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Thread: What are titans made of?

  1. #1
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner TitaNick's Avatar
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    What are titans made of?

    It sure ain't sugar and spice and everything nice, so what exactly is this miracle substance that makes up everything from titan blood to the walls?

    I don't expect that Isayama will get really hard-core science-fictiony on this subject. For one thing, our characters don't exactly have electron microscopes with which to examine their world.

    But what can be inferred from the "information we can share so far?"

    TITAN STUFF tm
    • It uses large amounts of water, which makes sense considering a human body (and presumably a titan's) is 70 percent water.
    • It can grow in the blink of an eye, and releases a large amount of electrical energy when it does so.
    • It can completely replace normal human body parts, aside from the central nervous system.
    • When disconnected from a functioning human central nervous system it breaks down rapidly.
    • It has a high temperature when maintaining titan-scale body parts.
    • It can be selectively hardened to a point that's stronger than steel, and potentially diamond.

    My thoughts? It's a virus, which is basically a nanorobot made out of DNA and protein. I think someone (maybe the ape titan's people) who can write DNA programs from scratch, who knows everything that proteins can do, and enough about physics to design titan bodies that are large and structurally sound, wrote a virus to hack the human body as its host.

    We aren't able to do anything approaching that yet, but considering the DNA/protein system can be used to create everything from a virus to a blue whale to a human brain, it's obviously very flexible and powerful.

    Not only that, but proteins can also crystalize. So that covers most of the things we've seen titan bodies do.

    So imagine that within Eren's central nervous system there's a viral motherlode issuing commands to every cell in his body. The fact that he has to sustain an injury to transform is telling, since that's when the body normally swings into action and accelerates cell growth. It's also apparently hooked into his subconscious mind since he has to have a goal in mind to trigger the change. And when these two requirements are met his cell growth is cranked up to 11,000,000 and he turns into a cross between Yushin Okami and Godzilla.

    And since viruses make their "living" by issuing commands to living systems, it can also explain Eren's "coordinate" ability. For whatever reason, at the end of chapter 50 his body issued a non-verbal signal (maybe through pheromones?) that overrode the default "destroy all humans" programming of the surrounding titans. Apparently even Reiner, Bert and Ymir felt it, though as far as I saw they didn't start attacking the smiling titan or Reiner.

    So, what can we say about titan DNA's programming?
    • If it doesn't receive some kind of orders, it defaults to disintegrating itself at apparently the molecular level.
    • If it senses humans nearby it attempts to eat.
    • If a coordinate issues an order (and I think Annie kind of qualifies), it follows it.
    Personally, I think aberrants can potentially be explained as acting under the commands of a coordinate. When Annie screamed for "help," all of those otherwise normal titans began acting abnormally. This was even commented on by the characters.

    Now I know that some of you may be thinking that, considering the vast array of functions that proteins perform in an organism, I may as well be saying "it's magic." But all of the above functions are biological in nature. Eren can't summon a giant cannon or transform into a truck. Everything the titans have been shown to do is organic.

    At the other end of the spectrum it may sound like I'm going down the "midi-chlorian" route here by trying to explain something that maybe shouldn't be explained in "mundane" terms, but screw that. The moment we saw Grisha giving Eren that shot we were told "there's a semi-plausible biological explanation for the shit you've been seeing."

    Besides, DNA and proteins are two of the things in the world that practically are magic. Hell, even the term "magic" was only ever a placeholder for real knowledge. Before people had microscopes to see very small things diseases were considered to be evil spirits. And in terms of infectious diseases that's really not far from the truth. Replace "evil" with "predatory" and "spirit" with "living thing that we can't see."

    At any rate, this leads into my theory on Eren's basement. Maybe his father found a spaceship, or an alien communication device, and was receiving instructions from a friendly E.T.?

    And, here's a crazy WTF idea. What if said aliens are super tiny?

  2. #2
    MangaHelper 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member kkck's Avatar
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    Re: What are titans made of?

    Nah, titans can't really be made primarily from water. Water has this thingy about it being very heavy and moving it requires large amounts of energy. If the titans were primarily water then they would be extremely heavy rather than being as light as they are. Their water percentage should be significantly smaller than normal humans. More so, the titan's strength is well past unnatural. They have to be light to sustain themselves however the fact that they have superstrength suggests that whatever they are made of is extremely strong. Considering that with shifters it comes out of thin air I doubt it is anything humanlike so to speak.

