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You call me as something physical, something you can touch.
But to be technically correct, I don't weight very much.

In fact, my weight is zero, I'm not of matter at all.
Yet, I can cause damage, inflicting material fall.

My creation involved once upon a time a feather.
But I'm said to be a spawn of curiosity and weather.

I'm opposed to an animal but I can spread like a disease.
If I'm plenty you'll nag, if I'm scarce you'll feel an unease.

Some people haven't yet seen me, others see me all day.
Sometimes I'm kept securely, sometimes thrown away.

What am I?

Edit
Apparently, the question caused a lot of headache for the community (as it should), so there's the natural suspicion that it might be poorly formulated. I understand that and I promise that I've taken a lot of consideration to make sure it isn't. Please view the other question of mine for verification.

Nevertheless, I'll collect the pointers and comments below to improve the solving experience. I hope it helps the community to reopen it.

Feather...

refers to the old style writing equipment.

Curiosity and weather...

refers to Bejamin Franklin's interest for electricity.

Feather vs. curiosity and weather...

need to be viewed together as a polarity.

Animal...

is an actual, real species existing today, commonly spread over most areas of the world.

Opposed to an animal...

refers to the term used to describe the opposite of our subject. If we would be looking for recession (i.e. bear market), the opposite animal would be bull. Remember, the subject is described without the animal epithet - its original version is, however.

Spreading like a disease...

refers to the rapid rate of spread but also the way, or rather nature, of the spread.

Nagging vs being uneasy...

refers to different qualities of the subjects, as the few appreciated ones are welcome, while the most of them aren't. It's possible to be displeased of the excessive number of such and simultaneously happy about the few that are wanted.

People who hasn't seen it...

are real people living today, although it's more and more unlikely to find such individuals. In fact, in the contemporary world, only remote tribes, extremely secluded communities and special cases as gravely handicapped, mentally challenged, infants and some of the elders may not be aware of the subject.

Keeping secure...

refers both to the nature of the spread and to the period of storage.

Throwing away...

refers to disposing of the unwanted or already consumed subjects.

What am I?

On average, I'd say that it's a very common concept used by you on daily basing, spoken of frequently and relied on since many years. It can be described by a single word or a few (all in all less than five, without disclosing the exact number).

share|improve this question
    
is the animal glow worm, or electric eel or something like that? – manshu Feb 21 at 8:04
2  
@manshu Nope. The animal has nothing to do with the electricity. In fact, the animal referred to is the opposite of electricity. I wonder if I managed to beat the forum, hehe. One of my previous riddles took long time before it was solved but this one seems even harder. Someone needs to put bounty on this one soon... – Konrad Viltersten Feb 21 at 9:36
    
@KonradViltersten lots of people with all different answers and you said to quite a few that they're all so close, or just off the mark. – Daedric Feb 22 at 6:45
    
@Daedric I'm trying to be appreciative and point them in the right direction. In fact, nobody was even close but from where I sit, combining a few of them is precisely the right answer. Note that nobody had all the clues explained solidely. There was always something shaky or missing. Yes, the riddle is that well formed, apparently. I'm very proud. And you guys are probably very frustrated, hehe. I prey on others' "default guessing" tricking them into thinking too much. See "spoilers". – Konrad Viltersten Feb 22 at 19:18
4  
Don't be too proud. A good riddle should be obvious in retrospect; this one isn't. Even if I struck by chance on the right answer, there's enough weirdness about the clues that I could never be sure. Try with your next one to make it so that if I solved it, I could know I was right without hints. – trentcl Feb 23 at 0:43

11 Answers 11

up vote 12 down vote accepted

New Answer

You are ...

an email.

You call me as something physical, something you can touch.

Mail is something physical.

But to be technically correct, I don't weight very much.
In fact, my weight is zero, I'm not of matter at all.

Email doesn't weight anything.

Yet, I can cause damage, inflicting material fall.

Emails can cause damage in many ways. Either because the contained information has effects on the real world, or it can carry some form of malware.

My creation involved once upon a time a feather.

Letters were written with a quill.

But I'm said to be a spawn of curiosity and weather.

