Humans and Fire
So I’ve read a few humans are weird posts and it got me thinking, what if humans are the only species to evolve to use fire. Like, most intelligent species will instinctively flee in panic the moment they catch sight of an open flame, yet show a human infant a fire and if they don’t know better, they will try to grab it.
Humans will burn everything. Most of us won’t eat anything unless it has been “Cooked” first. (A human word meaning to heat food until it has begun to denature but not yet started to carbonize.)
Start a small fire and instead of fleeing, humans will gather around it and start socializing.
We get intoxicated by setting specific plants on fire and inhaling the smoke, often with the burning embers mere inches from our sensitive face.
We use it to clear land for agriculture and hunting. We use it to punish criminals. We even use it for purely aesthetic purposes. (Think fireworks.)
Heck, we we discovered hydrocarbons, the first thing we did was burn them. In fact, humans were burning so much hydrocarbons they were literally altering the atmosphere of their planet.Heck, humans have died because they literally did not have enough materials to burn.
Now imagine hostile aliens want to invade earth. They don’t use fire except for carefully controlled and heavily guarded industrial purposes. They also don’t know much about earth other than it is definitely inhabited and the people haven’t developed intergalactic travel.
They’re expecting to face primitive forces armed with the local equivalent of clubs and bows. What they get is, to them, a strange anachronistic jumble of expected primative technologies and highly advanced technologies that they definitely shouldn’t have.
They’re not expecting guns. (Projectile weapons that consist of a narrow tube with projectile and a chemical propellent stuffed into one end. Instead of an electromagnetic pulse, the propellant is ignited and the expanding gases shoot the projectile out of the tube.)
They’re not expecting powered vehicles. Instead of electric motors, humans have what they call the internal combustion engine. (A motor that works by sucking flammable gas into an enclosed chamber, igniting the gas under pressure, and using the resulting force from the detonation to move a piston. Because of that, humans have heavy machinery, self-propelled vehicles, and powered air-craft before they even really understood bio electricity.
They’re not expecting bombs, or incendiary weapons. (It was also how it was discovered that their bio-polymer armor, while excellent against projectiles, can actually burn at surprisingly low temperatures.
They’re not even expecting smelted metal. Steel to them is a high tech material that can only be produced under specialized conditions of extreme heat, and requires very specialized facilities to produce. They are shocked to discover that humans have been smelting copper before they developed writing.
And they are definitely not expecting nuclear weapons. (Which are basically “bombs” that instead of using combustable chemicals use an uncontrolled nuclear fission reaction. They are also aghast to discover that not only was this apparently the first thing we thought to do when we discovered fission, but that competing human faction have “how many of these weapons stockpiled!?”
After retreating in disgrace, the task force sent to monitor the plant is horrified to report that humans are rapidly expanding into space. They aren’t using gravitic lifters or electromagnetic mass drivers. They are apparently simply loading equipment and personnel into special “missiles” and using a shit ton of highly combustable fuel to simply launch themselves into space.