    I doubt it is pheromones that cause the titans to become subservient to coordinates. Wouldn't that make the whole thing rely on the wind? More so, I doubt pheromones would explain why an order as specific as that would actually carry over to mindless creatures. Its actually a simpler explanation that eren is partially psychic and simply directly controls titans.

  3. #3
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    Re: What are titans made of?

    Quote Originally Posted by TitaNick View Post
    It sure ain't sugar and spice and everything nice, so what exactly is this miracle substance that makes up everything from titan blood to the walls?

    I don't expect that Isayama will get really hard-core science-fictiony on this subject. For one thing, our characters don't exactly have electron microscopes with which to examine their world.

    But what can be inferred from the "information we can share so far?"

    TITAN STUFF tm
    • It uses large amounts of water, which makes sense considering a human body (and presumably a titan's) is 70 percent water.
    • It can grow in the blink of an eye, and releases a large amount of electrical energy when it does so.
    • It can completely replace normal human body parts, aside from the central nervous system.
    • When disconnected from a functioning human central nervous system it breaks down rapidly.
    • It has a high temperature when maintaining titan-scale body parts.
    • It can be selectively hardened to a point that's stronger than steel, and potentially diamond.

    My thoughts? It's a virus, which is basically a nanorobot made out of DNA and protein. I think someone (maybe the ape titan's people) who can write DNA programs from scratch, who knows everything that proteins can do, and enough about physics to design titan bodies that are large and structurally sound, wrote a virus to hack the human body as its host.

    We aren't able to do anything approaching that yet, but considering the DNA/protein system can be used to create everything from a virus to a blue whale to a human brain, it's obviously very flexible and powerful.

    Not only that, but proteins can also crystalize. So that covers most of the things we've seen titan bodies do.

    So imagine that within Eren's central nervous system there's a viral motherlode issuing commands to every cell in his body. The fact that he has to sustain an injury to transform is telling, since that's when the body normally swings into action and accelerates cell growth. It's also apparently hooked into his subconscious mind since he has to have a goal in mind to trigger the change. And when these two requirements are met his cell growth is cranked up to 11,000,000 and he turns into a cross between Yushin Okami and Godzilla.

    And since viruses make their "living" by issuing commands to living systems, it can also explain Eren's "coordinate" ability. For whatever reason, at the end of chapter 50 his body issued a non-verbal signal (maybe through pheromones?) that overrode the default "destroy all humans" programming of the surrounding titans. Apparently even Reiner, Bert and Ymir felt it, though as far as I saw they didn't start attacking the smiling titan or Reiner.

    So, what can we say about titan DNA's programming?
    • If it doesn't receive some kind of orders, it defaults to disintegrating itself at apparently the molecular level.
    • If it senses humans nearby it attempts to eat.
    • If a coordinate issues an order (and I think Annie kind of qualifies), it follows it.
    Personally, I think aberrants can potentially be explained as acting under the commands of a coordinate. When Annie screamed for "help," all of those otherwise normal titans began acting abnormally. This was even commented on by the characters.

    Now I know that some of you may be thinking that, considering the vast array of functions that proteins perform in an organism, I may as well be saying "it's magic." But all of the above functions are biological in nature. Eren can't summon a giant cannon or transform into a truck. Everything the titans have been shown to do is organic.

    At the other end of the spectrum it may sound like I'm going down the "midi-chlorian" route here by trying to explain something that maybe shouldn't be explained in "mundane" terms, but screw that. The moment we saw Grisha giving Eren that shot we were told "there's a semi-plausible biological explanation for the shit you've been seeing."

    Besides, DNA and proteins are two of the things in the world that practically are magic. Hell, even the term "magic" was only ever a placeholder for real knowledge. Before people had microscopes to see very small things diseases were considered to be evil spirits. And in terms of infectious diseases that's really not far from the truth. Replace "evil" with "predatory" and "spirit" with "living thing that we can't see."

    At any rate, this leads into my theory on Eren's basement. Maybe his father found a spaceship, or an alien communication device, and was receiving instructions from a friendly E.T.?

    And, here's a crazy WTF idea. What if said aliens are super tiny?
    They are probably made of some sort of unknown/new organic structure (it might not even be carbon-based). They are not supposed to have much water in their bodies though, since water is a little bit too heavy. Maybe they do, though, since they already break quite a few laws of physics. As for magic, pretty much everything can be marked off as magic, until it is given a scientific explanation.

