Worldbuilding Stack Exchange Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Most efficent way to transmit binary data by human voice

Suppose two people want to transmit some binary data (a png image perhaps) by voice. Two of my characters want to share binary data but they can only use their voice and no other form of communication ...

science-based computers  
asked by Cookie04 39 votes
answered by Neil_UK 73 votes

What reasons would motivate even low level personnel of vast secret organizations to keep the secret going, other than fear?

It’s common nowadays for many different types of fictional, and non-fictional, works to speculate on the possible existence, operation, and further expansion, of hidden organizations such as ‘deep ...

society secret-society organizations fear  
asked by MichaelZ 23 votes
answered by Willk 40 votes

What's stopping me from inventing a planet with oceans of mercury?

It doesn't necessarily need to be breathable by humans. But it should be room temperature (at which mercury is liquid). My concern is whether mercury oceans could remain stable or would they all get ...

space chemistry exploration  
asked by DAVID RICKS 23 votes
answered by L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica 53 votes

Passive Cooling Techniques for Apartment Buildings

Okay, so I'm building a world with an empire originally based out of an arid/semi-arid (Sahel type) ecoregion. As the empire expands, it will eventually shift its capital to a more temperate climate, ...

technology climate architecture city  
asked by Baron_vonCernogratz 18 votes
answered by Separatrix 42 votes

Realistic way to damage bullet proof glass using common substances

Ok so here's the scenario. I've got a hero fighting a stompy robot that is covered in armour that stops the hero's electricity based attacks. However it still needs to see and thus has a camera that ...

reality-check chemistry  
asked by MrDracoSpirit 17 votes
answered by Willk 78 votes

Plausible reasons for Hovertanks

A less common, but still cool (imo) feature of science fiction is hover tanks. Be they using antigrav, quad-copter style rotor blades or just the inflatable skirt of modern hovercraft. However, they ...

physics warfare construction  
asked by Kyyshak 16 votes
answered by ThisIsMe 26 votes

Is the universe old enough to have an ecosystem of feral self-replicating spacecraft?

Is it possible that, through any plausible history of alien life, and any plausible method of propogation for a self-replicating spacecraft, that the universe, as seen from present day Earth, could be ...

space spaceships ecology universe  
asked by Ichthys King 9 votes
answered by Andrew Brēza 13 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

What single change would have given the best chance for the Axis to win World War 2?

A common topic in alternate history fiction works is what would have happened if a major war had been won by the other side. These usually focus on the events after the war, and the change itself is ...

science-based alternate-history  
asked by vsz 146 votes
answered by Raphael 54 votes

Why would a country make a declaration of war instead of just invading?

So a declaration of war is made when you wanna go to war with someone else (duh). For example, country A hates country B's guts. A declares war on B. A and B go to war. One side wins, unless the ...

warfare  
asked by Skye 76 votes
answered by Eric Towers 132 votes

Russian Dolls - How do they reproduce?

Warning picture showing dissected Russian Doll My theory I believe that Russian Dolls reproduce asexually. They are born pregnant. At the time of birth, the outer doll dies. What is now the outer ...

science-based reality-check population reproduction  
asked by chasly - supports Monica 179 votes
answered by op op opself 17 votes

What could an average modern human achieve in medieval times?

Let's imagine that on one fateful day, John Doe, the absolutely average citizen, wakes up just outside of a small village during the Middle Ages, somewhere in Europe, maybe France or England. Let's ...

technological-development medieval alternate-history medieval-europe  
asked by zovits 91 votes
answered by Royal Canadian Bandit 106 votes

I'm stranded on an alien planet. How do I measure an earth year without a clock?

I just got shoved through a stargate onto a planet I don't know. I was told the gate would open again in exactly one Earth year. I wasn't carrying anything; I don't even have my watch. How do I know ...

planets time  
asked by Tristan Klassen 198 votes
answered by Dan Smolinske 157 votes

What percentage of a population can be part of a medieval military?

Here are the particulars: Medieval era and technology City population is 25,000 Arable farmland available as needed Ocean access for fishing Good sized trading hub Politically stable What percentage ...

warfare economy medieval  
asked by James 21 votes
answered by Thucydides 13 votes

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 ...

reality-check law sea  
asked by dsollen 38 votes
answered by Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' 70 votes

Can you answer these questions?

The biggest bear

I've read different accounts of the largest bear ever shot, the size of polar bears before climate change, and the extinct variations of cave bear and the short face bear. They all top out near 3m in ...

science-based biology creature-design evolution  
asked by Eloc 4 votes
answered by Willk 0 votes

Synthetic Daylight Cycle on a Structure too large for one Sun?

In this universe, an advanced race of aliens have constructed the largest object in the universe other than the universe itself, which is about 40,000,000 lightyears tall (don't worry about the ...

science-fiction space climate  
asked by Stinky Pete 2 votes
answered by Charlie Hershberger 0 votes

Long-term, what does my magical 2x2 mile raining deathtrap do to the surrounding land?

Earlier I asked a few questions about one particular part of my setting, which is an Earth in the immediate aftermath of a supernatural apocalypse that made the world a gridded globe of 2x2 mile "...

geography water rivers waterfall  
asked by Jason Clyde 1 vote
answered by Anon 0 votes
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