Here's a question for you, /tg/:
Assuming that mermaids spend a vast majority of their life in the ocean depths and only come up sporadically to lure sailors to their deaths - how do they track the time and date?
Would they know about the different seasons? If they're living deep enough in the ocean that light can't reach them, would they even understand the day/night cycle?
How would a Mermaid society work?
If they live deep enough that they can't see the difference between "day" and "night" they may track those times based on the migration of other sea life. Many zooplankton move to deeper water during the day and towards the surface at night.
Lunar annual cycle based on the tides?
Alternatively, why would they be interested on measuring the passage of time? Do they harvest something on the spring like surfacers?
Society based on aquatic transhumance, they guide herds of whales and shoals of fish.
Looking at other sea life moving like >>45059903 said.
Having sensitive blood that reacts to magnetic fields on earth as it slightly shifts angle towards the sun. Quite a few real fish can sense these kinds of seasonal changes and one in particular makes a suicide journey back all the way into mainland through various streams and such so they can lay eggs, once a year at the same time.
Tides and lunar presence, though it's probably the weakest of the examples.
Magical artifact(s) that can depict time?
Otherwise, I don't see them keeping track of specific days and dates, but I see no reason why they can't have some sort of seasonal cyclic lifestyle like other mammals, especially if they have no solid homeground.
Goblin sharks and corpse sharks have eyes too, but they live so far deep in the water you need high powered headlights from subs to see a dozen feet ahead, regardless of time of day. Some eyes don't just see simple UV. Some are more suited for nocturnal environments and such.
Based on what I'm reading in this thread, mermaids wouldn't necessarily keep track of time on a monthly/yearly scale, but could keep track of day/night based on animal movements.
They're eyes, depending on the depth they lived at, would also be either vestigial or adapted to see in an entirely different spectrum.
For a large society to grow or flourish, they'd need some form of replenishable, controllable food source that they could defend from predators.
Plankton farms in underwater caves, maybe?
Sounds alright I guess, though personally I'd give it a bit of cool flair... like having super good eye sight or something. As for food, though. Do you want cartoon sourced mermaids or more grimm-tale gritty kind of mermaids?
Only reason humpback whales can survive on plankton alone is because they spend a great deal of their day gulping in tremendous amounts of water containing plankton with a massive mouth. Try switching it up to some sort of coral or weed variant that you can palm off as 'nutritious'. Or go for a carnivore approach and have them maintain a balanced hunting equilibrium with local marlins and trout or some other fantastical beast you've got.
Plus, either way you can elaborate on their hunting/agriculture methods for some story filler.
What would humanoid sea-creatures realistically look like? Assuming they had to come from abyssal trenches to explain why humanity hasn't found them yet.
Then again, there is an awful lot of ocean - would it be ridiculous to assume that a city could be simply 'missed' in moderate waters that didn't see regular shipping?
I can't really see you be able to form any kind of large society in the deep sea. There's very little food there. With some handwaving you could justify the mermaids living in small groups. The only sources of food you'd find in the deep sea that would be able to provide food for a group of relatively large beings are carcasses of large sea cretures and maybe the ecosystems that form around black smokers (assuming those tubeworms even are edible. I get the feeling their flesh is rather saturated with sulphur and heavy metals), neighter of which is exactly common, or conductive for a long period settlement (those tuberworms grow very slowly, so over long period of time you'd exhaust the food source, and dead whales obviously don't grow at all), so they'd probably have to be nomadic.
Anything that comes from the deep sea looks freakish as hell. It's like a basic requirement for life to survive down there.
Is this like a worldbuilding question or just one for postulation?
It could be that they don't actually care about time, date, or seasons like humans do and only operate on such concepts instinctively. Maybe they're like pigeons and have some earth sense.
You're assuming they'd want or need to track time.
That said, I can think of a few ways. They might judge time by the flow of certain deep-ocean warm- or cold-water currents; they might have ancient whales that tell time for them, like some kind of Wise Grandfather Clock that happens to be a whale.
Individual communities of mermen might use the periodic eruptions of sulphorous geysers on the seafloor (barbaric, I know).
Maybe they kidnap men from boats and ask them. who knows? It's a mermaid mystery.
>though personally I'd give it a bit of cool flair... like having super good eye sight or something.
