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So I'm making this thread to discuss the lore in the long dark particularly the Geomagnetic Storm. I'm a bit of a science nerd and love the phenomenon going on in the game and I've had plenty of my friends ask why there isn't any power in the long dark and why it returns (sorta) during an Aurora. So this is an attempt to explain it as well as discussing why this storm never ends.

 

 One of my favorite things about the Long Dark is the phenomenon going on isn't so far fetched in fact it has already happened before in real life. As we all know the phenomenon in question is a geomagnetic storm, this storm was so powerful it has completely disrupted all electronics, this same thing can occur and has occurred in real life.

 This event occurred on September 2, 1859 it was a massive coronal mass ejection(CME) that caused an Aurora on Earth that could be seen 23° from the Geomagnetic equator in both the northern and southern hemispheres, you could see this Aurora in South-Central Mexico. Now 1859 didn't have much going on for electricity but the telegram existed. During the storm a magnetic current surged through the telegram poles causing them to short out, telegram offices around the world had to disconnect their telegraph in order to save them yet they still worked, even after they disconnected them you could still send or receive a telegram on nothing but the air itself this phenomenon came to be known as "Auroral Current"

For the ones who don't know Earth is protected by an electromagnetic field. This field acts like a shield from the billions of charged particles from the sun, these particles warp the magnetic field and if enough of them hits the field they can actually warp it enough to get through this is called a geomagnetic storm if this storm occurs then it means that enough of these charged particles got through the magnetic field to touch the atmosphere. If this occurs the particles react with air molecules, ionizing them which allows them to produce photons (Light) this is what we know as an Aurora. (Normally auroras only occur at the poles; the rest of the world is protected by the magnetic field) These storms have a variety of strengths. We actually had a Geomagnetic Storm this month but it wasn't that strong. 

Now if a Geomagnetic Storm occurred like it did in 1859 today, it would be catastrophic. back in 1859 electricity wasn't that widespread so it wasn't that severe but today a Geomagnetic Storm that big would completely knock out the electrical grid. Power won't come back to the extent of The Long Dark, computers, phones, TV ect won't work as they have sensitive components that would probably be completely fried but simple electronics like lights could still work powered by this Auroral Current now the only thing that is different is unlike in the long dark this wouldn't last too long eventually the Geomagnetic Storm will stop meaning power will just be gone all across the world no Auroral Current to power simple electronics.

As for going back to life as we know it well that wouldn't be simple, It would take years to repair the damages. The internet would more in likely be gone as every server around the world would be fried, communication would be shot as all satellites are ruined, most modern vehicles wouldn't work due to sensitive electronics within them would be fried, the list goes on, it would be disastrous for a geomagnetic storm of that magnitude to happen today. 

Though the good news, it isn't common to get such massive geomagnetic storms the last one that big was 1859 that was about 162 years ago, we get small ones occasionally but at most that just causes small blackouts or communication interference which can be repaired shortly after the event so no worry there. Anyway, the point of this thread is for a discussion like I said previously, in real life a Geomagnetic Storm strong enough to cause a similar phenomenon to occur as it did in the long dark wouldn't last that long. The one in 1859 lasted only 2 days, it started September 1st and lasted till September 2nd, the question here is why is the storm lasting so long in the long dark. This thread is purely for speculation as it's a game that doesn't need explanations but like I said I'm a science nerd who is fascinated with the long darks phenomenon purely because it is pretty accurate to what would occur in real life minus a few things. 

My speculation is a pole reversal occurred during the storm. For those who don't know or are interested a pole reversal is a period where North becomes south and South becomes north, basically the Magnetic North pole would end up in Antarctica. During this period of change the magnetic field is weaker than it normally is.

 Maybe the geomagnetic storm in the long dark occurred right on a pole reversal so that means normally weak Geomagnetic Storms can act as if they are strong. If we had a pole reversal during the Geomagnetic Storm that occurred this month then it more in likely would've been on the scale of the one that occurred in 1859 (obviously worse now that electricity is more widespread than it was back then)

I would love to hear some other thoughts on why the Geomagnetic Storm seems constant in the long dark. 

