Questions tagged [alternate-worlds]

For questions about worlds other than Earth that are significantly different. This could be a water, ice, barren or other planet. For questions about planets similar to Earth with specific differences use the *earth-like* tag.

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44
votes
18answers
5k views

Papers, please: Can characters trapped in our reality acquire enough paperwork to be legal?

Being at Anime Expo last weekend got me thinking about all the "trapped in another world" anime I watched as a kid: Inu Yasha, Fushigi Yuugi, Escaflowne, etc. The general plot of these is that a high ...
72
votes
15answers
15k views

How can Santa exist when adults buy the toys?

This really gets to me when I watch modern-day Christmas movies. These movies usually present the notion that Santa exists and adults don't believe in him. From what I've seen, it's either because of ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Resources for Climate World building

I'm trying to create a continent where desert areas are as maximal and fertile coastal areas as minimal as possible. I've been trying to find some tools to help me with this, but I've only been able ...
34
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17answers
12k views

How to defend when attacked by an avian species?

Bird people are humanoid creatures with a wingspan of 4 meters, they are as tall as humans and the fittest of them weight 72 kilograms or slightly less, so they are quite lighter than the average ...
19
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7answers
6k views

How would a planet-sized computer power receive power?

Imagine: A Kardashev Type I civilization mainly resides on a planet analogous to Earth, with one moon, analogous to Earth's moon. Eventually, the society grows so complex that machines filling space ...
10
votes
4answers
892 views

No sunlight, just high-energy radiation?

Is it possible for a planet to have very little visible-light energy and receive enough energy to support life from ionising radiation? Dim light, including starlight and ionized-air glow is ...
54
votes
11answers
7k views

Infinite flat world

Instead of discovering that earth was round, we find that we live on a infinite, flat "earth". What are some cultural implications if we were to live in a world like that (disregarding any physical ...
26
votes
5answers
11k views

What if an Earth-like planet had no axial tilt? (impact on ecosystem)

The Premise The Earth rotates on its own axis, which is tilted by about 23 degrees. The setting for my fantasy novel is an earth like planet without the axial tilt, all other factors remaining ...
16
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5answers
2k views

Development of society with random encounters

A staple of many games is the existence of random encounters - while traveling from point A to point B, the heroes are attack by bandits/wild animals/monsters/whatever. When defeated, the enemies will ...
3
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2answers
604 views

Building a Megalodon proof boat

A Megalodon was an ancestor of modern great white sharks. With the difference that it could have killed and eaten whales without worry of injury. It is believed that these creatures went extinct ...
1
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3answers
1k views

Planet with poles warmer than equator

I am trying to build an "exotic" planet under currently known physics and chemistry laws. Besides having an highly tilted revolution axis (which results in 1 day lasting 1 year), which other ...
44
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15answers
13k views

How could elves survive without any fat cell in their body?

Have you ever seen a fat Elf? I haven't, and I think there's an unexpected reason. You see, Elves aren't really the best workers or at least working the land and cultivating food is not something ...
29
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16answers
4k views

Can the existence of an orthogonal reality be proven to those who cannot experience it?

In the following I consider "reality" to be "all the sensorial evidence a living being can obtain by interacting with its surrounding world". I am setting up a world where two ...
20
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10answers
6k views

How would a “reversed planet” be able to exist?

I want to write a novel situated in a “reversed planet”: there are two stars orbiting each other, and there is a little spot exactly in the middle of the two that is suitable for life. A normal planet ...
44
votes
20answers
9k views

How can I explain English existing in a fantasy world?

My hero travels from our world to a fantasy world where people speak English. While there are other nations that speak non-English languages, the particular land she arrives in does. How can I explain ...
14
votes
7answers
816 views

An enviroment where a bird-like creature can survive on passive feeding

The question about a diet of dust brought up a few creatures that survive on dust, however they were all insect-sized or smaller. This got me thinking about the Blue Whale, which survives on a diet of ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Could the moons of a Gas Giant all be habitable if that planet was in the habitable zone?

I ask this as a basis for a World (in this case Moons) Building I'm doing. I came up with a couple of different problems and some possible solutions to those problems: All of these questions presume ...
8
votes
4answers
843 views

The neverending winter

In a story I am working on the entire earth has fallen into winter that; exists in the same level and temperature all over earth and never ends. The top scientists around the world have been trying to ...
7
votes
6answers
675 views

Corporations becoming actual humans [closed]

In real life, corporations are already considered juridical persons for legal purposes. But in my world they have started to spontaneously become actual, physical or natural humans. This means no ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Climate on an Island World

I'm currently creating a world with a population of about 4.5 billion people and 21st century technology. In fact, the world is strikingly similar to ours. Oh, except the islands that is. The ...
7
votes
3answers
221 views

Can long-term exposure to high-energy radiation without corresponding visible radiation induce melanism in a species?

In some environments (think of the Faerunian Underdark for a fantasy example, or a planet orbiting a pulsar for sci-fi folks), high-energy (UV and up, but I'm mostly concerned about UV and very soft X-...
6
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9answers
1k views

Life on Smooth World

Welcome to Smooth World. Most of this planet (at least two thirds, but preferably more) has only tiny differences in elevation, 30-40cm at most. No hills, no mountains, no valleys. Even plains found ...
53
votes
11answers
10k views

How could mushroom/fungi forests be possible?

I am currently working on a setting which is fantasy but based around a soft approach to speculative biology. It is a tidally locked world with the habitable region based around the terminator ...
15
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2answers
3k views

Elves have alcoholic blood

From further investigations I see that someone came with an idea that gives support to my theory that elves don't have body fat. Their idea was that Elves store their energy as ethanol in their ...
70
votes
12answers
21k views

Do centaurs suckle from horse nipples or human nipples?

