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LYR
Basics for Tourists

by Chris Wayan, 2005

Lyr's home page - Evolution on Lyr - Creatures and peoples - Regional tours - Gazetteer -

Landing on Lyr, you immediately know you're not on Earth. Why?

  1. Instantly visible: that orange sunlight. Lyr's smaller, cooler sun looks golden at noon, blushing lower in the sky to a pure spectral red Sol never achieves. Lyran days have a warm tone, like perpetual afternoon, or gaslight, or firelight... Your eyes adjust quickly, so you'll see a full spectrum. You won't even be aware it's warmer--consciously. But it shifts your mood.

  2. Invisible, but in your bones: the extra gravity. If you're in the tropics (and you'll probably start there) you weigh about 25% more (well, your weight gain really ranges from 23% at the equator to a good 40% near the poles--but since there's very little polar land, the low end's more likely. Variable gravity sound absurd? It's common! Here's how). Strangely, many people experience the extra weight as a sort of vigor, at first. It's so evenly distributed your muscles can easily handle it short-term, and they respond forcefully, enjoying the workout. But a few days later you'll get sore and tired--your joints aren't used to the extra load being constant. After a week or two the vigor returns and you'll stabilize in excellent shape (rats raised in high gravity live LONGER--their joints adapt and last, they stay lean, and their hearts strengthen). The big risk isn't falling, breaking bones, or heart attacks--it's that you'll misjudge how fast objects fall! This adjustment is mental--and deep. You aren't weak, you're clumsy. And will be for weeks.

  3. Visible within hours: the sun races across the sky. Lyr rotates in just 12 hours! Just seven hours of daylight, only five of night. Learn to catnap! (How can day and night be unequal? Lyr's thick and tightly layered atmosphere (thinning fast as you rise) bends light better than Earth's. So at dawn or dusk, sunlight's refracted several degrees around the planet--rarely under five, and up to ten degrees. Result? The sun seems to be shining above the horizon, when it's really just below it. Sound odd? It happens on Earth too, every day. The setting sun you see isn't there--it's several diameters below its image! A few minutes of extra light at dawn and dusk... But on Lyr, it's more than a few.)

  4. Utterly invisible, but vital: the air's different, different in three ways, all of which affect you.
    • You have 3.5 times as much oxygen available. It's invigorating short-term--but you didn't evolve for it. Harsh on your lungs, if you over-exercise. It may age your tissues faster! Also: within days, in response, your blood will thin out--you'll feel fine, but by Earth standards you'll be severely anemic. So just before leaving, live in high mountains and eat an iron-rich diet for a week or so--or you may faint back in Earth air. So breathe easy, tour leisurely... and before settling on Lyr, consult a doctor!
    • There's also four times the nitrogen on Earth. That's not quite enough to give most people serious nitrogen narcosis, but you may be mildly euphoric for a few days. Enjoy the buzz ("rapture of the deep", it was once called), but don't fly aircars, or get married--you know, things you can crash. That's a good tourist, let your brain adjust!
    • And most importantly for our tour, Lyr's air also contains a lot of inert gasses too--so the total air pressure is fully SIX TIMES sea level on Earth. Air that dense means lift under your wings. Yes, you can fly. On Earth today, no flying creature weighs over 15 kg (35 lbs), though some pterosaurs were quite a bit bigger. On Lyr, despite the higher gravity, the air's SO dense that flying's much easier--possible even for creatures as heavy as humans. So strap on your wings and be sure they're comfortable! You won't impress the locals--you're too heavy for aerobatics, or carrying food home to your young, or soaring aerial courtship dances--but with a little practice and a good set of spidersilk wings, a human in reasonable shape CAN get off the ground and chug around. Cruising speeds are near 90 kph (55 mph)--as fast as a migrating goose.

      And migrate you will. Because you're touring Lyr under your own wingpower.

Map of Lyr, a world-building experiment. Click a feature to go there.
Gazetteer: index of places, with descriptions. Or...

TOUR LYR! Climb volcanoes, swim seas, meet weird creatures. First: survival tips! Then, pick a region:
Ythri -- Polesotechnic Chain -- Troisleons -- Roland -- Oronesia -- Gaiila -- Flandry -- Diomedes -- Ak'hai'i -- Averorn

This world-model is one of a series, The Biosphere Variations: see Serrana, Lyr, Oisin, Pegasia and Tharn. See also two related series:
Tilt! tours four Earths with our geography but different poles
1: Seapole--a flooded world
2: Shiveria--a steady-state ice age
3: Turnovia--the world on its head
4: Jaredia--a Petri dish for cultural diffusion
FUTURES tours three worlds 1000 years from now
1: DUBIA: A flooded, greenhoused Earth
2: MARS REBORN: terraformed, but definitely not Terra
3: VENUS UNVEILED: the ugly duckling became a swan



LISTS AND LINKS: other worlds - ecology - climate change - evolution - populations and eco-crashes - natural disasters - terraforming - orbital dreams - sculptures and 3D art -

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