Random Access asks:

I once heard an interesting theory that all Pokémon may descend from ultrabeasts. Do you think it may have merit?

Well, I’d sort of need more than that.  Why might we think that all Pokémon are descended from Ultra Beasts?  I mean, it’s not impossible, but given that we have no idea what the Ultra Beasts’ relationship to modern Pokémon (if any) even is, that seems like the last place to start looking for the origin of all Pokémon.  What’s the reasoning?

Anonymous asks:

What do you think shininess to do with Pokémon evolution, if anything? I remember in the Johto games, the shiny Gyarados was red because it was force-evolved from the naturally-red Magikarp, right? And is it a coincidence that Mega Charizard X has similar coloration to a shiny Charizard?

I’m sceptical.  Like, what happens at Lake of Rage, supposedly, is that they’re forcing a whole bunch of Magikarp to evolve.  The red Gyarados that you fight isn’t the only Gyarados there, it just happens to have caught everyone’s attention because… well, it’s red.  Team Rocket’s original plan in Mahogany Town (aside from perfecting their radio technology for their later plot in Goldenrod City) was to turn a tidy profit converting useless Magikarp into valuable Gyarados – not just one, but several.  Honestly they probably would have been better off without the extra attention drawn by the red one, but once people did start getting curious, they opportunistically started making a bit of extra money on top of that by setting up a toll booth near the lake.  Or at least, that was my reading of it.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Mega Charizard X and shiny Charizard are both black, but I don’t think that’s the direction of the causal relationship; I think they’re both black because of a third, unrelated factor – namely, black Charizard are super badass (also, none of the other mega evolutions have this relationship, and the only one who does, Charizard, also has another mega form that doesn’t).

VikingBoyBilly asks:

If you watch Treesicle’s What Are Pokemon – The Story You Never Knew the archaeologist and pokémon nerd inside of you will die a little. (spoilers: did you know mammals evovled from trilobites? Did you know the earth was once populated by typeless Mews who eventually became all the pokémon we have now? Just a reminder, Mew is the ‘New Species’ pokémon)

…it’s 14 minutes long, do I have to watch it?

Ugh, whatever…

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Anonymous asks:

Im going to try “your” crema di limoncello, seems to be good (im not the guy who asked that). Please make a quick review about feebas and Milotic, they are also some of my favorite pokemon. And im having so much fun reading your Moon chapters! So funny. Love your “impressions” of the new stuff, I also tried to play it avoiding the most spoilers possible; and your “flirting” with the hard grunt…

You probably want to follow some variation on these instructions.  Also, it’s very important to boil the milk; that stops it from curdling (and don’t worry about the milk going off – there’s enough alcohol in this stuff to kill most bacteria, so it keeps basically forever if you chill it).

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Anonymous asks:

What are your thoughts on Seadra’s extremely bizarre Pokedex entry that mentions the “presence of a gene not found in Horsea”? Other ridiculous Pokedex entries could be explained away as myths or mere exaggerations, but this one is implied to be based on actual scientific research. What do you think this could mean for Pokemon biology, and why do you think they chose Seadra out of all Pokemon to assign this piece of information to?

…huh.  Y’know, I never noticed that before.  That’s… odd.  I think the reason the writers say this about Seadra in particular is because they want to hint at the gradual awakening of Horsea’s Dragon-type abilities as it evolves (note that this line first shows up in the second generation, when Kingdra was introduced).  That doesn’t mean it makes sense, of course, but I think that’s what they’re trying to get at.  They also note that this discovery quickly became “a hot topic” so they’re clearly aware that what they’re describing is an odd thing.  Animals… shouldn’t gain extra genes partway through their life cycle.  Bacteria can do it; a lot of bacteria have specialised enzymes that allow them to splice bits of DNA from other bacteria into their own, but animals can’t really do that because they have billions or trillions of copies of their DNA spread out over their cells.  If an animal undergoes metamorphosis, all the genes that do everything the adult form needs should be there from birth; they just require particular stimuli to switch them on.  Now that could be what this really means – that scientists identified a gene that wasn’t being expressed in Horsea but was in Seadra – but that doesn’t seem like it would be worthy of comment.  So is it possible that something actually adds a whole bunch of extra base pairs to one of Horsea’s chromosomes when it evolves…?  Hell if I know.  If I had to speculate, I’d guess that there’s some symbiotic bacterium-like organism, possibly related to Pokérus (call it a midichlorian if you like), that goes through the body subtly altering the DNA of cells it encounters, and when the number of altered cells reaches a certain tipping point, the process dramatically accelerates and evolution happens.  This is a total guess, based on real-world phenomena I happen to be vaguely familiar with, but if I were a Pokémon Professor I’d start with a hypothesis along those lines.

thephilosophicalsheep asks:

About the evolutionary stone thing, wouldn’t it make sense that pokemon were once able to naturally evolve into their “stone evolutions” simply because the world was brimming with primal energy?

Not quite sure which “evolutionary stone thing” we’re talking about, but it makes sense given some of the things that I like to believe, namely:

1) In the “Primal Age” described by Zinnia in Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, the boundless life energy that allowed Groudon and Kyogre to achieve their Primal forms may have had similar effects for other Pokémon, and this may be where Mega Evolution and perhaps the giant Pokémon in The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis come from.

2) Evolved forms that require evolutionary stones are vestigial, having disappeared from the natural world because they are no longer suited to changing environmental conditions – there could be a whole lot of species-specific explanations for this, or you could just attribute all of them to the waning life energy of the world after the end of the Primal Age.

It also fits rather nicely with the fact that, so far anyway, there are no Mega evolutions of Pokémon that have evolved using stones (except Gallade, but he needed one for symmetry).  This could still change in the future; I don’t think we have good reason to believe it’s a Rule, but as long as it stays true, I think we’re allowed to suspect that the two phenomena may be similar in other ways too.

The thing is, I don’t really have proof for either 1) or 2); 1) is just part of a lot of mad speculation I came up with while playing Alpha Sapphire for the first time as a result of being convinced that all our information was coming from incomplete and biased sources, while 2) is a consequence of trying to view Pokémon evolution in the light of how evolution works in the real world, which is dangerous territory at the best of times.  So I would like it if things worked that way, but I’m nervous about coming out and saying “yes, this is how it works.”  If that makes sense.

Anime Time: Episodes 66 and 67

The Evolution Solution – The Pi-Kahuna

Professor Oak did you really just spend all morning making this crappy Powerpoint of a Slowbro with question marks all over it?
Professor Oak did you really just spend all morning making this crappy Powerpoint of a Slowbro with question marks all over it?

These two episodes cover a brief (?) excursion to tropical Seafoam Island, where Delia and a group of her friends from Pallet Town are enjoying a relaxing holiday (it’s a very different place from the Seafoam Islands in the games).  Misty and Brock are both invited to join their group, but Ash – who is theoretically supposed to be training for the Pokémon League – is left behind, until he manages to con Professor Oak into giving him an excuse to go anyway.  The Evolution Solution, upon watching it again, is not as interesting an episode as I had hoped it would be, and The Pi-Kahuna has themes that are pretty standard for the Pokémon anime.  However, the former gives me an excuse to ramble at length about Shellder and Slowbro, while the latter… let’s just say its themes are open to creative reinterpretation.  Anyway – without further ado, let’s jump right in.

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