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It doesn’t seem to me that the geo storm is constant. It just happens regularly, destroying the electronics in that time.

Just a little curiosity I want to share: If you were in the world of TLD and you were exposed to an geo storm capable of powering computers and lights, you’d be completely fried by radiation, no wonder the survivor always dies, he probably has cancer all over his body ahahha 😂

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18 minutes ago, Vareta said:

It doesn’t seem to me that the geo storm is constant. It just happens regularly, destroying the electronics in that time.

Just a little curiosity I want to share: If you were in the world of TLD and you were exposed to an geo storm capable of powering computers and lights, you’d be completely fried by radiation, no wonder the survivor always dies, he probably has cancer all over his body ahahha 😂

To me it seems like it is. Geomagnetic storms disrupts power when they occur but after they end physics are still physics, that means anything that could produce power would.  The trucks and tractors look fairly dated so they probably don't have any sensitive components (I.E computers) that would be permanently fried so in theory if the Geomagnetic Storm stopped you should be able to easily start those vehicles but if it's is constant attempting to start them would fry the spark plugs and starter. Also the flashlight it's battery is charged during the Aurora if you let it charge and don't use it during the Aurora the battery should still have a charge after the Aurora ends  but it doesn't which again supports that the Geomagnetic Storm is constant allowing electronics to be disrupted outside the Aurora. 

If it's was constant then yes it would cause adverse health effects due to the increase in radiation. Like I said before this has already occurred before in real life and caused no adverse health effects though as I mentioned before it wasn't constant irl The effects from a geomagnetic storm can last days or weeks but no matter what they eventually end the long dark appears to be constant as you can get this Auroral Current occuring many times in a single run. Unless if what I mentioned before and a pole reversal did occur causing normal auroras to power electronics as a result to the weakened magnetic field, this pole reversal would mean that the Geomagnetic Storm that disrupted electricity could have been fairly small and wouldn't have normally caused  any damages but the pole reversal made it more severe. The Geomagnetic Storm could be long over and the Auroral Current is caused by regular Auroras that are normally experienced at the poles, if that is the case then the increase in radiation exposure would be no different then what people experience living near areas where Auroras are common. The weakened magnetic field due to the pole reversal would also mean that any CME (which occurs all the time just majority of CMEs aren't strong enough to do anything) would be strong enough to disrupt electricity. 

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I believe that the recuring storm in the game is just fiction that adds fun gameplay. As far as the Carrington event of 1859 that you wrote about, a couple of things; there have been similar events, it's just that those CME's weren't earth facing when they left the sun. Another point, the earth's magnetic field is about 25% weaker than it was in 1859. You wouldn't need a Carrington event level CME to destroy the grid and electronics. 

"Enjoy electricity while you have it."  -  Ben Davidson

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2 minutes ago, Ps4Methuselah said:

Very interesting,...i did know about the solar storm in the eighteen hundreds but i was ignorant as to the fact that telegraph's became wireless communication devices.

Bravo Lone Wolf!!! I think you have just cracked the code as to why Nikola Tesla was conducting the Wardenclyffe Tower experiments (1901-1917) at the turn of the twentieth century. Tesla meant to deliver free electricity to the world, wirelessly. I think his inspirational epiphany came from this solar event in 1859.

When his backers found out what he was up to, they of course pulled their funding....Tesla had one last ace up his sleeve. There was a rather wealthy English officer exploring the arctic at the time,...Tesla tried to catch his attention by firing a beam of energy over the arctic that would create an aurora the likes of which no one had ever seen. 

The story goes that when this beam, or some call death ray, hit the other side of the globe in Tunguska Siberia, it created the largest explosion in the history of the world. 2000 square kilometers were flattened & to this day no one knows for sure what caused it.

But i would bet my best pair of mukluks that Tesla was behind it....i would not be surprised at all if the USS Eldridge showed up today in Philadelphia Harbor with Tesla himself on board.

Pardon my for wandering off topic...just so many question's & all the people that could answer them are dead or not even born yet.

