our normal size, roamed the planet.
Would we be aware of these other huge creatures? Or would they not even exist for us. Would our understanding of the universe be basically the same, or would we have totally different laws,views, concepts? Would we have a much better understanding of quantum physics while losing most or all of our understanding of our physical universe? Suppose one of the huge beings happens to pass by and accidentally steps on a group of us. Would we view that as a natural disaster? Just wondering what others might think. Does size make a difference?

#2 CraigD

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 01:47 AM

I love this line of questions!

It breaks down into many subject domains. These ones come to mind:
  • Neurology – how small can an animal be and still have human-like intelligence?
  • Scale – how do the interactions of tiny animals with the earth, wind, and the rest of our their surroundings differ from those of big ones?
  • Anatomical engineering – how to animal bodies scale?
  • Perception – what can small animals with human-like senses – ears and eyes, mostly – perceive that big ones cannot, and big ones perceive that small ones cannot?
Neurology
An ant has far fewer brain cells than a human, so is much less intelligent. Shrinking humans to ant-size (a linear factor on the order of 100) is a staple of soft science fiction, but is it really possible?

A linear scale-down factor of 100 gives a volume factor of 1003=1,000,000. So the question breaks down into how small can a brain cell be, and how few can a human get by with?

We can start with some rough estimation. A typical brain neuron has a mass of about 1.7 x 10-11 kg (estimated by dividing the typical mass of a human brain, 1.5 kg, estimated number of neurons in it, 8.6 x 1010). A typical protein has a mass of about 1.7 x 10-22 kg. So a typical brain cell has about 1011 proteins in it.

Perfectly scaled down by a factor of 1000000, our ant-sized human would have on average 100,000 proteins per neuron – pretty course-grained, but not obviously impossible. So we can skip the “how few can we get by with?” question, and conclude that, by this short analysis, a working ant-size human brain is not in principle impossible.

Scale and anatomical engineering
Ant-size animals interact with our shared environment differently than we human-sized ones do. A couple of differences that come to mind:
Ants fall through air much more slowly, than we do, so aren’t killed or injured by falls from any height;
The surface tension of water is so great relative to their strength that ants get stuck in drops of water.

So if we were ant sized, we wouldn’t worry about falling, but would worry about getting stuck to things. Jumping from a 100 m height isn’t dangerous, but getting caught in the open in ordinary rain would likely be fatal.

Getting back to whether ant-sized human brain are possible...
Mammal brains are power-hungry, and thus glucose and oxygen -hungry, organs. This high power depends on a rich circulatory system consisting largely of the smallest blood vessels, with diameters around 5 x 10-6 m, only slightly larger than that of a red blood cell (erythrocyte).

A human erythrocyte contains about 270,000,000 hemoglobin molecules. Scaling down erythrocytes by a volume factor of 1,000,000 reduces this number to 270, a small number, but much greater than 1, so by this analysis, a working ant-size human brain still doesn’t appear impossible.

Perception
Humans’ primary sense is sight. A linear scale-down factor of 100 implies an 100 times increase in visual acuity – the same effect as a 100 x magnification microscope. This would allow us to see, with our naked eyes, what we can now see with an inexpensive “pocket microscope”, such as the kind that can be clipped onto a mobile phone camera, which is enough, for example, to see that there are microorganism in pond water, and there general shape, but not their detailed anatomy. It’s about 1,000 times too low to directly see DNA and other biologically important proteins, such as is possible with electron microscopes, and about 100,000 times too low to see individual atoms, such as is possible with atomic force microscopes. Even if additional scale-down were possible, it’s not possible to see these objects using light.

Applying this to one of jamongo’s questions,

Would we have a much better understanding of quantum physics while losing most or all of our understanding of our physical universe?

I’d say an ant-size human wouldn’t have any insights into quantum physics a normal size one doesn’t, but might have a better intuitive grasp of practical biology. I can think of no reason ant-size humans couldn’t use telescopes of all kinds to understand astronomy as well as normal size ones do.

Big picture/summary
More scaled-down humans could live on Earth than full size ones. As most biological processes, including nerve activity and movement, is faster in small animals than large ones, it’s reasonable to speculate that they’d be faster than us. Taken together, in a scientific or technological “race” against otherwise equal full size humans, scaled-down ones would have both a numbers and speed advantage.

