|This article is about the series of supernatural events known as the "Death Stranding". For other uses of the term "death stranding", see Death stranding (disambiguation).|
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The Death Stranding is the titular series of supernatural events in the world of the eponymous game. Beginning with simultaneous explosions around the world, the Death Stranding resulted in the world of the dead and living becoming connected, with drastic consequences for human society and the ecosystem.
Physical and ecological impact on earthEdit
The Death Stranding led to the Beach, the world between the afterlife and the physical world of the living, becoming entangled with the living world. The initial manifestation of this event to the public was the simultaneous massive explosions that occurred around the world. This was initially attributed to terrorist action, but subsequent analysis concluded that neither nuclear weapons nor meteor impacts were responsible for the craters: They were in fact similar to matter-antimatter annihilation events. Immediately following the Death Stranding, whenever a human died their corpse would become a Beached Thing (BT) unless destroyed before it begins to necrotize. BTs are beings from the other side who have become 'stranded' in the living world due to the new overlap with the Beach. These entities, if allowed to consume a living person cause another explosion, known now as a voidout due to the core of the native matter of the Beach reacting like antimatter with the victim's body. Vast swathes of the world were devastated as chain reactions of explosions from the blossoming BT population spread.
The Death Stranding also introduced chiralium into the living world, a form of matter which had previously only existed on the other side. Chiralium has many negative effects on humans, with exposure leading to suicidal impulses. Chiralium caused massive changes to the environment, most prominently the Timefall: Rain that causes whatever it strikes to rapidly age, as if time was being stolen away. Timefall devastated ecosystems and caused the geography of the world to rapidly become unrecognisable - ground has been weathered, plant life has proliferated enormously, animal populations have been killed en masse and artificial structures built by humans have decayed. Increasing densities of chiral matter in the atmosphere has led to perpetually overcast weather.
Impact on human societyEdit
Civilization has been set back considerably as a result of the Death Stranding. The initial explosions, subsequent voidouts and the destructive effects of Timefall and chiralium proliferation have led to most settlements being abandoned or destroyed. Aerospace travel and satellite communication have been rendered impossible by the chiral clouds, making it impossible to maintain the United States of America as a unified political entity or communicate with people outside of the North American continent. The dwindling population of America has isolated themselves in the Knot Cities and a handful of smaller settlements, ostensibly unified under the United Cities of America, but the government seems to have been largely powerless until Sam Porter Bridges was tasked to activate the chiral network to restore long-range communication across the continent.
It is not currently known if human life, or life in general, exists on any other continent.
It is ultimately discovered through the work of Heartman and fellow scientists that there have been at least five previous Death Strandings, each corresponding to the five largest previous mass extinction events in the planet's past. Very little is known about these previous Strandings except that they coincide with the presence of an Extinction Entity and the proliferation of chiralium into the world of the Living. The current Death Stranding was precipitated by Amelie's appearance, the sixth Extinction Entity. Specifically, the Death Stranding was initiated at the moment when Bridget Strand returned the soul of the BB son of Clifford Unger to life, fully bridging the world of the dead and the living and allowing an influx of BTs into the living world.
The current Death Stranding event is strongly implied to be the 'last', and it's conclusion culminating with the complete end of all life on Earth, despite any setbacks.
- The name of the phenomenon both refers to the stranding of the dead in the world of the living, and the connection between the two worlds, which causes the presence of supernatural phenomena and entities such as Beached Things, Repatriates and DOOMS
- Higgs claims to understand the truth of the Death Stranding.
- The namesake concept of the Death Stranding, cetacean stranding, is a phenomenon whereby aquatic mammals of the order cetacea become stuck ashore, unable to return to the ocean unassisted. The phenomenon is more encompassing in Death Stranding than it is in reality, however; other forms of marine life including crustaceans and fish are seen stranded on a beach alongside cetaceans.