Brain Game: If you could pick an animal ability for humans to have, what would it be, and why? (Round 3)

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  • Our writing competition starts with 10 contestants, who are eliminated one at a time based on your votes and YP editors’ picks – who will you choose?
  • Students share the animal skills that humanity could benefit from, such as flying to get rid of traffic jams and changing eye colour for better vision
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From birds that can soar through the sky to hippos that can make their own sunscreen, animals have an endless range of useful abilities. Illustration: Shutterstock

Read through the responses to this week’s Brain Game prompt, and choose which answer you like most. Based on your votes and YP editors’ picks, we will eliminate one contestant from the competition.

Contestant 1

The ability of fish to stay underwater for a long time without inhaling. Then, we could explore a new world underwater and appreciate the spectacular views of aquatic life without harming the environment. It would also help us to be self-sufficient as we could grow seaweed, get fresh water through desalination, and have a fish farm. We could also travel around by swimming. We could save so much money and time on transport, as well as protect the environment.

Contestant 2

Flying. Just imagine how convenient it would be to travel to different places or even different parts of the world. We would no longer be restricted by traffic, parking, and hefty fuel and transport costs. There would be no need for cars or planes. We would be able to reduce carbon emissions and lead a more sustainable, healthier lifestyle.

Top 10: Who would you choose to switch bodies with for a day?

Contestant 3

Hippopotamuses have an extraordinary ability – they can stand in the hot sun all day without getting a sunburn. This is because they release an oily red substance from their skin which contains chemicals that disinfect their wounds, prevent dehydration and act as natural protection against the sun’s powerful, ultraviolet rays. So it would be great if we could create our own sunscreen to protect us from diseases such as skin cancer.

Contestant 4

Axolotl’s self-healing ability. It is a type of salamander that can regenerate multiple body parts including its limbs and internal organs such as its heart, brain and lungs. For people who are disabled, those who are suffering from serious illnesses, and victims of accidents, this ability can help them to lead an easier life. The Earth would be a much happier place.

Axolotls are amphibians that are capable of regenerating lost body parts. Photo: BGI

Contestant 5

I would want humans to be like dolphins, in terms of brain functionality. They are incredibly intelligent – they are the smartest animals on the planet. I truly believe that the world needs it right now. Millions of people are suffering because of bullying, discrimination, and wars. This is because of a lack of foresight. Even global problems such as climate change, famine and pandemics can all be solved if humans were as smart and pure as dolphins and cooperated with one another. So my message is: be smart, save lives.

Contestant 6

The ability to change the colour of our eyes, like reindeer do. Their eyes can change colour to match the season. For example, they change from a golden colour to a deep blue as summer fades into winter. This helps the animals cope with extreme changes in light in their environment and detect predators. If we had this ability, life would be so much more convenient and enjoyable.

Top 10: If you could be a character in any book, who would you be, and why?

Contestant 7

Some people dream about flying. I wish it would come true. People have to get around every day, so they may get caught up in traffic. If people could fly to go to work or school, it can save a lot of time and reduce pollution. What’s more, the ability to fly can save lives. When there are natural disasters, such as wildfires or earthquakes, people could fly away to escape from the danger, greatly reducing the number of injuries and deaths.

Contestant 8

I wish I could fly like a bird. Then, I would travel to all the beautiful places on Earth – for free – and learn about their cultures, customs and religions. Imagine not having to book flights or pack my luggage! During winter, I would fly to live in a warm country in Asia. And when it’s summer, I would fly to Europe to enjoy the wonderful weather there. There would be lots of fun and exciting experiences, and I would learn a lot more than I would from textbooks.

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