|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).|
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.
Effects[edit | edit source]
The Death Stranding began when the Beach, the world between the afterlife and the physical world of the living, became entangled with the living world. 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; if they are allowed to consume a living person a voidout occurs as the victim's body and the BT's core are explosively annihilated. The Death Stranding also introduced large quantities of chiralium into the living world - a form of matter which had previously only existed on the other side, which exhibits strange time-altering properties in its interactions with living matter.
Physical and ecological impact on earth[edit | edit source]
The initial manifestation of the Death Stranding to the public was the simultaneous massive explosions that occurred around the world. These were initially attributed to either nuclear terrorism or meteor impacts but subsequent analysis suggested that the explosions had many characteristics more reminiscent of matter-antimatter annihilation events. In light of this, it's likely the explosions were caused by the very first BT manifestations and their subsequent voidouts. Vast swathes of the world were devastated as chain reactions of explosions from the blossoming BT population spread.
The presence of large quantities of chiralium has brought about massive changes to the environment. The increasing density of chiral matter in the atmosphere leads to perpetually overcast weather as well as Timefall - rain that causes whatever it strikes to rapidly age. 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.
Impact on human society[edit | edit source]
Civilization has been set back considerably as a result of the Death Stranding. The initial explosions, subsequent voidouts and the destructive effects of Timefall have led to most settlements being abandoned or destroyed, due to either the risk of Timefall or the simple death of most of the inhabitants. Chiralium has many negative effects on humans, with exposure leading to suicidal impulses, a factor which likely contributed to the huge reduction in human populations along with the more overtly catastrophic effects of its proliferation.
Aerospace travel and satellite communication have been rendered impossible by the chiral clouds. As such it is impossible to discern if any life, let alone civilization, still exists outside of the North American continent. The dwindling population of the former United States has isolated themselves in the Knot Cities and a handful of smaller settlements, ostensibly unified under the banner of the United Cities of America, but this central government seems to have been largely powerless until the chiral network was activated, restoring the capacity for instantaneous long-range communication between settlements across America which had been lost due to the destruction of pre-Stranding telecommunications infrastructure.
The only apparent positive outcome of the Death Stranding is that new advanced communications technology has been developed by studying the foreign matter, which can be produced on an industrial scale even by this diminished society to create the aforementioned continent-spanning chiral network.
Origin[edit | edit source]
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 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 initiated at the moment when Bridget Strand returned the deceased son of Cliff Unger to life, fully bridging the worlds of the Dead and the Living, thereby allowing Amelie's appearance as the sixth Extinction Entity.
The current Death Stranding is strongly implied to be the last such event, which would result in the complete and permanent destruction of all life on Earth. All Death Strandings are also implied to be shaped by the perception of death by living things; humans, being the first living organisms to fully conceptualize death in an abstract way, may be the reason for the extreme effects of this particular Death Stranding.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- 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, Repatriation and DOOMS.
- Higgs claims to understand the truth of the Death Stranding.
- The mundane 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.