  4. #4
    Registered User MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted gnut's Avatar
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    Re: What are titans made of?

    maybe not water...but alot of steam(an engine of a sort)....
    i know anime can not be considered canon...but,i took notice to everytime eren regenerated limbs and such...
    it looked as if the,let's say material(s) were collected thru the air...idk
    but i would have to say they are somewhat carbon based...if they have bones within their structures and can harden like stone even diamond...

    with the lightening,steam and size...they give me this frankenstein feel the more we learn about them....
    this,could co-inside with the fact alot believe ape titan is really were-titan....
    But the stink that filled the privy gave ample evidence that the oft-repeated jape about his father was just another lie. Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold

  5. #5
    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member quoux's Avatar
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    Re: What are titans made of?

    I definitely think it's scientific in nature and that it contains a level of definitive properties. I'm sticking to my theory that titans are isayama's stylized versions of zombies, and what we are seeing is basically a "vault" if you will, containing the survivors of a giant zombie apocalypse.

    That being said; the fact is going to remain that whatever the cause of titanification is, it's going to be FICTIONAL in some way. Think resident evil.

    And now THAT being said, yeah I could see titans being made of Proteins. I find it relitively believable that titans are a mass of protein and fibers and water and such.

    I don't think weight is a viable problem seeing as we aren't even sure as to the weight of a protein. I think the skin and the amount of blood that they do contain has water, as well as the muscles. As to how light a Titan is, Hanji kicked a Titan head, and it wasn't a very big one. I maintain that the head, after being severed, had undergone the process of reducing itself to steam in which case it would be lighter.

    At the same time, if it really is just "steam", the Titan body would have to be comprised of elements that contain hydrogen and oxygen atoms. I maintain that much of the body has a high carbon ratio as well. It's viable that when the Titan is killed, it essentially undergoes a combustion reaction in which water is released as steam, and carbon dioxide is released as steam.

    Alternatively; these are all very heavy elements. It is possible, however, to "fluff" up carbon and make it more porous, and therefor lighter. As of yet, we have very little comments on what it feels like to touch a Titan besides it being "hot"

    Let's not forget as well that heat expands gases, which might mean that Titan transformation first summons a cloud of steam which rapidly solidifies itself into the titans that we see, based off its human host. When killed, it returns once more to steam.

    I also uphold carbon because the crystal Annie formed is likely a diamond like structure formed from intense hear and pressure (just pressure, even) of a large quantity of carbon.

    What we can be sure of is that the transfer of matter is matter=matter and it cannot be gained or destroyed, only transferred into a different state. So there are only a few possibilities here (three to be precise): 1) titans bodies are formed using materials supplied by the host (biologically, so blood or proteins or things like that) 2) it draws it's materials from the surroundings (the air is filled with hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen atoms; perfect soup in which to form a Titan. Large amounts of energy are released when anything reacts with nitrogen; could explain the explosions and lightning). 3) it transfers energy into matter; specifically the hosts energy (matter is the frozen form of energy).

    As for the pain being the trigger, I agree with the statement that it's something of a survival instinct. Our nervous system registers pain and sends it to a specific part of the brain, which in turn sends a panic response. Perhaps titanism is that new "panic response"?



    Orrrr, the serum is just a representation of some magic juju juice that happens to turn people into giants. :b

    Just some facts I thought I'd kick out, to contribute.

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    Re: What are titans made of?

    Quote Originally Posted by quoux View Post
    I definitely think it's scientific in nature and that it contains a level of definitive properties. I'm sticking to my theory that titans are isayama's stylized versions of zombies, and what we are seeing is basically a "vault" if you will, containing the survivors of a giant zombie apocalypse.

    That being said; the fact is going to remain that whatever the cause of titanification is, it's going to be FICTIONAL in some way. Think resident evil.

    And now THAT being said, yeah I could see titans being made of Proteins. I find it relitively believable that titans are a mass of protein and fibers and water and such.

    I don't think weight is a viable problem seeing as we aren't even sure as to the weight of a protein. I think the skin and the amount of blood that they do contain has water, as well as the muscles. As to how light a Titan is, Hanji kicked a Titan head, and it wasn't a very big one. I maintain that the head, after being severed, had undergone the process of reducing itself to steam in which case it would be lighter.

    At the same time, if it really is just "steam", the Titan body would have to be comprised of elements that contain hydrogen and oxygen atoms. I maintain that much of the body has a high carbon ratio as well. It's viable that when the Titan is killed, it essentially undergoes a combustion reaction in which water is released as steam, and carbon dioxide is released as steam.

    Alternatively; these are all very heavy elements. It is possible, however, to "fluff" up carbon and make it more porous, and therefor lighter. As of yet, we have very little comments on what it feels like to touch a Titan besides it being "hot"

    Let's not forget as well that heat expands gases, which might mean that Titan transformation first summons a cloud of steam which rapidly solidifies itself into the titans that we see, based off its human host. When killed, it returns once more to steam.

