ecohansen

theory: CO2 and Roshar's atmosphere and ecology

30 posts in this topic

This is an excellent first post, ecohansen! I will let others do a thorough review because I don't have time to read your theory more carefully right now, but could you please supply a link to that WoB regarding astronomers and Roshar? It might help me with one of my own theories. Thanks!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi skaa.

 

I don't have it directly: I was working off Kaellok's post in the "Is the Stone Shamanate of Odium" thread on page 2.

 

Specifically, Kaellok said

 

" There's another WoB that I need to dig up that says that astronomers would say that Roshar isn't a habitable planet at this time, due to what's going on."

 

Sorry I couldn't give the direct source.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found it!



You'll love this. The star's age, at Roshar--Earth astronomers would say that is a star which could not have planets with life on them orbiting it.

So the problem is the sun of the Rosharan solar system, not Roshar itself.

Still, your thoughts about the planet's atmosphere based on the behavior of Rosharian flora are quite interesting. *thumbs up*

Edited by skaa
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the sourcing and the compliment.

 

Tears and sadness that my WoB support didn't hold up.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome!
This is an excellently reasoned and explained theory, exactly the sort of thing that I find irresistible on this site. Overall I think you may be on to something. I have a few comments and quibbles, but for the most part (even if my interpretation is correct) they just reduce the amount of Shardic intervention necessary. This is definitely plausible.

 
First, on the meta-level, I initially thought, "Yeah, sure, but Brandon wouldn't have planned that. He has admitted in interviews that they couldn't figure out the greatshell issues, and settled on an It's Magic explanation with spren." However, knowing the amount of research that goes into his worldbuilding, I could definitely see this as a canon element. Thanks to skaa for finding that WoB, even though it isn't about the planet directly.
 
Now, for the in-world treatment.
To me, the weakest part of this argument is the "airsick lowlander" evidence.

The atmosphere on the Horneater Peaks is different from, and healthier than, the atmosphere at lower elevations ("airsick lowlanders").  However, although temperatures on the peaks are similar to temperatures in the lowlands, agricultural productivity must be much lower--almost the entire population is devoted to food production, and the Horneaters are nevertheless still defined by having to eat parts of animals which other cultures shun.

Yes, the atmosphere is different, but the only "healthier" evidence we have is Rock saying so, and his comments always struck me as simple cultural elitism. There is little to convince me that the airsick comments are any more evidence-based than a slur like "stupid lighteyes," etc. Regular old altitude sickness could be reason enough for their thought process.
 
Similarly, the diet piece doesn't ring true to me either. I agree with the heavy food production statement, but as far as animal parts, there are Earth cultures that eat bone-in fish, shell-on shrimp, etc. that (to my knowledge) don't do so for scarcity reasons. Maybe scarcity caused someone to eat crickets the first time, but after that the tribe just decided they were a good food source. Basically, the difference in productivity between peaks and plains may be real, but I don't think horneater stew is real evidence of that.

 

 
So, let's think about rockbuds. I really like the sea urchin comparison--it is quite apt. And I agree that using rockbuds as the model makes sense since they are the most widely cultivated and therefore probably have the best calorie density per farming effort available.

Rockbuds could not possibly be productive enough to support an ecosystem and a civilization.
[...metabolism stuff...]
So, either rockbuds have access to more energy than earth-plants do, or they have access to more carbon dioxide, or both.

I agree with your reasoning, but want to point out a few things.
The Listeners enhance their crop growth with stormlight stored in gems. I got the impression from the books that this works by much more than "shine a light on it" mechanisms. I believe that the inherent power of stormlight is doing something here, contributing more energy for growth (via surges or something, not photosynthesis). And since you get a highstorm with a shot of extra energy every few days, that could be enough to make the ecosystem thrive. 
 
And while civilization requires more food production than just living does, humans also have access to soulcasting. In fact, soulcasting food seems to be the thing that, at least historically, has driven Alethi currency valuation. This suggests it is fundamental, and I suspect it is what allows any sort of approach to the population density we observe.
 
I agree with you that partial pressure of CO2 must be greater than on Earth (and I'm glad you brought it up, because I had forgotten it was a limiting factor for photosynthesis.) But maybe it doesn't have to be too much greater. Especially since, according to the graph on this page, at a certain point temperature becomes limiting and adding more CO2 won't help. (I have no idea what that partial pressure is at human-friendly temperatures, or how it relates to healthy breathing. Off the cuff I would guess that CO2 would get unhealthy for us before it reached excess concentrations for photosynthesis.) See, this is the part where I reveal my ignorance. I am a biologist, but for the most part I ignore plants. :unsure: I know, sorry.