Thank you for this topic Lone Wolf.:coffee:

I by no means cracked it I just got curious one day and decided to research into Geomagnetic Storms and it brought me to an article talking about the massive one in 1859 from there I got more curious and did more reading. Shortly after I read up on the events in 1859 I connected it with the long dark and how the phenomenon in the game isn't science fiction after all (I knew the Geomagnetic Storm wasn't but used to think the Aurora causing things to electrify was nothing more than Sci-fi to spice the game up a bit) 

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30 minutes ago, Stoutlander said:

I believe that the recuring storm in the game is just fiction that adds fun gameplay. As far as the Carrington event of 1859 that you wrote about, a couple of things; there have been similar events, it's just that those CME's weren't earth facing when they left the sun. Another point, the earth's magnetic field is about 25% weaker than it was in 1859. You wouldn't need a Carrington event level CME to destroy the grid and electronics. 

"Enjoy electricity while you have it."  -  Ben Davidson

True some big ones occur all the time it just has to be facing at us to cause harm though even if a CME is earth facing that doesn't mean it going to cause a Geomagnetic Storm, CME's can vary in power. The Earth magnetic field is weaker forgot about that so you're right it doesn't have to be as strong as the one in 1859. The magnetic field naturally gets weaker as we close in on another pole reversal the closer we get to this reversal the weaker the magnetic field will be eventually there will be more than 1 north and south at this stage the field will be at it's weakest point which is my belief that the long dark is in this stage. 350px-NASA_54559main_comparison1_strip.gif.c8a04143f2591028b621a9fdfd349c1d.gif

For those interested here is the location of the magnetic poles currently and the future position if them, you can view this map here https://maps.ngdc.noaa.gov/viewers/historical_declination/

20201224_151722.thumb.jpg.432860f63b5dfb0556b831ead338f0bd.jpg

 

Edited by LoneWolf5841
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4 minutes ago, Stoutlander said:

Good stuff. Also, the time duration of a pole reversal is unknown, meaning it could last weeks or many decades. Excellent point LoneWolf.

True we won't really know how long they can last till it happens. Imagine the confusion though if this reversal occurred especially since we named geographic north an south, geographic north would be magnetic south I'm sure that wouldn't confuse some poor lost soul 😂

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https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/02may_superstorm/
 

several near misses in modern times have occurred.  Scientists put the odds of a Carrington class CME hitting Earth at 12% for the time period between 2012-2022.  
CMEs are directional, hitting a cone of space with massive amount of charged particles.  If the Earth occupies that space at that time, we get nailed.  
we don’t even make the giant transformers in the USA anymore that would be needed to replace the hundreds of thousands that would be lost in a CME.  They’re made in Korea, and we’d be on some sort of list, pretty far down that list.  Estimated time for recovery of the electrical grid is 10 years. 
of chaos and death. 

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1 minute ago, Bean said:

https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/02may_superstorm/
 

several near misses in modern times have occurred.  Scientists put the odds of a Carrington class CME hitting Earth at 12% for the time period between 2012-2022.  
CMEs are directional, hitting a cone of space with massive amount of charged particles.  If the Earth occupies that space at that time, we get nailed.  
we don’t even make the giant transformers in the USA anymore that would be needed to replace the hundreds of thousands that would be lost in a CME.  They’re made in Korea, and we’d be on some sort of list, pretty far down that list.  Estimated time for recovery of the electrical grid is 10 years. 
of chaos and death. 

It definitely wouldn't be good the problem nowadays is we are so dependent on technology that such an event could bring an end to civilization as we know it, it would more or less be an apocalypse of a sort. 

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It's worth noting that while sensitive electronics can be disabled by an EMP fairly easily, analog is typically pretty resistant. And to an extent the game agrees with this, since the party line phone still works. But to an extent it doesn't, because the flashlight does not, unless an aurora is active in the sky.

Now electric current through induction is a thing--it's how wireless charging pads work. But that's extremely low amounts of energy. Providing the amount of power necessary to power an ELEVATOR through induction alone, when that elevator is inside a mine beyond dozens of meters of rock...well the intensity of the radiation would be so extreme it would disrupt life at the biochemical level. Meaning, you and everything else on the island would be dead.

