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Questions tagged [death]

For questions relating to both people dying and people who have died.

21
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5answers
5k views

How long would it take a body to decay and the bones to fall to the ground from a tree?

Death occurs in extremely high humidity and an average temperature of 23 C (~75 F), both of which continue for six weeks. At that time, temperature begins to fall over the course of eight weeks to an ...
2
votes
4answers
182 views

Creature awakening after a couple of hero deaths in certain area [on hold]

Under the ruins of the old castle lies the Great Evil from the past ages, sleeping lightly, waiting for the moment to appear and rain destruction on the earth. For now, it has no possibilities for ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

How long can a preserved human body last before turning to dust?

Some Context The setting is a fantasy world with lots of magic where Liches exist. A Lich is "born" through a series of complex, dangerous and horrific rituals that a mage casts upon himself over ...
0
votes
7answers
251 views

How deep can an ordinary human completely bury themselves armed only with a shovel?

In my society, honour is all important. A condemned criminal can recover his or her family's honour by burying themselves alive as a form of suicide. My question is: How deep can an ordinary human be ...
27
votes
6answers
7k views

Would one atom of antimatter be lethal if annihilated inside the brain?

I am dealing with a dystopian story that tries to come up with some kind of total surveillence or control from higher authorities. The authorities threaten to kill those who disobey them by simply ...
3
votes
2answers
231 views

I need a poison that in low dose will paralyze temporarily, in high dose will kill

I’m writing a (fictional) story, and at one point the main character is temporarily paralyzed due to poison. Does anyone know of a poison that would, if taken in a very small amount or if it just ...
17
votes
24answers
2k views

A game to outplay Death? [closed]

Sometimes, when someone dies with things left undone, Death will be willing to play a game for the opportunity to come back to life. However, there are several reasons why you'd expect not to be able ...
-2
votes
1answer
87 views

In the age of people getting as many avatars and social profiles as they want, can we really define death? [closed]

When we get the chance to create social profiles, gaming avatars, alternative virtual and social personalities, is it possible to actually die someday?
12
votes
3answers
570 views

How do I calculate the number of people who have ever lived in a place over a given span of time assuming a fixed population?

500 years ago, the mountain dwelling Carac clan was cursed with undeath: whenever they or any of their descendants die, their corpses rise as undead creatures, or if burned, as shadowy specters. The ...
59
votes
14answers
12k views

How would merfolk society dispose of their dead? And would disposing of the bodies in the ocean have any negative effect on marine life?

I have a tribal merfolk society, living on and near a volcanic island, that is also inhabited by humans. The problem that I can't seem to figure out is: how would they dispose of their dead? Wouldn'...
2
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9answers
3k views

Why Would an Enemy Army Retreat if they Will Die Anyway [closed]

I am Kaine!! God king of the Wraith-men exiles. With my brother Carrion and his twelve sons and their hordes, we have laid waste to many realms. It is only when we went to war with holy city of ...
1
vote
3answers
214 views

What would a civilisation be like whose people have predetermined lifespans? [closed]

Imagine a civilisation resembling our own, except that the "people" there have predetermined lifespans. That is, in the absence of unnatural death (deaths caused by external forces like car accident, ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Surviving *almost* fatal gunshot wounds with minimal medical aid

Okay so I have a world set roughly 50 years in the future. Guns are more efficient by use of liquid ammunition that solidifies when exposed to air (more ammo in a magazine). Bullets are smaller than ...
0
votes
2answers
206 views

How would an AGI dispose of humans? [duplicate]

Disclaimer : before marking this as a duplicate please take the time to read the entire question, thank you. So a bit of context, in a world similar to ours a scientist/group of scientists create an ...
3
votes
8answers
647 views

Is there a way for the concept of life to be evil? [closed]

I have been formulating this idea where there are two, all-powerful beings that embody the concepts of life and death. For the purpose of this question, I will refer to them as L and D. L and D are ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Making Gunpowder out of Corpses

Story Info On a fallen world that still has firearms. Society is still advanced in a way, but is more tribal/feudal in nature. There is an armed priesthood that preaches and deals in death. To the ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Help with “2012 meets Groundhog's Day” Scenario [closed]

This is a looping-day time-travel plot akin to Groundhog's Day. There is a sudden global cataclysmic disaster taking place. This doomsday disaster is almost impossible to survive. Those who died ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