... and they produce energetically-expensive structures like shells.  The drawings show that they have a relatively small leaf area to support all this.

I will just point out that I had imagined rockbud shells as being deposits/extrusions of minerals derived from crem, sort of like the exoskeletons of corals, rather than the chitinous shells of arthropods. Still an effort, but not nearly as energetically expensive.
 

 

Okay, so now...
About crem.

 crem, which seems to act as NPK fertilizer

I think you're probably right, but (as a non-plant person) what other possibilities did you rule out? I have been imagining crem as including minerals, but also oceanic biomass caught up in the highstorm. If an algal bloom is happening out in the eastern ocean, the next highstorm is bound to deposit tons of free food to support the land-based ecology. Sort of like organic detritus drifting down to lower levels in the ocean creates a conveyor belt bringing in raw materials for the local energy budget.

If crem is fertilizer, stormward waterbodies like Longbrow's Straits and the Steamwater ocean should have massive nitrogen and phosphate pollution, and should therefore be solid masses of algae.  But Shallan's journey over Longbrow's Straits shows that this is not the case.

Here I've mostly got questions for you: What is the rate of an algal bloom? What would a normal hurricane do to life in coastal waters (like algae)? Do periodic highstorms make it more believable that the strait is clear, despite "massive nitrogen and phosphate pollution" in the water? If the algae gets both churned into the water and lifted onto the land, would that keep the plant matter in check enough to let other oceanic life catch up and just have a very fertile ocean in life that isn't obviously visible from the shore?

 

And Surges

My solution to these problems is that Cultivation drains the Progression surge from the stormward waterbodies, and channels that Progression into terrestrial plants.

I guess this part confuses me a little bit. Not that it wouldn't work, but I wonder why Cultivation would do it that way. The "drain an attribute here to supply it elsewhere" is a Feruchemical mindset, which is distinct in that it is internally powered. Not only are the Shards not limited to surges or the other subdivisions of investiture that are used by people, they are working with a vastly larger power source. Perhaps magically fertilizing a whole continent is a big enough use of magic to be a drain, but I personally get the sense that even that is small potatoes unless opposed by another Shard. And since the ecology of Roshar appears to predate Odium's arrival, she would have been at this for a long time. (Then again, she's good at seeing the future, so maybe she would know she needs to be careful with resources. I don't know.)
 
 
Anyway, that's my input for now. I don't see much in the way of holes to poke, just questions to ask. 
Overall, thanks for a great theory! I'm pretty sure you are on to something here. I'm always glad to have more science-minded theorists to present neat ideas to discuss, and I look forward to seeing you around the forums.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magnificent feedback, ccstat!

 

Yep, I entirely agree that airsickness is far from well-established.  But if it can be explained by the same phenomena that explain the agricultural disparities, then why not? 

 

Your real-world comments were wonderful, and most of them hadn't occurred to me.  I'll need to spend a while rounding up facts and figures.

 

I'd entirely forgotten that the Listeners nourished plants with stormlight, and I have no idea what to do with that.

 

One of your Roshar comments did disagree with my understanding.  You spoke of soulcast food undergirding Alethkar society.  That's certainly the case on the shattered plains, but isn't that situation highly atypical?  Im sure I vaguely remember comments that characters were unused to soulcast food.  Moreover, the people doing the soulcasting seem to be only undergoing their major physiological changes on the Shattered Plains.  If the entire civilisation was supported by soulcast food, wouldn't these altered people be a normal part of society?   Finally, weren't the problems in Kholinar largely related to an agricultural collapse?

 

As for Cultivation shifting growth from one area to another, my day job is planning strategies for removing invasive plants from state parks, and I work with a lot of herbicides.  The two most widely used herbicides in North America both work by causing unregulated growth in targeted plants.  Unregulated growth is just as deadly for plants as it is for animals.  Also, cultivation requires more time pruning and weeding than planting.  By going with the name "Cultivation" rather than something like "Verdure", Roshar's plant-deity seems to be heavily hinting that she knows the value of restraint. 

 

That's all I've got for now.

Thanks again for the thorough review!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does algae actually exist on Roshar to begin with? I've lost track of the locally represented organisms beyond crustaceans, birds, horses, and plants.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, your excellent observations on crem made me wonder if you had any thoughts on cremlings.  Several characters certainy seemed to think that cremlings arose from abiogenesis, spontaneously arising from crem.

