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Balanced Forces

The ability to move the world around you dictates whether or not you will be able to stay in it safely. The absence of masses agreeing to explicit laws of order changes the social dynamics at work. Muscles move us through the world. When most think of strength it is often the ferocity with which power is held that makes the example stick. Two traits of muscles of among the many of note are that they come in pairs and they only pull. The complex movements we see throughout the natural world and among athletes come only from coordinated contractions.

The intricacy of the muscular makeup of people is a delicate symmetry with over 600 muscles in the body all organized as pairs and accounting for 40% of the mass of the body. Humans have different types of muscle fibers that specialize at the explosive and endurance tasks as well as appear in proportions based on the regular activities of the body be they sprinting or carrying buckets of water miles everyday. The structures and arrangements throughout the body that allow for small scale attractions working in concert to push massive amounts are elegant.

Nature's Gym

The natural world is visibly ruled by the fit. Explosive bursts and agility foundations at the start of motive contests but endurance the deciding factor in drawn out instances. The focus and mental faculties at work too are high with tests of endurance. The trait that made humans the fear of other animals in the wild was the endless chase. Many animals simply collapsed from exhaustion when subjected to chase spread over the course of hours or days. A focus on the strongest animals on land or in the sea shows variety in roles taken by the herculean ranks of the jungles on all sides of the horizon. Heavier animals demonstrate greater absolute strength and lighter animals higher relative strength. For instance, grizzly bears, musk oxen, gorillas, and eagles can lift 0.4 times, 1.5 times, 10 times, and 4 times their body weights, respectively. As absolute amounts those values can be 500kg, 900kg, 2000kg, and 28kg ( in the flight ), respectively. The mechanics at play during the feats of strength based in necessity vary based on utility. We see this split of use with both herbivores and carnivores among the animals named. Moreover, the greater absolute numbers are seen from herbivores. This speaks to the faculties and methods outside of strength alone that play into the struggles that unfold.

The strongest on the list are all insects, but the quantities in question are power measured milligram for milligram. An ant and two beetles hold the top spots of relative strength ratios on land with the strongest being a beetle able to move 1,140 times their bodyweight. In the ocean the forms seen are measured less by external motive ability and more by top speeds during pursuit along with constrictive strength. Bite strength is the metric seen comparing both land and sea creatures and is dominated by the crocodile, a sea creature with a bite in absolute numbers with a range of 2125 psi to 5000 psi.

New Press

We are seeing explorations of technology further replacing or extending what muscles do. The range of applications seen already is extensive going from the Steam and Industrial ages that replaced how economic mass was moved to new artificial muscles being explored. There are already broad possibilities for the applications of these external muscles as well, many of which enliven the superhero fantasies within us. How would the motions of life change if even a small fraction of muscles were able to create push through expansion rather than focusing mainly on contraction? How the world will flex in the future is hard to know. The use of motive strength in an industrialized world as well is not as we would expect in the natural world. Staying active and enjoying the strength we do have is a tenet regardless of how the muscles align in the future coming about.

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