With the conclusion of Sounan desu ka?, thought I’d look at the “survival science” it offered.
For those few who might have missed it, Are You Lost is an anime where four teenage girls are stranded on an island as sole survivors of a plane crash. One of them is a survival expert who teaches them how to find food and water and shelter on what looks like a temperate island in the Pacific.
No. It is really an excuse for fan service – and kink – hiding under the label of CGDCT. (Not that that’s a negative strike against it.)
Along the way a number of valid survival techniques are demonstrated. Conditions are rarely as perfect as these girls experience and in reality it takes many attempts to succeed at things they seem to accomplish with minimal effort.
The psychological trauma of the crash and the death of everyone else on board is glossed over. Nonexistent, really. It could have been a great survival story but every difficulty is trivialized for the CGDCT label and the fan service. If you want to see how it should be done, there’s “Castaway”, with Tom Hanks.
But this is supposed to be a comedy, so on we go.
Never mind that there are some dubious notions advanced here as well. Drinking the urine of someone who is already dehydrated is useless. And if you aren’t already badly dehydrated nobody is going to be willing to try. Much better to apply it to clothing for cooling. You’ll stink but you’ll sweat less. Throwing your cell phone battery at a shark won’t do a thing. Building a lightning rod on a beach is a waste of time. Get off the %$#@! beach and away from water if there is lightning!
Oh yeah, their shelter is right next to a tall tree, right on the beach.
The weather service recommends:
- Avoid open areas.
- Don’t be or be near the tallest objects in the area.
- Don’t shelter under tall or isolated trees.
- In the woods, put as much distance between you and any tree.
- If in a group, spread out so that you increase the chances for survivors who could
come to the aid of any victims from a lightning strike.
They don’t recommend the “lightning crouch” anymore but do remain standing. If lightning hits nearby you will receive a bigger shock through the ground if you are laying down than standing up.
Saltwater is a useful survival resource if you have some freshwater to mix with it. Obviously, you can use it to cool off. With all that trash some kind of solar still could be possible. The beach is a perfect place to turn salt water into fresh.
During the epic voyage of the Kon-Tiki, the crew extended their freshwater supplies by mixing 2 parts fresh water with 1 part seawater. If you want to see a true story of survival in the deep ocean filled with gorgeous, scantily clad, muscular, blonde men struggling against nature that has great acting, a great plot-line, and incredible cinematography, watch this!
If you fill a clear plastic water bottle with fairly clear water and leave it lie in the sun all day, the UV and heat will kill off the pathogens and you can drink it. Brownie points if it is on a reflective surface. The snares and traps and fishing tips are all valid, even if a lot more difficult to do right than they show. They demonstrated a good way to collect rainwater and to build a solar shower. You really can start a fire with a filled clear water bottle as a lens – but it ain’t easy.
There was an abbreviated version of how to test a plant for toxicity. The US military survival manual has a 13 step process. There is also an abbreviated version of the rule of 3s. In reality, girls who were so well endowed could survive much longer.
Humans are well adapted for famine. Folks on the TV series Naked and Afraid survive for three weeks with almost no food and still manage the energy to hike miles uphill to get to an extraction point. They just lose 20 lbs in the process. Fat supplies calories, provides insulation, helps you float and stores water.
That’s a real conflict if you only have one or two competent people. The beach is where you’ll see potential rescuers. Inland is where you may find many resources. What are their relative probabilities? Moving to the highest point on the island would give you a better view, wouldn’t it? But then you are far from your main food supply. Which is more important?
The shelter they built was more of a symbolic shelter than anything useful. It would be
ok for shade on the beach but it wouldn’t provide warmth or block the rain and wind in a real storm very well because the wind doesn’t come from just one direction. It looked like they found bamboo to make the frame with, otherwise, everything was too perfectly straight. Most building materials are messy and crooked. You wouldn’t want it right on the beach, you’d put it inland a bit in a sheltered location. In the latter episodes that start to improve on it.
The ideal survival shelter is low profile so as not the catch the wind, large enough in area
to cover everyone’s body completely and with a small opening that can be closed off. A field survival shelter is never complete. You keep working on it to expand its capacity or improve its protection.
Later in the anime, they find an abandoned hut. I would have dismantled the place and used all that scrap lumber and rusty nails as part of a better shelter. They didn’t.
Survivorman talks shelter. Sorry for the commercials.
The purple goop from a sea cucumber is a good sunscreen. Using your body to rub it all over another person’s body sounds fun. I’ve never heard of using squid ink or seaweed slime but it might work.
The girls had already been on the island long enough they ought to have been burned if they were going to be. They weren’t, so this is just another opportunity for fan service/ecchi.
The plane sank but should surely have left some wreckage. Pieces of luggage, contents of luggage, large aircraft fragments, seat cushions and other floatation devices, maybe a few corpses, an oil/fuel slick. Lots of potentially useful stuff. Didn’t see any of that.
Figuring out the rough latitude for the island should have been easy. A long straight stick, some string and a weight for the end of the string and another stick you can bend in a circular arc is what you need for a rough and ready sextant. From there it is guestimating the angle since you don’t have the exactness of a protractor. You want the elevation of Polaris, the north star, above the horizon.
