Questions tagged [alternate-history]

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

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4
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0answers
28 views

How to Build the Fictional Continents Using Our Real Continents

Presented here is a map of Earth with the fictional continents resurfaced, by the Redditor "Stagman1111": Source From left to right, the presented additional continents are Mu, Atlantis and ...
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2answers
94 views

What POD Would I Need For Earth's Lost Worlds to Exist Today?

This is a map of Earth as depicted by the DeviantArtist ToonHolt: As you can see, many new landmasses have been added, from lost worlds like Sundaland, Zealandia and Kerguelen, to fictional worlds ...
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4answers
343 views

Could one make decent armour based on a jaguar pelt?

I have always loved the fursuit uniform of the Aztec Ocelotl warrior: But, to my great disappointment, it turns out that in reality the suit was not made out of an actual jaguar pelt: the helmets ...
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0answers
63 views

What if California Had Trisected in 1855? [closed]

In 1855, the California State Assembly passed a plan to trisect the state. All of the southern counties as far north as Monterey, Merced, and part of Mariposa, then sparsely populated but today ...
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0answers
55 views

What if WW1 never happened? [closed]

After learning more about the assassination of Franz Ferdinand I wondered, what would have happened, if he never had been shot. Similar to the man in the high castle, I want to explore an alternative ...
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1answer
118 views

Creating Genetically Engineered Individuals [closed]

Let's say I want to make a genetically engineered being, who doesn't have iron-based blood, and is an improvement on humans across the board: strictly stronger, more resilient, greater lung capacity, ...
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5answers
151 views

What would be some changes in regards to courtship to a society where men are conscripted for three years into the military? [closed]

Let's say there's a major or constant level of warfare with an external enemy is a modern developed society. Think like modern day Korea or Israel. As a result of this level of warfare men are ...
1
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1answer
128 views

What kind of education would telekinetic children get in a modern country?

In this case I'm assuming a low level telekinetics that can do anything they can see. People with Telekinetic skills are not discriminated against too much but they make up a small portion of the ...
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2answers
3k views

If the Roman Empire in the Year 90 AD Found a Living Tyrannosaurus Rex, What Creature in Their Mythology Would They Most Likely Mistake It For?

I'm writing a story where a group of mischievous aliens teleport iconic creatures to inappropriate time periods. (Dimetrodons in colonial Germany, Pterodactyls in the medieval Ottoman Empire, ...
2
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2answers
168 views

Can I have an otherwise High Medieval society, if they are in perpetual Bronze Age?

I may have been too ambitious with one property of my advanced Mesoamerican civilisation. The very summarised background (which you can take as given; don't frame challenge this) is that after a wise ...
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4answers
2k views

Could the Troubles in Northern Ireland and England have ended in reunification?

I am trying to plot the background of an alternate history story revolving around an Irish-British teenager living in a post-Troubles London where tensions are much higher. Unlike our timeline, the ...
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7answers
2k views

How powerful could a person with superpowers/group of superhumans be without greatly affecting world history?

One of the major problems I've always had with the MCU and the DC universe is how powerful many of the beings or people are whilst the World is still almost the same as ours. It was as if the writers ...
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8answers
5k views

What could be the the consequences in this world if nuclear bombs didn't release radiation anymore?

In an alternative earth, or just a few decades from now, someone was able to make a breakthrough in nuclear bombs. Developing a way to make the radiation be nullified by its extreme chain reactions or ...
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6answers
798 views

Television without primary colors

As humans, we're incredibly lucky that we only see in three primary colors. It makes the development of color displays quite easy. We only need to squeeze three subpixels into a single pixel! What if, ...
9
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9answers
4k views

What would it have taken for navies to control air forces historically?

So the idea of space navies is extremely common in science fiction, with the navy as the branch that is more or less dominant. Generally speaking they have marines under them and there is rarely an ...
7
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4answers
203 views

How would the cold war continue- in space?

The cold war never ended in 1990-94, and the Warsaw pact still exists, as does the prominence of communism in eastern europe. It’s now 2030, and both sides have colonies on the moon and are ...
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3answers
191 views

What would have happened if the USA never dropped atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? [closed]

If the USA never dropped the bombs on Japan, how different would have japan looked today? Would it look like Taiwan or would it look like Europe? What would have been Japan's technological innovation? ...
2
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4answers
268 views

What could have caused a three-way cold war?