 

1.Other options: they are terrestrial creatures like brine shrimp in desert pools, hatching or reviving after rain.

2. At least some of them are doomed ocean creatures that got picked up by the storm and stranded

3. They are anadromous/catadromous like salmon or eels, with one lifestage on land and another in the ocean, and have evolved structures or behaviors that make them more likely to be picked up by oceanic highstorms, specifically so that they can be deposited on land.

 

Do you have a sense for which of these is more likely?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps Roshar's sun also has a peak wavelength further away from green than the sun so more radiation is absorbed by the plants. There could also be a possibility of some sort of chemosynthesis going on, either in the plant itself or supplied by bacteria. Does anyone know if Roshar is tectonically active?

 

Also, crem seems to be less of an NPK fertiliser than something specifically tailored to Roshar's biology. This is based on two pieces of evidence. First, assuming that humans on Roshar are effectively biologically identical to those on earth, drinking that much NPK would have to have severe adverse effects on health, and Rosharans drink stormwater all the time. And although they let the crem settle out, the crem must be water soluble to be an effective NPK fertiliser. Second, there is no evidence of any algal bloom after highstorms, as mentioned above.

 

Unfortunately, I have no idea what crem could be, although I agree that it could well be used for constructing rockbud shells, especially as it is used to create pottery.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roshar, I believe, has 0 tectonic activity whatsoever. The whole continent, judging from its shape, might even just be made out of crem deposits for all we know.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We know that crem helps plants grow.  If it's not NPK fertilizer, I can see a few other options, but each has its own problems.

 

1. It is a liming agent, like calcium carbonate.  This easily agrees with its use in masonry and pottery (although the pots would eventually dissolve), and several earth creatures have calcium carbonate shells.  However, the reason we lime plants is to make the soil more alkaline.  If the continent is indeed mostly accumulated crem, then all of the soils are already as alkaline as you could want, and adding more lime won't help.

 

2. It is decaying organic matter: dead sea creatures swept up by the highstorms.  This would improve the soil's cation exhange capacity and water retention, as well as providing a small dose of NPK.  However, I don't remember crem actively rotting.  Also, all that ocean life would contain salt, and it seems like over time you would be literally salting the earth.

 

3. It is tiny live creatures which are symbiotic with plants.  Maybe crem is made up entirely of tiny cremlings, and the cremlings provide some service.  Possible services: A) cremlings act like predatory nematodes, attacking plant parasites.  B ) Cremlings harvest soil nutrients, acting like mycorrhizal fungi.  Maybe they gather up soil nutrients while they grow, then climb onto the plants to molt, and the plants subsequently use their nutrient-rich carapaces as a substrate.  C) Maybe cremlings fix nitrogen directly, acting like the bacterial partners of leguminous plants. 

 

Option 3 definitely makes using crem for pottery and masonry seem pretty cruel, but endemic cruelty certainly isn't a sticking point in a Sanderson world.

Edited by ecohansen
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe the third option. Science seems fairly advanced on Roshar for its relative technology level and I just cannot see all the scientists missing that the crem is alive. But the first one definitely seems plausible.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, cromptj, I definitely agree that if Roshar has an od sun, its emission spectrum would be redder than ours, so that woud solve part of the probem.  Thanks for the suggestion.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love the analysis Ecohansen, but I've got to say I disagree with almost every point you make (though sometimes in only very minor ways).

Overall, I disagree because you're "Earthnorming" the Rosharin Ecosystem. This isn't Earth, the Gravity is different, the Star is different, there are multiple Moons so the Tides are different, this is a planet that MAYBE started like Earth, but then underwent extensive Evolution and probably some magical Artifical Selection to arrive at what we see in the books.

 

Onwards to specifics.

 

 

2: If crem is fertilizer, stormward waterbodies like Longbrow's Straits and the Steamwater ocean should have massive nitrogen and phosphate pollution, and should therefore be solid masses of algae.  But Shallan's journey over Longbrow's Straits shows that this is not the case.

 

This treats Crem as immediately available high concentrate fertilizer, but the only thing we know is that plants "grow better" when Crem is present. This could mean the Phosphate is bound up in the Crem rather than immediately water soluble.

