Questions tagged [alternate-history]

For questions that ask what might have happened if history had taken a different path.

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1answer
26 views

All mammals are now conscious and extremely intelligent. Why does a non-human mammal want to revert it?

History: Our expirements backfired. We tried to give a couple great apes consciousness intelligence, and sapience and we thought we failed and released them back into nature. Turns out, our ...
7
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5answers
457 views

How to find out if someone is guilty of adultery?

Cheaters are considered to be inferiour humans with defective genes and just like mentally ill people and individuals born with various handicaps are eliminated from the gene pool. Capital ...
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11answers
2k views

WW2 Era Soviet Rifle Squad, Time Travels to 1066 England, attempts to take over [closed]

(This part is pretty hand-wavy, and only exists to provide context for a fun thought-experiment/fictional story. Feel free to skip to next paragraph) In 1943, the Soviet Union has developed what they ...
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5answers
156 views

What would be the smallest change required for the United States to purchase Greenland (time frame: 1945-2000)? [closed]

I have heard there have been multiple instances of this happening prior to the current president's proposal. Could this have seriously happened some time in the 20th century?
4
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1answer
75 views

Could Sharks Survive a Longer PETM?

First things first, a little backstory: Sometime between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, there was a mysterious, sudden, dramatic rise in global temperature. This moment in time was known as the "...
7
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6answers
267 views

How soon could the Argentine military have developed any sort of anti-satellite capability?

Try to stick as close to real-life history as possible, but what would be the most logical progression which could lead to the Argentine military deploying anti-satellite weaponry? Ground, sea, or air-...
1
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0answers
66 views

Methods of revolutionizing Medieval England using modern knowledge [closed]

I'm interested in writing a book about someone sent back in time between 500-600 AD/CE and looking for ideas on how an individual with access to modern knowledge and substantial time would be able to ...
0
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3answers
160 views

How would the Politburo respond to Project A119?

In 1958 the United States Air Force considered a mission to detonate a nuclear device on the surface of the Moon. The endeavour was framed as a booster to American public morale in the wake of the ...
6
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1answer
125 views

Is it at all possible to have a populous, formerly colonial nation in the Indian Ocean?

The temperate latitudes of the Indian Ocean and adjacent regions are essentially empty- only the extreme Southwest of Australia and extreme South of Africa dip into the temperate belt. What if there ...
3
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3answers
62 views

Would a Longer PETM Save the Creodonts and the Mesonychians?

Some 55.8 million years ago, Earth underwent a really dramatic heat wave known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. What happened, exactly? We don't know how it happened, but we do know ...
5
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2answers
115 views

What key positions in 1969 USA would aliens need to influence to control the US nuclear arsenal?

It is 1969, the conspiracy theorists are all correct and aliens are secretly trying to control everything. But the Reptoids are refugees very limited in number concerned about being exposed Other ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Could Richard Nixon stop another Nixon from nuking Washington DC? [closed]

A doppelganger of Richard Nixon orders a nuclear strike on Washington DC from NORAD after aliens arrive to make first contact in 1969. The real Richard Nixon is in Washington DC and desires to prevent ...
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0answers
63 views

What if a meteorite hit Roswell, NM in 1947? [closed]

I have always been interested in alternate histories that dramatically affect the course, duration, or intensity of 20th century spacefaring. One of the issues that has precluded large-scale ...
2
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1answer
140 views

How can I get people to put their money where their mouth is? [closed]

When individuals cede their power for effective choice to involuntary institutions, as soon as there's an uncoupling between what the institutions are aiming at and the interests of people, which do ...
4
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1answer
91 views

Could Meridiungulates Colonize The World Before the Opening of Panama?

The last time I asked something similar, I asked if it would be possible for xenarthran mammals (armadillos, sloths and anteaters) to be thrown off of South America from life-giving rafts to other ...
22
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27answers
9k views

How can I prevent the invention of skyscrapers?

