History Main / AliensNeverInventedTheWheel

27th May '16 3:32:21 PM Doug86
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* The Tran from Creator/AlanDeanFoster's [[HumanxCommonwealth Icerigger trilogy]] justifiably never invented the wheel, because they're natives of an ice-covered world where it's easier to move things on skate-blades and skis.

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* The Tran from Creator/AlanDeanFoster's [[HumanxCommonwealth [[Literature/HumanxCommonwealth Icerigger trilogy]] justifiably never invented the wheel, because they're natives of an ice-covered world where it's easier to move things on skate-blades and skis.
7th May '16 1:34:36 PM SCDifference
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** The books invert this with a few throwaway mentions of slood - something which is supposedly easier to discover than fire, and only slightly more difficult to discover than water.

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** The books invert this with a few throwaway mentions of slood - something which is supposedly easier to discover than fire, and only slightly more difficult to discover than water.[[note]]unfortunately, it's not available in all universes.[[/note]]



** The fifty-one members of the isolated marsh tribe of Fasta Benj, from ''Discworld/SmallGods'', had never encountered fire or metal before his tiny fishing boat got swept along with the invasion fleet. Presumably it was a ''very'' soggy marsh.

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** The fifty-one members of the isolated marsh tribe of that Fasta Benj, Benj belongs to, from ''Discworld/SmallGods'', had never encountered fire or metal before his tiny fishing boat got swept along with the Djelibeybi invasion fleet. Presumably it was a ''very'' soggy marsh.
26th Apr '16 6:12:44 PM TARINunit9
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* The whole plot of Creator/HarryTurtledove's short story "The Road Not Taken" and its sequel "Herbig-Haro". Antigravity and FTL travel turn out to be so ridiculously easy to discover that it can be done by civilisations "who can barely smelt metal", but the science involved is so different that it doesn't work with any other form of science or technology, and throws off the development of UsefulNotes/TheScientificMethod. Also, once you have antigravity and FTL, it could be said that you don't ''need'' many other forms of science or tech, so they are never developed. You end up with civilizations that essentially stall at whatever technology level they were at when antigravity is discovered. Humans find out about this when they are invaded by aliens, the current dominant local interstellar power, who march out of their anti-gravity propelled starships and attempt to conquer the planet with ''muskets'' and linear battle tactics. Given that they attempt to invade late 20th/early 21st century Earth, it's a short invasion, and humans promptly spread out to the stars with their superior technology. In the sequel, humans run into a species that had managed to carve out a small interstellar civilization without discovering antigravity and FTL, so now ''they'' are the ones caught in the antigravity trap.

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* The whole plot of Creator/HarryTurtledove's short story "The Road Not Taken" and its sequel "Herbig-Haro". Antigravity and FTL travel turn out to be so ridiculously easy to discover that it can be done by civilisations "who can barely smelt metal", but the science involved is so different that it doesn't work with any other form of science or technology, and throws off the development of UsefulNotes/TheScientificMethod. Also, once you have antigravity and FTL, it could be said that you don't ''need'' many other forms of science or tech, so they are never developed. You end up with civilizations that essentially stall at whatever technology level they were at when antigravity is discovered. Humans find out about this when they are invaded by aliens, the current dominant local interstellar power, who march out of their anti-gravity propelled starships and attempt to conquer the planet with ''muskets'' and linear battle tactics. Given that they attempt to invade late 20th/early 21st century Earth, it's a short invasion, and humans promptly spread out to the stars with their superior technology. In the sequel, humans run into a species that had managed to carve out a small interstellar civilization without discovering antigravity and FTL, so now ''they'' are the ones caught in the antigravity trap.trap[[note]]If we're being pedantic humans had also been weakened by spreading out ''so fast'', their circa 2050 technology couldn't allow a cohesive human nation to exist without fragmenting. However, the Orions would probably have beaten the Humans anyway[[/note]].
16th Apr '16 2:51:31 PM Yuihime
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* Several nonhuman races in ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' do not use individual names, or do so only for the benefit of the humans and human-equivalent races they interact with. However, when humans first made contact with planet Mazcab, the resident Goebies were floored by the concept of names for individuals, and quickly adopted the practice.

