View Full Version : is it possable to shrink a human to bug size?

wants to know
07-01-01, 02:26 PM
do you think it would be possable to shrink animals and humans to small sizes like in movies. I think its a great question. if there bio structure can be reconfigured to be ant sized is it possable?:confused:

07-02-01, 01:43 PM
No. The size of these oganisms are somewhat dictated by the size of their smallest components ie: proteins and tissues. These small components cannot be smaller.

Small, maybe. But not as small as an ant. ;)

07-02-01, 03:55 PM
I agree we can not 'shrink' the human body, we can't just pull out some molecules (the components biggles mentioned).
And we can't make them smaller (the 'components').

But where I thought about when i read this thread....
When we know exactly how our human body works.
And when we have the technology.
Is it possible to create a small human body, just by using less 'components'??????
I think theoratically it must be possible...

07-08-01, 03:51 PM
Everything is possible in absolute terms. But not likely as depicted in the movies. To shrink an adult human to one inch, the space need to be changed and independent of our space. Under a relative dimension matrix that is possible but such ideas are nonsense at our technology level - but not in fantasy level.

07-08-01, 11:47 PM
Ah the movies.

Hollywood does come up with some doosies. You are required to suspend what you know is real to allow the story to be told. If you can buy the presumed line layed out then the movie makes sense. If not then it is just pure gooble-de-gook. Hollywood calls it poetic license (or some such). Don't get me wrong, I love a good scifi movie. That in itself tells you that I buy it just like everybody else. That doesn't make it so or possible. It's just makes it a story. If you examine the details then you no longer suspend belief and it all falls apart under scrunity.

07-09-01, 02:30 AM
I agree for the main part with KneD
(is that correct English? - in Dutch: grotendeels ben ik het met je eens KneD).
We could in theory make organisms smaller by rebuilding them with less 'components'.
Note however that the functionality of many organs is not just dictated by their molecules, but also by communication with other parts of the body or with the environment. This communication uses neural signals. And the neural network WILL be completely different in functionality if its size is altered.
Apart from not knowing what the effects will be on one's perceptions and thoughts, it is not clear altogether how one would function and act in such a small state.

On the other hand, maybe I, Merlijn, can create a spell that tackles all these problems.


07-09-01, 12:07 PM

Considering that there are mammals that are quite small (the pigmy shrew comes to mind) and yet have most of the parts we have, I would imagine that it's just a matter of smaller parts rather than fewer parts.

If that were to be the case, communication within and without shouldn't be a problem but, and it's a big BUT, how would you grow such an organism? The growth process is a fantastic operation based on spatial distance as well as size. Not only does the liver have to know how big to be, it also has to know where it's supposed to be.

To the best of my knowledge, we still don't know how that is accomplished in a growing organism.

07-12-01, 10:47 PM
Obviously, I'm late here as well, too many things to try to follow.
Thought that I would add my 2(where is the cents symbol) cents worth though.

You're talking about parts, molecules. What if you get down to atom level. If you look at them (electron microscope), even atoms are mostly empty space. You have a nucleus of protons and neutrons circled by a shell of electrons (all made of even smaller things). What if you could 'condense' them. Force the nucleus closer and the electron shell closer. Things could be smaller, though they may be unstable. Hmmm.


07-12-01, 10:53 PM
How much energy is required to shrink an electron's orbit? Put on the scale of a biomass (beast or man) what would that energy do to it besides shrink it?

07-13-01, 07:00 AM
I'm afraid that is not an option (even though it was for "Honey, I shrunk the kids" :P).
The nature of electrons only allows them in certain 'orbits', so to say (has something to do with the wave-characteristics of electrons).
However, my knowledge of these matters is not (by far) sufficient to say anything more than this.


07-13-01, 07:03 PM
Too true. I need to think things out further before posting sometimes.


07-13-01, 07:05 PM

Actually, I was thinking of inner space. Totally forgot about honey, I shrunk the kid.


08-13-01, 07:17 AM
The size of these oganisms are somewhat dictated by the size of their smallest components ie: proteins and tissues. These small components cannot be smaller.

Since the atoms are made up of mainly empty space, may be there is a way! Even though reducing the size of atoms seems to be impossible, as like charges repels each other, how can we reduce the space taken by the the electrons? If we can overcome this, the answer could be yes! :D

08-13-01, 01:59 PM
well, that would really kick ass....(physicist asses mainly :))

Then we would be able to make materials with a very high density, maybe produce our own small black holes......great!!!

but impossible.

08-14-01, 01:28 AM
Nothing is impossible! One day we'll find an answer.

02-17-02, 03:25 PM
Then the world is no longer to small for al people,...=less stress=less war!!! and then get crushed by a foot,.....skwuuuush,spletsh !!!! ugh !!!! that hurt !!!!:D

Did you know that there existed a dwarf-horse about 30cm big in pre-historic times? just fasinating!!!

02-17-02, 04:33 PM
May be instead of going after 3 inch size, we could genetically alter humans to a maximum of 3 feet size. Then there will be less need for food. I think nature tried that in Japan many years ago...

But 3 inches? One good will be, the earth can sustain 600 billion of us. But your house cat might have you for a snack unless they are reduced first.

I wonder if there is a planet out there (among the infinite worlds) where everything is so small?

02-18-02, 07:04 AM
I wonder if there is a planet out there (among the infinite worlds) where everything is so small?

I think that everything a mind can come up with exists or can exist somewhere in the universe,...

I think there are no boundaries to it.

02-18-02, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by Fukushi

I think that everything a mind can come up with exists or can exist somewhere in the universe,...

I think there are no boundaries to it.

