Worldbuilding Stack Exchange Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

How soon after first contact could an advanced civilization make large financial transactions on Earth?

One day, a portal, several hundred meters across, appears without warning above the Atlantic, roughly around the Bermuda triangle region. It hovers in mid air, immobile, 200 meters above the surface ...

science-based economy trade  
user avatar asked by Cassiterite Score of 27
user avatar answered by JamieB Score of 43

What problems would a truly gigantic fantasy city encounter?

Supposing a world that falls somewhere between low and high magic, what would stop a city of truly epic size from existing? The city is a city-state that has existed for millennia. It is pretty much ...

cities population low-fantasy  
user avatar asked by biziclop Score of 16
user avatar answered by Daron Score of 30

Modern era with magic that will stop gunpowder from igniting, what weapons are used instead?

One of the annoying problems with most urban fantasy series I've read is that they seem to mostly try to avoid discussing the fact that most of their fearsome magical foes could be felled with a ...

magic weapons combat urban-fantasy  
user avatar asked by dsollen Score of 12
user avatar answered by JBH Score of 21

How old must The Moon be?

Some time ago, aliens placed the Moon around Earth with every intent to deceive us about its authenticity, except for the glaring synchronization that allows for total solar eclipses, as something ...

planets hard-science moons earth  
user avatar asked by BMF Score of 12
user avatar answered by HDE 226868 Score of 18

Non-electrical technology that pre-modern people would see as magic?

My world was colonized by spacefaring humans who lost the vast majority of their technology in an unknown catastrophe at least 12,000 years before the present. They have now redeveloped roughly up to ...

science-based technology technological-development science-in-society  
user avatar asked by DMacc1917 Score of 11
user avatar answered by TheDemonLord Score of 24

Is a "20th century" spacefaring civilization plausible?

This civilization has computational technology roughly equivalent to Earth's in the late 20th century. We're talking post-moon landing, but pre-Internet (roughly 1969-1983). They may or may not have ...

science-based technology space-travel spaceships technological-development  
user avatar asked by DMacc1917 Score of 10
user avatar answered by Boba Fit Score of 17

Numeral systems based on different colors rather than different symbols?

I want to portray a culture with a significantly different method of perceiving their own mathematical concepts, yet not so as to say something like just "they used a kind of number very often, ...

language mathematics numeral  
user avatar asked by Kristian Berry Score of 10
user avatar answered by Trioxidane Score of 12

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Using international waters to avoid legal punishment

I am playing with the idea of a lateral thinking puzzle based around abusing international waters to make an action 'legal'. For the sake of this question lets assume someone from the US is looking ...

internal-consistency law sea  
user avatar asked by dsollen Score of 39
user avatar answered by Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Score of 71

Plausible Reasons for usage of Combat Mecha

So, assuming that the technology is readily available and that we could build these mecha as easily as we build modern tanks or planes. What would be a good advantage in using a legged (not ...

physics warfare construction mechs  
user avatar asked by Feaurie Vladskovitz Score of 83
user avatar answered by user6511 Score of 91

Everything alive in the world dies this instant. Without bacteria to decompose anything, what happens to the remains? What does this look like?

So when I say everything, I mean everything. Humans, animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, all dead. If the bacteria and other detritovores and decomposers can't decompose anything since they themselves ...

science-based biology post-apocalypse earth microorganisms  
user avatar asked by Sydney Sleeper Score of 140
user avatar answered by Willk Score of 244

How difficult would it be to reverse engineer a device whose function is based on unknown physics?

Premise - A technological device of unknown origin is found by modern day humans. by messing with its controls, it's discovered that its function appears to create some kind of anomaly such as a ...

science-based internal-consistency engineering  
user avatar asked by TehKaoZ Score of 24
user avatar answered by JBH Score of 42

How would the world be different if ice was denser than water?

Ice is strange, in that the solid form is less dense than the liquid water it freezes from. This causes Ice to float on top of the water. How would our planet earth be different if something changed ...

science-based water  
user avatar asked by Tim B Score of 30
user avatar answered by Peter M. - stands for Monica Score of 30

Releasing a T-Rex into a modern ecosystem wouldn't be that bad, right?

T-Rex Forever LLC has a mating pair of Tyrannosaurus rex. They're a bit shady on how they got them, time travel, cloning...they won't say. Third-party biologists and paleontologists have examined ...

science-based internal-consistency environment fauna dinosaurs  
user avatar asked by Green Score of 129
user avatar answered by kingledion Score of 165

Would a 4000-year-old booby trap still be poisonous?

I've got a group of characters exploring an ancient ruin who've just set off a classic "darts flying from the walls" booby trap. In theory, when the trap was first built these darts would ...

time poisons dungeons  
user avatar asked by cboss Score of 30
user avatar answered by AncientGiantPottedPlant Score of 23

Can you answer these questions?

How can I make my insect life cycle time system more accurate

In my world, there is not day or night, only dusk and dawn. Their time system is based on an insect called an Ersen which follows a very mechanical and strict life cycle which is synchronised ...

life lifecycle  
user avatar asked by NEWWORLDBUILDER Score of 1
user avatar answered by Hukk2010 Score of 0

Climate types for large volcanic islands on tidally locked planet

My planet is tidally locked to a red dwarf, which itself orbits a yellow sun like our own. It has roughly the same atmospheric conditions as Earth (perhaps a slightly thicker atmosphere, but not ...

science-based planets climate weather island  
user avatar asked by DMacc1917 Score of 1

Geological activity and of superearth - cannonball moon system

I understand that this situation is hypothetical -- I just need a piece of advice to make it more realistic. In my story, there is a superearth of 4,5 Earth masses and 1,35 Earth's radius, rotating ...

science-based planets atmosphere moons geology  
user avatar asked by JustOstrava Score of 3
user avatar answered by Matthias Score of 0
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