Deep sea fish tend to come in two varieties when it comes ot eyesight. Some have large eyes well suited for detecting faint light from the bioluminescence of other fish or, if they live in the "twilight zone" (where small amounts of light is still present), from weak sunlight. Fishes in the twilight zone in particular tend to have large upward-facing eyes, so that they can see the outlines of other fish above them, which would appear as slightly darker than the surrounding water (and many fish counteract this by having photophores on their undersite to produce counter-illumination). Others have very small eyes and rely on sensing changes of pressure to detect moving objects.
Fun fact: most deep sea animals can't see the colour red. That's because red is the first wavelenght of light to get absorbed by water. That's also why many of th deep sea fish that aren't black are red. There is one genus of deep sea fish that can see red, though, and has photophores that generate red light so it can illuminate its surroundings without its prey/predators being able to see it.
I've done deep sea bullshit threads on a regular basis. I'm not an actual marine biologist (I regret not going to study marine biology, though; I'd probably be even more unemployed then, but at least I'd be an unemployed marine biologist), but it's a subject that's always been very close to my heart. Deep sea fishes in particular are really interesting, with their batshit crazy adaptions for living in such an alien environment. Plus they look really cool as well.
I even homebrewed rules for playable deep sea mermaids, and should finish writing the "undersea explorer" prestige class I at one point started to work on. Not that I ever would get to use either one, but I thought somebody should make something like that.
Once I get back home I might hijack the thread for dumping random cool deep sea stuff. It could serve as inspiration for something. You certainly find a lot more monstrous things there than in most fiction.
Would intelligent merfolk be able to circumvent the dearth of nutrition in the depths using agriculture and so on?
Are there any alternatives to photosynthesis?
Maybe some kind of undersea irrigation? Routing warm and silt-rich currents from volcanic vents, black smokers etc to beds of bacteria-rich carcasses, from which they grow fungi and so on?
Maybe the merfolk are necessarily hunters, sustaining their large centralised populations by venturing to higher elevations to hunt, and then retreating to the relatively safer depths.
They'd almost certainly look freaky as shit, though. No pretty Aquaman style Atlanteans that's for sure.
Abyss-anaon is back, and this time with meaningful contributions to the topic on hand! But first, I'll have to give a bit of background.
See the picture? It represents the pelagic layrs of the ocean. That small layer on the top is where sunligth fully penetrates. This is where you find your coral reefs and kelp forests and "normal" oceanic life. Below this depth, there isn't enough ligth for photosyntehsis to occur.
The zone below this depth, extending to about 1km, is known as the twiligth zone, named after the classic TV anthology series starring Rob Sterling. Or the fact that only small amount of light penetrates this deep, meaning the lighting conditions range from darkness to twilight. Despite this, there is quite a lot of life here. Fro example lanternfish, which are among the most populous species of fish, making up a signifigant fraction of the biomass of all fish combined, and come in large enough numbers that sound waves reflecting off their swimming bladders create an image of "false bottom" on sonar. Most fish here have large eyes, often turned upwards to see fish above them backlit by the weak light, and light-emitting organs (photophores), often situated on their bellies to counter-illuminate themselves to prevent detection from below.
At around 1km, all sunlight has been absorbed by the water, leaving everything in perpetual darkness. This is the upper midnight zone, and except in places where the ocean is exceptionally deep is where you hit the bottom. Here's where most of the famous deep sea horrorfish are found. Food is extremely rare (only about 1 - 3% of the production from the surface reaches this deep) so creatures have adapted to survive with little food and eat almost anything they'd be likely to encounter, even if it's bigger than themselves and trying to eat them.
Wait, "upper" midnigth zones? Does that mean there's a lower midnigth zone? Of course there is, and it's pretty much the same but worse.
Specifically, the transition between upper and lower midnight zones roughly corresponds to the point where vertebrate biology simply stops working.The only reason deep sea fish can survive at extreme depths without being crushed is because the pressure on the inside of their bodies is the same as on the outside. But too high pressure makes even basic biological requirements like production of proteins difficult, due to the pressure reducing the fluidity of cell membranes. The fish countreact it by increasing the amount of unsaturated fatty acids in their cell membranes (unsaturated fatty acids are incidentally what gives fish their characteristic smell and taste, so deep sea fish would smell and taste "fishier" than normal fish). However, at around 3800m you hit a "hard cap" where the amount of unsaturated fatty acids in their cell membranes can not be increased any further without causing the osmotic pressure of the cells to become negative, which would cause the fish to violently explode on a cellular level.
