Entity 283 - "Volares"
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Entity Number: #283

Habitat(s): Level 436 (primarily)

While Level 436 essentially serves as the natural habitat of the creatures, volares have been proven to venture away from its beaches and into a variety of seemingly unrelated levels. Attached is a short list of levels they have been seen within and the circumstances of the sightings for recordkeeping purposes.

volares

Resting volares photographed on Level 436.

Description:

Volares are small sharks that are typically airborne. They are notably hostile, despite their collective inability to pose any serious threat. These animals are highly intelligent, fast, and known company to the Captain's Crew. They seem to have complex social circles, which include bonds with non-volares that the entities might take a liking to.2

Behaviors:

Volares have a multitude of strange behavioral differences not seen in earthly sharks. These consist of the following:

  • General Sentience

Volares possess a level of sentience comparable to humans. They're capable of general reason. The overall hostility that most volares express is deemed to not be of anomalous origin and it is determined to not be an "inherent" part of their nature, nor should it discount their levels of sentience.3

  • Speaking

While volares have been shown to not have any evolutionary changes to allow them to speak, such as the addition of a tongue, they manage to produce noise in a manner that can form human words. This noise does not come from their mouths, instead seeming to project from the sharks individually. No serious analysis has been done of a volare's internal organs, but common theorization chalks this ability up to a sort of "voice box" within the animals. Note that this is simply theorization—it is extremely difficult to locate a deceased volare for analysis purposes due to the social practices of volares. Further, while they can speak and can learn with great ease, to begin to learn and understand a language, volares must be in areas where this language is at least semi-regularly used. The best example of this are the volares accompanying the Captain's Crew, whom have been reported to speak fluent English, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, among others. Due to the heightened intelligence of the creatures, picking up on languages takes much less time than it would the average person.

  • Flight

Volares possess the incredibly puzzling ability to fly. They do not seem to do so in a manner even remotely similar to birds. The demeanor of the creatures, while flying, seems as if they are simply swimming through the air. Consultation with certain Crew members, those who have taken any small amount of chemistry classes, in particular, has led the main researcher behind this article to believe that the sharks evolved to produce a substance effectively similar in nature to a human's skin oil. This oil, when analyzed, showed signs of being a compound that actively repels air molecules, allowing volares to move through air as if it were water. The specifics of this cannot be tested properly, due to limitations in the Crew's more science-inclined gatherings, but samples of the oil have been taken where possible for future research. As of now, the oil does not fully explain how the volare's body weight is not factored into its flight capabilities, but it offers a guiding concept for further research.

  • Theft

Volares are well known for stealing any large variety of items, similar to Sark Crabs and the Captain's Crew. While the sharks affiliated with the Crew largely only target well-off groups, such as the BNTG, others may snatch items directly from the hands of a wanderer. Ensure all personal belongings are kept secure and/or hidden when near volares. This behavior is likely inspired by their tendency to prefer scavenging to hunting.

Biology:

The specific biology of a volare is assumed to be similar to that of a real-world nurse shark. Due to the complex social practices in volare communities, access to a volare corpse for proper analysis is incredibly difficult and discussions are still taking place for the Crew to have access to one. Currently, this seems to be an uphill battle, but hopes are still high in the name of science.

From what is known, volares tend to be two-toned—the upper half of the shark is brownish, close to a sand-like color and the lower half is an incredibly light blue. volares are constantly slick, covered in the "skin oil" previously mentioned, which presumably keeps them hydrated outside of its purpose for aiding in their ability to fly. Additionally, the skin oil's ability to repel air molecules cause for volares to be incredibly fast in water, given the near-complete avoidance of any kind of friction within it.

Volares, in terms of shape and size, carry over the aforementioned similarities: they are flat sharks with rounded, broad heads. They typically weigh 90 to 150 kilograms and are usually recorded to be between 210 to 240 centimeters.

Due to the small nature of the animal and the smaller size of its mouth, when hunting it must focus its attention to either scavenging or targeting large amounts of much smaller prey. Their size and skillset make them an extremely minimal danger to other larger creatures, including people. Despite their tendency towards aggression, the animals are nearly physically incapable of causing any physical harm outside of bruises or scrapes.

Other differences from typical shark anatomy targets the mouth and gills. Rather than relying solely on gills, both the mouth and gills function to pull oxygen into the body and filter out unwanted parts of the oxygen. When outside of water, the gills shut entirely to defend it from being a potential point of weakness. Again, due to lack of ability to properly analyze the internal organs of a volare, the size, appearance, and placement of the lungs is purely hypothetical. Current hypothesis suggests that stomach size was sacrificed for the formation of these lungs.

Discovery:

Rumors around the Captain's Crew state that The Captain himself was the first individual to interact with a volare. This rumor is likely true, given he was the first known resident on Level 436, but it's to be noted that he made no effort to properly record the existence of volares. The first formally recorded discovery was by the second-ever crew member, Rue Achyls4. Full biological sketches were made by the First Mate in the interest of recording their existence on 25/2/1994, but these have not yet been made available to the public eye as per the author's requests.

EDIT: As of 27/3/2006, recording of (likely) prior discovery surfaced. See the attached addendum file.

Do's and Don'ts:

Do:
  • Carry spare meat or food to distract volares from valuables, or from your general presence.
  • Avoid or ignore, if possible5.
Don't:
  • Leave valuables or belongings in general unattended in areas known for volare presence.
  • Interact where unnecessary.
  • Instigate arguments.

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