Game Theory: What ARE Minecraft Creepers?!?

And… finished! *laughs* My three-story dream mansion is finally done! Oh, happy day. Oh joy of joys! *creeper hiss in background* No. Oh-ho-ho no. No no no no no! Stay away from my house you.. you blocky green phallus! Oh! Never mind, it was just a creeper. *Game Theory intro music* Hello internet! Welcome to Game Theory, where today we’re putting another Notch in our belt of Minecraft.

And man, you must be really excited about it, because when I asked you guys a few weeks ago to select between an episode on creeper explosions, and an episode on how dating sims can actually help you pick up a date, over 100,000 more of you wanted to figure out how a fictional block creature could possibly explode, rather than how video games could give you actual game, in real life. Fictional creature explosion, picking up women. Fictional creature, real women. Yeah I’d probably choose the first one too, But as a taken man I at least have an excuse. But quail not, all you single riders on the roller coaster of love. We’ll come back to that topic some other day.

I’ll teach you how to nab the sexy pigeon of your dreams yet. And if you’re wondering what’s with all the bird puns, Hatoful Boyfriend is a dating sim about a girl and a bunch of birds vying for her love. Dating sims are weird. I agree with you! Anyway putting the erotic canaries  aside for another day, let’s talk creeper. YAYY Simple though they may be, these green block monsters are simultaneously the most loved and most hated of the Minecraft experience. Sure Minecraft Steven, you might be all decked out during the day with your creeper mug, creeper backpack and creeper hoodie, but just wait for one of these guys to sneak up on your perfectly maintained homage to Sonic the Hedgehog some night, And I know you’ll be burning that blocky, green plushie sitting on your bed with your safety torch Tick Tock, tick tock…

But for as much as recognize them, we know nothing about what makes these things tick. Or, hiss, I suppose. 𝘏𝘪𝘴𝘴… I mean there’s that t-shirt that shows their anatomy but c’mon, Are you really going to trust research coming from a size XL cotton weave? So let’s dig deep! Hah, get it? Minecraft, dig deep? To figure out why the Minecraft creeper is such a blast. *Bad joke sound effect* Lame pun is lame. But, where do we begin? Well obviously their electrode-like ability to self-destruct in a blaze of glory. In other words, spontaneously combust. *High voice* But I thought this was supposed to be a video on scientific theory* Quit your grumbling you Moblin from the first Legend of Zelda, we’ll get there. The first documented account of spontaneous human combustion, or SHC, dates all the way back to the 1400s, with an Italian knight Polonus Vorstius and a wine-fueled evening filled with women.