Below even this depth you have the hadopelagic or hadal zone, confined to the deepest undersea trenches (on a sidenote, I like that in my native language the term for deep sea trenches can be translated as "deep sea graves"; I find that a far more evocative name). You may notice it's named after the Greek underworld. This is a very appropritate name. We don't talk about the hadal zone, mostly because not much is know about it.
OK, with that out of the way I might actually answer the question posed. How do you tell time in the deep sea? Well, in the twilight zone you can observe the changes in lighting, as it goes from "pretty dark" to "completely dark". Many species of fish living there do just that, rising towards the surface when it's night to feed on the zooplankton (microscopic animals that feed on algae and the like) that sinks from the surface to deeper water during the night.
In the midnight zone? You don't. Not that you need to. There's no day and night cycle or seasons, or anything else to mark the passage of time. Everything is equally cold and dark all the time. That being said, most animals have their own "biological" clock onto which their sleep cycle is based on. I don't actually know if deep sea fish sleep, but I would presume they do, and if they do then the sleep/awake cycle could be used to measure the passing of "days".
>Are there any alternatives to photosynthesis?
Chemosynthesis, which what the organisms around black smokers use. Black smokers are formed in volcanic zones (midocean ridges, subduction zones near oceanic trenches, random undersea hotspots), where water that penetrates into the oceanic crust is heated up by geothermal heat and reacts with the rock, becoming more acidic and absorbing minerals from the rock (most notably iron and manganese) and causing the sulphate in the seawater to turn into hydrogen sulfide. Some backteria generate energy by oxidicing sulfide into sulphate, and form a basis of an ecosystem that isn't reliant on photosynthesis.
Most life in the deep sea is still indirectly reliant on sunlight, as the basis of the ecosystem is marine snow, the remains of dead biomass that falls from the surface. Things at the marine snow or bacteria that eat it, and other things eat those things.
Carcasses of whales and other large animals are also a potential basis of an ecosystem in the bottom fo the sea.
Whales tend to be huge, and when one dies it obviously sinks down to the bottom. In an enviroment where food is normally extremely scarse, a hundred tons of meat falling from above is a pretty big deal. Such carcasses tend to attract scavengers (and creatures that eat them) from miles around, and there are even worms and bacteria specifically evolved to decompose whalebone and nothing else. Of course whales are quite rare, so a stable underwater society probably wouldn't be able to survive with just hoping a dead whale falls out of the "sky" near them.
>Maybe some kind of undersea irrigation? Routing warm and silt-rich currents from volcanic vents, black smokers etc to beds of bacteria-rich carcasses, from which they grow fungi and so on?
Seems like it could be plausible. There's plenty of bacteria and invertebrates that eat marine snow, so farming them by collecting marine snow (and the the waste products of our underwater civilization) for them to eat could work, especially if the civilization is based around an area where you're likely to get more nutrient-rich water due to the currents.
>Maybe the merfolk are necessarily hunters, sustaining their large centralised populations by venturing to higher elevations to hunt, and then retreating to the relatively safer depths.
Considering a lot of fish do that, I can see it working. Nightly vertical migration between the twilight zone and surface waters is pretty much the basis of the ecosystem immediately below the photic zone. Lanternfish biomass outweights the biomass of all fish caught by fisheries worldwide by a large margin, and they often do come in large schools, so catching said fish while they perform their nightly vertical migration could be a potential source of food. A good place to establish such a civilization would be around an undersea mountain or the continental slope, as such structures tend to have a significantly higher abundance of pelagic fish than in the open ocean.
>Assuming that mermaids spend a vast majority of their life in the ocean depths
I've always gone with the idea that Mermaids are Mammals. As such they need to regularly surface for air and so they could just visually sight the sun and moon.
Because I'm bored and I've got a few hours to spend, I'll just keep talking marine biology at people. Maybe somebody finds it useful.
Do you have what it takes to survive in the deep sea?
No. You don't.
Anyway, I wanted to bring up some ways abyssal fish have adapted to their enviroment. It's a veyr extreme place, with the immense pressure, low oxygen levels and lack of nutrients, which necessaiates some very extreme adaptions. Deep sea fish tend to have very watery, jelly-like flesh, both because the high water contents lets them equilibrium between pressure inside and outside their bodies (otherwise they'd implode like you would if you tried diving that deep), and because the lack of nutrients necessiates them to svae energy and prevents growing powerful muscles. The high amount of unsaturated fatty acids needed to keep their cell memberanes fluid was already mentioned. Underdeveloped skeletons and high fat content are also common traits meant to reduce tissue density and keep the fish neutrally buoyant. To save energy, things like central nervous system, heart and gills are attrophied.