So basically it comes down to suspending disbelief entirely, because the permutation of events that exist in this game world can't happen in reality. If you have a geomagnetic storm powerful enough to wipe out all electronics and power heavy machinery through induction alone, everything is dead. If you have a geomagnetic storm that is survivable, then all of your analog devices would still work.  Especially a flashlight that uses batteries--that's a chemical reaction.

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9 minutes ago, ajb1978 said:

It's worth noting that while sensitive electronics can be disabled by an EMP fairly easily, analog is typically pretty resistant. And to an extent the game agrees with this, since the party line phone still works. But to an extent it doesn't, because the flashlight does not, unless an aurora is active in the sky.

Now electric current through induction is a thing--it's how wireless charging pads work. But that's extremely low amounts of energy. Providing the amount of power necessary to power an ELEVATOR through induction alone, when that elevator is inside a mine beyond dozens of meters of rock...well the intensity of the radiation would be so extreme it would disrupt life at the biochemical level. Meaning, you and everything else on the island would be dead.

So basically it comes down to suspending disbelief entirely, because the permutation of events that exist in this game world can't happen in reality. If you have a geomagnetic storm powerful enough to wipe out all electronics and power heavy machinery through induction alone, everything is dead. If you have a geomagnetic storm that is survivable, then all of your analog devices would still work.  Especially a flashlight that uses batteries--that's a chemical reaction.

You got a point there forgot about the elevator that is powered in wintermute actually there was 2 one in the dam as well as the mine. 

Edit- so I guess this means even though The phenomenon in the long dark is based on a few true aspects it, like all games, isn't 100% true to life which I did expect still I'm going to keep my pole reversal explanation until we (hopefully) learn what's going on in wintermute.

Edited by LoneWolf5841
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7 hours ago, LoneWolf5841 said:

I would love to hear some other thoughts on why the Geomagnetic Storm seems constant in the long dark. 

I do think there is something else to consider as well...

Sure, I think it's pretty well known that the Carrington Event was likely to have been part of the inspiration for some aspects of the game.  However, I think (from a lore stand point) it's also possible that while it may superficially resemble that event... but is in truth something all together different - and just because it looks like something akin to the solar storm or 1859, doesn't mean it's the same phenomena.

The First Flare (and all the lingering effects that persisted after it), may be something all together different (or at least beyond the mortal ken of our main characters).  My point is, it might possibly be much more than just a mundane series of solar flares with inexplicable affects on wildlife. 


:coffee::fire::coffee:
We don't have definitive explanation of the cause or source of the First Flare (honestly I like it better that it isn't blatantly explained :))

Edited by ManicManiac
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42 minutes ago, ManicManiac said:

I do think there is something else to consider as well...

Sure, I think it's pretty well known that the Carrington Event was likely to have been part of the inspiration for some aspects of the game.  However, I think (from a lore stand point) it's also possible that it may superficially resemble that event... but is in truth something all together different - and just because it looks like something akin to the solar storm or 1859, doesn't mean it's the same phenomena.

The First Flare (and all the lingering effects that persisted after it), may be something all together different (or at least beyond the mortal ken of our main characters).  My point is, it might possibly be much more than just a mundane series of solar flares with inexplicable affects on wildlife. 


:coffee::fire::coffee:
We don't have definitive explanation of the cause or source of the First Flare (honestly I like it better that it isn't blatantly explained :))

True we are really in the blind on what's really going on in the game. Yet, I still have a bit of a habit to speculate on things that's probably best left unanswered. Since I speculate, I take events within the game and build upon them. We know the source was a Geomagnetic Storm as when starting a survival run it mentions this, and a Geomagnetic Storm is known to cause disturbances in power both stopping and causing it. It seems, even though we may not know why the effects are lingering, the majority of the reason behind the cause has an explanation, that explanation being a Geomagnetic Storm. though it could be that this Geomagnetic Storm wasn't caused by the sun so maybe this is what wintermute is? If we all remember (and spoilers for if you haven't played)...

