(EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

What can I say? It doesn't fit above, put it here. Also the location of board rules/info.
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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » 19 Mar 2019 22:29

"Because it's animeworld" is presumably real answer.

In reality, humans don't have those hair colours, and can't, because they're mammals. Obviously you could have pseudo-humans who are pseudo-mammals if animehair is that important to you. Or, just, magic.


For what it's worth, pretty much the only pigments animals have are melanins (black, grey, and dull beige/brown) and carotenoids (dull yellow and dull red). If you're a single family of birds living in high-copper areas and with a fruit-heavy copper-hoarding diet, you can also have a dull, icky green.

All the other colours, particularly including anything blue* and anything bright, is not actually created by pigments, but instead by 'structural' colour - complex groupings of mirrors and lenses stacked in layers of plates that cause light to reflect and refract in various patterns. These colour-forming structures have to be precisely arranged, because their colour comes from their structure, not their chemisty, which means that they usually have to be built onto solid substrates - hence, shells and scales (and feathers, which are just complicated arrangements of scales). The exception to this is that cephalopods instead hold the structures in place by being all muscle (which in turn is possible because they have fluid-filled muscles that don't work well if you're not underwater), which allows them to actually change colour almost instantly just by flexing their muscles.

However, human hair is neither hydrostatically prehensile like octopus bodies, nor rigid like scales, so it's not really viable to have bright colours in it.


*there's also bilirubin, which is what adds a blueish tinge to fresh bruises. This seems to be very complicated to make and degrades very easily, so animals don't use it as pigments, although apparently it is used to colour some bird eggshells...

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Pabappa » 20 Mar 2019 15:54

there are blue pigments in monkeys like this one, but theyre in the skin, not the hair. Im not sure its biologically plausible for whatever pigment that is to transfer from the skin to the hair, but hair is made of keratin, which is also an outer skin component, so maybe?
Sorry guys, this one has the worst sting.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by fruityloops » 20 Mar 2019 18:32

in my dragon rider conworld, some of my humans kinda have colorful hair albeit it's kinda dull and not eye searing bright. the closest explanation is selective genetic breeding to tell the caste apart from each other.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » 20 Mar 2019 21:06

Maybe they are feathers instead of hair? Wouldn't that make it easier?
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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » 21 Mar 2019 00:03

Pabappa wrote:
20 Mar 2019 15:54
there are blue pigments in monkeys like this one, but theyre in the skin, not the hair. Im not sure its biologically plausible for whatever pigment that is to transfer from the skin to the hair, but hair is made of keratin, which is also an outer skin component, so maybe?
Monkeys don't have blue pigments, no. You can tell because the blue is so bright! This is, again, structural colour - their skin is actually a dark grey/black. What they do is line up layers of proteins in completely parallel fibres a particular distance apart; this creates interference patterns in light that's reflected off the pattern, and only the blue survives, with everything else cancelling itself out. It's analogous to (although a different precise mechanism from) the way that black oil can look green or purple - the monkeys have not only evolved interference patterns, but found a way to stabilise them to show only one colour from all angles.

Again, however, you couldn't get that effect with hair, because hair fibres can't be made to all line up - because hair is non-rigid. [I guess you could create some sort of effect with very short, very dense hair, not long enough or with enough space to fall out of line?]

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by vampireshark » 21 Mar 2019 01:20

Salmoneus wrote:
21 Mar 2019 00:03
Monkeys don't have blue pigments, no. You can tell because the blue is so bright! This is, again, structural colour - their skin is actually a dark grey/black. What they do is line up layers of proteins in completely parallel fibres a particular distance apart; this creates interference patterns in light that's reflected off the pattern, and only the blue survives, with everything else cancelling itself out. It's analogous to (although a different precise mechanism from) the way that black oil can look green or purple - the monkeys have not only evolved interference patterns, but found a way to stabilise them to show only one colour from all angles.

