A tortoise, a camel, a giraffe and time travel

Time travelling camel superseded by hot air balloon

Header image credit: firstpost.com

A tortoise, a camel, a giraffe and time travel. What’s in common?

Is time travel in our human nature?

Man often imitates nature when it comes to improving our technology. Think of structural strength, poison, glues or just plain camouflage.

not corona virus, but my mushrooms
Actually this isn’t the corona virus, it’s my home grown mushroom! 😉

I’m of the opinion that when it comes to the realisation of time travel (if ever) it will be down the biological route; a virus, mental capacity or mutation, for example.

In the last case, where evolution plays a part, we’ve still quite a way to go. Come to think of it, seeing how humans are reacting to the corona virus by panic-buying toilet paper, I think we’ve a long way to go with our mental capacity too 🙁

Douglas Adams in his Hitchhikers books poked fun at the ‘middle’ people who seemingly do nothing with their misguided mental capacity. These are the kind of people who sit in meetings and talk about what colour a wheel should be before designing its shape. He had them effectively shipped off into space (where it turns out an interesting time travel paradox plays out).

In a similar vein I’d like to consider the “busy body”. You know the type; they rush around clutching bundles of paper and look like they’re in a terrible rush. Zip! Zap! Zop! Here, there, everywhere, and yet it takes them an eternity to actually get anything done.
I can’t help wondering whether there’s some sort of energy conservation across dimensions; move quickly in one (spatial), slowly in another (time) to account for it.

So is the corollary true?

Time travelling tortoise

Creatures that move slowly through space such as snails and tortoises must surely be passing more quickly through time to make up for it.

Indeed, the tortoise seems to have always been related to old age. Even young tortoises look old. Born young, and instantly look old. Like “Winston Churchill Babies”.

tortoise and churchill comparison
Born young, look old. Tortoise in title screen of British Comedy about old people. Churchill image source: imgur.com

I used to think my high school history teacher was born young and looked older than her years too. Although in fairness she didn’t know history – she remembered it.

Time travel camels

I brought the link between animals and time travel to a question in the GoodReads time travel group where suggestions for a time travel vehicle were sought.

My suggestion was the ship of the desert: the camel.
There is a pneumomic for remembering the geological eras:

“Camels often sit down carefully – perhaps their joints creak? Early oiling might prevent permanent rheumatism.”

(The geological eras being: Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene and Recent. Fret not, there’s no test!)

I figure if camels can roam through the geological eras then they might make a good time travelling vehicle (though they might be a little grumpy about it).

time travel camel
The ship of the desert and crusader across the geological epochs would make an excellent time travel vehicle! (Image source: animalia.bio.)

Such a time travelling camel would be a bactrian. You press the front hump to go forwards in time, and the back hump to go backwards. Besides, you’d never be able to sit comfortably on a one-humped camel, so you’d more likely fall off than travel through time on an Arabian dromedary.

As a side note, it turned out that my time travelling camel was rejected and I needed to put forward a more conventional vehicle. I then suggested a hot air balloon. It’s naturally capable of travelling in the 3 spatial dimensions, and the fourth of time would be a nice addition.

I should note though, that in memory of my short lived time travelling camel, I’d affectionately refer to my hot air balloon as “Camelia” and it would have a picture of a two humped camel on the side! 😉

Time travelling giraffes

Tortoise or giraffe?
Quantum possibility: tortoise and / or giraffe.

You think cowboys look cool on a horse?

Just think how cool it would be for a time traveller to swing down from a giraffe! I’m sure there’s a reason why their necks are so long…there must be some sort of time travelling gadgetry in there I’m sure! Then again, giraffes have their own problems with time dilation…

Animals and time travel

Tortoises, camels, giraffes and humans. So who’d make the best time traveller? Certainly I think if humans had time travel capability they’d be the most dangerous.

Personally, I’d put my money on the camel (as you’ve already read…). I checked in with Mrs T2TT who’s plumping for the tortoise. I asked why.

“When he hides in his shell he’s in his own little safe place, so he’s all prepared for whatever he faces when he comes out of his shell. Even if it’s in a different time.”

I think it’s a fair point, and having learned my lesson from Aesop’s hare, I won’t get the hump if the tortoise beats my camel to time travel!


Bactrian camel and tortoise
Near-To-Nature Babies by James Swinnerton. Image credit: periodpaper.com.

The baby Bactrian Camel, when you see him first,
makes you think his looks are really quite the worst.
But when you stop to study his diversity ofline,
You’ll find he has a quite artistic curvature of the spine.

The litle Tortoise is so sad; he sobs sorrowf’ly and low:
“My Daddy has a mansion on his back. I’ve only got a bungalow.”

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