I try to imagine what life for us would be like if we were about the size of an ant ( with the same intelligence level we maintain now ), while other beings, our normal size, roamed the planet.
Would we be aware of these other huge creatures?

I fairly certain, yes.

Some small animals, such a spiders and flying insects, can perceive human-size and larger objects, so I bug-size humans should be able to, too.

Suppose one of the huge beings happens to pass by and accidentally steps on a group of us.

Assuming tiny humans are faster and more numerous than ordinary size animals, I imagine they’d engineer technical solutions to the problem of getting stepped on.

Were tiny humans and regular-size ones to exist at the same time, the tiny ones might reach a sort of weak vingian singularity, rendering the big ones obsolete by technologically outpacing them.

This would make for a neat SF story, turning the old “mad scientist renders heros powerless by shrinking them” trope on its head. Artificially miniaturized humans might escape, returning in a few full-size subjective human years – a few centuries to them – as technologically overwhelming conquerors.

Sources: Wikipedia article human brain ; MIT Eyewire pro blog page How do we know that there are 100 billion neurons in the brain?; commercial webpage “Molecular Weights of Some Common Proteins”; Bionumber.hms.harvard.edu BNID 102740, “Amount of haemoglobin in erythrocyte”

#3 Turtle

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 01:46 PM

Mmmmm.... How small can a flame be? And, is fire a necessary step to advanced technology? I think ant-sized humans would/could at best handle/manipulate glowing embers as we 'normal' sizers regularly handle/manipulate matches and camp fires. :fire:

#4 Turtle

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 03:19 AM

Then there are the matters of tiny humans overheating and freezing. :angryfire: :winter_brr: Smaller animals gain & lose heat faster than large ones. Tiny humans would have to eat fast and often to avoid hypothermia. :chef: Perhaps they would have to sweat like crazy to keep from heat-stroke? :weather_hot: Gotta drink a lot to sweat a lot and not dehydrate. As Craig pointed out, hopping into water for a cooling dip would spell doom. :help: Maybe they would spend a lot of time underground to regulate body temp and eat fungus and hunt no-see-ems. But then how the hell do you fight off a spider if you are the size of an ant and soft? :lightsaber1: Birds!! :omg: Good luck on the surface with the birds you tiny humans. Safety in numbers? More like a feeding frenzy. :lol:

And what about reproduction? Would gestation have to be faster to keep up? Or would gestation be 9 months but Mothers would have to have litters? How will tiny humans find time to copulate with all that eating & hiding going on? :hug: What about the tiny high-pitched voices they would have to have? Would they have to be right next to each other to be heard? :bdayparty: And what about hearing? Wouldn't a tiny ear limit frequency response range?


Tiny humans would have a tough row to hoe. :scared:


>> HOW SIZE MATTERS IN REGULATING BODY TEMPERATURE

>> Metabolism, Heat Loss, and Size



I am reminded of Randy Newman's words, "short people got no reason to live."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NvgLkuEtkA

#5 CraigD

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 11:31 AM

Mmmmm.... How small can a flame be? And, is fire a necessary step to advanced technology? I think ant-sized humans would/could at best handle/manipulate glowing embers as we 'normal' sizers regularly handle/manipulate matches and camp fires. :fire:

I had the same thought.

Many real tiny animals, with tiny individual intellects, excel at building, but the construction material is cellulose and spittle. It’s an effort of imagination to work out a scenario where ant size, human intelligence animals forge metal – let’s be ambitious, and have the goal being to fly a constellation of orbiting communication and navigation satellites like our own – and managing fire seems a key part of it.

Microhumans might be much more efficient in their use of heat than us macros. We smelt ore to get the metal out of it, where microhumans might just go at it with tiny picks and shovels, or maybe bare hands – we’ve not explored the anatomical scaling subject well yet, but taking real ants are an example, microhumans might be amazingly strong on their scale compared to us on ours – pulling nuggets of pure metal from ore the way macrohumans pick valuable recyclables from trash heaps. Still, even using the most efficient sinter-forging, at some point, you’ve got to melt metal and silicates to build a satellite launcher.

I imagine microhumans wouldn’t handle fire as comfortably/familiarly as we macros do – no poking fires with sticks of burning wood, etc., when your mass-to-air-viscosity ratio makes it likely you’ll get sucked into them – but rather would do it the way we do with kilns, sealing it away in fireproof boxes containing the work pieces to be heated. I imagine they’d prefer methane over wood, and be good gas line plumbers.