This has been puzzling me, because if the human half needs human nutrients, then suckling from the human nipples makes sense. But the horse half needs different nutrients, so which set of nipples ...
10
votes
1answer
341 views

Creating a planetary system that can support six different types of biochemistry

First type - Fluorosilicones in Fluorosilicones, 400° to 500° C Second type - Fluorocarbons in Molten Sulfur, 113° to 445° C Third type - Proteins in Water, 0° to 100° C Fourth type - Proteins ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

How large could an empire with WWII-era tech become on a very large world?

How big could an empire using World-War II equivalent technology become on a very large world? Setting: Handwavium-based-artifact by a Kardashev III+ civilization, or perhaps a simworld created by ...
18
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17answers
5k views

Would there be evolution on a perfect world?

Imagine a planet with the same climate all on the surface. There is only one living creature on this planet (let's say a plant to avoid food problem). It is perfectly adapted for the climate. And as ...
17
votes
9answers
6k views

How large can a world be in fantasy? [closed]

As far as I read books, I met various worlds. Each of them has own size. Middle-earth is very large and partially not limited (some parts are only mentioned). Discworld is very large, but quite ...
15
votes
3answers
801 views

Could a habitable planet form with no major bodies of water?

In the book Dune by Frank Herbert. Arrakis is a desolate planet composed entirely of deserts. Water is a precious commodity due to its rarity. The Fremen have found ways to live on its surface, ...
13
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10answers
3k views

How could two alternate realities “blend” at a single point in space time?

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse The multiverse (or meta-universe) is a hypothetical set of various possible universes including the universe which we live in. Together, these ...
4
votes
1answer
471 views

Society on an Island World

This question is linked to the post: Climate on an Island world In that post I've laid out a world that is built entirely of island groups with varied climates and geography to avoid rampant storm ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

How to accomplish planetary independence

Inspired by this question: How many of a Typical Sci Fi Army would you need to take a planet? Let's have a Galactic Empire which spans the galaxy. The Empire is ruled by The Emperor from one central ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What would the world be like after 10,000 years if we all suddenly disappeared?

My story involves everyone in the year 2015 suddenly disappearing. What would visitors to Earth find if they arrived in the year 12015, or 10,000 years after we all disappeared? Assume none of our ...
7
votes
2answers
412 views

Could a plant-like forest or jungle form in an underground lava dependent ecosystem?

Could an alien underground macroscopic ecosystem including human sized plant-like organisms evolve around lava as an energy source? These organisms could use heat and/or light from the lava to ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

How would warfare be different in a world made up of two infinitely large empires? [closed]

Suppose an infinite plane which is similar to Earth's surface and has uniform Earth's gravity field. The plane is devided into two infinite parts by a slightly curved line. On the both sides of the ...
3
votes
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
votes
3answers
443 views

How would mountains and hills have to be made-up in order to impede tunneling them WHILE still allowing them to be mined out?

In my con-world I went lengths to introduce a plausible lighter-than-air element and did rather large amounts of thinking about landmasses in order to promote the development of airship technology ...
6
votes
3answers
319 views

A World of Low-Tech Critters

So, I'm writing a fanfiction; I don't know if this is a shunned topic here, but I'm asking anyway. In this fanfiction, a human finds himself in the Redwall universe, equipped only with a duffel bag ...
0
votes
1answer
466 views

How would life be on Earth if the Sun was replaced a binary star system? [closed]

Assuming an identical Solar system except for the strange sun(s) and that the binary star system's barycentre coincides with the Sun's centre of mass mass of the combined star system is equal to the ...
26
votes
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 ...
20
votes
14answers
2k views

Why would you build underground defensive structures in an an alternate world medieval europe?

Assuming a world otherwise like ours and at the same technological level of medieval Europe, what change in the world might have caused people to build defensive structures underground rather than ...
13
votes
6answers
882 views

Atlantis and Sewage

How do underwater cities (with aquatic human-like citizens) handle sewage? What type of technology would be possible to use underwater in order to take care of the mess?
10
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5answers
2k views

How would humans have developed without fossil fuels?

I am designing a world where humans have somehow developed or have been put onto a planet in a primitive state. This world has only been habitable for about ten thousand years and therefore only has ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Psychological effects of a “normal” human in a fantasy setting

I'm working on a deconstruction of a high fantasy setting. The plot starts with a female protagonist being forcibly summoned into said setting with few to none of her memories. The world is ...
8
votes
1answer
324 views

What's the longest plausible orbital period for a habitable planet with a 3:2 spin-orbit resonance?

What's the longest plausible orbital period for a habitable planet with a 3:2 spin-orbit resonance? I want a planet with a 3:2 spin orbit resonance (which would experience 1/3 of a year of nighttime ...
8
votes
3answers
324 views

Plausibility/mechanisms for biogenic silica on a terrestrial planet with a reducing atmosphere

Situation: a large terrestrial planet (a 'super earth', around 9 earth masses with a surface gravity roughly double earth's) with a mostly hydrogen atmosphere and ammonia oceans (pressure is high ...
6
votes
1answer
403 views

How cold can a planet actually get?

The coldest place in the universe that we have observed is in the Boomerang Nebula. Similarly to a refrigerator, heat is carried away through a fluid, resulting in a space colder than the surrounding ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

How can my Titan-like cryoplanet have clear skies?

I'm piecing together the biology and ecosystem of a Titan-like cryoplanet. And I want it to have clear or nearly-clear skies instead of Titan's complex hydrocarbon haze, so that my ethane-based ...
6
votes
4answers
187 views

Sky of Earth and Seas of Sky

I have a medieval fantasy setting where people live in a vast expanse of giant caves. The lowest level of these caves have many lakes and oceans. Through any of these bodies of water at the bottom ...