I was working on a story project some years ago which featured a highly alternate near future in which, among other things, a 3-way cold war had spread across the solar system. There were many other F&...
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4answers
224 views

What would an until-recently waterworld look like?

So, suppose a world that, for most of its biological history, was a water world, with minimal dry land. Starting from the Cambrian Explosion analogue, the world stays like this for roughly 460 million ...
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3answers
154 views

If the Vikings grew horns, what would their helmets look like?

Imagine all the Scandinavians started sprouting horns, much like their stereotypical image, out of their heads. Now, how do they redesign their helmets to match a horned head? Note that your helmet ...
2
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5answers
183 views

How would centaurs fight British musket infantry squares of the 18th - 19th century (aside from using artillery)?

How would centaurs fight British musket infantry squares of the 18th - 19th century (aside from using artillery)? The centaurs would have the same technology as the British, more or less. Would they ...
5
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4answers
177 views

How much trouble would a great depression era rural county have with settling a late cretaceous Montana/Wyoming?

I have a very specific setting in mind that can be pretty much summed up as "Wild West with Dinosaurs". However, I'm still trying to figure out the details of just how the people native to a ...
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2answers
200 views

How can Hong Kong be brought into the Commonwealth of Nations?

Between 1927 and 1949, a civil war in China was fought between the Nationalist ROC-led government led by Chiang Kai Shek, and the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong. These two forces put their ...
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3answers
169 views

In the modern era, how could I have a very bad recession comparable to the Great Depression?

In my world (modern day Earth, but at a higher technology level with national AI systems being commonplace across the world, cybernetics limbs being an option, and autonomous weapon systems being ...
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18answers
6k views

Could you design a fighter plane for a centaur?

It's the Great War, and all the nations are having a good time of it, painting their biplanes flashy colours, as they shoot into their own propellers! But over in the corner, lonesome and dejected, ...
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3answers
137 views

Could a pre-modern civilization make a gas canister with rough valves and pressure regulation?

I wanted to have a gas cylinder that would hold up to about 10 litres of gas (oxygen, mainly) at 20 atmospheres of pressure. Or, if that's impossible, 7 atmospheres would suffice. The setting is pre-...
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2answers
119 views

Could you develop Electrolysis with Pre-Modern technology?

Electrolysis was a popular idea for how mermaids would generate oxygen for their guests. This leads to another question: Is it possible to perform electrolysis with pre-modern technology? Electrolysis ...
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1answer
106 views

What smallest single change after 1949 would've relocated Canada's financial capital to Quebec, rather than Toronto?

Inspired by Toronto's unaffordable real estate prices and What single change in history would allow to make the German city of Munich be in modern France?. I haven't visited Canada in a while. But I ...
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3answers
140 views

Alternative Pre-Modern Rocket Fuel to Gunpowder: Can you make a naphtha rocket?

In a pre-17th century world without gunpowder, can rockets still be developed? Could you perhaps make a naphtha rocket? RP1 is made from highly refined kerosene, which has been about since at least ...
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5answers
242 views

What smallest single change would've produced a financial hub in Republic of Ireland, rather than London?

Inspired by Brexit that can boost Dublin’s finance hub, says Central Bank of Ireland's report and Duff & Phelps's Global Regulatory Outlook (GRO) report. Ireland and UK are similar because English ...
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4answers
1k views

School system for primitives

What is the most basic type of civilization which can sustain a school system where children spend 12 to 14 hours each day in school where they learn and develop attributes instead of culuture. A ...
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3answers
170 views

How can I redirect Great Britain back to Catholicism after the English Reformation?

I, Mary the Magnificent, am the greatest and most successful queen in the British Empire. I grew up in luxury as a member of the valiant Tudor family. Unfortunately, Europe had taken a dark turn some ...
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2answers
114 views

What Effect Will This Pseudo-magic Substance Have On Early Humanity?

This world is like ours, but with the addition of an enhancing substance that comes in different colors and is found in rare (and small, no bigger than a fridge) meteorites that have been landing at (...
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3answers
146 views

Defense of Atlantis?