Then there are the matters of tiny humans overheating and freezing. :angryfire: :winter_brr: Smaller animals gain & lose heat faster than large ones. Tiny humans would have to eat fast and often to avoid hypothermia. :chef: Perhaps they would have to sweat like crazy to keep from heat-stroke?

This is in anatomical scaling subject area.

As a rule heat energy scales as the length3, heat power (losing it) as the length2, so our microhumans would lose heat 100 times faster than us macros. Overheating wouldn’t be a problem, staying warm would be. I expect microhumans woudn’t have the biological cooling systems we macros do, especially since evaporation depends a lot on non-scalable effects like water surface tension, so I’m pretty sure can’t work for ant-size animals.

I imagine/guess that, being smart and technological, microhumans would handle the staying warm problem the same way we macros do – cloths. Perhaps heat insulating, full-body covering suits (looking something like space or hazmat suits, but more tastefully fashionable), with small controllable vents to let out waste heat.

But then how the hell do you fight off a spider if you are the size of an ant and soft? :lightsaber1: Birds!! :omg: Good luck on the surface with the birds you tiny humans. Safety in numbers? More like a feeding frenzy. :lol:

We macrohumans fight off (well, more kill dead) the occasional marauding lion, tiger, bear, or rogue elephant, with our hand, deadly and commonplace guns, so I’d guess micros would do something similar.

Guns don’t scale down well, though, so I don’t think the micros would be dropping spiders and sparrows with tiny .357 magnum pistols or .460 Weatherby big game rifles. I imagine “gun” and “tank” or “gunship” would be practically synonymous for the micros, all guns necessarily being built into vehicles or static installations.

Rather than being scurrying victims of a feeding frenzy or relative giants, based the real human history of hunting dangerous animals to near or complete extinction, I imagine there’s a risk that microhuman might effectively scour the earth of all more-than-micro fauna. Humans aren’t rational when it comes to fear of big things that can kill and eat us, so … bye bye, birdy. :(

And what about reproduction? Would gestation have to be faster to keep up? Or would gestation be 9 months but Mothers would have to have litters? How will tiny humans find time to copulate with all that eating & hiding going on? :hug:

More anatomical scaling issues.

Friction scales weirdly, and is a key factor in macrohuman copulation. We’ve already discussed the scaling of fluids. So copulation among the micros would necessarily be very different than among us macros. The social dynamics involving copulation and gestation are arguable key to what makes us human, so I don’t imagine we could just do it like the ants do, with specialized breeders and external gestation, but I may imagine wrong.

The subject’s been explored pretty well in SF, I think.

On the “gotta keep sex human or we’re no longer human” side, I’d hold up an old favorite of mine, Baxter’s Flux, which
Spoiler
.

On the “humanness isn’t just about sex and babies” side, I’d hold up a recent favorite of mine, the 13-episode (about 5 hrs) 2012 anime adaptation of Yusuke Kishi’s Japanese novel From the New World, in which
Spoiler
.

What about the tiny high-pitched voices they would have to have? Would they have to be right next to each other to be heard? :bdayparty: And what about hearing? Wouldn't a tiny ear limit frequency response range?

Using straight scaling (which works with stringed instruments, so I’d expect works to some extent with vocal cords and ear drums), I’d expect microhumans to have their vocal and hearing ranges shifted by a factor of 100, or about 6.4 octaves. The lowest notes they’d be able to hear, then would be around 2000 Hz. The macrohuman voice is in the range of 50 to 1000 Hz, hearing in the range of 20 to 20000 Hz, so micros couldn’t hear us, but we’d be able to hear them.

Background noise would be greater relative to speech, so microhumans would, I imagine, live in a noisy world, and need to be nearby, or in special quiet places, to talk. Perhaps they’d rely more on sign language for everyday communication.
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#6 DFINITLYDISTRUBD

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 11:40 AM

CraigD- Humans’ primary sense is sight. A linear scale-down factor of 100 implies an 100 times increase in visual acuity – the same effect as a 100 x magnification microscope.

But wouldn't a scaled down eye let in less light, and have fewer photo receptors resulting in an at best very grainy image?

CraigD-So if we were ant sized, we wouldn’t worry about falling, but would worry about getting stuck to things. Jumping from a 100 m height isn’t dangerous, but getting caught in the open in ordinary rain would likely be fatal.