Light-producing organs are common because it takes very little energy to produce bioluminescense (in most species the organs house bacteria that produce the light, so all the fish has to do is supply the small amounts of nutrients the bacteria require) and it's quite useful for a variety of purposes, such as attracting food or mates, distracting predators, providing light to see by and in depths where some water penetrates camoflage by counter-illumination.
The most obvious trait of abyssal fish is that they tend to appear like something that crawled out of HP Lovecraft's nightmares. This is because nightmarish appearance is an evolutionarily advantageous trait in the deep sea.
I can imagine a group of merforlk-esque creatures that are analogue, to an extent, to the Humanoid races typically present in fantasy which dwell on the surface, such as orc and elves and humans. Perhaps we could have abyssal night hunters, tropical merfolk more similar to the little mermaid, with bright colors and poisons, and even fresh water mermaids more similar to mammals or amphibians.
Common nightmarish traits in abyssal fish include (but are not limited to): slimy pitch black or blood red skin, huge eyes that reflect light (or alternatively tiny eyes that are barely there), oversized jaws with long needle-like teeth and the ability to swallow creatures their own size or bigger.
The typical coloration of deep sea fish, aside from being a visual shorthand for "Evil" is to let them hide more easily (it's very dark down there, so being black makes you hard to see, and as mentioned most deep sea creatures can't see red so being red is effectively the same as being black). Big eyes help you see what little light there is (conversely many fish have atrophied eyes because there's so little light that there really isn't much need to see things).
Because food is so rare, the abyssal animals that aren't detritivores feeding on the marine snow (which is common but not exactly nutritious, being pretty much the leftovers from more life-rich waters above, probably passed through the digestive system of at least one fish) have to have extremely overdeveloped predatory adaptions. Since your chanses of encountering another fish are very small, given how huge and sparsely populated the place is, you can't turn down a potential meal over such trifling matters as it being twice your size and also wanting to eat you. As such many deep sea fish have hinged jaws and extremely elastic bodies, allowing them to swallow comparatively huge creatures. Most of their diet actually consists of small invertebrates like shrimp and squids, but they need to be prepared in case they run into something bigger. For the same reasons finding a mate is also very hard, which is why deep sea fish are often hermaphroditic or have extreme sexual dimorphism, where the male is evolved entirely to find a female and mate with it, having highly developed senses but often lacking even a functional digestive system. Some genuses of anglerfish famously have the male fuse with the female.
>only come up sporadically
Unless they're in the midnight zone (1000+ meters under) they'll see some sunlight. Assuming that they have eyes like merfolk are supposed to, the day/night cycle will be kind of important to them. The cycles vary with season too. Maybe they'd figure out a time-tracking system based on that.
And if they're ever coming anywhere near the surface, they'll know about seasonal temperature variations. It's important to know this, unless you like freezing your tits off trying to make some sailor get in the water.
Few things about the origin of deep sea fish:
1) They appear to be very old. Very few species of the more modern ray-finned fish live in the midnight zone, suggesting most of the species evolved and filled the availeable ecological niches before them. Most belong to their own order, suggesting long line of develoement in the deep sea. By contract, most fish in the twilight zone are more closely related to shallow water fish. There probably hasn't been a notable change in the deep sea ecosystem since the time of the dinosaurs.
2) Many of their features (like fatty gelatinous bodies, weak muscles andunderdeveloped skeletal structure and organs) are similar to those found in larval fish. While this may be just convergent evolution (fish larva have those features for the same reason, namely to allow them to float around with as little expenditure of energy as possible), it does seem likely that deep sea fish acquired these features through neoteny (aka. juvenilsation; in which an adult animal retains characteristics typically only in the young. Axolotl salamanders retaining the gills that are typically only present in the larval stage is probably the best known example).
So, what you're saying is that thematically deep sea mermaids should be lolis with highly outdated style of dress and mannerism?
...That also have way too many sharp teeth and can swallow you whole, because fuck the deep sea.
...Can't really arque with that.
Luckily, based on the other traits of deep she fish have she'd also be very weak and anemic and hate exercising herself in any way, so you should be able to easily fight off any attacks by underwater vore-lolis.
Ho'd up. Are Mermaids mammals? I mean, do they breath air? Are they warm blooded? Do they need light to see?
I don't think mermaids are deep sea creatures anyway. They live in shallow areas. They're more like seals or maybe even dolphins, not sharks or creepy fish.
