Questions tagged [apocalypse]

For questions dealing with events during an apocalypse scenario. Do not use for post-apocalyptic settings.

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39
votes
10answers
56k views

How many people are required for a healthy re-population of the Earth (Post-Apocalypse)?

In my particular Earth, much has remained after the human-killing virus, and nature is thriving - even taking over the cities. It's beautiful. But I have separated the healthy populace in orbit ...
357
votes
25answers
39k views

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

So, I've got this idea for a short story. Some researchers find a forgotten manuscript hidden locked away in an ancient tomb. While they are working on it one of them pastes part of the text into a ...
39
votes
16answers
8k views

What could humans do to render the earth uninhabitable?

If a hostile group wanted to render Earth or an Earth-like planet completely unfit for human life, what could they do to go about achieving that end? By uninhabitable, I mean a planet on which humans ...
40
votes
9answers
7k views

What happens to an empty, modern city?

Suppose you have a modern city in a temperate climate zone that empties. No people, or hardly anyone left, certainly not enough to keep all the infrastructure going. Our city is not Rotterdam (below ...
46
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16answers
12k views

What single element could destroy the world?

What single chemical element (get out your periodic tables) could most efficiently destroy all life on the planet. Restrictions: Natural elements only, and no anti-matter...nice try. Looking for the ...
10
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18answers
23k views

How can I kill every human on earth? [closed]

One day, "God" said to me: You need to eliminate the humans race! So, I was thinking at this problem: How can I kill every human on the planet (and then kill myself)? Some ideas: Nuclear Bomb - ...
14
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4answers
6k views

Could we still live if Earth's spin speed slowed down by 90%?

I am working on a project (The Longest Day), and I'm sure some people here have the necessary knowledge to give me some more usefull info. OK, here it is: Lets say that Earth's spinning speed ...
23
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5answers
3k views

What major event could disrupt planet Earth's orbit around the Sun?

What artificial disaster could disrupt the orbit of our planet? Not necessarily making it leave the Solar System, but maybe changing its trajectory around the sun. And by artificial, I mean that the ...
9
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6answers
20k views

What if the earth were physically split in half?

This question asks what if the world was divided into two regions? I'm asking what if the world were split into two planets. Let's say some aliens come to Earth and prank us (apparently they never ...
3
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6answers
3k views

Could I intentionally trigger a Yellowstone eruption?

I'm very interested in a post-eruption setting in the continental United States. Unfortunately, it looks quite unlikely that a serious caldera-forming eruption is in our near future. However, we're a ...
147
votes
23answers
16k views

How to take down the internet?

The internet is a mesh or "net" of computers, all constantly establishing and re-establishing connections with each other. For this reason, only temporarily do servers go down, before they are back up ...
50
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16answers
22k views

What should three men and three women do if everyone else is dead?

Recently, I asked what could kill all humans except for those in low orbit. Out of the answers that popped up (which included the Ragnarök), I picked a plague as being the most desirable for my ...
47
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17answers
3k views

What would be the most effective way of keeping a psychopath with a spaceship from wreaking severe havoc in a suicide crash?

Any spaceship over several hundred tons is an extremely dangerous weapon in the wrong hands, particularly if it's intended for reentry. Made mostly of metal and possibly shaped to be able to breach ...
20
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6answers
4k views

Is there a man-made or natural event that can cause an abrupt climate change within hours/a day?

Meaning, cause a seemingly normal winter to suddenly take a turn within hours or a day/two into a completely frozen territory? From what I've read, abrupt climate change happens from ocean currents. ...
14
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6answers
6k views

What could cause Earth to slowly fall out of orbit?

I would like to have Earth slowly move away from the sun, taking somewhere between several months and a couple of years to reach the point where human life on the surface is no longer possible. (The ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What if a traversable wormhole hits the earth?

