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View Full Version : Looking for a hot, flat place to live.



starrystorm
07-23-2019, 11:14 PM
In my WIP, an alien only has a few moments to choose a place on Earth to crash before losing all of her memories. Her species is deathly allergic to snow, they don't do good in rocky climates (or any thing high up), but most of all they need a place that's hot.

The way I've written it now it takes place in a desert (near an ocean), but from research, the desert, although it doesn't snow, get's way too cold at night.

Are there any alternatives to the desert? I was thinking a savanna, but I thought I would get some opinions on the checklist:

1) Flat ground (like grass or sand or dirt)
2) close to sea level
3) Hot all the time

ironmikezero
07-23-2019, 11:28 PM
How would she feel about humidity? Think about the US Deep South; pretty flat, close to sea level, and pretty hot most of the time (sultry nights). Of course, the vegetation is lush and robust, much in thanks to the abundant periodic rainfall, hence the humidity.

Stytch
07-23-2019, 11:41 PM
Yes, Florida checks all those boxes. Flat, hot, uncomfortably close to sea level.

starrystorm
07-24-2019, 12:04 AM
Thanks. Florida sounds perfect, especially since I live there. Hot, yes can confirm. So, so hot. Although right now it's thundering.

Cobalt Jade
07-24-2019, 12:20 AM
Brownsville or Corpus Christi, Texas?

Kjbartolotta
07-24-2019, 12:59 AM
Hemet, CA.

Maryn
07-24-2019, 01:01 AM
Aruba, off the coast of Venezuela. The temperature variation between day and night, summer and winter, is a whopping ten degrees' difference. It's always in the upper 70s to low 80s.

Cindyt
07-24-2019, 01:12 AM
Except for a snall limestone hill, Miami is flat and hot.

starrystorm
07-24-2019, 01:24 AM
Ooh! So many places. I can't wait to rewrite my first chapter now with a certain place in mine.

Helix
07-24-2019, 03:00 AM
Burketown, Normanton or Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland, Australia.

neandermagnon
07-24-2019, 09:41 AM
The Arabian desert (Saudi/Yemen). It doesn't get that cold even at night. I lived in Saudi for 5 years, during that time it once got down to freezing but not below while I was there, and that happened in the middle of the Northern Hemisphere winter. In the Summer, while there is a significant temperature difference between day and night, it doesn't get that cold at night. It got up to 50 or so degrees centigrade at midday (122 Fahrenheit) in midsummer but quite pleasant at night. I'm not sure what the exact temperature was at night but the Saudi definition of cold is 25 degrees centigrade (77 Fahrenheit) and it was still hotter than that. In Britain 25 degrees is a heatwave and everyone rushes to the beach and wears shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops etc. Meanwhile in Saudi when it's 25 degrees all the Saudis start wearing woolly hats and woolly jumpers. Saudi during the night in summer is hotter than 25 degrees. So the Arabian Desert would suit if your alien landed during the Northern Hemisphere summer.

I just googled. Average min and max temperatures for Riyadh in mid summer: about 28 degrees min and 45 degrees max. In mid winter around 10 degrees min and 20 degrees max. ***all those are centigrade*** On one occasion while I was there it got to 0 centigrade (freezing point of water) but AFAIK that was in the open desert, the city's about 5 degrees warmer at night due to open areas losing heat more quickly. The cities were around 5 centigrade at this time and it was considered an extreme cold snap and highly unusual. And it was mid winter. It rarely drops below ten degrees, albeit Saudis consider 10 degrees unbearably cold because they're used to much hotter temperatures. When I told my English classes that in Britain the temperature regularly went into minus numbers in winter, they were horrified and asked how people didn't die. Then I told them how cold it got in Canada. :greenie

It's also reasonably flat. It's obviously very sandy and there are dunes, but not hilly or mountainous.

Other deserts in the tropics are not likely to be all that different. Be careful when reading average temperature charts if you're used to temperatures in Fahrenheit as most of the world don't bother with Fahrenheit and use centigrade. 32 Fahrenheit is freezing but 32 centigrade is an extreme heatwave by British standards and most people in most of the world would consider it either warm or hot.

