16

I have only seen the anime and haven't read the manga, but a question came to me:

Can the titans swim?

We know that they are abnormally light and strong for their size. However, the fact that they evaporate after dying kind of suggests that they are formed of some sort of compact water vapor, so should we expect them to melt when they come into contact with water? It's not like they disappear when it rains... Or maybe they can't swim because they're too stupid

Because, if they can't, this place in Paris could've been a possibility for humanity.

From http://www.parisetudiant.com/etudiant/sortie/l-ile-seguin-et-les-berges-de-la-seine-boulogne-billancourt.html

  • 1
    We're not shown anything in the anime, and I haven't really read the manga. From your comments about the weight of Titans, it would suggest that they at least can probably float in water. However, the place you linked to seems to be much smaller than the walled-region the plot of Attack on Titan takes place in. Given how there seem to already be some issues with managing the population, I can't really see that being a possibility. – Maroon Aug 15 '14 at 23:36
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    Agreed, you'd need to dig a moat to enclose the walls. Which, if the titans don't float, would need to be deeper than they are tall (or they'd be able to wade through). And wider than they can jump/reach. You'd likely end up moving enough earth to build the walls... except we don't know they'd drown, though, so they might still be able to walk along the bottom. – Clockwork-Muse Aug 16 '14 at 2:01
  • This is more of a fascination or an intellectual question. Because if you think about it... Why build walls when you can live on water? Build a city in the middle of the ocean? While it may be controversial, it's not something that can be answered with backed up facts from Anime or Manga. (At least as of yet) – BizzMizz Aug 16 '14 at 2:52
  • Well there are always abnormals to consider. Their 'skills' are unknown, maybe they are really good with skipping ropes. It wouldn't be abnormal to have a skill of being able to travel at water(swimming or wading or acting like a propeller) than at land. – Hououin Kyouma Aug 16 '14 at 9:17
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    considering titans don't appear to need to even breathe as long as the water were clear enough for them to get sufficient sunlight they could walk quite happily on the bottom if they didn't float – IG_42 Aug 16 '14 at 19:36
8

Well, we know that all of humanity has been wiped out, except for the people living inside the walls.

Seeing as much of mankind lives on islands (such as the Japanese), it's safe to assume that Titans are able to cross water somehow. Presumably, they're able to float due to the previously mentioned attribute of their abnormally light weight.

There's also a river going through Shiganshina District that appears to be used for transporting cargo, so mankind is not oblivious to manmade bodies of water.

  • Good first answer! Welcome to the site :) – Madara Uchiha Oct 17 '14 at 19:56
  • As a counter argument, it could have been the king (or someone else) that purposely infected those islands by injecting humans with the virus. – Peter Raeves Apr 20 '15 at 19:08
  • More than likely, their incredibly low density means they would be unable to submerge themselves in water, with only some exceptions to the Titan sifters using their strength, and even then they probably couldn't swim down. – Ryan Feb 1 '17 at 19:46
8

If you take a look at the official closing theme of Season 2 of Attack on Titan you see the following:

Titan emerging from the water. enter image description here

But the way that they emerge it suggests

that they actually don't swim but cross bodies of water by walking along the bottom.

Also from the scene we can derive that

if titans can walk along the bottom of bodies of water this implies that they either have no lungs or do not require oxygen for survival which is something that was actually discussed on Anime Stack before.

And finally we can see that

water does not harm them in any way whatsoever.

  • 1
    Titans do not need to breathe. Ymir was buried for decades, the titans inside the walls don't have respiration vents. They also don't need to eat (they vomit the humans they eat after a while). So they can either walk on the bottom of the ocean/lake/river or swim. – Mindwin Jul 12 '17 at 23:01
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    Correct. Another post I answered addresses the exact same concepts. In the Attack on Titan Anthology one illustrator in collaboration with the Attack on Titan creators creates a titan with transparent skin so that you can see they lack many organs including lungs. – Kate Jul 13 '17 at 0:56
3

The answer is we don't know. We have not seen (I think) a titan crossing a body of water.

  1. We don't know if any other cities or islands used water to protect themselves from titans, but none seemed to be known to the populace. The massive size of the walls means that at least one of them should probably be near to the ocean. I expect that they would know if individuals on boats were safe. If moats were more effective than walls, they would be implemented in some capacity at the (reportedly) more important locations. It is highly possible, though, that they don't border the ocean. There definitely isn't an ocean within the outer set of walls, so one has not been accessible for years.
  2. I have not seen it rains on titans. Ergo, I don't know if rain water would dissolve them. If it had been the case, we would have already seen it in use. I would be surprised if they did not try those experiments, but the "discoveries" of the military regarding their physiology still seem ridiculously mundane for having studied them for so many years.
  3. Titans are light compared to their size. Their density is low enough they should float on the top of the ocean. They are probably, however, not light enough that the reasonably large ones would not touch the bottom when walking across the rivers of the size that have been shown in the series so far. Do not forget that while a material with density lower than water will float in water, it will still touch the bottom if the water is shallow enough that their body is not sufficiently submerged to cause a large enough buoyancy. Regardless, whether they float or walk across them, I don't think moats could prevent them from crossing.

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