Turtle-Gotta drink a lot to sweat a lot and not dehydrate. As Craig pointed out, hopping into water for a cooling dip would spell doom. :help:

Would they even be capable of sweating? What are the odds that the naturally occurring moisture in our lungs would drown them? I think even dew and fog could present a life threatening situation for an ant sized person.

I would suspect that body temperature would be nearly impossible to maintain when traveling between cooler and warmer areas, for example leaving a burrow into 80 or 90 degree temps and full sun or leaving the same burrow into freezing temperatures. With such minimal mass it would seem that the body would very rapidly heat up in the sun or loose heat very rapidly in the cold...for that matter would life in temperatures below 98 degrees even be possible? Freezing temperatures would bring all sorts of problems given exposure times before hypothermia and frostbite set in are likely greatly reduced at that scale. Much potential for freezing solid in short order.

Edit: Hrmmm, took to long to post. oh well.



Edited by DFINITLYDISTRUBD, 06 August 2013 - 11:47 AM.

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#7 Turtle

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:48 PM

But wouldn't a scaled down eye let in less light, and have fewer photo receptors resulting in an at best very grainy image?


Not sure if 'grainy' is the right term, because it's the brain that interprets the eye's input. I think you are right about less light & fewer receptors however and I'll have to think a bit about the consequences. :fly:

Would they even be capable of sweating? What are the odds that the naturally occurring moisture in our lungs would drown them? I think even dew and fog could present a life threatening situation for an ant sized person.


Good points. I was thinking if they did sweat and the humidity was high, a water drop would slowly form around them & they'd drown.


I had the same thought.

Many real tiny animals, with tiny individual intellects, excel at building, but the construction material is cellulose and spittle. It’s an effort of imagination to work out a scenario where ant size, human intelligence animals forge metal – let’s be ambitious, and have the goal being to fly a constellation of orbiting communication and navigation satellites like our own – and managing fire seems a key part of it.


I love your efforts of imagination. Since we have some specific micro-measures it would be useful to have a specific measure for 'ant-sized-human'. I think you mentioned a linear scaling of a factor of 100. So if we let a normal human be 6 ft, that's 1828.8 mm. Let's round up to 2000 mm, scale by 100 and we have an 20 mm tiny human. That's a big ant. I think a 5mm tiny human at a scale of 400 to 1 is reasonable.

So, back to your forging. I was imagining a tiny human with a nugget of gold. Could a 400 to 1 scale tiny human muster the might to hammer it into gold leaf as we do?

Microhumans might be much more efficient in their use of heat than us macros. We smelt ore to get the metal out of it, where microhumans might just go at it with tiny picks and shovels, or maybe bare hands – we’ve not explored the anatomical scaling subject well yet, but taking real ants are an example, microhumans might be amazingly strong on their scale compared to us on ours – pulling nuggets of pure metal from ore the way macrohumans pick valuable recyclables from trash heaps.


If we adopt a 5mm standard we ...well you...can start working out some specifics such as how big their dirty little hands and fingers are which will determine the size of their little picks and shovels which will determine how hard busting up stuff with them is. :hammer:

Still, even using the most efficient sinter-forging, at some point, you’ve got to melt metal and silicates to build a satellite launcher.

I imagine microhumans wouldn’t handle fire as comfortably/familiarly as we macros do – no poking fires with sticks of burning wood, etc., when your mass-to-air-viscosity ratio makes it likely you’ll get sucked into them – but rather would do it the way we do with kilns, sealing it away in fireproof boxes containing the work pieces to be heated. I imagine they’d prefer methane over wood, and be good gas line plumbers.


Hadn't though of getting sucked in. Oh horror of horrors!!! :omg:

Got to thinking too that your satellite launcher will need electricity. Then got to thinking about static cling and that's one more way for a tiny human to get stuck to stuff. Now i'm seeing a tiny Ben Frantlin flying his kite to show that lightning is electricty. :rose: :lightning Now I'm seeing little Ben not even getting a kite up. :wilted: Then I'm seeing him get it up, but fried to a cinder when the spark jumps from the key to his knuckle. :weather_storm:


This is in anatomical scaling subject area.

As a rule heat energy scales as the length3, heat power (losing it) as the length2, so our microhumans would lose heat 100 times faster than us macros. Overheating wouldn’t be a problem, staying warm would be. ...