So, I the question of what if a black hole hits the earth has been asked to death by various people, but what if the somewhat tamer wormhole hits the Earth? In particular, we'll say that one mouth is ...
9
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12answers
716 views

Cleanly remove humanity

Background Bob the billionaire (I don't have a good name for him yet) got bored and decided to strand himself on an island for a while so that he could write a book about it. On the day he is done ...
6
votes
5answers
370 views

Removing an atmosphere from a previously-habitable world

Alien AI DoomFleet has a mission: Destroy threats to their creator. They do this by detecting the signature of FTL drives, going to the system, and blowing everything up, up to and including the ...
96
votes
26answers
30k views

How to survive the heat death of the universe?

The eventual heat death of the universe is an awful time to be alive considering you wouldn't have long left after the last star finally fades away. In this scenario there is a small group of about a ...
45
votes
8answers
8k views

Could humanity survive the sun going dark?

The sun inexplicably ceases to give light. It's still there and continues to have a gravitational pull keeping us in orbit. The solar system continues to operate as normal, but the sun has gone dark ...
46
votes
31answers
10k views

What's the most efficient way to destroy civilization from orbit?

What's the easiest way for your stereotypical aliens to destroy civilization from orbit? I'm taking "destroy civilization" to mean the destruction of all large-scale forms of governance, but bonus ...
36
votes
25answers
9k views

What kind of land transportation can be used for plowing through hordes of zombies?

Set in a zombie apocalypse world somewhere in Chennai, India. News report shows an estimated 90% of the population here has turned into zombies overnight, soldiers setup a human chain perimeter ...
17
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14answers
4k views

How to desiccate your world?

Mankind is adrift. Only few millions of people survived, they are struggling to stay alive. Food is hard to find and plants do not grow (mostly). Water cannot be found on surface, the only way to get ...
13
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2answers
2k views

How would a planetary nebula affect a planet?

Let's say I have a binary star system. The planet is orbiting the smallest star similar to the Sun at 1 AU, the same Earth-Sun distance. The other star is located at around 50-100 AU from the Sun ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Everybody over the age of 15 suddenly dies, what happens? [duplicate]

So in this scenario everybody over the age of fifteen years has suddenly died of an unknown cause (I don't think it's relevant, but not an infectious disease). The event refers to the deaths of all ...
2
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3answers
641 views

What would happen to an urban fantasy Earth hit with a supernatural, planet-sized EMP?

Assuming a modern urban fantasy setting (thus, the world is "ours" in the present time, with the known continents, cities, technology, and general environment), what would happen if a supernatural EMP-...
34
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8answers
6k views

Why don't future civilizations develop their A.I. to integrate with biology so they can make a sustainable world?

Most of the AI's in films/books/series seems to turn out evil or using destructive/harmful ways of achieving what they want in critical situations because they can't understand the earth's biology. ...
67
votes
12answers
16k views

Could a disaster kill all (human) life on Earth but leave astronauts in low orbit alive long enough to return?

There are plenty of threats out there that could terminate all life on our little planet in varying amounts of time (Solar flares, meteors and supernovas to name a few). Are there any disasters that ...
65
votes
18answers
13k views

Architecture of the perfect zombie apocalypse refuge

Your mission, whether or not you choose to accept it, is to design the perfect refuge from the zombie apocalypse. Starting assumptions and constraints: The zombies will be slow (walking) zombies (...
50
votes
10answers
50k views

Will unattended nuclear power plants actually cause damage to their surroundings?

Scenario: Deadly virus wiped out 80 - 90% world population and it did it pretty quickly (in 2 months) Although it is plausible that among these 10 - 20% of survivors will be people who actually know ...
73
votes
32answers
19k views

How could an apocalypse kill off all adults — leaving only those under the age of 18?

I've been trying to write a book for years about a post-apocalyptic society entirely run by children, in which all of the adults died off and the children have to figure out how to survive and, ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

How to quarantine a major city?