Deathly allergic to snow? Snow's water (if you're allergic to snow you're allergic to water). Maybe the cold will kill your MC however I'd avoid calling it an allergy as this has a specific meaning, related to a specific kind of immune response. Even when talking about humans, allergy should only be used for allergies and not for other similar things, e.g. an intolerance. Usually if an organism dies from being somewhere too cold it would be called hypothermia. It's good that your alien has a different range of temperatures that she would survive at though. It gets tiresome if too much parallel evolution with humans is assumed.

cbenoi1
07-24-2019, 05:46 PM
Anything bare and near the equator. Like the Galapagos.

-cb

L M Ashton
07-25-2019, 12:06 PM
I'm with neandermagnon, only I was going to suggest other places in the area as well, like the UAE. Hot all the time, relatively flat.

mccardey
07-25-2019, 12:12 PM
I thought one of the salt flats (https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/travel/destinations/2010/08/six-of-the-best-salt-lakes/) might be an interesting idea...

ETA: Some terrific ones in Utah, if you want to stay in the U.S.

Auteur
07-25-2019, 07:44 PM
How about Columbia? The aliens could get involved in drug trafficking.

WeaselFire
07-28-2019, 01:14 AM
Maldives.

Jeff

Chris P
07-28-2019, 02:25 AM
How would she feel about humidity? Think about the US Deep South; pretty flat, close to sea level, and pretty hot most of the time (sultry nights). Of course, the vegetation is lush and robust, much in thanks to the abundant periodic rainfall, hence the humidity.

My first thought was the Mississippi Delta. And just for reference, locals down there refer to "The Delta" as the flat fertile land from Memphis to about Vicksburg; on the map, it's roughly the area from US-49 to the Mississippi River from Memphis to Jackson. It includes Tunica, Greenville, Cleveland, Clarksdale and the infamous Parchman Prison and is thehome of The Delta Blues. It's not the same as the Bayou country of Louisiana (drives me nuts every time when people confuse them).

Thomas Vail
07-29-2019, 11:55 PM
Deathly allergic to snow? Snow's water (if you're allergic to snow you're allergic to water). Maybe the cold will kill your MC however I'd avoid calling it an allergy as this has a specific meaning, related to a specific kind of immune response. Even when talking about humans, allergy should only be used for allergies and not for other similar things, e.g. an intolerance. Usually if an organism dies from being somewhere too cold it would be called hypothermia. It's good that your alien has a different range of temperatures that she would survive at though. It gets tiresome if too much parallel evolution with humans is assumed.
That was the question that leapt out at me. There should be no difference between crystalline H20 and liquid/vapor H20 in terms of 'this stuff kills me.' Which makes coming down in any of these humid, tropical, or on the watery locations a very bad idea.

starrystorm
07-30-2019, 01:14 AM
Well, it's not the snow that kills her, it's the coldness. She could go out in -3 degree weather and die within minutes. I suppose I was just struggling on how to describe it. Thanks, I'll refrain from calling it an allergy from now on.

ETA: If she ate snow (for it being so cold), however, it would kill her.

2nd ETA: I also know nothing about snow because it doesn't snow where I live.

angeliz2k
07-30-2019, 05:39 PM
Florida seems to tick all the boxes.


Well, it's not the snow that kills her, it's the coldness. She could go out in -3 degree weather and die within minutes. I suppose I was just struggling on how to describe it. Thanks, I'll refrain from calling it an allergy from now on.

ETA: If she ate snow (for it being so cold), however, it would kill her.

2nd ETA: I also know nothing about snow because it doesn't snow where I live.

Why would she eat snow? Sounds like she should avoid ice cream, shaved ice, and popsicles. Would she be badly injured just touching frozen things, like a bag of frozen peas?

Also, -3 Celsius or Fahrenheit? -3 Fahrenheit might not kill me in a few minutes, but unprotected I'd start getting frostbite in a few minutes...

starrystorm
07-30-2019, 06:26 PM
Florida seems to tick all the boxes.



Why would she eat snow? Sounds like she should avoid ice cream, shaved ice, and popsicles. Would she be badly injured just touching frozen things, like a bag of frozen peas?

Also, -3 Celsius or Fahrenheit? -3 Fahrenheit might not kill me in a few minutes, but unprotected I'd start getting frostbite in a few minutes...

