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Comments: 6
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Rating: 3.25
Condition: Stub
ID: 5794

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May 23, 2009, 11:06 pm

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Floating Marches

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Elephants crossing the seas!

 Every three years, like clockwork, there are vast migrations across one of the world's largest seas. But it is not sea birds or swimming beasts that are migrating, it is a large group of those mammoth beasts, elephants. But how, you ask, is this possible? Easily explained. They ride on the Floating Marches. But again, you have a question! What are these Floating Marches? I'll answer that as well, but it will take a little longer.

 Over the course of almost three years, the drifting branches and leaves that are washed out of rivers into the sea build up all along the coast. They are trapped in the folds and fjords of this great land. After that time of gathering, the mounds stand yards high; this is when the elephant herds arrive. A few of the great beasts carefully board the makeshift rafts and trample them down until nearly flat. Then the rest of the herd boards the, now firmer and, thus, safer, raft. Then, with a giant shove, the journey starts. The float trip lasts for several days, usually, and the elephants, during this time, eat only a little, and that from the raft itself.
 At the end of the trip, the elephants disembark onto dry land once again, and go to feast upon the lush greenery that has stood, relatively untouched, for almost three years. The next time that the drifts accumulate, the herd is ready to cross the other way across the sea.

 Not all of the herds make it across the sea every trip. Storms, predators, disease, and breaking up of rafts have all added to the number of deceased elephants. But at each journey time, the number fo the beasts is relatively unchanged from the year before.



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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
May 24, 2009, 17:22
0xp
Nice if a little implausible.
Drackler
October 28, 2009, 17:03
0xp
You could say the same about magic...
Voted Moonlake
May 24, 2009, 19:48
-1xp
It's an okay submission in the sense that it describes the phenomenon well but I only give a 3 because it doesn't mention why such a phenomenon occurs i.e. why do elephants want to migrate across the sea every 3 years?
Scrasamax
May 25, 2009, 17:47
0xp
There are so many things about this submission that just make me want to scratch my head.
1. Why do the elephants migrate?
2. Why are there elephants in an ecosystem where there are fjords and folds?
3. Why does it take 3 years for the floating marches to build up?
4. How do the elephants get back, or is it a one way migration?
5. Don't elephants, being large herbivores, need to eat almost constantly? Why dont they starve on the trip across the water?
RGTraynor
May 29, 2009, 3:09
0xp
Mm, Scrasamax picked off most of my questions. I've two other comments: elephants are quite intelligent, and are credited by many scientists with a high degree of self-awareness and sentience. Beyond that, errr ... what could possibly cause enough debris to float up in these fjords to bear the weight of an elephant herd, and keep it all there, only for it to all conveniently dislodge just at the push of an elephant or three, and to keep on floating seaward even when there's no more motive force? Sounds more high concept ("Hey, wouldn't it be cool to have migratory elephants crossing the sea?") than anything else.
axlerowes
October 20, 2010, 20:10
0xp

Rafting is accepted theory for the spread of many species, New World Monkeys for example.  Of course in a fantasy realm you take any natural event and turn the volume up to 11.  So you get elephants rafting, of course why not make it a huge fantasy animal?

 

Why raft?  Without natural predators, elephant populations can be very destructive to the ecosystem, a population which thins its number from time may actually prove to be more stable over the long term.  Thus the rafting herds would over take the boom crash herds over many years.  But you could make up other reasons...



Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Wet Faeries

       By: Murometz

Sages and naturalists frown at the common name given to these strange creatures by the small folk, but sometimes the silliest nicknames for creatures, places and people persevere in the minds of many. “Purifiers”, “Pond Jellies”, “Breath-Stealers”, “Lung-Ticklers” and “River Butterflies” are much less commonly heard appellations for these life forms. Wet Faeries are basically (and simply) a species of fist-sized, fresh-water jellyfish. Several traits steer them toward the peculiar category however. Firstly, Wet Faeries are nearly invisible in the water, much like their marine cousins but even more so. One can swim in a river swarming with these critters and not even notice their presence. Secondly, they possess the unique ability to clean and purify whatever body of water they inhabit. They do this via some sort of biological filtration process, sucking in all toxins present in the water, and releasing it back in its purest form. Needless to say, they are both a blessing and a curse to whichever folk dwell beside the rivers and lakes Wet Faeries inhabit. On one hand, no purer water can be found anywhere than a Wet Faerie lake or pond, and yet, in “pure” water “life” tends in fact to die out, lacking the needed nutrients to prosper. Thirdly, their “sting” is (unfortunately) virulently poisonous to all mammalians. Wet Faeries are loathe to sting anyone or anything, using their barbed fronds as a last line of defense, but if stung, most swimmers will suffer respiratory arrest, and die within minutes, usually drowning before they can make it back to shore.

Alchemists, druids, and less savory characters have studied these creatures over the years, and have predictably found all the ways Wet Faeries could be exploited. Morbidly humorous, some bards find it, that the Poisoners and Assassins Guilds as well as the Healer’s Union, all prize these creatures. The assassins use the extracted venom in obvious fashion, while the priests and healers use the still-living jelly-fish to sterilize other poison potions and to cure those already poisoned on death’s door.

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