Questions tagged [alternate-history]

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

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5
votes
5answers
203 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-...
4
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1answer
37 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 "...
8
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4answers
2k views

What would the British have done in Argentina and the surrounding area if they had been victorious in Buenos Aires in 1807?

If the British, under the command of John Whitelocke, had been able to capture Buenos Aires in July 1807 (after a much smaller British force was defeated the year before, following an initial victory ...
2
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7answers
679 views

JFK has clones, is he still safe? [closed]

Premise Human cloning tends to discombobulate our moral compasses; the potential for scientific gain and the potential for abuse are vast. Now, contrast this moral dilemma with the public sentiment ...
1
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0answers
64 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 ...
5
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2answers
114 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
2
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5answers
2k views

Alternative History: If the Hindenburg Incident Never Happened

The Hindenburg Incident was a very famous tragic part of history, much like the Titanic, but what would happen if the famous airship never burned? Would airships continue to be the dominant force of ...
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 ...
7
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10answers
2k views

Could Nazi Germany, Surviving WWII, Survive the Cold War?

In our theoretical alternate universe Nazi Germany--thanks to its scientists that in real history were split and used by the US and USSR--managed to reach the level of nuclear warheads and ICBM ...
2
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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 ...
6
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4answers
336 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
votes
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 ...
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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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 ...
6
votes
3answers
506 views

How do I prevent the Soviet invasion of Manchuria?

In an alternate timeline I am working on, I am aiming to keep the Japanese empire not only intact, but also large; a super power rivaling the USA and the USSR. The problem with this is the end of ...
2
votes
5answers
199 views

Accidental invention of gliding

So I'm writing a thing about the adventures of a guy living in an alternate history version of Earth in the 15th century, where a genius invents hot air balloons in the 14th century, along with ...
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 ...
4
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2answers
250 views

If the Milky Way contained a Quasar

If the central Milky Way contained a highly active, accreting quasar, with a steady luminosity of 100 trillion solar that is 27,000 lightyears away and became active 27,000 years ago (the emissions ...
8
votes
7answers
499 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? ...
2
votes
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
262 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
90 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 ...
27
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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 ...
1
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7answers
2k views

Could the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte changed the outcome of WWII?

So, This is a VERY VERY BIG TANK. So big it crushes everything in its path (even the path itself). Assuming I lead Nazi Germany, I WILL deploy/create this tank. The issues of this tank are: (taken ...
8
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1answer
111 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
117 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 ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Could Inuits survive in Antarctica?

Imagine that a group of Inuits from Greenland settled in Antarctica; let's say on the Antarctic peninsula, if there is no better place in Antarctica. Could they survive there with their traditional ...
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 ...
11
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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 ...
1
vote
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). ...
26
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13answers
12k views

Could a time traveler prevent the Black Plague?

Meet Todd the time traveler. He's a good boy and has decided to use his powers for good, more specifically he wants to stop the black plague from happening. His powers work in a similar fashion to the ...
3
votes
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 ...
4
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4answers
194 views

Earliest viable modern battery

I'm building a world where high-density, low cost batteries are discovered far, far in advance of modern times, leading to a decentralised power grid. It has become convention for homes and buildings ...
16
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15answers
4k views

Why would we burn witches? [closed]

So, imagine a world where magic is a real, quantifiable energy. It has real, visible effects, and can be used by humans to mold reality as they see fit (with varying degrees of finesse). The beginning ...
11
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6answers
2k views

Cruelty Free Vampirism

Setting: "One Big Lie" Sci-fi RPG The lies in this setting are an extension of relativity with a couple of extra dimensions allowing for FTL/Backwards Time Travel, and Thaumons. Thaumons (Magic ...
28
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14answers
14k views

Would the US government of the 1960’s be able to feasibly recreate a modern laptop?

So, I time travelled back to the year 1969. I messed around back in time for about a week before leaving. But, me being forgetful and everything, I leave behind my modern laptop ( it’s an Apple ...
16
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12answers
3k views

What would sway all humans to stop having kids cheerfully, painlessly, voluntarily? [closed]

Assume the world to be at least as good as it is now in 2019. Rule out involuntary or any human extinction caused by pain and suffering. Why would all humans cheerily, knowingly stop reproducing? ...
10
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6answers
2k views

Fantasy and the germ theory

When developing a medival fantasy realm, especially one with no known healing and restoration magic, one may need to develop the people's understanding of science and medicine. A unique example of ...
20
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11answers
5k views

An Undercover Army

Suppose you want to invade Russia. But, beating it in a conventional or nuclear war isn't possible for your people for some reason. What if, instead, you line up 500,000 soldiers to move to Russia ...
7
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8answers
3k views

Why might modern demigods be unable to use guns? [closed]

In Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse, Annabeth’s dad, Dr. Chase comes in at the end of his book and uses a machine gun on his Sopwith Camel, along with some celestial bronze bullets he created in ...
4
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3answers
500 views

If the US launched air strikes against Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, would any Soviet missile sites be able to survive?

So, this is a question I wanted to ask in relation to the blog post I made introducing the Cuban Missile War series of blog posts, which is the result of the Cold War escalating into World War III ...
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 ...
2
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4answers
296 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
240 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?
-1
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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 ...

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