Low oxygen civilizations

On low oxygen worlds, civilizations will run into the same problem water civilizations do. With less than 16% oxygen, fire can’t burn, metallurgy can’t be made, and you can’t advance past the stone age. It seems that a lot of things can just block metallurgy and further advancement. Would it be possible to make some alternative ages that would lead a civilization to space without fire?

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Not unless you want to turn this into another thread that gets locked. Like this:


Yes, low oxygen would definitely prevent an issue. Probably should be noted on the planet creation stage.

Now that I think about it though, plants would create oxygen, so it might not be possible to notify the player.


I dont see how low oxygen worlds could form sapient life, the only options for complex multicellular organisms with enough energy production (without normal Oxygen + sugar = ATP stuff) or sufficiently slowed down aging/nervous systems (to handle taking years to find food) are non-LAWK and thrive prolly will not be getting non-LAWK support any time soon.
edit: plus C3 and C4 and all other photosynthesis i know of makes oxygen and i think we all assume that life would need productive primary producers.

Also in the same edit: theoretically Florine or Chlorine based life could get you too civ stage and have really tough naturally occurring plastics to do stuff with but not enough oxygen for fire, and you cant mine anyways cause the clorine would settle in deep mines and kill miners.

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Sulphur respiration and flourine or chlorine in high enough concentrations for fire to exist as flourine and chorine can replace oxygen in fire and sulphur can replace oxygen in life
edit: sorry for the necropost


That’s not true. Naked mole rats can survive without oxygen by using fructose instead of glucose, though they need to sleep so that they don’t use too much energy. If an organism was more optimized specifically for using fructose instead of glucose it could probably survive.

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It could work, because tin has a melting point of 231.9 °C, which potentially could be withstood, allowing for basic metallurgy without fire.

Edit: This would also allow for underwater civilizations.

Oh, no no no no. I’m 99.71% sure that this was brought up in the underwater discussion already. This doesn’t need to be discussed again.

But please continue discussing low oxygen civilizations.


What oxygen concentration range does low oxygen refer to here?

For organisms, efficient respiratory and circulatory systems can help adapt to hypoxic environments. Just like the air sac of birds, the hemoglobin of vertebrates.

In fact, the oxygen index of many fuels is lower than 16%, such as 4% for charcoal. Dry dead wood can still catch fire, and there are also flammable plants like pine. If fire resistance is also seen as an evolution of plants, perhaps the fire resistance of plants in hypoxic environments may also be relatively low?

A low oxygen environment does not necessarily mean that there is no fire, but natural fire will be more difficult to occur, and the maintenance and ignition of fire will also be more difficult. Metallurgy will also have higher requirements for technology, fuel, and blowers.


Hmmm… interesting… I wonder how it looks like ingame tho…

This is a bit of topic, but where exactly was it brought up?

Low oxegen civilazation.

I believe they are asking where it was brought up within the underwater civilization discussion, they’re well aware that it was brought up here because they brought it up

Ok nice that was the idea.

Please stop making posts that could just be reactions. I’ve noticed that you do that a lot, and it goes against the forum rules;

In this instance, you could have just left a :+1:. If you had just done this once or twice, I wouldn’t mention it, but it has been repeatedly done, to the point where almost half of your posts that I have read are like this.


Ok I will stop typing like that.

Here’s the latest underwater thread:

It has links somewhere in it for the previous discussions.

Thanks, but the Moderators shut it down.

Exactly, because it is a cursed topic that always goes wrong. That’s why I specifically said not to start that discussion again here.

There was also this one, which was more recent; The Holy Grail: Hhyyrylainen’s Challenge of UC Metalworking Completed and Formalized with 47 Citations!

Edit: It proves up to metal smelting, but not how they would properly shape the metal or any other components of civilization past the point of smelting the metal. As such, Hhyyrylainen’s challenge of a full essay with citations has yet to be completed

Edit 2: Regardless, this is off topic. Back to low oxygen civilizations!