Again, however, you couldn't get that effect with hair, because hair fibres can't be made to all line up - because hair is non-rigid. [I guess you could create some sort of effect with very short, very dense hair, not long enough or with enough space to fall out of line?]
You can get Bragg reflection due to structural color off of single fibers, though: the trick is what the internal structure of the specific fiber looks like. (I mention this because, in the lab, I'm actually working with Bragg reflecting fibers.)
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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by fruityloops » 21 Mar 2019 15:37

might as well use the magic excuse...and you folks wonder why i don't chat here anymore....

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » 21 Mar 2019 17:21

Well, what answer did you want?

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 21 Mar 2019 17:53

Salmoneus wrote:
21 Mar 2019 17:21
Well, what answer did you want?
Possibly one that answers the query.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » 21 Mar 2019 21:03

*points to host of answers from multiple people answering the question*

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 21 Mar 2019 23:54

Salmoneus wrote:
21 Mar 2019 21:03
*points to host of answers from multiple people answering the question*
<shrugs> I don't know, friend: there are responses, but I suspect they didn't actually <i>answer</i> the question in some way or other.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » 22 Mar 2019 01:00

Don't troll, "friend".

And yes, clearly the responses do not in his opinion answer the question in some way or another. Hence my post asking in effect in what way we had failed to answer the question (that is, what sort of answer would have answered the question).

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 22 Mar 2019 02:13

Salmoneus wrote:
22 Mar 2019 01:00
Don't troll, "friend".
:roll:
And yes, clearly the responses do not in his opinion answer the question in some way or another. Hence my post asking in effect in what way we had failed to answer the question (that is, what sort of answer would have answered the question).
And hence my response to your question. It's quite possible fruityloops is looking for an answer that would follow the selective breeding direction and that within the context of their dragon rider world. Genetics may not work the same in all worlds. Perhaps pigments other than those available to Earth humans will be required.

While all of the answers given are interesting and informative, they all share the same feature of being answers to Earth questions rather than answers that actually deal with the issues of a non-Earth world.

Take it for what you will, friend, but when clearly none of the answers are working, try a different tack.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 » 22 Mar 2019 05:00

This exchange is feeling very testy, and it's over an answer that hasn't been given yet. Let's pause and give fruityloops some time to clarify if that's something they want to do.

fruityloops wrote:
21 Mar 2019 15:37
might as well use the magic excuse...and you folks wonder why i don't chat here anymore....
If you're dissatisfied, please tell us why. I believe everyone commenting on your original question was doing so in good faith. It is an interesting question, and it might be helpful for us to learn what wasn't working.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by fruityloops » 22 Mar 2019 15:30

Dormouse559 wrote:
22 Mar 2019 05:00
This exchange is feeling very testy, and it's over an answer that hasn't been given yet. Let's pause and give fruityloops some time to clarify if that's something they want to do.

fruityloops wrote:
21 Mar 2019 15:37
might as well use the magic excuse...and you folks wonder why i don't chat here anymore....
If you're dissatisfied, please tell us why. I believe everyone commenting on your original question was doing so in good faith. It is an interesting question, and it might be helpful for us to learn what wasn't working.
some of the answers were alright. I could incorporate the feathers as hair thing for maybe some other idea. (it's legit a very interesting idea that shouldn't go to waste).

I think it's more that in real life such things are kinda impossible to do unless you dye your hair.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 » 22 Mar 2019 17:09

fruityloops wrote:
22 Mar 2019 15:30
I think it's more that in real life such things are kinda impossible to do unless you dye your hair.
I'd quibble with that. These things have never happened and are highly improbable, but that doesn't make them impossible. Anyhow, one way or another, that isn't what you were looking for. In our world, there isn't a likely way I know of for bright hair colors to emerge, but you could still create a justification that jibes with the rules of your conworld. We might be able to help you with that, but you'd have to tell us any relevant info about your conworld first.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by fruityloops » 22 Mar 2019 17:36

this kinda spoiler heavy but I might as well:

the humans in my setting...aren't really human. they're the result of integrating dragon dna to make them more resilient to their respective environments. as a side effect, some of my humans depending on caste might have scales or other quirks that justifies some things. (how they got integrated with this dna I don't have answers to but i might think of one eventually)

the things is a lot of my conworlds are a bit more unrealistic meaning I see no reason to justifying certain things unless i can make things up and hope it makes some sense. can they be believable? in terms of the settings rules then yes they can be but they aren't realistic and that's not the intent. Though do feel the way approach world building is more based on "this sounds cool I should add it in" then "does this have a connection that plausible and makes sense for my setting?"