Even if we Earthnorm the local Algaes at this point, the TYPE of Phosphate would determine Algae growth, not its presence. If we don't Earthnorm, then we have Algae that have evolved to not Bloom in Phosphate-rich conditions, either naturally or through Artifical Selection thousands of years ago by Cultivation.

 

 

3: The atmosphere on the Horneater Peaks is different from, and healthier than, the atmosphere at lower elevations ("airsick lowlanders").  However, although temperatures on the peaks are similar to temperatures in the lowlands, agricultural productivity must be much lower--almost the entire population is devoted to food production, and the Horneaters are nevertheless still defined by having to eat parts of animals which other cultures shun.

 

The peoples of Tibet or the Kalenjin of Kenya would say the same thing about me. The air in the mountains isn't better or worse, just different, so when I go to their mountains or they come to my lowlands, the visitor feels ill because things aren't "right".

 

 

I have more to say, but I'm out of time ATM.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't wait to hear more, Labrat.

 

Cromptj, if you're gravitating towards the theory that crem is calcium carbonate, I have thought of one way in which it could increase fertility on a storm-deposited continent.  If I correctly understand Skaa's thread "Theory: Zephyr and the Upside Down Planet", the Julia set that would generate Roshar's continent would be made by a storm coming from leeward rather than stormward.  Therefore, Roshar was deposited by the everstorm rather than the highstorm--the everstorm was the original storm during the pre-shards, parshendi-only period, and the highstorm is a recent product of the shards.  I think someone else has already suggested that the Everstorm could have an acidic deposit.  In that case, calcium carbonate could indeed buffer and ameliorate an intrinsically acid soil.  Still, if the highstorm has been dominant for several thousand years, I would still expect the upper layer of topsoil to have become permanently alkaline by now, so I still see this explanation as fairly tenuous.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magnificent feedback, ccstat!

 

Yep, I entirely agree that airsickness is far from well-established.  But if it can be explained by the same phenomena that explain the agricultural disparities, then why not? 

 

Your real-world comments were wonderful, and most of them hadn't occurred to me.  I'll need to spend a while rounding up facts and figures.

 

I'd entirely forgotten that the Listeners nourished plants with stormlight, and I have no idea what to do with that.

 

One of your Roshar comments did disagree with my understanding.  You spoke of soulcast food undergirding Alethkar society.  That's certainly the case on the shattered plains, but isn't that situation highly atypical?  Im sure I vaguely remember comments that characters were unused to soulcast food.  Moreover, the people doing the soulcasting seem to be only undergoing their major physiological changes on the Shattered Plains.  If the entire civilisation was supported by soulcast food, wouldn't these altered people be a normal part of society?   Finally, weren't the problems in Kholinar largely related to an agricultural collapse?

 

As for Cultivation shifting growth from one area to another, my day job is planning strategies for removing invasive plants from state parks, and I work with a lot of herbicides.  The two most widely used herbicides in North America both work by causing unregulated growth in targeted plants.  Unregulated growth is just as deadly for plants as it is for animals.  Also, cultivation requires more time pruning and weeding than planting.  By going with the name "Cultivation" rather than something like "Verdure", Roshar's plant-deity seems to be heavily hinting that she knows the value of restraint. 

 

That's all I've got for now.

Thanks again for the thorough review!

 

 

Hmmmm, decent rationale all around. 

 

I should point out that Soulcasters and their use are more widespread, they are certainly present in Jah Keved as it is noted that the brutal fighting there might be partly due to the use of Soulcasters to unbind armies from supply constrains that would be considered in our world. But in regards to if the changes to Soulcasters (the people) only happen on the Shattered Plains we have no real evidence, the only person we even really see interact with them who isn't a Highprince level Lighteyes are ardents and I think we only see the Soulcasters as they are because no one can stop Adolin (?) from viewing his own soulcasters.    

 

I was going to note the part about Stormlight helping plants grow, but was beaten to the point. I would , however, like to note that Cultivation is apparently the Shard that would best get on with Ruin, and I believe this is reflective of the fact that She likes to see things grow to new forms (a belief that is held over in Vorin teachings) but may not necessarily care for the preservation of the current form or order. That is, she'd be fine with the world falling apart so long as she'd be able to grow a new one...but once it is made she's less invested in maintaining it.  In addition, I'm not sure the bearers of Shards can determine what they are called, so the Shard is Cultivation and the bearer has little impact on that. Unless...you mean her original ideal of Cultivation is such that it supports a more systematic, rigorous regulated growth. 

