We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

Questions tagged [apocalypse]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
78
votes
5answers
3k views

How to stop evil site moderators? ⦋quite firmly closed⦌

Moderator notice: Everything that follows in this question, including the fake notice at the bottom, is an intentional joke. Please don't take it seriously; it's meant in jest. Imagine internet site. ...
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, ...
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 (...
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, ...
59
votes
30answers
13k views

What is the least expensive way to annihilate humanity?

Suppose an evil genius (in 2015) wants to kill as much of humanity as possible. But he's on a budget; despite his years of stealing priceless historical artifacts, and despite having been selected for ...
56
votes
26answers
6k views

The Benign Apocalypse

Millions of years ago, friendly aliens set up an automated process to help out other civilizations. This is a robotic help center that sends out gift packages (in the forms of large ships) that hunt ...
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-...
50
votes
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 ...
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 ...
47
votes
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 ...
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 ...
46
votes
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
38
votes
18answers
8k views

What kind of apocalyptic event can be predicted years before it happens?

I'm looking for a realistic apocalyptic event, which can't be prevented, but can be accidentally predicted long before it actually happens. By the prediction I mean a scientific prediction, of course. ...
38
votes
11answers
9k views

What is the ideal location to hide the President in the case of a zombie apocalypse?

We all love the apocalypse, except for those that are actually in it and often apocalypse media, especially zombie apocalypses, show a complete collapse of any form of government. I find this unlikely,...
35
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 ...
34
votes
12answers
8k views

Why would the tribes choose herding instead of agriculture in the Great Plains?

So, in my story, the entire world has just gone to absolute crap. The largest war in human history, WW3 in October 1962, has just caused destruction in most of the United States, the Soviet Union, ...
34
votes
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. ...
34
votes
8answers
9k views

Nuclear apocalypse in a nuclear submarine

You're a sailor on (in?) a brand-spanking-new Virginia-class nuclear submarine. You just set sail a couple of weeks ago, and were doing some routine exercises in the North Atlantic (about 500 miles ...
33
votes
25answers
9k views

Why would an army of angels with air superiority fight demons on the ground?

Angel society is militaristic with all individuals serving as warriors in some capacity. They are locked in an eternal battle against demons from hell over control of the mortal plane. Angels have ...
31
votes
6answers
5k views

How would we try to defuse Yellowstone?

There exists a fictional future world where we have determined space travel is impractical for the majority of the species, despite the fact that technology is more advanced than today. There are no ...
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 ...
28
votes
23answers
6k views

Plausible Original Concept For High-Fidelity Apocalypse?

Some of you have commented here: "How Do I Supplement Oxygen Intake?." I mentioned confidentiality, but that is no longer going to be a concern. We just want to do this right. The original concept ...
28
votes
5answers
5k views

Can a dedicated amateur astronomer spot a rogue asteroid?

Meet Joe. Joe is generally an average person with one special trait: He loves astronomy and star gazing. However, Joe has a great paying job as a web developer. He earns 120 000 USD yearly and has a ...
27
votes
9answers
4k views

Can you buy your way out of the Apocalypse?

It is often suggested that if a an imminent crisis was about to occur such as a huge comet strike or Yellowstone erupting, that all the rich people could buy their way into special bunkers to protect ...
26
votes
14answers
7k views

Automatic nuclear dead man's switch: How should such a device evaluate if a nation is wiped out?

The Context It's 2015, and I am a nuclear-armed nation in the midst of a 2nd cold war. Fearing nuclear annhilation by my antagonistic neighbours, a computer was developed - to act as the dead man's ...
25
votes
17answers
7k views

Need a specific event that wrecks the surface, allows the race to survive in bunkers, and affords an aftermath suitable for them to rebuild

One rule: it cannot be caused by aliens or AI invading the planet. But it is okay if an alien race causes the destruction in any other way. It's an Earth-like planet. I need the effects of the ...
25
votes
13answers
5k views

How do genetically modified rodents cause the apocalypse?

The creatures escaped. We selected them to breed fast. Perhaps too fast. The customers were always hungry for the newest model. At first, it was just small beasts. Dog-sized. The kind a child ...
25
votes
10answers
6k views

How much time does Earth need to repel interstellar attack?

Highly inspired by How would we fare against an interstellar RKKV Attack? Lets repeat the setup of the original question: In this hypothetical scenario, in the present day, astronomers detect an ...
24
votes
10answers
12k views

Could human civilization live 150 years in a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier colony without resorting to mass killing/ cannibalism?

An un-treatable virus starts infecting and killing people. Societies are on the brink of collapse, and it is decided the best way to save the most amount of people is to move everyone who can fit into ...
24
votes
13answers
5k views

Would it be possible to detect traces of a civilisation after a world-shattering collision?

If the Earth was destroyed by a cataclysmic event such as a large mass colliding with it, such that it fractured into multiple pieces, would any trace of human civilisation remain intact ? I.e., if ...
23
votes
10answers
10k views

What would happen if magnets stopped working?

I asked a similar question earlier: What would happen if electricity stopped working?. But I was also thinking about what would happen if magnets stopped working. This question is very related to what ...
23
votes
11answers
5k views

The World's in Perpetual Winter. How Long Can Humanity Survive?

A Little Background March came and went, but the snow continues to fall on earth, even in Sudan and Brazil. What was once thought of as a miracle of Christmas has begun to cause problems. Winter came ...
23
votes
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 ...
23
votes
6answers
1k views

Replicating the biblical flood

The Biblical story of the Flood describes how over a period of 40 days the earth is flooded so that the peak of the highest mountain is 15 cubits/22.5ft/6.858m below the new mean sea level. The flood ...
22
votes
17answers
5k views

Shooting an energy beam into the Sun (from the Earth) in order to destroy it

This question is about a fictional scenario where an evil suicidal scientist has built a high-energy weapon somewhere on earth. His intention is to shoot a beam of some form of energy (or high-energy ...
22
votes
5answers
4k views

What happens if everything stops?

Suppose, through some fantastical mechanism, all macroscopic (i.e. reasonably massive) objects in the universe were instantly made at rest. In other words, the relative velocity between every two of ...
21
votes
18answers
3k views

Repeatable, Unavoidable Cataclysmic Events

Lets say you had a planet which has held many, many prosperous civilisations, each one technologically advanced but not space faring, what sort of cataclysmic events could wipe each one out which are ...
21
votes
9answers
2k views

Cataclysmic event resulting in a region of glass?

I have in my world a "crystalline desert". The idea is that a major cataclysmic event turned the surrounding area into glass, color irrelevant. Then following the event, major earthquakes and the ...
20
votes
14answers
9k views

Can a robotic army really defeat humanity?

A common sight, made famous by the Terminator franchise, is the robotic apocalypse. It's usually said that due to their lack of organs and ability to use radiation and biological warfare without a ...
20
votes
9answers
3k views

Escaping a dying planet

Imagine that one day in the not-too-distant future, our scientists discover that our world is dying. It doesn't matter how this is happening, maybe magic or unstable core or Gaia herself has finally ...
20
votes
7answers
7k views

How large would a mega structure have to be to host 1 billion people indefinitely?

Ruins of buildings, abandoned cities and suburbs dot the coasts of Earth's landmasses, inhabited by wild animals and the pieces of a once vibrant civilization. The oceans are relatively empty, the ...
20
votes
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. ...