We have an outbreak of a zombie-like disease in major metropolitan areas. The disease itself has a slow incubation period, and after a time it becomes clear that it is spreading faster than they can ...
52
votes
10answers
12k views

How to be hidden from world for a year

Question inspired by a book I just finished: Dan Brown's Inferno Suppose I am a wealthy billionaire who wants to hide from the outside world for a year. Plot twist is, that the world's anti-...
31
votes
16answers
8k views

Could we still plunge modern civilization into another black death?

Many thought it was the poor hygiene and inadequate medicines that laid waste to the entire world -- particularly Europe -- as millions of lives were lost, although the death toll only subsided but it ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

What would the effects be on a earth-like planet if the magnetic field was much stronger

The hypothetical world is for all intents and purposes earth or very close to it. So what would the effects be if the magnetic field were either stronger from the start of the planet, or if the ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

How long until a small black hole makes the sun fail?

Imagine aliens dropped a small black hole (say, 1% of the moon's mass, so you wouldn't notice the difference in gravitation) into the sun (from the far side of the sun, so nobody on earth can see it). ...
8
votes
4answers
805 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How would we fare against an interstellar RKKV Attack? [closed]

In this hypothetical scenario, in the present day, astronomers detect an object entering the heliosphere, at a distance of roughly 90AU, from the direction of the Proxima Centauri system. Observations ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Methods of containing/combating “grey goo” Von Neumann nanomachines?

The grey goo end-of-the-world scenario in which lots of little microscopic Von Neumann self-replicating machines basically eat everything to make more of themselves. Eventually everything is grey goo....
10
votes
11answers
3k views

How to prepare for a huge asteroid strike?

The scenario is the following: a civilization with technology level similar to humanity's current, on a planet similar to Earth, shall be hit by a massive celestial body in approximately one year. ...
10
votes
5answers
749 views

Thunder Clap Armageddon

In a superhero setting, a thunder clap is where someone claps with superhuman strength, causing damage such as broken windows and burst eardrums. What I want to know is, taken to the extreme of the ...
17
votes
5answers
6k views

Could the entire world have been destroyed by the existing nuclear arsenal in 1962?

Considering the nuclear arsenal that existed in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, could it have destroyed the entire world, following the events below? Edited question a bit: Considering the ...
12
votes
3answers
470 views

Building Noah's Ark

The current topic challenge is apocalypse, so I figured I might as well come up with a question about surviving one. A man named Noah somehow learns that there will be a large flood within one year, ...
11
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5answers
1k views

What directive would cause an ASI to put everyone in a benevolent Matrix?

I'm trying to figure out a way to create a situation much like the apocalypse of Turry from Robotica, but which involves all the people on Earth being either temporarily or permanently strapped into a ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

What event could push the entire human race into medieval times? [duplicate]

Considering the state of human civilization to be what it is currently at this moment, complete with its technological advance, our mechanical and electrical equipment and its dependence on ...
3
votes
5answers
863 views

What form of transmission for zombies would be most effective?

I need a form of transmission for a zombie-like disease that would allow it to actually infect the world. Most people who work with the realism of the zombie infection agree that biting alone would ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

What kind of event, if any, would knock the moon off its orbit, without destroying it?

I am recalling the Space:1999 nuclear waste containment explosion; this has been criticized because such an explosion would have actually destroyed the moon. I am curious for events that could happen ...
11
votes
1answer
527 views

The last ride of The Magic Schoolbus: Termination of the ignorant

It's been 21 years Ms. Frizzle has been doing her best to educate the masses. Even with all the knowledge available provided on the internet, not only do people not take advantage, they choose to ...
1
vote
4answers
267 views

Deepwater Horizon cap is demolished--Apocolypse now?

Let's say a terrorist organization decides to attack the cap on the Deepwater Horizon oil well. They use high powered explosives to blow such a large hole in the sea bed that there is no viable way to ...
60
votes
25answers
14k views

The land grows evil and corrupted … but why?

BACKGROUND A corruption has seized hold of the land, turning great swathes of it into a poisonous waste that humans may only enter at their peril. Perhaps all who enter the waste grow sick or go mad, ...