 

In any case, I don't Cultivation as having a particular active role, maybe she did once but not now...This is also supported by thew fact that now that Honour is dead, Cultivation apparently cares little for humans on Roshar.  

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't wait to hear more, Labrat.

Cromptj, if you're gravitating towards the theory that crem is calcium carbonate, I have thought of one way in which it could increase fertility on a storm-deposited continent. If I correctly understand Skaa's thread "Theory: Zephyr and the Upside Down Planet", the Julia set that would generate Roshar's continent would be made by a storm coming from leeward rather than stormward. Therefore, Roshar was deposited by the everstorm rather than the highstorm--the everstorm was the original storm during the pre-shards, parshendi-only period, and the highstorm is a recent product of the shards. I think someone else has already suggested that the Everstorm could have an acidic deposit. In that case, calcium carbonate could indeed buffer and ameliorate an intrinsically acid soil. Still, if the highstorm has been dominant for several thousand years, I would still expect the upper layer of topsoil to have become permanently alkaline by now, so I still see this explanation as fairly tenuous.

Thank you for reading my Zephyr theory, but I'm afraid you misunderstood it a little bit. I did not say that the highstorm could not have created the continent (we know it did, due to this WoB). I just said the highstorm must be anticyclonic in order to explain the counter-clockwise shape of the continent.

To be clear, I never said that the Everstorm existed in the past. I believe it has even been implied in WoR that the Everstorm is a completely new thing.

Edited by skaa
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This treats Crem as immediately available high concentrate fertilizer, but the only thing we know is that plants "grow better" when Crem is present. This could mean the Phosphate is bound up in the Crem rather than immediately water soluble.

Even if we Earthnorm the local Algaes at this point, the TYPE of Phosphate would determine Algae growth, not its presence. If we don't Earthnorm, then we have Algae that have evolved to not Bloom in Phosphate-rich conditions, either naturally or through Artifical Selection thousands of years ago by Cultivation.

 

 

But people still drink stormwater even after leaving the crem to settle, which would give it ample time to dissolve, at least partially. Taking in large amounts of phosphates regularly would have to cause a phosphate od in some people at least, and since there have clearly been studies into crem, Kaladin, as an apprentice surgeon, would know about stormwater being poisonous to some people. So I think that crem cannot be a phosphate source, and the same argument applies to crem being a source of nitrates.

 

And the fact that the highstorm deposits stone as stated in the WoB above definitely suggests that calcium carbonate or silicon dioxide is a component of crem. I am in fact now leaning more towards silicon dioxide, as a quick google search has revealed that pottery is made of silicon dioxide but not out of calcium carbonate.

Edited by Cromptj
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But if crem is JUST silicon dioxide, it is just soil.  Certainly, if it is storm-deposited, then the diameter of the soil particles would make it aeolian loess, the second-best soil type for agriculture after silt-loam.  So it would be a great idea to grow plants IN crem deposits, but ADDING crem to already-growing plants wouldn't do much of anything.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So there must be something else in it, but I think that silicon dioxide must be an element of crem, because of the properties it displays, i.e. depositing stone, and being an ingredient of pottery.

Edited by Cromptj
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But people still drink stormwater even after leaving the crem to settle, which would give it ample time to dissolve, at least partially. Taking in large amounts of phosphates regularly would have to cause a phosphate od in some people at least, and since there have clearly been studies into crem, Kaladin, as an apprentice surgeon, would know about stormwater being poisonous to some people. So I think that crem cannot be a phosphate source, and the same argument applies to crem being a source of nitrates.

 

By "bound up" I mean not water soluble and not immediately biologically available. It would be in solid form, and settle out with the Crem. Getting the PK out of the Crem would require some type of biological/chemical activity (perhaps naturally occuring bacteria that produce an acidic compound that reacts with the Crem, releasing usable P and/or K. P in particular is unavailable in even mildly alkaline soils, quickly becoming available as the PH decreases)

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all.

 

Several people have already noted that the existence of chull and other large arthropods requires Roshar to have more atmospheric oxygen than Earth does (if you want to brush up on arthropod respiration, start here: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/03/04/rspb.2010.0001). 

 

WoK, Ch 13, "10 Heartbeats", p209 of the eBook

If he rammed the Shardblade in just right, he could stop the heart or lungs, but that would be difficult while the beast was upright.

