Scalosian water

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Scalosian water is contaminated water from the planet Scalos in Star Trek. Humanoids who ingest Scalosian water are accelerated to incredible speeds, moving so fast that they are invisible to normal humanoids and only detectable by a high-pitched buzzing noise. It only appears once, in the TOS episode "Wink of an Eye."

Effects

Individuals affected by Scalosian water move at superhuman speeds. They are effectively invisible to uncontaminated humanoids, and they can even step out of the way of a phaser beam with minimal effort.

Unfortunately, the effect is continuous; contaminated Scalosians can only interact with other contaminated individuals. Worse, any significant injury to a contaminated individual causes their metabolism to race out of control, aging them to death in minutes (from their accelerated viewpoint).

Dr. McCoy eventually developed an antidote that could reverse the effects of Scalosian water in members of the Enterprise crew, but it apparently was not effective on the Scalosian natives, who had been exposed to the contaminated water for much longer.

Realism

This episode has many of the same realism problems as the TNG episode "Timescape".

  • Characters are presumably moving thousands of times faster than normal, and their perceptions are equally fast. This effect has unfortunate implications.
    • The brightness of lighting is a function of time. If characters are perceiving their environment thousands of times faster, the light around them will effectively be thousands of times dimmer.
    • Affected characters are able to converse normally, but soundwaves would be travelling very slowly from their perspective, making conversations into tedious routines of statements broken up by long stretches of waiting for the sound to propagate to the other person, so they can formulate a response that will have to slowly propagate back.
  • Unaffected characters perceive the activity of accelerated characters as a high-pitched buzzing, but they would actually be experiencing atmospheric shockwaves from accelerated characters moving about at supersonic speed.
  • Accelerated characters would have to wait for (subjective) hours for the automatic doors to detect them and open for them (or at least only go through doors while someone else was already passing through).
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