I'm unclear on how that relates to being in direct sunlight for example. My gut says the tiny human is in serious trouble. What am I missing here? While I'm on my scaling inadequicies, how much would a 5 mm tiny human weigh?


Guns don’t scale down well, though, so I don’t think the micros would be dropping spiders and sparrows with tiny .357 magnum pistols or .460 Weatherby big game rifles. I imagine “gun” and “tank” or “gunship” would be practically synonymous for the micros, all guns necessarily being built into vehicles or static installations.


You're gonna put your eye out!!! :slingshot: :lol: So on a linear scale of 400/1, a tiny human aircraft carrier would be ~ 2.5 feet long. Avast yee starlings and prepare to be shot at. :piratesword:

Rather than being scurrying victims of a feeding frenzy or relative giants, based the real human history of hunting dangerous animals to near or complete extinction, I imagine there’s a risk that microhuman might effectively scour the earth of all more-than-micro fauna. Humans aren’t rational when it comes to fear of big things that can kill and eat us, so … bye bye, birdy. :(


Perhaps. But there are a lot more birds than there are lions & tigers and bears oh my.


Will get to more, but I feel the need to feed. :chef:

#8 Turtle

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 03:43 PM

[quote name='CraigD' timestamp='1375688872' post='328820']
I love this line of questions!
snip...
Big picture/summary
More scaled-down humans could live on Earth than full size ones. As most biological processes, including nerve activity and movement, is faster in small animals than large ones, it’s reasonable to speculate that they’d be faster than us. Taken together, in a scientific or technological “race” against otherwise equal full size humans, scaled-down ones would have both a numbers and speed advantage.
snap..
Assuming tiny humans are faster and more numerous than ordinary size animals, I imagine they’d engineer technical solutions to the problem of getting stepped on.
[/quote]


I think we need to differentiate quick from fast here. ? Quick being a short time to make a movement/step, and fast being covering the most distance in an allotted time. So while a tiny human would be quick compared to larger animals, they wouldn't be fast.


How Fast Can an Ant Run?
[quotename='Jorina Fontelera @ E-How']
The average size of a worker carpenter ant is 1/4 inch long, putting it in the large ant category. Large ants have an average speed of 300 meters per hour, or 196 inches per minute[/quote]
So since an average human can walk 3 mph, they cover a mile in 20 minutes while an ant walks at 0.18mph and takes 5.5 hours to cover a mile.

Anyway, I worked up some linear dimensions for a 1:400 scale tiny human, 5mm tall. First entry of each category is normal size, second is tiny.

fingers::reminder:
100mm long X 20mm wide
0.25mm long X 0.05 wide

hands::hi:
200mm long X 100mm wide
0.5mm long X 0.25mm wide

feet::hal_skeleton:
300mm long X 100mm wide
.75mm long X 0.25mm wide

erect penis:
Spoiler

152mm
.38mm


Then there is the matter of lifespan for small animals. Seems it would have to be short and that could be a problem for learning and passing on knowledge. :clock:

#9 DFINITLYDISTRUBD

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:39 PM

Australian Bull Ants which can be over 2.5 cms long


1/72 scale of a typical human adult (approximately)...that would make things easier. Besides, nobody specified a species.Posted Image

#10 Deepwater6

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:07 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-23522734

The sci-fi media shows alot of aliens just like us, but with different faces. Such as Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. I'm not too sure that's what we will find when we head out looking for some. :o I'm not saying some couldn't be similar in shape and size to us. I just think that the universe must contain advanced life in all shapes and sizes.

If life is as prevalent as I believe it to be. There could be worlds with huge life forms shaped like the stay-puffed marshmellow man. Hundreds if not thousands of feet tall. :huh: There could also be tiny advanced aliens out there too small to see. Who knows they may already be here. :unsure:

You guys should be careful with this subject. You are going to force Moontaman to pull out all his documented sightings again. You go MTN. ;)

#11 blamski

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:34 AM

there's an interesting art / speculative design project that has been considering this, and all the associated cultural and socialogical themes, for a while;

the incredible shrinking man

Edited by blamski, 07 August 2013 - 10:35 AM.


#12 Turtle

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 02:55 PM

1/72 scale of a typical human adult (approximately)...that would make things easier. Besides, nobody specified a species.Posted Image


there's an interesting art / speculative design project that has been considering this, and all the associated cultural and socialogical themes, for a while;

the incredible shrinking man



I agree that your 1:72 scale and the 1:4 proposed at Blamski's link make things easier, but I don't think that's what Jamongo had in mind. Jamongo? You there?

