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Gills

By Alexander Gu


Suddenly, on a Sunday morning, everyone simultaneously grew gills and became unable to breathe air. As is to be expected, chaos erupted. All 7.9 billion people immediately took action to survive. Many started turning on as many faucets as they could, and jumped in sinks, bathtubs, and other sources of water to breathe. Unfortunately, those on planes, trains, and cars didn’t have any readily available water sources, so almost everyone in those vehicles perished.


More than 100 million had died, and most of the world’s population were stuck in the close vicinity of bathtubs and sinks. It would be up to those who had portable, large containers of water to save everyone. Fortunately, there is enough oxygen in the water for most people to survive for two days, and those that know to change the water to add more oxygen can live for much longer, limited by hunger. Those that had portable containers of water were able to supply others with more, and within a week, everyone who lived in urban and suburban areas were provided these containers of water. Most people in rural areas are farmers, so they could supply themselves with water containers. As such, little effort was made to check on them, so there may have been some unknown casualties.


Even though everyone was saved from a slow death of suffocation or starvation, their daily life has still been impacted greatly, especially activities that involved the head. One of these activities was eating. For the first few months, there were two main eating strategies. The first was to simply hold your breath while eating and insert your head back into water when breathing was needed. The second was to simply move the food through the water into your mouth. They both had their advantages, but the first was simply too inconvenient, and the second resulted in bland food.


Gradually, scientists figured out solutions to most of these new issues, and in five years, life was largely the same as it used to be, except for the water-helmets that were needed to survive. While getting back to a normal lifestyle was nice, everyone still had a lingering question: “How did this happen anyways?”


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