    I also uphold carbon because the crystal Annie formed is likely a diamond like structure formed from intense hear and pressure (just pressure, even) of a large quantity of carbon.

    What we can be sure of is that the transfer of matter is matter=matter and it cannot be gained or destroyed, only transferred into a different state. So there are only a few possibilities here (three to be precise): 1) titans bodies are formed using materials supplied by the host (biologically, so blood or proteins or things like that) 2) it draws it's materials from the surroundings (the air is filled with hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen atoms; perfect soup in which to form a Titan. Large amounts of energy are released when anything reacts with nitrogen; could explain the explosions and lightning). 3) it transfers energy into matter; specifically the hosts energy (matter is the frozen form of energy).

    As for the pain being the trigger, I agree with the statement that it's something of a survival instinct. Our nervous system registers pain and sends it to a specific part of the brain, which in turn sends a panic response. Perhaps titanism is that new "panic response"?



    Orrrr, the serum is just a representation of some magic juju juice that happens to turn people into giants. :b

    Just some facts I thought I'd kick out, to contribute.
    i was thinking hot air balloon...but now you got me thinking dry ice...which can burn you

    But the stink that filled the privy gave ample evidence that the oft-repeated jape about his father was just another lie. Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold

  8. #7
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    Re: What are titans made of?

    I think I will go with the simple explanation of tv tropes : Made Of Plasticine

    But yeah carbon based structure would explain the crystal and wall and the lightness + fragility. (kind of like aerogel but carbon based)
    WAHAHA~ My anime list - - tsil agnam yM ~AHAHAW

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    Re: What are titans made of?

    I don't think titans have in any form or context been made out to be fragile. If anything its the opposite. Doesn't cutting the nape of the neck require extra tempered super hard steel swords which end up not lasting long?

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    Re: What are titans made of?

    I was always under the impression that a titan is basically made from the amount of chemical components a normal human being is made from. only spread a lot thinner and over a larger surface.
    Meaning that the average titan weighs at most 80 kilos in total.
    Before you say this is impossible then consider that if flattened out, a pair of lungs can cover a tennis court. The human brain itself is significantly larger when wrinkled out. and the sells of a body are pretty pressed together.
    And besides, we don´t really know if Titans even have brains in their huge heads. (A explanation to why they are so light and why a headshot doesn´t kill them. Their eyes are connected to the real brain far down the nape and that is it. They brains are hollow.
    So a titan is basically made from the average person´s materials.
    Think Biotransmutations and FMA to understand this theory.
    They are still people after all...

  11. #10
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    Re: What are titans made of?

    The issue with that is that in no way that would justify the insane strength titans have. Titans even exceed human strength in terms of proportion from what I gather (titan eren picked a rock much larger than himself and moved it to cover the hole in the wall). Whatever it is titans are made of it has to be something very light and extremely strong, otherwise they would just be balloons or something.

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    Re: What are titans made of?

    Quote Originally Posted by kkck View Post
    The issue with that is that in no way that would justify the insane strength titans have. Titans even exceed human strength in terms of proportion from what I gather (titan eren picked a rock much larger than himself and moved it to cover the hole in the wall). Whatever it is titans are made of it has to be something very light and extremely strong, otherwise they would just be balloons or something.
    Or put it simply, F=/=ma, not just titans, the 3D mechanical gears powered by compressed gas seems unrealistic to me.

    We shall call it Isayamaian physics.

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    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner Hectorpops's Avatar
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    Re: What are titans made of?

    Grade 11 Titan Physics
    Force= M*A (0.2)
    Kinetic Energy = 4 MV^2

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member quoux's Avatar
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    Re: What are titans made of?

    Carbons fit all those needs!! Essentially, with the right temperaments, carbon can be 1000x strong, and also 1000x lightweight! Carbon is beautiful!! Again I still support oxygen and hydrogen also being present

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    Re: What are titans made of?

    Quote Originally Posted by quoux View Post
    Carbons fit all those needs!! Essentially, with the right temperaments, carbon can be 1000x strong, and also 1000x lightweight! Carbon is beautiful!! Again I still support oxygen and hydrogen also being present
    I think you mean graphene, correct? It is thought to be cheaper and easier to produce tomorrow, a lot of news has been written up lately. Isayama may have noticed that, this is a good guess.

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    Re: What are titans made of?

    They're made of dog crap
    Last edited by ClaFanN1; November 23, 2013 at 03:51 PM.
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