Besides, at those scales none of the interesting stuff Craig has proposed happens, such as getting stuck to water or sucked into fires. Craig has used 1:100 and a 20mm tall tiny human, wheras I suggest a 1:400 scale and a 5mm tall tiny human.

I move that we adopt a standard. :soapbox: All in favor, vote your preference. All opposed, you are excused. :P

I was thinking that a 5mm tall tiny human could develop a materials science around chitin. Imagine helmets & armor made of beetle elytron and weapons and tools of insect legs. :lightsaber2:

Another point we might want to clarify is whether our tiny technological humans evolved along with the 'normal' world Jamongo described, or were the tiny humans shrunk after the fact by some undefined means. ??

Edited by Turtle, 07 August 2013 - 03:02 PM.


#13 blamski

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 03:21 PM

i vote for 1/72 scale.

the simple reason being that a huge amount of infrastructure already exists at this scale. 1/72 scale is the most popular scale model err... scale. the plastic kits of aircraft, tanks and spaceships might not be much more use than kids playgrounds but radio controlled ships exist at that scale. the tiny humans could easily adapt a controller with systems of levers and pulleys. die cast vehicles are also available and would just need a form of locomotion - would they scale down an engine or would be use mice as beasts of burden?

OO scale, at 1/87, is close enough that transport systems could be built out of Hornby railway sets, though maybe the driver would need to crouch down just a little bit.

the tiny humans would have most of their furnishing and maye even housing needs satisfied by model railway accesories.

so there would be less demand for manufacture, which means more time for leisure and culture, and we all know what that means...

#14 DFINITLYDISTRUBD

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:12 PM

Hrrrmm, 1/100 has the advantage of moving decimal points for mathematical conversions, assuming a roughly 6 foot (182.9cm) even adult as the model scaled down from we'd have a bloke a mere .183cm tall....hrrrmm, that's small even by ant standards....at least compared to the ants round here...that's small enough to ride typical ants like six legged elephants, smaller ones like horses, sow bugs like rhinos, and centipedes like buses.

!/72 has the advantage of a fella being large enough to stand a chance of not being at the very bottom of the food chain, as well as large enough to have the strength to make tools, handle fire on a small scale, even work metal.

I dunno.

#15 Turtle

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:09 PM

...
!/72 has the advantage of a fella being large enough to stand a chance of not being at the very bottom of the food chain, as well as large enough to have the strength to make tools, handle fire on a small scale, even work metal.

I dunno.



Well, I think a part of the imagining we have been asked for forces us to challenge the idea that 'bigger is better'. In your everday life you have more to justifiably fear from bacteria than lions. Just who is eating whom here?

Maybe as long as we each specify a scale with our thoughts, it's well enough. If nothing else it's a springboard for comparing a variety of scales of tiny humans.

Gulliver. Horton. Gargamell. ... Tiny humans got legs! :dogwalk:

Edited by Turtle, 07 August 2013 - 09:10 PM.


#16 DFINITLYDISTRUBD

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:20 PM

There are limits for how small you can be and still be able to do things, for example flint knapping, metal working, and utilizing fire. At 1/100 a match would be a raging inferno, at 1/72 a nice bonfire....of course the smallest flame I've ever seen was about the size of the 1/100 example human so a bonfire, for a man 1cm it would be a nice cracklin fire in the fireplace, for the 2cm man still adequate for cookin but more like a flame on the stove.

A zippo pumps out enough heat to get metal soft, even a tea candle can soften metal enough to shape...of course this raises the question does a fella smaller than 1cm need to use metal...if he wants any of the technological goodies we enjoy, most definitely yes. But how does he get the metal to begin with? I would assume he'd get the naturally occurring metals first, most likely copper from there with size probably ruling out smelting of higher temperature metals I suspect other metals would be obtained through electrolysis, then heated and refined. In any case the limits of how thin metal can be and still be structurally useful limit how small a human could be and still be able to use it and therefore what technology the mini-human could have.

#17 Deepwater6

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:47 AM

I see your point on the size of the fire with a zippo lighter, but I would think just opening the lighter would be deadly. A fully loaded zippo throwing off fumes would make a person that small think they were in the middle of a Cl2 leak or some other chemical from a train crash, pick your choice. Wouldn't you think?