Introduction I want my story, set in the modern day, to have a unique architectural feel. Part of my strategy - no skyscrapers. Wikipedia: The term skyscraper was first applied to buildings of ...
4
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0answers
68 views

What if the Triassic-Jurassic Extinction Never Happed? [closed]

The Mesozoic era is mostly known for dinosaurs dominating the majority of the terrestrial niches for nearly the entire duration. Something lesser known is that the Triassic was actually mostly ...
2
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1answer
77 views

What key technologies in today's world would not exist if flight was never discovered? [closed]

For an alternate world sci-fi novel, I'm trying to figure out which technologies they have. I would prefer for flight not to exist. Would this interfere with things like computer technology? I ...
9
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3answers
265 views

What would be valuable and useable as currency for people traveling between multiple dimensions?

I have a cosmos where FTL travel is via an alternate dimension. The problem is when you return to our universe, you find yourself at the right destination, but a completely different parallel world ...
2
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0answers
91 views

What would the world be like if COVID-19 occurred in 1999? [closed]

You could pick whatever start date you feel is most interesting, applying the number and distribution of cases on that date to the same date 20 years ago. For example, imagine if we had the same ...
8
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1answer
113 views

How CAN a Wyvern be a Scansoriopterygid Dinosaur?

It's become a popular speculative evolution trope for the likeliest candidate of the mythological "wyvern" to be a Cenozoic family--if not superfamily--of scansoriopterygid dinosaur. Now the first ...
3
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1answer
118 views

How Different Would the Outcome of the Fall of the Dinosaur Empire Be if Chicxulub Hit at a Different Season?

After 150 million years, the most successful empire in the history of Planet Earth finally collapsed 66 million years ago. A five-mile-wide space bomb--there's still disagreement as to whether it was ...
8
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7answers
500 views

How to prevent the creation of the Atomic Bomb?

The invention of the Atomic Bomb changed major conflicts basically turning them into a nuclear arms race. what I want to know is what single change would have prevent the creation of the Atomic Bomb? ...
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11answers
4k views

Would human civilization develop at a slower pace if Earth was 5.8x larger?

EDIT: Calculations were incorrect, the earth in my comic is not 5.8x larger, it is 2.4x larger. Its surface area is 5.8x larger but the diameter is 2.4x larger. Anyway I'm working on a comic that ...
7
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3answers
264 views

How do I stop Megalodon from going extinct?

A long time ago, the 60 foot long Megalodon roamed the oceans. Fast forward to 2.6 million years ago and they went extinct. In the story I'm writing Megalodon hasn't gone extinct surviving at least up ...
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1answer
175 views

What would be the repercussions of Megalodon never going extinct? [closed]

A long time ago the 60ft long Megalodon roamed the oceans, fast forward to 2.6 million years ago and they went extinct (and yes they definitely went extinct don't let the discovery channel fool you). ...
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16answers
7k views

How can I get a library to be seen as neutral territory?

The library of Alexandria was the largest and most important libraries in the ancient world. The library acquired many scrolls in its lifetime, up to 400,000, and was regarded as a capital of ...
3
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1answer
132 views

Could a Greater Relative Abundance of Tin Extend a Bronze Age?

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, and copper is a significantly more abundant metal in the Earth’s Crust, at about 70 PPM compared to tin at 2 PPM. Because tin was the limiting factor in bronze ...
6
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4answers
337 views

How do I preserve the Megafauna in my world?

Over 100,000 years ago giant megafauna roamed the earth such as mammoths, gigantopithecus, and giant sloths. fast forward to today and most megafauna are extinct (with the notable exception being in ...
2
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4answers
297 views

How long would it take to kill an army of 100k

The time period is similar to the crusade time instead of asia there is an entirely different island continent. The people on it are not homosapiens but some different earlier branch. they are though ...
0
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1answer
94 views

at what point in the ancient world would a world war be feasible? [closed]

According to our history books, there was a massive earthquake in the ancient world which left effects on a global scale. Millions of people were killed in this tragic point in history. However, the ...
25
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7answers
3k views

Would an enduring Inca Empire ever need paper?

In this alternate history, Tawantinsuyo resisted all attempts at conquest. The reason is not very important; let's say a fluke storm killed all of Pizarro's men shortly after they started engaging the ...
25
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19answers
7k views

Would common people in central Europe in the 15th century notice that the whole Asia disappeared?

We have earth at the beginning of the 15th century, and suddenly the biggest continent disappears. There is nothing left of it, no animals, people, lands, anything. I don't think the details of the ...
4
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3answers
242 views

Would it be possible for neanderthals to not go extinct, and perhaps build their own nation?

