So this started out as a post about how boring humans are, judging by their physical abilities. Then I realized, persistence hunting is damn impressive.
Sure we’ve invented all kinds of amazing things, set up huge societal structure, built the most amazing contraptions and are currently in the process of understanding the universe, but what can an individual human really do? How do we compare to other species in terms of raw physical ability? Not very well is what you’d think, but here’s some news..
Humans evolved pretty damn great. We got these brains, opposable thumb, all kinds of traits that make communication super smooth. But how would we do if you stripped all those non-physical advantages away? What would be our strengths? Well, we can run. Like, really well. You’ll probably go “dude I can’t run a mile without dying”, and you’d be right in saying that. But your body’s made for it nonetheless, and with the proper practice it’s actually quite feasible to run a marathon. Or run three days straight to tire out a prey.
That’s actually a thing. It’s not very common nowadays, though some tribes in Africa and Mexico still practice it. Since humans can lose heat while running (by sweating), their prey (often quadrupeds like antilope) would actually have to stop to pant if they want to cool down. And stopping isn’t really an option when you’re being chased by a member of some weird-ass species, right? Eventually they overheat and simply can’t go any further. The hunter’s spear of knife will then, mostly just symbolically, take them out of their misery.
Sounds kinda cruel, but think about how cool that is! In a way, it’s a metaphor for the survival of our species. Where others eventually give up, can’t go on anymore, we keep trucking, eventually claiming victory over all others.
Shame our one cool ability is going unused.