Email needs electricity, which was discovered by Benjamin Franklin.

I'm opposed to an animal but I can spread like a disease.

Physical mail is often referred to as snail mail, because it's slower than email.

If I'm plenty you'll nag, if I'm scarce you'll feel an unease.

Everyone who gets mail gets too much of it, usually in form of spam. Not hearing from a friend for a long time may cause unease.

Some people haven't yet seen me, others see me all day.

Some people still don't use computers at all. Others get many emails every day (sigh).

Sometimes I'm kept securely, sometimes thrown away.

Some emails contain important information, is transferred using encryption, and stored securely. Spam is thrown away.

Old Answer

Maybe you are ...

a word.

You call me as something physical, something you can touch.
But to be technically correct, I don't weight very much.

A word doesn't weight anything.

In fact, my weight is zero, I'm not of matter at all.
Yet, I can cause damage, inflicting material fall.

A wrong word can cause much damage.

My creation involved once upon a time a feather.
But I'm said to be a spawn of curiosity and weather.

Words were earlier written using a quill.

I'm opposed to an animal but I can spread like a disease.
If I'm plenty you'll nag, if I'm scarce you'll feel an unease.

A word can spread like a disease. Too much chatter can be annoying. Not having anyone to talk to when in need isn't good either.

Some people haven't yet seen me, others see me all day.
Sometimes I'm kept securely, sometimes thrown away.

There are people which can't read, while it's common for others. Precious old books are kept securely, while promotional brochures are thrown away unread.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 but what about 'opposed to an animal' ? – manshu Feb 20 at 13:57
    
@manshu No idea yet. – Sleafar Feb 20 at 14:01
    
How can you call a word something physical? Also, the connection to curiosity and weather is missing as well as the opposition to animals. Nevertheless, both you and @manshu are impressively good guessers. Hint - try to combine both of your answers. – Konrad Viltersten Feb 20 at 14:01
1  
Email would be a good match as well. – Sleafar Feb 21 at 20:46
5  
I'm afraid this 'correct' answer doesn't fit some of the clues very well at all: "My creation involved once upon a time a feather." - no, it never did, emails were never written with a feather, messages (letters) were. Franklin didn't discover electricity, he suspected and confirmed lightning to be the (already known) phenomenon of static electricity, and email isn't really the spawn of electricity anyway, it's a very distant descendant. Email does not spread like a disease in the slightest, it's very direct, even spam (sent many times, maybe from many sources) doesn't spread like a disease. – jhabbott Feb 23 at 1:36

Electricity

You call me as something physical, something you can touch. But to be technically correct, I don't weight very much.

Electricity doesn't weigh anything.

In fact, my weight is zero, I'm not of matter at all. Yet, I can cause damage, inflicting material fall.

Electricity can certainly cause damage

My creation involved once upon a time a feather. But I'm said to be a spawn of curiosity and weather.

Static electricity experiments attracted feathers to amber rubbed with furs and the Benjamin Franklin experiment with lightning.

I'm opposed to an animal but I can spread like a disease. If I'm plenty you'll nag, if I'm scarce you'll feel an unease.

Polar bear/ polarity.

Some people haven't yet seen me, others see me all day. Sometimes I'm kept securely, sometimes thrown away.

Amazonian tribes exist that are presumably unfamiliar with electricity. Electricity can be stored in batteries and lots is wasted.

share|improve this answer
1  
I thought electron when I saw the weightless thing but didn't know what would fit in the feather part :P – Daedric Feb 20 at 17:29
2  
@Daedric Here is something for the feather.. – manshu Feb 20 at 17:32
    
@manshu Its funny that I have a book I just got on the history of electricity and its mainly about electric eels, I haven't started reading yet... – Daedric Feb 20 at 17:40
    
Not quite, but you're so darn close I'm almost jumping of joy. The fail is on the animal part. You have a very creative explanation - kudos for that - but in the riddle I literally mean that the subject of our quest directly contradicts the animal. "X, as opposed to certain animal X", where the animal is a very specific species. C.f. if we'd be looking for the term bad market, it could be bull, referring to weak market, as opposed to bull market. – Konrad Viltersten Feb 20 at 19:08
    
@KonradViltersten I hope that the animal is not a part of pokemon or any game... – manshu Feb 20 at 20:19

I think you are:

Language

You call me as something physical, something you can touch.