But the phenomenon really started to gain momentum in the 19th century after Charles Dickens used it to kill off one of his characters in the novel “Bleak House” In other words, yes, many of the reports of SHC come from less scientific eras where tapeworms were used for diets, dog poop was a throat lozenge, and vibrators cured female hysteria, But, reports of the phenomenon have been as recently as September of 2011. And regardless of whether we’re talking about the era where ketchup was a cure-all or where drinking liquid silver cures us from our blues by literally making us blue, bizarrely enough, SHC reports across the ages always share eerie similarities. One. Most victims are chronic alchoholics. Two. The hands and feet usually escape with little to no damage. Three. The combustion of the body leaves a greasy residue and an offensive odor. And four. The combustion causes very little damage to things around the body. Spooky, right? Well, science has explained this phenomenon… …with a THEORY! A SCIENTIFIC THEORY… …known as the Wick Effect, where, basically, the body acts like an inside-out candle. You know how a candle is comprised of a wick on the inside, surrounded by a wax made of flammable fatty acid on the outisde? The wax ignites the wick and keeps it burning. Well, in the human body, the body fat acts as the flammable substance, and the victim’s clothing or hair acts as the wick. Scientists say that this is why the victims’ bodies are destroyed, yet the surroundings are barely burnt. The feet and hands get left intact, thanks to the temperature gradient that gets created. Kinda like when you flip a match over and it goes out, because the bottom of the match is cooler than the top. So, basically spontaneous human combustion turns you into the world’s WORST SCENTED CANDLE! “Burning human stench”-flavored. Mmmm. Really makes the place feel homey. Not gonna see that one any time soon on the shelves of Bed Bath & Beyond. Anyway, applying Wick theory to creepers, point Two is moot, since- “Look, ma, no hands!” We have no way to tell if a creeper is a raging alchoholic to support point One. And until Hans Laube’s “Smell-o-vision” really starts to gain some popularity, I won’t be able to know if the creeper smells like the worst Glade plugin in existence, rendering point Three useless. But it’s point Four here that makes the difference. A human randomly erupts into flames and NOTHING gets damaged? Well, that seems to conclusively eliminate Wick theory and spontaneous combustion as a possible cause of the creeper outburst, since that exploding creature just took out a huge chunk of my Minecraft mega mansion. But there’s something else we know about the creeper that we can use. They’re green. Sure, they may be mobile and look humanoid, but maybe creepers are actually plants, and not animals? After some research, I stumbled across peat. And peat… *giggle* Pete & Pete? Anyone else remember that awesome show on Nickelodeon? No? Arty, strongest man in the world? Nothing? Alright. Anyway. Too old. Peat seems to explain all the core behaviors of a creeper. Also known as sphagnum, it’s a type of green and black moss that would explain the creeper’s coloration. Does it explode? You BET it does, to spread its spores! As with most mosses, sphagnum disperses spores thorugh the wind. To accomplish this, the capsule holding the spores builds up air pressure before rupturing and launching the spores high into the air. It’s a method that’s very similar to a pop gun, Air being squeezed into a tight space, before erupting all at once. Hissing sound, anyone? As little pockets of air slowly leak through the capsule, just before the time of explosion. And even though this moss is one of the most primitive plant forms on Earth, it has one of the most sophisticated methods of launching these spores. It creates a vortex ring. Kind of like a smoke ring, a mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion. This vortex ring allows Peat to launch its spores at an incredible speed for such a small plant, Discharging spores at up to 65mph (29 m/s) in less than a 1/1000 of a second. That, loyal theorists, is some fast discharge. Especially when considering that this plant is only a couple centimeters high. Now scale that up 30x times to creeper size, which is roughly 3 meters, and you have an explosion going from 0 to 1,950mph in a fraction of a second. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not too eager to have discharge flying at my face that fast. (Well, actually, come to think of it, I’m not too excited to have any sort of discharge headed…straight… to my face… ever… really. Discharge – that’s just a gross word) Regardless, 0 to 2000mph in a fraction of a second? That’s the level of acceleration able to do some REAL damage. Suck on that, Bullet Bill! And not only does the color and explosive power match, its other properties fit with the behavior of a creeper as well. Take, for instance, the charged creeper. In Minecraft, a creeper becomes charged with electricity whenever a lightning strikes within 3 or 4 blocks, increasing its explosive power. Well, according to the article Carbon Nanosheet Frameworks Derived from Peat Moss As High Performance Sodium Ion Battery Anodes, a real page-turner, that one, let me tell you, peat moss has the perfect electrochemical properties to create a battery. They even go so far to say that peat has “some of the most attractive electrochemical properties…” Now, peat moss, I’m happy for ya, Imma gonna letcha finish, but the Chilean pine has probably some of the best electrochemical properties OF ALL TIME. Seriously, though, we have a plant that explodes and kinda harnest the power of electricity. We’re doing pretty good. Additionally, creepers drop a lot of gunpowder. Gunpowder is partly made from charcoal and sulfur. During the formation of peat, a type of sulfur known as coal sulfur is created. One half of our formula. Charcoal, meanwhile, is really just a source of fuel that’s a lump of pure carbon mixed with dried ashes of plants and animals. Peat is actually one of the world’s biggest storehouses of carbon. Consider this: bogs of peat cover 1% of the Earth’s surface, but contain 30% of its Carbon. It’s incredible. So much Carbon, in fact, that peat has been used a key fuel source around the world, and has also been known to spontaneously erupt in flames. A PLANT that spontaneously combusts! No joke! Even the texture of a creeper matches moss. Minecraft creator, Notch himself, described creepers as having a texture similar to that of dried leaves. So very clearly, if a creeper is, indeed, made of dry peat, it would match not only some of the core chemical components of gunpowder, but also match the texture that Notch was describing. Color, explosiveness, electrochemical properties, source of gunpowder, and matching texture. The only queston that’s left unanswered is “Why explode?” And more importantly, “Why explode around me?” Well, let’s think what you have to offer the spores. If the evolved creature’s explosion were able to kill you outright, then these spores landing on your fresh corpse would have an excellent source of nurtition. Decaying bodies are great nourishment for plants and fungi to grow, or, if your butter armor stands up to the blast, you have little creeper spores all on your body and you can transport them to all the other parts of your little Minecrftworld, helping spread the creeper thread in much the same way plants spread their seeds in real life. In fact, one biologist, studing peat, actually wrote: “Many times, when bending over a hammock Of peat moss for closer examination, I felt the explosvely discharged capsule lids srtike my face. So perhaps it’s not so much cause and effect of you being around that makes the creeper explode, but rather centuries of evolution within this peat moss species to help ensure its survival and expansion. So there you have it. Minecraft’s mascot is really a “Moss monster launching high speed spores straight at your face.” Think about THAT the next time you snuggle your little green plushie. In the meantime… That’s JUST a theory. A GAME Theory! Thanks for watching. You know what’s even more exciting than finding a patch of diamonds in Minecraft? Seeing a Game Theory video pop up in your subscription box! Do yourself a solid and hit that button! And with that shameless promotion out of the way, welcome back to the SUPER AMAZING END CARD TOURNAMENT! Where last time you selected the slightly dirty-sounding Theorist Fist as one of my attacks in the upcoming game ‘Popup Dungeon” Another popular suggestion was the ”Mind Blow” Really? No one wanted anything that didn’t sound like some sexual maneuver? But seriosuly, your suggestions in the comments last episode were GREAT. And I’m compiling a list of topics now to pass along to the creators of the game! So, THANKS! It’s gonna be really exciting! This week, one of the most essential questions of our time, cats or dogs? I know it seems completely random and not related to this video at all, but maybe it is related to the next one. Or maybe not, maybe I was just curious. Anyway, click on one to choose and finally settle the debate of which animal rules, and which animal drools. Well, that would be dogs regardless of who wins, because they drool a lot, but you get my point.

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