Sorry, Fahrenheit (American here), but her body is sensitive to the cold, being an alien and all.

And for eating snow, the aliens use it as a type of poison. And touching a bag of peas wouldn't kill her, but it would sting.

starrystorm
07-30-2019, 06:43 PM
I think I've decided to make it in South Florida, being familiar with the area. Thanks all.

angeliz2k
07-30-2019, 06:59 PM
Sorry, Fahrenheit (American here), but her body is sensitive to the cold, being an alien and all.

And for eating snow, the aliens use it as a type of poison. And touching a bag of peas wouldn't kill her, but it would sting.

I'm American, too; my point was just that -3 is very cold even for normal human beings like me. :)

starrystorm
07-30-2019, 07:01 PM
I'm American, too; my point was just that -3 is very cold even for normal human beings like me. :)

Oh. I live in a place where it rarely goes under 20 degrees. I'll keep that in mind.

waylander
07-30-2019, 09:58 PM
Oh. I live in a place where it rarely goes under 20 degrees. I'll keep that in mind.

20 degrees Centigrade, Fahrenheit or Kelvin?

Thomas Vail
07-30-2019, 10:48 PM
Well, it's not the snow that kills her, it's the coldness. She could go out in -3 degree weather and die within minutes. I suppose I was just struggling on how to describe it. Thanks, I'll refrain from calling it an allergy from now on.

ETA: If she ate snow (for it being so cold), however, it would kill her.

2nd ETA: I also know nothing about snow because it doesn't snow where I live.
I'd call it an extreme intolerance of lower temperatures, since it has nothing to do with snow, but rather the cold.

Sorry, Fahrenheit (American here), but her body is sensitive to the cold, being an alien and all.

And for eating snow, the aliens use it as a type of poison.
Again, that gets a raised eyebrow for 'how is that poison, but other water is okay?' Water is water. Do assassins drop a pocketful into someone's hot soup, and hope that the target has a mouthful of that dangerous frozen H20 in the few seconds before it melts in their soup? Or their mouths?

If she orders an unsweet ice tea, no ice, at a restaurant, and the server accidentally brings it with ice, is there going to be a dramatic scene of someone leaping across the table and slapping it out of her hands before she can have a sip of the deadly tea?

You see the problem.

starrystorm
07-31-2019, 12:17 AM
I'd call it an extreme intolerance of lower temperatures, since it has nothing to do with snow, but rather the cold.

Again, that gets a raised eyebrow for 'how is that poison, but other water is okay?' Water is water. Do assassins drop a pocketful into someone's hot soup, and hope that the target has a mouthful of that dangerous frozen H20 in the few seconds before it melts in their soup? Or their mouths?

If she orders an unsweet ice tea, no ice, at a restaurant, and the server accidentally brings it with ice, is there going to be a dramatic scene of someone leaping across the table and slapping it out of her hands before she can have a sip of the deadly tea?

You see the problem.

Yeah, I see now. If I was to slip snow into hot tea before serving it, it would be water...Hmm...I'm going to have to think this over.

frimble3
08-03-2019, 04:46 AM
Temperature-sensitive Alien Invasion Fleet, never heard from again:
They landed near Winnipeg in the winter months, opened the hatches to fire off a demonstration round, and everybody on the ship diiiiied. Pretty much instantaneously.:evil

Thomas Vail
08-07-2019, 02:12 AM
And that's why you always check the thermometer before opening the hatch. :P


Yeah, I see now. If I was to slip snow into hot tea before serving it, it would be water...Hmm...I'm going to have to think this over.
I think I see what you're getting at here - a fairly mundane, common earth chemical is something that the character must avoid. While snow might very thematic or visually striking, it's hard to employ in a way that isn't going to make readers go, 'hey, wait a second...'

On the other hand, there are plenty of other substances that are common around the earth that could be a fatal poison for the alien. Examples include grapes/raisins causing renal failure in dogs, aspirin being particularly poisonous for cats. IIRC, there's an enzyme in pineapples that makes it hazardous for pretty much anything except humans to eat. Lots of different vectors for something that her species has weaponized to be common and harmless earth-side.