There are probably some merlings down there that are fishy like kuatoa or whatever but they ain't mermaids. They probably judge seasons based on migration and currants and temperature, and time by the algae like >>45059903 said.
Everything is somebody's fetish.
It's a pretty good fetish, though.
No idea how you'd work such character into anything, though. But have a cute anglermaid anyway.
True. But I think there's enough room for several sea races.
So you could have shallow water mammal-like merpeople who are sentient and sort of nomadic(no structures, etc.) They breathe air and are the ones you often hear sailors talking about. When they see mermaids, this is what they mean.
Then you can have your fishier merpeople. They stay under water almost all the time and exclusively breathe water, except perhaps by magic. They look very inhuman and have more established civilizations (structures, cities, tools, etc.)
There are probably a handful of other merepeopley races too of course, but those would be your two major types, I think. Making it one race leads to a lot of "but then why do they have eyes" "why do they come up to the surface" etc. It's easier to explain things this way.
Also correct me if I'm wrong, but skeletal appearance and exposed bone is due to not wanting to expend resources on unnecessary muscle structure, and not being able to afford to replace the skin when inevitable wear occurs.
>No idea how you'd work such character into anything, though. But have a cute anglermaid anyway.
Young, self styled "noble" living in a sunken manor
Possibly within an underground lake/sea in the underdark but close enough to a major trade route with the surface she can get visitors
>There are probably a handful of other merepeopley races too of course, but those would be your two major types, I think. Making it one race leads to a lot of "but then why do they have eyes" "why do they come up to the surface" etc. It's easier to explain things this way.
I assume it's an elf situation, one race, many subraces
This is also good, sunken ship turned "manor house" for the anglergirl
Indeed. They're primarily ambush predators and not really capable of fast movement (although viperfish can actually swim quite fast compared to its size for short bursts), so they lack unnecessary muscles that would just waste energy, and their skin and flesh is very soft.
In case of that particular fish the wear is exasperated by the lower jaw being little more than bone to begin with. It lacks a bottom to reduce water resistance when it springs it forwards to spear its prey.
Wouldn't actually need to be particularly young. Deep sea fish retain features most fish lose after their larval stage, and can be very long lived (I know some species live at least 50 years, and some might live even longer), so you could totally have the "200 years old loli-vampire" thing except with fish.
For some reason I see her wearing the typical lolivampire getup with elegant frilly dressesm and having humanoid shark bodyguards that move her around on a wheelchair or something.
>I assume it's an elf situation, one race, many subraces
Maybe. Rivers, beaches, shallows, ocean surface, etc. I think having a clear divide between the mammalian type and the fish type is nice. It also leads to more confusion amongst fishermen tales. One guy says he found a mermaid and she was beautiful and helped him when he was shipwrecked. Another says the merfolk destroyed their ship with magic and picked them off one by one until help came. One says they were alien scaled creatures with long claws and scary teeth, the other says they use spears and look almost human, etc.
I'm wondering if I should change the statline of the deep sea merfolk race I did to be more in line with how actual deep sea fish are. Currently I just kept the same statline normal merfolk get, with bonuses to dex and con, but realistically a deep sea fish version should have -con and str (and maybe bonus to wis since that cover perception checks). But mechanically the current version works better, since the race has a natural bite attack (which, being a melee attack relies on str) and a swallow whole ability with damage that scales with con. Plus having penalties to two stats and a movement penalty would probably make the who thing kind of shitty.
I prefer the current version actually
While there are merits to making it "realistic", having some deep sea abomination that fits the verisimilitude "super strong/durable to survive the crushing depths" fits better in a fantasy world in my opinion.
And, like you've noted, I think it works better from a mechanical perspective
>For some reason I see her wearing the typical lolivampire getup with elegant frilly dressesm and having humanoid shark bodyguards that move her around on a wheelchair or something.
>Cute but weak mermaid vore loli that talks and dresses with a very out of date style of dress
Where's a drawfag when you need one?
Posted it in the previous deep sea thread. Have posted it before that as well, but that was an older version. I'm still working on it so I do take feedback and make the appropriate changes.
Have them substitute dex for str as a racial ability on bite attacks as the modifier and make swallow whole damage scale with wis, under the presumption that they won't bite off more than they can chew.
I made the bite attack use dex instead of str for attack rolls as that does make sense. I still get the scaling of the damage as str-based, though. For now I think I keep the current statbonuses, though, as the more "realistic" ones would probably result in too big mechanic disadvantages, plus as the other anon pointed the current bonuses still feel thematically sensible enough.