it helps that I'm a artist and I'm largely more interested creative sides of things than boring politics or economics.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 22 Mar 2019 18:00

fruityloops wrote:
22 Mar 2019 17:36
this kinda spoiler heavy but I might as well:

the humans in my setting...aren't really human. they're the result of integrating dragon dna to make them more resilient to their respective environments. as a side effect, some of my humans depending on caste might have scales or other quirks that justifies some things. (how they got integrated with this dna I don't have answers to but i might think of one eventually)

the things is a lot of my conworlds are a bit more unrealistic meaning I see no reason to justifying certain things unless i can make things up and hope it makes some sense. can they be believable? in terms of the settings rules then yes they can be but they aren't realistic and that's not the intent. Though do feel the way approach world building is more based on "this sounds cool I should add it in" then "does this have a connection that plausible and makes sense for my setting?"

it helps that I'm a artist and I'm largely more interested creative sides of things than boring politics or economics.
Thanks for clarifying! I think I was heading in the right direction with my replies, then: you're not really looking for reasons why it doesn't work this way on Earth; you're not looking for reasons how Earth animals do similar things. You seem to be looking for help defining one or more in-world rationales for how this works *there* rather than *here*. It that close to correct?

I think if we understand your purpose, your perspective and your goals better, we can come up with better answers and hopefully prevent any discouragement!
Dormouse559 wrote:
22 Mar 2019 17:09
fruityloops wrote:
22 Mar 2019 15:30
I think it's more that in real life such things are kinda impossible to do unless you dye your hair.
I'd quibble with that. These things have never happened and are highly improbable, but that doesn't make them impossible. Anyhow, one way or another, that isn't what you were looking for. In our world, there isn't a likely way I know of for bright hair colors to emerge, but you could still create a justification that jibes with the rules of your conworld. We might be able to help you with that, but you'd have to tell us any relevant info about your conworld first.
Exactly what I was getting at!

It's often the case, I find, that worldbuilders suffer from this strange disease called "real world mimicry". Questions are presumed to require actual physics or chemistry or biology from Earth in their answers. There is certainly a spectrum of worldbuilding from ultrarealism to anything goes. Just my (non-testy-at-all) opinion that questions about world types other than Earth are probably not looking for ultrarealistic answers. And while interesting and useful, they may not be terribly helpful. In other words, if the real-world answers aren't cutting it, then perhaps we need to be looking beyond the real world for answers.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » 22 Mar 2019 18:15

As far as I can see, with this sort of thing there are three ways to answer this question:

1) Using what we know from the real-world, i.e. assuming these are humans as we understand them at the moment, then you can't justify, say, blue hair being a natural occurrence.

2) Using what could make sense, but would need some research behind it in order for it to make sense, i.e. how does, say, blue colouring occur anywhere in the real-world, and can it reasonably be applied to humans (which is a maybe, but would involve more research than people here can probably manage).

3) Hand-waving it, i.e. either it's "magic" or it's meant to have a natural explanation but you just haven't gone into it (which is fine, and honestly I think, to a point, some conworlders get so bogged down in realism that they give up on "interesting" just because "it doesn't happen").

And I do feel that answers of all three kinds have been given, but with not all of us either having the knowledge, time, or resources to provide a more in-depth and hopeful answer doesn't mean the question wasn't answered.





As for Sal and Elemtilas, could the two of you stop picking at each other. Sal was asking what sort of answer Frootyloops was looking for (Fruityloops response presumably coming from being disheartened), and there was no need, Elemtilas, to jump on that question in the way that you did.

If the two of you are incapable of interacting in any way that resembles a civil manner, then please keep yourselves away from each other.
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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguistCat » 23 Mar 2019 02:15

I'd like to mention that there are probably various proteins that do not occur on Earth naturally, or other substances that could be used by animals as pigments that WOULD produce the colors you would like, but are not used/found on Earth only due to random chance at how life here evolved.

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