 

If Rosharan Arthropods have a heart and lungs, they also likely have at least a partially enclosed circulatory system, making standard Arthropod respiration not applicable. Oxygenation, therefore, is a matter of lung capacity vs creature size vs Oxygen content, but the Oxygen content doesn't need to be nearly as high.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great points all around. LabRat's note about bio-availability is a good one, and could explain the danger of drinking stormwater without letting it settle: stomach acid liberates the P/K bound up in crem, but it isn't soluble initially so there aren't dangerous levels in the water after settling. 

 

One of your Roshar comments did disagree with my understanding.  You spoke of soulcast food undergirding Alethkar society.  That's certainly the case on the shattered plains, but isn't that situation highly atypical?  Im sure I vaguely remember comments that characters were unused to soulcast food.  Moreover, the people doing the soulcasting seem to be only undergoing their major physiological changes on the Shattered Plains.  If the entire civilisation was supported by soulcast food, wouldn't these altered people be a normal part of society?   Finally, weren't the problems in Kholinar largely related to an agricultural collapse?

I'm probably a victim of the Assuredness movement here. I overstated the case a bit, and looking up agricultural economics since then hasn't really supported my interpretation. 

Since only ardents soulcast, and the soulcasters are kept out of view of other people, I'm not sure there is evidence either way for how much they operate usually. Certainly the war campaign is abnormally high, but I wonder how much higher than normal.

I think that at least historically soulcast food probably has been a crucial element of society, even if it is limited in application. If you soulcast 5% of the food you eat, that basically translates into 5% more population you can support, and that additional 5% can all specialize into non-farming social roles. That sounds like an incredible boon to advancing civilization (or recovering from a recent Desolation. Again.)

 

For currency, I was referring to the denominations of spheres, with emerald as the most valuable specifically because it is useful for food soulcasting. That may be a holdover from a different economic situation, but it indicates that at some point the ability to create food was considered a value standard. (Not that it counts for much. I wouldn't say that all the economies that adopted the gold standard were functionally dependent upon the properties of gold. It was useful as a standard for other reasons.)

 

I don't recall the Kholinar riots being a result of agricultural problems so much as flagrant mismanagement of trade, etc. So what food there was didn't make it to the people who needed it. Someone with a book can check me on that--maybe there was an actual shortage.

 

Also, your excellent observations on crem made me wonder if you had any thoughts on cremlings.  Several characters certainy seemed to think that cremlings arose from abiogenesis, spontaneously arising from crem.

 

1.Other options: they are terrestrial creatures like brine shrimp in desert pools, hatching or reviving after rain.

2. At least some of them are doomed ocean creatures that got picked up by the storm and stranded

3. They are anadromous/catadromous like salmon or eels, with one lifestage on land and another in the ocean, and have evolved structures or behaviors that make them more likely to be picked up by oceanic highstorms, specifically so that they can be deposited on land.

 

Do you have a sense for which of these is more likely?

 

I think that "cremlings" is a very broad umbrella term covering basically anything small that you see crawling around after a highstorm, and it probably refers to a wide range of creature types-possibly including all of the above. I'll admit that options 2&3 hadn't occurred to me before. I had gotten the impression that the majority of cremlings were terrestrial arthropods that remained active but hidden in the absence of a highstorm, along with some others that hatch/revive as you suggest. I'll have to watch descriptions on a reread.

 

While I find option 3 intriguing, the sheer distances that creatures are carried make it less plausible that they could then return to the Eastern sea in their next life stage. And But it seems a bit of a stretch really really cool to suggest a rolling population moving around the entire planet, carried by highstorms. The more I think about that the more potential I see. Neat idea! That situation could lead to a lot of the "doomed sea creatures" happening since presumably most of the possible touchdown locations are oceanic.

 

(Unlikely as it is, I have to say that abiogenesis would be an entertaining twist for Brandon to throw in. "What, you thought only spren could suddenly pop into being in the physical realm?")

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can i add something that has been missing in this discussion

 

Sky eels!

 

They must be a big clue as to the atmosphere os Roshar. From the pictures it seems impossible for such a creature to be able to fly unless the atmosphere thins out very fast the higher you get and the gravity on roshar is very weak, even so what do they eat and how to they get up there in the first place....

 

Another interesting thing would be the final battle in the sky above the ever/highstorm... If theyre above the highstorm is that because the atmosphere cant support the storm there (or is the stormshight artificially limited). But if the atmosphere is too thin for a storm is it too thin to breathe up there?

 

Basically i like your thinning atmosphere conclusions :P

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.