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* Several nonhuman races in ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' do not use individual names, or do so only for the benefit of the humans and human-equivalent races they interact with. However, when humans first made contact with planet Mazcab, the resident Goebies were floored by simply hadn't ''thought'' of using names for individuals (they do have names for places and [[NatureSpirit spirits]]) before humans introduced the concept of to them, so they use names for individuals, and quickly adopted [[AerithAndBob borrowed from the practice.humans they meet]].
1st Apr '16 1:35:24 PM thatother1dude
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* They're not aliens, but in ''Literature/WingsOfFire'' the [=NightWings=] are the most advanced dragon tribe who no about genetics, germ theory, and desalinization, and can even create [[spoiler:armor capable of carrying lava]], but they've apparently never invented glass.

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* They're not aliens, but in ''Literature/WingsOfFire'' In ''Literature/WingsOfFire'', the [=NightWings=] are the most advanced dragon tribe tribe, who no know about genetics, germ theory, and desalinization, and can even create [[spoiler:armor capable of carrying lava]], but they've apparently never invented glass.
31st Mar '16 7:10:48 PM molokai198
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Added DiffLines:

* They're not aliens, but in ''Literature/WingsOfFire'' the [=NightWings=] are the most advanced dragon tribe who no about genetics, germ theory, and desalinization, and can even create [[spoiler:armor capable of carrying lava]], but they've apparently never invented glass.
27th Mar '16 1:29:26 PM DarkHunter
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* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': The tech level of Remnant is extremely impressive in most respects, with holograms, massive flying airships, combat androids, etc. However, the setting has a ''complete lack'' of space technology. The reason being that Dust, which the setting uses for virtually all its power needs, ceases working once you get above the atmosphere for reasons unknown, and given that Dust is extremely efficient and cheap, they've never looked toward developing any other type of fuel. This also means that Remnant's global communications network is less advanced than the Internet in real life, since, without any orbiting satellites, it's dependent on four giant towers and lots of relay stations: if even one of the central towers fails for whatever reason, the entire network is taken offline.
28th Feb '16 2:12:45 PM nombretomado
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* The NBC SitCom ''ThirdRockFromTheSun'' pretty much ran on this concept. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b7Xi26Mkfw This]] is a particularly good example.

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* The NBC SitCom ''ThirdRockFromTheSun'' ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' pretty much ran on this concept. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b7Xi26Mkfw This]] is a particularly good example.



* ''[[{{Series/Supergirl2015}} Supergirl]]'': In this show's universe, neither the Kryptonians nor any of their trading partners apparently ever invented popcorn or an equivalent.

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* ''[[{{Series/Supergirl2015}} Supergirl]]'': ''{{Series/Supergirl|2015}}'': In this show's universe, neither the Kryptonians nor any of their trading partners apparently ever invented popcorn or an equivalent.
22nd Feb '16 3:35:47 PM thatother1dude
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** The irony is that this trope seesawed regarding platinum. The Inca and other natives recognized that it was rare and precious. When the Spanish came barging through, they were solely interested in mining silver. They discarded literal tons of platinum as ''slag'' in the process. In the 18th century when Europeans finally figured out what platinum was one of their best sources was going back to South America and re-mining the waste the Spanish conquistadors left behind.
20th Feb '16 5:19:05 PM Thranx
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Added DiffLines:

** The irony is that this trope seesawed regarding platinum. The Inca and other natives recognized that it was rare and precious. When the Spanish came barging through, they were solely interested in mining silver. They discarded literal tons of platinum as ''slag'' in the process. In the 18th century when Europeans finally figured out what platinum was one of their best sources was going back to South America and re-mining the waste the Spanish conquistadors left behind.
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