I have been thinking about that for many years. I am glad, great minds think alike...:D

Today, we model and simulate nuclear explosion, economic models, weather forecasting and other complex systems. Someday, with a big enough computer, we should be able to model our solar system and speed up the evolution. Think of the possibilities...

Infinite possibilities in infinite worlds....

03-19-02, 03:27 AM
the laws of physics would prevent the shrinkage of humans to bug size;

see Gould's, "The Panda's Thumb," Chapters 24 and 29 which speak specifically about size and form and function.

03-24-02, 09:40 AM
I discussed the shrinking point with my biology-teacher, and he came up with the following points:

You can do it in two ways, you can mess with the genetics, or you could try it on a chemical base, and completley build the human from molecule to molecule.....

The first way will probably give you a human from about the known dwarf size.
The second way can be much smaller:
The proportions must stay the same, so the ratio os differnt parts of the body will dictate the smallest possible size.

BUT, there is one main problem, the complicated structure of the body will remain, and so the brains must have a minimum size (you could argue for a dumb creature, only able to move, but than it wouldn't be a human anymore).
This brain size will be the problem.
Cause when we make really small people with big heads to keep the brains in, it wouldn't be a human either, more a new life-form.

Conclusion: we can not be smaller than dwarfs.

03-24-02, 10:11 AM
We just grew to this size: why should we shrink at all: in midevil-times we where dwarfs:
the romans where about 1.20m to 1.50 tall: that's one of the reasons they couldn't mess with the germanians,...they where in comparision verry big: not to say : HUGE !!!

The constant adaptation process we undergo: is streaming us towards growing: growing consiousness: growing understanding,
If you want to shrink yourself to bug-size: go ahead: but shrink yourself not others: and don't drag them down with you,....eventually: I WILL crush you,....(even not deliberately).

tss,...shrinking consiousness, shrinking understanding,...shrink the penis, ai ai !!! Size DOES matter remember ?!!!?


03-24-02, 11:39 AM
Conclusion: we can not be smaller than dwarfs.

Humans grow from baby size to adult size. So, I think, a six year old may be the right size for reduction. With slight manipulation, that brain can hold the adult computation processes. And the proportions would not be ugly either. It is just that everybody would look like a child that did not grow up physically.

But to bug size? only if you put a quantum computer the size of a sugar crystal inside the brain.

03-27-02, 04:29 AM
Something just hit me...
In ancient China, the females' feet were restricted growth starting at a very yong age, like 3 or something. The foot digits were broken loose, and wrapped with bandage to restrict the growth of the feet. the result is that the feet never got bigger than the size of a fist. If we can restrict the growth of the bone, their might be a possibility of the restriction of the organs and in this way, we can stay smaller, but the size of a bug, very unlikely... ... but not impossible with the upcoming technologies, you never know.

03-27-02, 09:37 AM
feet-bandage comes with a lotlotlotlot of pain, the feet grow wrong. And it is hard to walk or even stand on it.
---> forced different grow comes with malfunction of the feet.

with feet it ain't that worse, but a malfunction when we talk about organs, nah, I don't like that idea.

The main idea of bandage is to stop the grow while is is growing, you can not do that with organs, during a life you can not try to disable the grow function of organs. (or muscles, bones, brains, eyes, etc. etc. etc. etc.)

03-27-02, 04:05 PM
And I guess you too are all familiar with that african tribe: the one that has neck-rings: with every ring they sustain a 'supposedly' higher rank within the tribe (sort of alfa-females)
well: if you take away these rings: the woman dies.

I think I'm rather comfortable with the way I am! NO: correction: I'm rather sure , hehehe!;)

03-28-02, 06:00 AM
Is there such a gene called the "growth" gene? May be we can shut it down, ie. if it exists.:bugeye:

03-28-02, 10:07 AM
Or you can breed smaller people until you get the smallest....:D :D

03-28-02, 03:08 PM
Hmmmm, all these options don't give smaller people than dwarfs (about 1 meter??)

well, to illustrate the feet-strapping part, let me post something said by a person who had the bandage as a child (taken from my history book):
When I was seven years old, my feet were strapped. Until that point I had always been a cheered up child, always playing and dancing, but after the strapping nothing was left from my optimistic, happy nature. The night after the strapping my feet seemed to burn and I couldn't get no sleep. when I tried to loosen the straps a little, I was hit by my mother. After a few months all toes, except the biggest were pushed to the underside of my feet. When I ate fish or meat my feet became swollen, and some sort of yellow-green liquid came out of the bandage. When I tried to walk on my heels, my mother critisised me. She said I would never attain beautifull feet, and that she couldn't find a decent man for me. In the summer a terrible smell came from the bandage, because my feet were rotting and all with blood and dirt. In the winter they were stone-cold, because of less blood circulation. I couldn't do anything when something was itsing under my feet, I couldn't touch them when they hurt. My legs are thin, my feet rotten stinking lumps. I wish I was one of them with normal feet

I now it is a little off topic but I needed to mention......let's make sure organ-bandage will never be fashion :)

03-29-02, 05:22 AM
Or you can breed smaller people until you get the smallest....

Yeah, I guess, since we do selective breeding on other animals, nor not on human? But it would take on long time... ... :bugeye:

09-09-10, 11:13 PM
As they put it in Star Trek, even if you could shrink a human being, you wouldn't be able to breathe!
As Dr. Bashir said it:
"Chief, you can't go out there even if you wanted to! The atoms outside are 2000x bigger than what your hemoglobins in your blood cells can assimilate! You'd suffocate!"
His logic seems... logical.
Thus proving it impossible.
UNLESS, there were a way to shrink atoms, which are the smallest 'building blocks' in the universe. Then you could create sub-atomic universes.

James R
09-10-10, 05:20 AM

You're only about 8-9 years late with your answer, dudester567. That's how old this thread is.