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Questions tagged [alternate-history]

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

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2answers
547 views

International politics of gender swapped world [closed]

Continuing the idea of gender swapped world: The question: How would internatinal politics look in gender swapped world? Common ideas shared by vast majority in my alternate Earth: Goddess is woman....
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12answers
8k views

World where gender roles are swapped

This world is background for erotica story which came into my mind. Porn/erotica worlds are commonly totally unrealistic: Pizza delivery is always on time, always delivered by fit male at exactly the ...
3
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1answer
666 views

How would a human society be different from ours if our feet were also hands? [closed]

What if we could use our feet as hands, with the same dexterity. Assume for the purposes of this question that the lower hand is structurally the same as our existing hands. Also assume that our ...
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7answers
1k views

The Rollercoasters of Ancient Egypt

Suppose that Khufu, pharaoh of Egypt and builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza, was introduced to the idea of an amusement park. More specifically, suppose that he was visited by a time traveler and ...
8
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1answer
847 views

What if the Islamic religion was never founded? [closed]

Before Mohammed founded the Islam religion, the weak and religiously divided Arabian tribes fought each other on the Arabian Peninsula in the shadow of the powerful Byzantine Empire. Without Islam ...
3
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2answers
152 views

Language among isolated population of 2 million?

Picture this scenario: all of humanity in its beginning is on a single island roughly the right size to support 1/2/3 million people. For some reason (sea monsters, too much ocean, whatever reason you ...
2
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1answer
163 views

Best place for human population of 2 million?

As my previous question(s) was too broad, I've decided to ask only one part of it: The situation: all of humanity in its beginning is on a single island roughly the right size to support 1/2/3 ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Ninjas of the ancient Roman Empire

The emperor needs a way to quickly and decisively kill his enemies (Romans and non-Romans). So he devised an assassin squad to carry on his devious intentions. Kill or hijack enemy VIP personnel and ...
10
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6answers
1k views

How long would it take for the Americas to reach Renaissance-level technology?

Let's say history went on as it would have with one major exception - a virus/series of viruses decimated the European/Asian populations repeatedly to such a degree that they simply could not advance ...
4
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3answers
225 views

Population of 2 million confined to one island [closed]

Picture this scenario: all of humanity in its beginning is on a single island roughly the right size to support 1/2/3 million people. For some reason (sea monsters, too much ocean, whatever reason you ...
1
vote
3answers
228 views

Which improvement in the Human Eye is the most beneficial for technological progress? [closed]

If in some way, the Eyes of our ancestors from the early stone age had developed some special characteristic, which improvement will be most effective for technological development? Note that this ...
26
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7answers
4k views

How could a simple submarine be built using 100 BC technology?

I have some ideas, but I'd like my fictional Roman (100BC) General Mikey (ha) to build a submarine(s). This should be able to navigate in lakes and calm shores of the Mediterranean, succeed in ...
13
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3answers
791 views

Alternate Timeline/Universe where the extinction level incident that occurred 65 million years ago didn't happen

Disclaimer : I'm working on the entire pseudo-science thing , so the scientific part of this whole thing isn't made up properly... Certain things have not been explained , this is to keep the post ...
6
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2answers
337 views

Humanoid evolution

Background We all know that our species evolve during and after the last ice age, (or is it sufficient to say that they evolve at the end of ice age?). A. Initial Condition Suppose I had another ...
2
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2answers
439 views

Tweet to past - How to have the greatest influence? [closed]

A secret community has existed throughout the written history of humanity, but now in contemporary era is on the verge of destruction. They have invented a time machine, but only have enough energy to ...
12
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6answers
3k views

What if the attack on Pearl Harbor had been defeated in World War 2?

It is widely known that the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked in the morning of Sunday, 7th December, 1941 - resulting in the US entering the Second World War (source: History.com). ...
3
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2answers
3k views

What would the consequences in the Napoleonic Wars be had Napoleon conquered Egypt?

It was discussed in this question what would have happened had Napoleon defeated Duke Wellington in the Battle of Waterloo. The French military in 1798 to 1801 was fighting in Syria and Egypt. The ...
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2answers
3k views

What would happen if Napoleon had won the battle of Waterloo

Okay, so the Napoleonic wars are raging. Many men are dying in Waterloo. It appeared as if the Duke of Wellington and his allied army would prevail, but Napoleon rallied his troops at the last ...
6
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4answers
483 views

How to get a Female Archbishop of Canterbury of the 1950s Anglican Church?

What changes to the culture of 1950s Britain/England would be needed for a Female Archbishop of Canterbury, of the Anglican Church of that time period? She also has as much political power and social ...
12
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6answers
3k views

What would be the state of society without semiconductors? [closed]

So let's say that we never figure out how to purify silicon and germanium to the levels required to make transistors. This would readily happen in a technical culture that wanted clear and quick ...
6
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13answers
2k views

How could a civilization with approx. 18th-century technology weaponise mined nuclear materials?

In a nutshell, what are the pre-requisites for having sailing ships fire nuclear cannonballs? The setting is entirely alternate-universe, so the available material can be a lot more naturally "primed" ...
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4answers
2k views

What would the world be like if humanity always valued gender equality? [closed]

Prehistoric folk were pretty keen on gender equality - after all, women could pick fruit just as well as men. Even in the palaeolithic, they worshipped a mother goddess. It is only later, during ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What did the night sky look like 63 million years ago?

I'm working on a comic which is essentially alternate-history fiction, and a big upcoming part of it involves the formation of the Chicxulub crater 63 million years ago. As I am a stickler for ...
4
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4answers
714 views

How would a delayed discovery of the New World affect both sides?

