Dr. Vegapunk is the leading expert on Devil Fruit experiments and knowledge. He has discovered a method to “feed” Devil Fruits to inanimate objects and he even created an artificial Devil Fruit on Punk Hazard that Momonosuke ate.
However, for quite a while, I don’t think Vegapunk understood exactly how or why a Devil Fruit was bound to someone. Was its power contained somewhere in their body? In their heart or their brain? Perhaps it was contained in something more abstract like their consciousness. So Vegapunk put these theories to test with Bartholomew Kuma.
His first tests were to replace the physical parts of Kuma with robotic components, trying to see if the power that Kuma possessed would disappear or at least wane a bit. As he progressed, the power didn’t seem to dwindle even slightly.
By eliminating the obvious theory of Devil Fruits tied to a physical part of a person, Vegapunk narrowed his theories down to three:
– What if a Devil Fruit power was tied to someone’s mind or consciousness? This theory would be the easiest to prove, since replacing Kuma’s mind would make the Devil Fruit manifest into an ordinary fruit.
– What if a Devil Fruit power was tied to something even more abstract than someone’s consciousness? What if it was tied to someone’s perceived identity? That’s where the idea of the Pacifistas came into play. What if there was a creation that looked like Kuma, acted like Kuma, and (when Kuma had his mind removed) even thought like Kuma? If the Devil Fruit power became somehow shared between the identical Pacifistas, then this theory would be proven true.
– What if a Devil Fruit power was tied to a person’s “whole”? It’s an old thought experiment that questions that if something is replaced bit by bit until no single original part remains, is it still the same thing, or is it now something different? Devil Fruits might be tied to the “whole” of a person rather than any individual part, and replacing only some parts would not affect the Devil Fruit power. If nothing happened when Kuma’s mind was replaced, then this theory would be proven true.
Vegapunk created the Pacifistas as a way of killing two birds with one stone. They would help prove the perceived identity theory if it was true, and they would fulfill the government’s need for weapons that they were requiring from him. Otherwise, why bother making them look exactly like Kuma? What’s the point? They would only be recognizable and stick out.
When the defining moment came, Kuma’s Devil Fruit power did NOT disappear, invalidating the consciousness theory. His power was NOT shared with the Pacifistas, invalidating the perceived identity theory. His power just… stayed. This proved that” “Devil Fruits are tied not to any specific part of you, but to your “whole self”.
This theory aligns with how Law’s personality swap worked in Punk Hazard. The mind of a person wasn’t what carried their Devil Fruit power, it was their body. But we know from Kuma that it wasn’t some specific part of their body, it was their “whole”.
This theory also makes sense for how inanimate objects can be given Devil Fruit powers. They do not have consciousnesses or perceived identities (a gun is usually indistinguishable from others like it), but they do have a “whole”.
Now what if someone could change how their “whole self” was determined? This might actually have something to do with Devil Fruit Awakening. If someone has enough control over their devil fruit, they might be able to extend not their power, but their “self” to their surroundings. They wouldn’t be using their Devil Fruit power ON their surroundings, but THROUGH their surroundings.
If there are other theories on this idea, please let me know in the comment section down below.
Theory by StairMaster7.