In my alternate timeline, the original Atlantean civilization perished around 1,500 BCE. Around 1000 BCE, humans once again find Atlantis, this time with 10,000 Greek outcasts fleeing from persecution ...
3
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1answer
134 views

Proto-German name for Plant People

I was considering calling plant people in a setting, "skoagraz," which is a combination of the words for forest (skogaz) and flood (agraz). Flood seemed a good word to imply inclusiveness, ...
0
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1answer
56 views

What if Ukraine joined EU and NATO before 2004? [closed]

I wonder what would Ukraine look like today if their development took a different shape after 1990. Wikipedia: "Ukraine was initially viewed as having favourable economic conditions in comparison ...
2
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5answers
159 views

What kind of catastrophe could wipe out a country's human population without harming its ecosystems?

In the backstory of my universe, China ceased to exist as a country sometime around the 2010s as a result of the CCP trying to meddle with alien technology in an attempt to accelerate its efforts at ...
3
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4answers
244 views

Modern-day Roman Empire [duplicate]

Before asking the question, let me give you some background. I am a big fan of Roman history, everything from the gladiators of the Colosseum to the writings Seneca, and the other day I was thinking ...
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2answers
175 views

What is the best place to rebuild humanity [closed]

Imagine that time goes back, no apes smarter than chimpanzees appear, and then in year 2020, 100000 random humans with all the knowledge we have now spawn naked in one area. In what region of the ...
21
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14answers
5k views

What point(s) of departure would I need for space colonization to become a common reality by 2020?

As of 2020, colonizing outside of Earth and into the other bodies that orbit our sun--planets, moons and even asteroids--is all talk and no do. Sure, we have stations like the International Space ...
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2answers
92 views

What elements are needed so that successor states are influenced by an original state, judging by historical precedent, and for how long?

For starters this obviously has many variables so it would be difficult to provide concrete answers on the level of 1+1=2. Thus I'm including our historical precedent element so it won't be total ...
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3answers
164 views

A Rabid Black Death, Part I: How Virulent Would it Be?

Our first record of rabies, the infamous foaming madness disease, dated all the way back to 2000 BC. The foaming at the mouth and excessive aggression are among the most recognizable symptoms of ...
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2answers
204 views

Importing Asian Technology and Political Support into Mesoamerica

This is the year 1400 CE. I am a prince in my early teens, belonging to the Zapotec civilization, Mexico. I always get recurring dream that in less than 4 generations, hostile people from far away ...
19
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14answers
5k views

Would a Pre-Columbian America with its own plagues still be vulnerable to Old World diseases?

Most of the Native Americans in our history were killed by smallpox, measles, etcetera, and this video makes a good case for why: though the Americas had cities of their own, they lacked many options ...
2
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0answers
91 views

How does gunpowder-magic reshape the world after its discovery in the year of the Water Pig 3600 Huángdì era? - The (re)unification of China [closed]

Let's assume a postulate from this answer happens: small explosions cause small leaks [in the Manasphere]. So cannon fire causes Mana to leak in for a while. - Darcy Thomas Let's assume this is true....
2
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0answers
61 views

How to Make Columbia from Bioshock a Reality [duplicate]

This is Columbia, the city featured in the video game Bioshock: Infinite. It stands out in that this city floats in Earth's atmosphere. How? Some sci-fi handwavium called "the Lutece Particle&...
16
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18answers
8k views

How plausible is it for nuclear power to be invented but not nuclear weapons?

I don’t need a super detailed answer here, so this is definitely going to be pretty opinion-based. For context, let’s say you have a world where WW2 was ended by an all-American superhero punching ...
3
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4answers
394 views

What plausible history allows a society to adopt Dark Age weaponry and reject “modern”-ish weapons?

Let's consider some highly civilized/organized, free-thinking world akin to the Medieval/Dark Ages: Technology is fairly rudimentary, reduced to — for the most part — two-handed swords, halberds, and ...
12
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7answers
966 views

Would it be possible for Tsar to escape execution and form a great power elsewhere?

I imagined the scenario for a story where the USSR still forms and will later fight in a Cold War with the USA. However, I am imagining a scenario where the tsar escapes, goes with some loyal ...
7
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5answers
292 views

Uses for a 1950s-era nuclear-powered land vehicle?

I have heard of the Chrysler TV-8 design, an amphibious armored vehicle powered by an onboard nuclear reactor...basically a nuclear-powered tank. The TV-8 never made it off the drawing board; the ...

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