I'll try to make this simple. I am developing a world where for some reason two separate land masses (like Europe and America) are separated by a mass ocean and one civilization group on one ...
85
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30answers
33k views

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 ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Zombie perpetual machines - logistics

Linked to Zombie perpetual machines This carriage was devised by Vitrivius as a way to make good use of the Zombies discovered in Roman territory. Question: How many zombies would be needed to ...
26
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4answers
3k views

Zombie perpetual motion machines

Lo and behold! A zombie apocalypse broke out inside Roman territory. In the Iberia peninsula. Being smart as vitruvius is, he devised a plan on how to deal with the zombies. Use them as power sources! ...
4
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3answers
345 views

Adding Patent Law to Ancient Rome

This question stems from those that Jorge Aldo is asking. Changing the social order of Rome was tried by many people and those people were pretty much all killed, regardless of who they were. ...
5
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4answers
10k views

What would today's world be like if dinosaurs had not gone extinct? [closed]

What would today's world be like if dinosaurs had somehow survived? To give you a better grasp, if human society had grown up among dinosaurs what might be the effects on our scientific and religious ...
7
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2answers
436 views

Earlier Greek fire

No one knows for sure the composition of Greek fire, but there is almost certainty that it truly existed. Question: What would be the effects of earlier Greek fire during the time of the Western ...
6
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4answers
1k views

Roman ancient balloons

Frontinius, while dreaming, was visited by Vulcan. The god showed him a big ball of cloth, flying above Rome, fueled by a fire. Once he woke up, he understood. He built a large bag of cloth, ...
5
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3answers
4k views

Ancient Roman telegraph

Communicating using the sun: Frontinus, while studying the Greek classics, invented a system of communication based on towers, mirrors, and shutting aparatuses that could communicate along Roman ...
7
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4answers
928 views

Ancient divers of Rome

Ancient divers: Vitruvius connected a long tube of cloth, impregnated with special waxes, with bronze rings every 10 cm to hold the tube open, to a pair of bellows connected to crude cheek valves. ...
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5answers
705 views

Ancient tanks of war - Steam powered

Send in the tanks ! Ok, this time the Carthaginians hired Hero of Alexandria. He, in a moment of ingeniousness, achieved a way to transfer power from his steam engine to a wheel. (Hero was first ...
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6answers
3k views

Ancient tanks of war

I plan to go back in time and help Asterix and Obelix to turn the tide of Gallic wars against the romans. To achive this i will build ancient versions of our most dreaded land weapon: Tanks ! The ...
59
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14answers
15k views

What would be the impact of a modern programmer and laptop being dropped into World War II, possibly breaking Enigma?

I've always found the idea of intelligent every-man sent back in time using his knowledge of the future tech to realistically impact the past. The first time something like this came to my mind was ...
8
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5answers
784 views

Help with designing currency

Imagine Europe around 1810. Imagine the Netherlands. Imagine that it is the colonial age. Imagine also that the colonies are mostly under open rebellion. Imagine that the region of Netherlands (...
3
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3answers
2k views

What would the consequences be if there was a planet other than Earth, Venus, or Mars that was in the habitable zone?

Okay, there are two habitable worlds in the Solar System. One of them is Earth. Human history goes mainly the way it really went. Then, there is another planet with a sentient, equally advanced ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Point of Divergence to replace Humans with humanoid Bears

I have got a fictional universe, where a humanoid lifeform evolved on earth not from apes, but from bears. The humanoid bears are like humans; they walk on their legs only, wear clothing, have various ...
7
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6answers
996 views

Computers before cars?

Eric Schmidt famously declared that it should be considered "a bug" that cars were invented before computers. He was talking about the ability of self-driving cars to remove driver error--the ...
3
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3answers
2k views

What alternate course of technological advacement could realistically have occured? [closed]

Imagine you're writing an alternate history or parallel universe set at present day or possible sometime a little before present day. Being an alternate history technology and society would have ...
6
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6answers
2k views

Modern Society… Without the Americas?

Supposing explorers from Europe either never sailed to the Americas, or were all killed off and never seen again, could the world resemble the way it is today? A couple things that may have been ...
16
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11answers
3k views

Killing all the explorers

The year is 1489, Christopher Columbus is planning to test his theory, that if he sails west, he will be in India much much faster than going to the east. Because he knows Earth is rounded, so this ...
8
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4answers
841 views

What if the asteroid never hit?

Science fiction and fantasy stories are full of alternate worlds populated by races of beings that look mostly human but kind of different. But is that at all realistic? When the dominant life forms ...
29
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11answers
15k views

How long would it take to remove all trace of a civilisation, with malice and intent?

If you look at the history of the earth today, we've got quite a long timeline - about 4.5 billion years. We've got a few hundred years of 'good' historical record, and it gets progressively more ...
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9answers
3k views

How much would a civilisation develop without war?

Conflict between civilizations has played a key role in the technological development of the human race. If humanity never had a single war, how would technology in such civilization evolve? Would it ...
30
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10answers
7k views

What would need to happen to history to make a 21st century steampunk world?

Everybody loves steampunk. Without reading the Wikipedia page, the main idea of steampunk is a world (usually 19th century or thereabouts) where steam power is used universally, and computers as we ...
12
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9answers
13k views

What if the Germans captured Moscow in WWII?

During Operation Barbarossa, the Germans came dangerously close to capturing Moscow - in fact they were within 20km of the city, and some could even see its buildings. The failure to take Moscow is ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What would the impact of a global and unchallenged empire be on world history?

I'm currently doing some research for my first book which involves a planet with an empire that has had its roots in Antiquity. It's basically a country that formed about 2200 years ago and has ...
10
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4answers
1k views

How can I lightly irradiate 30,000 km² for just 3 generations?

In the book i'm currently working on, the main protagonist has a special (yet unknown himself) mutation because his ancestors have been involved in nuclear disasters while their mother was pregnant. ...