Any opinion on the "subrace" thing? It's primarily there because I wanted to come up with abilities tied to different deep sea fish, but I'm not sure if there should be some cost associated with them.
I'd like to implement a similar thing for the 5th edition version, but I'm not really sure how considering a lot of them are too "wordy" (5th edition generally doesn't two hugely complicated racial abilities). The swallow whole ability is probably already too complex for a racial, but it is kind of an iconic trait for a deep sea fish and unlike the bioluminescense might be useful enough to justify the movement speed penalty. The original version made by some other anon had a considerably less wordy version of the ability, but I felt it was probably too powerful (it was effectively a "save or die" ability, where you could once per day attempt to swallow a creature and if it failed to escape the grapple it'd be swallowed and considered dead).
It fit the theme and I didn't really have a better idea. My original idea was just making the males non-sapient and not bother statting them, but making them sapeint and psionic is a more interesting idea.
Sure, I have some. Mostly mermaids (I hope to complete a set of mermaids based on all well-known deep sea fish at some point).
Last I have on this set. I should check if the artist has done more since these are the best I have.
Y'all want underwater art dump or no? Don't want to murder thread if not.
For some reason in one of the previous thread being able to swallow a cow became the standard comparison for scaling the swallow whole ability of the black swallower to a human-sized mermaid. Some drawfag drew it.
Dump away. Mort art is always good, and there doesn't seem to be much discussion atm.
That's what I figured, didn't want to be rude tho. I have a small collection so hopefully some of it is new to y'all idk.
You can always increase the number of deep sea vents and the animals that use thermal energy.
Also maybe the lava vents also leak magic from the planet core and it becomes a source of nutrients. Have things that feed on magic like rust monsters.
Yes. I believe it was in the 70s when the batyscaphe Trieste descended to the Challenger Deep in the Marianas trench, which as far as I know is still the deepest known place in the ocean. People have been so similar depths a few times since then, but not very often because a few vessels can survive the pressure.
Based on the information we have collected, the biodiversity of multicellular animals down there is very low, although single-celled life is plentiful and diverse.
Heavy use of magic is probably needed for them make anything not simple and grow any bigger than a small tribe. Even if they have some kind of farm there it is not easy place to live.
60s, actually. Got the decade wrong. The specific year was 1960, in fact.
Since then only two other vessels have been built that have been able to complete the dive (the Kaikou in 1995 and the Nereus in 2009) and both of those are remote-operated. No vessel that can dive that deep exists at the moment because the Kaikou was lost during a storm and the Nereus ended up imploding during a later dive to the Kermadec trench, one of the other deepest places on Earth.
It may go against a lot of established lore, but I personally like to imagine that mermaids are closer to aquatic mammals than to fish. It would explain their humanoid appearance as well as their tendency to end up above the water. They'd probably breathe with their lungs and be able to hold their breath for hours, just like seals.
If they work like that, they'd probably understand a day/night cycle based around when they need to come up for a breath. Perhaps they'd swim up to the surface to catch their breath before going to sleep and right after waking up or something.
>It may go against a lot of established lore, but I personally like to imagine that mermaids are closer to aquatic mammals than to fish. It would explain their humanoid appearance as well as their tendency to end up above the water. They'd probably breathe with their lungs and be able to hold their breath for hours, just like seals.
I say they should breath air and water because magic
Plus you can get cities on the sea floor that was
>I say they should breath air and water because magic
Monmusume lore claims they can breate above water as long as their gills are wet. Not sure if that makes sense.
>Plus you can get cities on the sea floor that way
True dat, you can't have that with aquatic mammal mermaids. Because they'd move between the surface and the underwater world so often, they probably wouldn't have anything resembling an urbanized civilization and have more in common with nomads I guess.
>Monmusume lore claims they can breate above water as long as their gills are wet. Not sure if that makes sense.
Probably based on mudskippers and some other fish being able to survive on land as long as they have water in their gills, but I don't think the gills being wet actually lets them breathe air, it's just the equivalent of taking a deep breath before diving. Once the water stops being oxygenated they need to return underwater or suffocate.
Question for Anon: how much gaseous O2 do you think could possibly be dissolved in the small volume of water it would take to moisten gills?
Answer: not enough to keep a mammal's metabolism going for more than a small fraction of a minute, so yes, wet gills do just let them breathe air.