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


May 23, 2009, 11:06 pm

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Floating Marches


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
Nice if a little implausible.
October 28, 2009, 17:03
You could say the same about magic...
Voted Moonlake
May 24, 2009, 19:48
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?
May 25, 2009, 17:47
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?
May 29, 2009, 3:09
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.
October 20, 2010, 20:10

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...

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