Let's say that somehow, enough Neanderthals survived after the last ice age to be able to form a centralized government, economy, etc. Would this even be possible? What events could lead to this?
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3answers
255 views

Convince 11th century people that I am from the future [closed]

I am a time traveller. I want to change the result of the Battle of Hastings. To achieve this, I need to learn king Harold Godwinson's (and his baronets') trust. To do this, I decide to reveal that I ...
1
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1answer
98 views

What would Alta California look like in 1900, 1950, and today if the Mexican-American War never happened? [closed]

Let’s say that the Mexican-American War never happened. Texas still joins the United States in 1845 and its borders are settled to contain only the undisputed portion of the Republic. What would Alta ...
2
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3answers
187 views

Near-future weapons taking designs similar to 17th century weapons

I am doing an alternate-history of Earth going into the science-fiction area. The split came with a portal to a new planet appearing around the 17th century. The portal deposited those brave enough to ...
6
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1answer
111 views

What change in China's history after the Korean War is needed to made the Democratic movement in 1989 a success?

Throughout the world, it is generally recognized that the Democratic movement in Beijing started as a public memorial of the former Chairman Hu YaoBang, who past away on April 15th, 1989 after being ...
1
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4answers
610 views

What would Europe look like if Chernobyl exploded?

In a scenario where the Soviets didn't manage to stop corium from reaching the water reservoirs underneath the plant, causing a detonation equivalent to a nuclear explosion, what would life in the ...
3
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2answers
154 views

200 commoners of varying gender/age from 1750 Europe are marooned in a strange land. What does population growth look like?

200 inadvertent settlers fall through a portal, and the portal closes. These 200 people were possibly the population of a small hamlet, transported against their will. They find themselves in a land ...
2
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2answers
120 views

What events caused the formation of the 18th century Dutch-Scandinavian Republic?

I'm in the early stages of an alternate history novel (and at a push a light fantasy) in which I like the idea of a unified Scandinavian Nation/Republic to compete with Britain and France for control ...
0
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2answers
162 views

How difficult would it be to invade Mainland China during WWII? [closed]

In an alternate history WWII scenario, the Republic of China became a fascist, one-party state similar to Nazi Germany (who they're closely allied with; Adolf Hitler IRL even considered the Chinese ...
4
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6answers
215 views

How could the Avignon papacy replace Rome as the center of power? [closed]

The medieval Popes ruled directly over the Papal States in Central Italy, and was an influential player in the affairs of European states. The Dark Emperor of France set in motion a master plan to ...
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2answers
156 views

What would life be if humans had a healing factor? [closed]

The main premise is that since homo sapiens evolved, humanity has possessed a healing factor similar to wolverine, but lesser. How would modern-day life be different?
3
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6answers
523 views

How far could the roman empire expand? [closed]

Assuming Rome never fell and the empire was never divided, how far could it have expanded? What would it take for them to have an empire whose size is similar to that of the british or Spanish empires?...
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3answers
166 views

How would a time-traveler maximize their profits with minimal impact on history? [closed]

A time traveler has a time machine that will take him back to any point in the past once, and they may choose to return to the present or stay. They have $100 in your possession, nothing more, and can ...
2
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2answers
120 views

How could Mao Zedong have won the Chinese Civil War before 1931?

I'm aware of the history of the Chinese Civil War, from the First and Second United Fronts formed to combat the warlords and Empire of Japan respectively between 1927-1945, but I'm curious if there ...
15
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10answers
3k views

How could the Empire of Japan and America be allies in WWII? [closed]

I am slowly building an alternate history story where America and the Empire of Japan are closely allied during the early 1940s instead of at war. They are so close, in fact, that Anchorage is seen as ...
6
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7answers
349 views

How would a Stone age society make use of gunpowder?

Given that the main ingredients for gunpowder(Charcoal, Saltpetre, and Sulphur) exist in varying quantities pretty much everywhere, I've been wondering how it wasn't discovered much sooner than the ...
1
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1answer
91 views

How to maintain a large empire with pre-industrial revolution technology? [closed]

Putting the corruption of the political system and internal strife aside. Lets assume a Roman empire, something like Trajan's border, type empire that has a decently strong central government, but ...

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