We speak of language as something that can touch us emotionally, it can affect our understanding of the world and stimulate us intellectually. In fact some written works have had a huge impact on our society.

But to be technically correct, I don't weight very much.

Written words could be said to weigh a small amount for the ink they use...

In fact, my weight is zero, I'm not of matter at all.

..but in fact language itself is a concept, realised purely in our common understanding of it, and use of it for communications.

Yet, I can cause damage, inflicting material fall.

As well as all the huge benefits, language and communications can be used to coordinate all manner of damage: Destroying buildings; costing companies millions (while not 'material' itself, the consequences are); causing injury and bodily harm; causing hurt feelings and emotional harm, etc.

My creation involved once upon a time a feather.

The written word used to be laid down with a quill, made from a feather.

But I'm said to be a spawn of curiosity and weather.

When humans first started using language, the important day-to-day matters would have been amongst the first sounds/words uttered. Curiosity about something not understood would certainly have caused an early human to utter more of these sounds, while trying to explain, or elicit an explanation about it from another. Weather could also have been a common thing to talk about... we still love talking about the weather to this day!

I'm opposed to an animal but I can spread like a disease.

Language can be learned and taught to others, it spreads as humans interact with each other. But it is not a virus or any kind of parasite or infection.

If I'm plenty you'll nag, if I'm scarce you'll feel an unease.

Too much talking and you'll ask for some quiet. If it's too quiet, this can bee uncomfortable or creepy in some situations.

Some people haven't yet seen me, others see me all day.

In some remote tribes language is only spoken and not written, but most people see written words for most of the day.

Sometimes I'm kept securely, sometimes thrown away.

Some languages are dying out and groups exist purely to teach, learn, document, and preserve these languages so that they may live on. Other languages have died out and been forgotten.

What am I?

Language.

share|improve this answer
    
This is the best attempt this far. You only fail by one, small detail. I love the explanation about "curiosity" and "weather" - very nifty. However, it's actually meant as "curiosity and weather". Someone's curiosity about certain weather type created a ground for the aim of the riddle. In fact, I'm pretty sure that if you combine the answers given this far, you'll see what the riddle talks about. – Konrad Viltersten Feb 20 at 14:07
    
See "spoilers". – Konrad Viltersten Feb 22 at 19:19

First time answering one of these. I can't work out one of them, and the relation is a little shaky in another, but for the most part I think the answer fits well.

You are:

God

You call me as something physical, something you can touch. But to be technically correct, I don't weight very much.

God is referred to as a being or entity, but to be technically correct it is an idea/belief

In fact, my weight is zero, I'm not of matter at all.

God doesn't weigh anything

Yet, I can cause damage, inflicting material fall.

Earthquakes and other natural disasters are referred to as "Acts of God". Not too sure about "inflicting" material fall. At a stretch, God created gravity.

My creation involved once upon a time a feather. (Haven't worked this one out)

Unknown (although I like the word "creation"). I'm not a religious man myself and a quick Google didn't find any clear links to God or creation with feathers.

But I'm said to be a spawn of curiosity and weather.

People always blame weather and chance on God.

I'm opposed to an animal but I can spread like a disease.

God reversed is Dog. Religion spreads like disease.

If I'm plenty you'll nag, if I'm scarce you'll feel an unease.

Futurama tackled this, saying if God intervened and helped out then everyone would rely on divine intervention (constant prayer = nag). On the contrary if there is no signs of divine intervention, people feel isolated and lost (uneasy).

Some people haven't yet seen me, others see me all day.

Some people have never found religion, others see signs of God everywhere.

Sometimes I'm kept securely, sometimes thrown away.

Kept securely in ones heart/soul, or religion/God can be lost (thrown away).

What am I?