Too bad Homare threw away her cell battery. They could have used the clock for a longitude estimate. If you set the analog-like clock display, so much the better. It would be great for measuring an angle with precision. (One minute equals 6 degrees.) Most cell phones have a compass as well.
Ah well! It probably wouldn’t have survived the dunk in the saltwater. But wait! As a survivalist’s kid, wouldn’t she be likely to have a waterproof phone? And even a GPS app?
I do. Of course it is only good until the battery dies.
Even more crudely, a hand’s width at arm’s length is roughly 10 degrees wide. Primitive people often measure time – and therefor angles – in “hands” above the horizon. At 45 N latitude, Polaris would be 4.5 hands above the horizon. I frequently use that technique for measuring time on my hikes because I hate using watches and cell phones when I want to be au naturel.
The flora and fauna being similar to Japan is also a giveaway. Given that they knew where they were flying from and to and very roughly how long it had been, that should also have given them an idea.
One thing the show got exactly right was all the debris washed up on the shore. There is no coastline in the world that isn’t littered by plastic bottles. Fishing nets, rope, and other useful trash are also there for the taking. I’ve chimneyed up lots of cracks and it is a legitimate rock climbing technique that does not require a lot of strength. Using the net for a hammock was a good idea because, as Homaru said, the ground is going to be infested with insects.
I have an important question here. Two questions, actually. The entire series the girls have been allergic to nudity, very carefully keeping panties and bra on, even when swimming. Shion was embarrassed when the others saw her taking a solar shower. Asuka was embarrassed when the wind blew her skirt up and she wasn’t wearing underwear. Mutsu was even too embarrassed to take her shirt off to go diving. Yet they see an onsen and their clothes are off in a flash. What’s that all about?
Second question: They have just been swept out of the hot tub and into the sea by a sudden big wave. Why are their clothes still right were they left them by the tub, folded and dry? They ought to have been nudists for the rest of the show. Enquiring minds want to know…
“In a survival situation, embarrassment is not necessary!” – Homare’s papa, Jouichi.
But then it goes off the rails from fan service and into some serious yuk factor. This is pure kink.
Enemas of a batshit-water mixture for hydration are a sure way to cause stress and inflammation in your lower GI tract – or far worse. You are introducing concentrated levels of alien e. coli and other bacteria where they don’t belong and creating microfractures all around where they could potentially enter your bloodstream. Bats can also carry horrible diseases and the worst are plague and rabies. The colon does absorb water and block almost everything else. Its purpose is to recycle the water from your feces before you eject it. When it fails to do this you have diarrhea. When it does this too effectively you get constipated.
Delivering it by mouth to the anus? Batshit soup in your mouth or your colon would quickly result in diarrhea and probably nausea. That is how your body ejects alien microbes from your GI tract.
Give me a f*cking break! This is just being disgusting for the sake of disgustingness. There is a real risk of other fatal diseases as well.
Filter it through many layers of cloth (and they have lots of clothing) to get the larger
particulates out, then let it sit and wait for whatever is remaining to settle out. Draw off the clear water at the top and mix in a little seawater to extend it and dilute the remaining contaminants. Now we place it in the sun to purify. Now drink – or enema if you insist. That is my solution. I bet you still get sick but you’ll last long enough to get back to the island and safe water.
Medically enemas have been used to administer fluid to people who could not consume water orally. There is a touch of truth here, just not in how they played it in the anime.
Dirty freshwater enemas were used in a survival situation by the Robertson family. It was a small fraction of the total rain water consumed. We are even lucky enough that one member of the party, the non-family member who was just hitching a ride, refused them, a kind of control for the experiment. The enemas evidenced no large advantage when they were rescued. Yet all the pieces I read about them emphasize how they “had” to do enemas to survive.
They speared and ate sea turtles and some remains contaminated the floor of the tiny rubber raft they were in. Drinking water from rain was also collected from the floor of the raft. That may mean that drinking water contaminated by turtle guts and blood and a bit of sea salt isn’t such a bad thing after all and the enemas were unnecessary.
One of the sons, Douglas, said, “I never regretted the trip even in the darkest hours,”
“In a funny kind of way life had a quality to it, the quality of survival, the reward of seeing another sunset, another sunrise.
“We felt like wildlife must feel in the jungle, to live another day was our only goal.”
That is the survivor’s mindset in a nutshell.
Batshit soup enemas would be a different matter, as I noted. Even worse would be seawater enemas. Seawater is much saltier than your bloodstream and would tend to pull the water out of your body. Without supplemental drinking water, the enema would kill you almost as fast as drinking it.
Of course, that is a link from NakedScientists.com. Where else would I look?
If I were stranded on a deserted island, Homare is the obvious choice to be stranded with. But if the living were as easy as it appeared in the anime? I’d go with Mutsu. Personality-wise, she’s the one I’d click with and I am confident that any initial shyness would be gone very quickly. Propinquity works wonders.
It looked like there was still an episode to go, but that was it. Nothing could top mouth to anus injection of batship soup. We were left with daddy sailing a yacht back and forth on the ocean, looking for Homare. Or perhaps the girls are so well adapted to their stuation they no longer need to be rescued. Kind of a strange final episode.