 

The trapper in episode 2 tells Will to give someone a message which was "Wintermute" . We can speculate that the trapper is military considering the military radio he had. Maybe wintermute was an experimental device and something went wrong causing this Geomagnetic Storm?

 

 

 

Edited by LoneWolf5841
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5 hours ago, Ps4Methuselah said:

Pardon my spelling....when i get excited about a topic, i tend to shoot from the hip.

But to elaborate on my point,... surely LoneWolf you do not believe the "human" race went from vacuum tube's to microchips in a hand full of years without assistance from, shall we say...outside sources?

Also, if a solar storm were to hit us, or an  EMP if you like...the greatest problem would be that, unless the electronic device were shielded in something like a faraday cage,...the circuits would probably be fried.

In The Long Dark, i believe the quiet apocalypse was triggered by a reversal of the poles & the onset of another ice age, which has been passed due already for several centuries in real life.

From the CERN super collider in Switzerland to HARP in Alaska,... "humans" are playing with forces that could destroy the world we live in. The Long Dark is not a fantasy game at all....it is a prophetic glimpse into a possible  future where their experiments have gone awry.

Winter is coming.:toque:

If by outside forces you mean intelligent life from another world then no I don't believe we had help from that (I do believe that life exists outside Earth I just don't  believe any had visited Earth) our understanding of the world improves as time goes on this allows for the development of new technology. A vacuum tube is really just a bulky transistor and if you want to be technical modern day transistors aren't all that different from a vacuum tube they're just a bit more smaller. Not to mention that a vacuum tube will probably survive a EMP unlike a modern transistor so if what you said is true and we did get help from an outside source why didn't they give us something that could withstand such an event? Surely they have a means to protect small components if they can get to us? Anyway lets not get too off topic here. 

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People do realize this is a game right? 
Who’s to say this is even our earth? Maybe it’s an alternate dimension where the physics are completely different.

Thats right! You all have been playing a sci-fi survival game! Nice job Hinterlands... thought you pulled one over on us...

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I learned something about solar cycles recently.  Apparently the sun has activity cycles where it becomes more or less active, and the solar radiation can change by a few percent either way.  Scientists from NASA believe that this is the cause of historical climate change, ice ages, hot periods, etc.  Sol is heading into a cooler period right now, with the nadir of solar energy expected around the 2030s.  It’s part of a greater cycle that repeats every 600 years.  The last time we experienced this was in the 1700s when cold temperatures made crops fail across Europe.  On the other side of it, 300 years earlier we had a warm period where the Vikings moved to Greenland and began farming in its (at that time) arable soil.  As the cycle progressed, the Greenlanders couldn’t succeed at farming anymore and were mostly driven away.  
This cycle was also visible in the American Southwest where the Hopi Indians built large cities in the rock faces of cliffs around modern day Nevada and Arizona.  Many of those structures were obscured by Lake Mead which was formed by the Hoover Dam which powers Las Vegas.   That civilization benefitted from wet weather to grow maize and gourd crops, but vanished when the weather grew warmer again and the southwest dried out.
 

anyway, the point is that Earth isn’t as stable as we’d like to believe.  We are entirely at the mercy of solar activity.  If it increases as was the case in the last  30 year sub cycle, average temperatures rise and glaciers melt.  If it decreases, as it’s supposed to do in the coming decades, temperatures fall and glaciers advance.  
 

And the truly long climate cycle could even bring another ice age.  

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Syraith said:

People do realize this is a game right? 
Who’s to say this is even our earth? Maybe it’s an alternate dimension where the physics are completely different.

Thats right! You all have been playing a sci-fi survival game! Nice job Hinterlands... thought you pulled one over on us...

Yes it is a game but there's nothing wrong with a bit of fun speculation on the lore of the game and the causes of phenomenon within it. Humans are naturally curious so most people tend to speculate on a lot of things no matter how fruitless that speculation might be.

Edited by LoneWolf5841
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@LoneWolf5841

Sorry, my comment was more directed at the comment in the original thread that was merged with this one 😶

The creator was commenting on the fact that a storm like the aurora wouldn’t continue to reoccur as it does in the game. My response was simply as stated. They made it that way so the game worked 😋

Edited by Syraith
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