God

share|improve this answer
    
I both like this answer and will give a + for the Futurama quote – JGreenwell Feb 22 at 1:24
    
Oh, dude. You're waaay off but I looove the Futurama reference. Just because of that you should get a hug and a pat on the shoulder. I love that show. Regrettably, no cookies. Wrong answer, hehe. – Konrad Viltersten Feb 22 at 7:29
    
I thought IT Crowd would get more nerd kudos than Futurama! – Ian Feb 22 at 7:33
    
See "spoilers". – Konrad Viltersten Feb 22 at 19:26

This is wrong answer(my achievement)...confirmed by OP

My first thought is

Computer language or code or something like that

Explanation

You call me as something physical, something you can touch. But to be technically correct, I don't weight very much.

Used in making machines that you can touch. They can have small size.

In fact, my weight is zero, I'm not of matter at all. Yet, I can cause damage, inflicting material fall.

Don't have weight. You can hack other computer.

My creation involved once upon a time a feather. But I'm said to be a spawn of curiosity and weather.

I dont have any idea about feather and weather. But I am sure that it must have come in life because of curiosity (just like any other invention).

I'm opposed to an animal but I can spread like a disease. If I'm plenty you'll nag, if I'm scarce you'll feel an unease.

You can spread a virus by making its file. And viruses (biological) are spread by animals sometimes. If there are too many lines of code then it's hard to catch the mistake. If less number of lines then it can do lower number of functions.

Some people haven't yet seen me, others see me all day. Sometimes I'm kept securely, sometimes thrown away.

Some people don't know anything about it (like me) while it's everyday work for other people. Sometimes top secret codes are kept securely. Sometimes if there is big mistake in the code then it is thrown away.

share|improve this answer
    
Very well guessed! But as you probably sensed, the cryptic part about feathers is actually a very important clue. In fact, perhaps the most substantial. Connection to the weather and curiosity is hard to see but it's also of importance. Note that it's both the weather (a special kind it) and the curiosity (of a certain person) that is the clue - they must be combined to make sense. I also noticed that you didn't inferred anything from the opposite relation to the animal. If I told you which one, you'd have no problems soling the riddle. So I'm keeping it unsaid, for the moment. Well done! – Konrad Viltersten Feb 20 at 13:43
1  
Can you explain what you mean by "my achievement"? I'm guessing you're not a native English speaker, but I can't understand what it is supposed to mean. – jhabbott Feb 20 at 14:38
    
@jhabbott yes I am not a native English Speaker but I know the meaning of achievement...I love my wrong answers more than my right one...that's why I used that word..can you suggest any better word? – manshu Feb 20 at 15:32
1  
Perhaps "pride"... as in "I proudly present my incorrect attempt (confirmed by OP)". – jhabbott Feb 20 at 17:12
    
@jhabbott lol...:D – manshu Feb 20 at 17:16

I think the answer is fire.

You can touch fire but it is insubstantial and does not weigh much, if anything.

It can cause damage. "Material fall" = "burning down"?

It used to be created using a featherstick.

There is a Maori myth about fire being discovered as a result of curiosity. And lightning can start a fire.

For the "opposing animal" I am thinking phoenix. Fire can certainly spread like a disease.

Too much fire causes problems (e.g. forest fires) or simply being too hot, but lack of it (light or heat) means danger from predators or fear of the dark.

Some people in modern societies sometimes never see fire due to central heating. But others use it all the time.

Sometimes fire is highly controlled and contained to do its work (e.g. pilot light). "Thrown away" = "put out" ? As in "put out the trash".

share|improve this answer
    
is it a coincidence that your name is "Prometheus" (in greek mythology Prometheus was the Titan who stole fire from Olympus and gave it to mankind)... :/ – manshu Feb 21 at 18:50
    
Oooffff... Could you please reformat your reply so that it hides the answer and explanations? Spoilers aren't good. Also - incorrect guess. Phoenix isn't an animal species. It's a mythical creature. We're looking for a very common, real-life, kind of dull type of animal. But you'll get +1 for creativity. Also, I mean literally that there are people (alive today) who's never, ever seen the subject of our quest. In fact, there are people today who hasn't even heard of that concept at all. – Konrad Viltersten Feb 21 at 18:50
    
@manshu Ah, he's self-advertizing, hehe. – Konrad Viltersten Feb 21 at 18:51
    
OK - thanks. Sorry about the spoilers, I don't know how to hide them within a post. (This was my first post here.) – prometheus Feb 21 at 18:58
2  
@prometheus Don't worry. See the other posts? Click on "edit" and see how the syntax goes. Just don't change anything in there. Then, you can reedit your reply. – Konrad Viltersten Feb 21 at 19:04

You are

an idea/thought

You call me as something physical, something you can touch. But to be technically correct, I don't weight very much. In fact, my weight is zero, I'm not of matter at all.

One can touch upon an idea/thought. Yet it is not made up of matter

Yet, I can cause damage, inflicting material fall.

An idea can be quite destructive

My creation involved once upon a time a feather. But I'm said to be a spawn of curiosity and weather.

In old times thoughts and ideas were written down using quills. Curiosity leads to ideas. (I'm not sure about the weather connection)

I'm opposed to an animal but I can spread like a disease.

Do you mean to say coming up with ideas is a human ability (as opposed to other animals) ? I don't quite agree with this assumption though. Ideas can spread very fast.

If I'm plenty you'll nag, if I'm scarce you'll feel an unease.

Too many thoughts in the head lead to confusion. A scarcity of thoughts or ideas can make one feel uneasy

Some people haven't yet seen me, others see me all day.

This one doesn't fit

Sometimes I'm kept securely, sometimes thrown away.

Some ideas are kept secret, while others are discarded or freely shared

share|improve this answer
    
As you probably sense, the non-fitters imply that it's not correct. Two pointers. "Curiosity and weather" must be together. A special kind of curiosity for a certain type of weather - that's the clue. It's the hardest one in the riddle. It'll be used to verify the guess, rather than help come up with one. As for the animal, it's referring to a certain species, not animals in general. – Konrad Viltersten Feb 20 at 16:39
    
See "spoilers". – Konrad Viltersten Feb 22 at 19:27

You are

the gravitational field

You call me as something physical, something you can touch.
But to be technically correct, I don't weight very much.

a field in its colloquial meaning is a physical thing

In fact, my weight is zero, I'm not of matter at all.

The gravitational field, like the electromagnetic field, is not considered a form of ordinary matter (technically, in quantum theory the two fields are mediated by massless particles called photons and gravitons).

Yet, I can cause damage, inflicting material fall.

Gravity causes matter to fall, often causing damage.

My creation involved once upon a time a feather.
But I'm said to be a spawn of curiosity and weather.

Newton wrote and published his groundbreaking theories about gravity, presumably using a quill pen, made of a feather. Like all great scientists, Newton was driven by curiosity, but I'm not sure what the reference to weather is about.

I'm opposed to an animal but I can spread like a disease.

This may be a reference to a bull plowing a field. The field opposes the animal, which is why force is required to overcome the opposition. The gravitational field spreads outward in waves (cf. the discovery of gravitational waves recently announced on the news), a bit like a disease spreading out from the epicenter of an epidemic.

If I'm plenty you'll nag, if I'm scarce you'll feel an unease.

When gravity is scarce (a zero gravity environment as experienced by astronauts in orbit around the Earth, or on board the vomit comet), people often become nauseous.

Some people haven't yet seen me, others see me all day.
Sometimes I'm kept securely, sometimes thrown away.

Not sure what this is referring to.

share|improve this answer
    
Original guess but as you surely suspect, it's not the right answer. Too many loose details, right? May I point out that others already have figured out that the curiosity and weather refers to Benjamin Franklin and his horsing around in the stormy weather trying to catch a lightning? – Konrad Viltersten Feb 20 at 19:29
    
@KonradViltersten it seemed like a nice partial solution, so I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring. Thanks for the feedback though. Still racking my brain for the correct solution. Great riddle! – Big Black Box Feb 20 at 19:32
    
Would you like me to give you a hint or should I wait? – Konrad Viltersten Feb 20 at 19:48
2  
If you're going to give hints, the accepted practice on Puzzling is to edit them into the question rather than put them in the comments (there are already a few hints but they are spread out in the comments to the different answers and easy to miss). Anyway, maybe better to wait a few hours or a day, there are some smart people here so maybe someone will come up with the correct answer, and waiting helps to build up suspense and make your riddle more popular. :-) – Big Black Box Feb 20 at 19:51
    
@BigBlackBox I thought of this answer too. Animal = bird. Feather vs bowling ball. – Ian Feb 21 at 23:17

My guess:

a hole

You call me as something physical, something you can touch. But to be technically correct, I don't weight very much.

People refer to a hole as a physical object. "There's a hole in my yard." Also, "touching the void" - void is another word for hole.

In fact, my weight is zero, I'm not of matter at all.

A hole is literally the absence of matter, and therefore weightless by definition.

Yet, I can cause damage, inflicting material fall.

If material falls in a hole, it can be damaged.

My creation involved once upon a time a feather. But I'm said to be a spawn of curiosity and weather.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_hole

I'm opposed to an animal

To seal something is to remove holes from it. And a seal is an animal.

but I can spread like a disease.

A hole in your clothes can spread.

If I'm plenty you'll nag

People complain about holes in the road.

if I'm scarce you'll feel an unease.

Put someone in a box with no holes and they'll feel unease.

Some people haven't yet seen me, others see me all day.

Could apply to just about anything, including holes.

Sometimes I'm kept securely

Like the hole that lets you into a building, a door, which would normally have a lock on it.

sometimes thrown away.

Like a hole in a shoe.

share|improve this answer
    
Great first answer! Welcome to Puzzling! c: – Deusovi Feb 22 at 4:02
    
Very good motivations. Incorrect guess, though, sorry. Please view the comments to the others. They'll clarify what's misinterpreted. Good work! – Konrad Viltersten Feb 22 at 7:28
    
See "spoilers". – Konrad Viltersten Feb 22 at 19:28

I proudly present my another incorrect (but useful) attempt (confirmed by OP)

My Another answer

light

Explanation

You call me as something physical, something you can touch. But to be technically correct, I don't weight very much.

Light don't weight apart from the pressure applied by it.

In fact, my weight is zero, I'm not of matter at all. Yet, I can cause damage, inflicting material fall.

It has negligible weight. It's not matter. Light have energy and can damage things.

My creation involved once upon a time a feather. But I'm said to be a spawn of curiosity and weather.

Remember "As light as feather"?...We found out about lightning (that it's made up of charge) by Benjamin Franklin's Experiment where he flew the kite in rainy weather.

I'm opposed to an animal but I can spread like a disease. If I'm plenty you'll nag, if I'm scarce you'll feel an unease.

Many animals are heavy. Light can spread. We don't feel alright if there is too much light and feel afraid if there is less.

Some people haven't yet seen me, others see me all day. Sometimes I'm kept securely, sometimes thrown away.

Blind people. In torch. By Sun.

share|improve this answer
2  
I'm very impressed - you're the first one that actually made the connection to Benjamin Franklin! That's the hardest part, I believe. Now, you're still wrong but you just unlocked the last clue. Some of the takes in this reply are wrong (I didn't mean to be light as a feather, although it was very creative) but if you looks at the others' attempts and put all that together... Remember, it's a certain species of animal I'm referring to. Take a look at the other replies - the answer is very near now. You only need combine them into a certain... thingy... – Konrad Viltersten Feb 20 at 16:47
    
@KonradViltersten I've been thinking "static electricity" for some time (based on the kite experiment connection), also I considered "wind", but these don't really fit many of the the other clues. – jhabbott Feb 20 at 17:16
    
@jhabbott thanks for the suggestion...I added it in the answer... :p – manshu Feb 20 at 17:40
    
@jhabbott It's not far off. But in the term we're looking for, I'm combining two concepts, both already discovered by the community. It seems, though, that you get tricked by the coupling of those... I'm very proud of myself, right now... But you're all very close, kind of. Note - you're all very close. But each from a different angle. – Konrad Viltersten Feb 20 at 19:12

My (probably wrong) guess is

information/data

share|improve this answer
    
No. But not far from it. If you rethink the animal part, you might get it right. – Konrad Viltersten Feb 22 at 20:06

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