How can death change the magic? [closed]

My world is full of magic, even if it is not distributed equally in all areas. Most of magic is in the Cloudy mountains and their close surroundings. It is present in every living being (flowers, ...
11
votes
10answers
3k views

How would society operate if everyone had two lives? [closed]

In a world where you can die twice, well more like you can resurrect once in your life. Imagine a world where your best-friend that got killed in that tragic car accident or a loved one was killed in ...
-2
votes
2answers
112 views

What would happen if science became more advanced? [closed]

What would the world be like if our science became so advanced that we could prevent ourselves from dying? Would it be a healthy place with happy, healthy people, or would it be an overcrowded dirty ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

What's left of Bones AFTER decomposition? [closed]

So, after doing a bit of research, I know that Bones decompose in humid conditions and with enough time. However, what do they decompose into? Most people simply say "dust", which works if you only ...
9
votes
6answers
4k views

Are there physical laws making this kind of revival impossible?

AFAIK, inanimate bodies and life forms are in the end a large set of subatomic particles (and atoms, and molecules) and energy. Unless my basic knowledge of Physics fails me, you can return a particle ...
3
votes
3answers
243 views

Ancient cryogenics

It's a few years from now, and an incredible breakthrough in medical science has occurred that allows doing an in-depth 3D analysis of a deceased person's body, allowing their brains and bodies to be ...
-5
votes
1answer
301 views

What would cause a 'talking head' to die? [closed]

This is a short story, situated in the near (third or fourth millennium) future. An absolutely brilliant mathematician is working on a unified system of mathematics. One that ties all of the fields ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

Can a lack of diseases in the medieval period lead to overpopulation?

In the Middle Ages, it was necessary for a couple to have as many children as possible because many children died before reaching adult age. Much of this was due to rampant disease and lack of medical ...
1
vote
0answers
122 views

In the US, how closely are people who die in a fire investigated? [closed]

Let's say a house burns down and there's a body in the house. The body is badly damaged but roughly matches the sole inhabitant of the house. How much effort is typically required to ensure the body ...
2
votes
4answers
384 views

How to make people fear death, if they know that there's a (benevolent) afterlife? [closed]

A problem with many fantasy fictions that I have, such as Elder Scrolls and LotR, is that people know that there's an afterlife, a good one at that, so why fear death? Why mourn those who died? As ...
-3
votes
1answer
139 views

What would happen if all the machines on Earth were destroyed by an EMP? [closed]

If all machines on planet Earth were destroyed (possibly by an extremely powerful electromagnetic pulse from an alien civilization), how large of a percent of the human population would die out? ...
14
votes
4answers
625 views

If only the sun's light went out, how long would it take for all living things to die out?

If by some form of magic, the sun went out, but the earth was still warm a.k.a the Earth did not just freeze and kill us all, who would die first, and how long would it take for all terrestrial living ...
-1
votes
1answer
236 views

How soon does somebody become “desensitized” to seeing dead bodies? [closed]

My main character is going to be readily exposed to death in my story, and I'm not sure when it is she will stop feeling so affected by each body. She's gone through a decent amount of trauma and ...
1
vote
9answers
1k views

Life On Sale…? [closed]

Let's say that there is world having only one kind of species, in which if one of the living being kills another, the remaining life span of the 'killed one' is added to the life span of the killer. ...
16
votes
16answers
5k views

Why would people be fearful of the dead?

Zombies do not exist in my universe, at least as far as my planet's reality, maybe in some other place, but not on BlinketyBlink. My world is very much like Earth, in that different people are at ...
6
votes
2answers
240 views

A nation wants to add intelligent undead like vampires as legal citizens. What laws have to change?

The setting for my RPG has one large empire of humans that wants to establish a colony on a moon much like our own moon. No atmosphere, no food, no heat, no problem: The empire has a hundred ...
8
votes
9answers
411 views

How can I keep runes that allow souls to ascend to the afterlife limited to the warrior class?

When a person dies, their soul doesn't ascend to the afterlife automatically. The soul builds a connection with its body while alive, and remains attached to that body in death. Through natural ...
23
votes
17answers
5k views

Culturally acceptable methods of “Burying” bodies of dead AIs [closed]

In this world, AIs are treated as people. Legally, culturally, ethically... This includes their "Bodies." Now, what constitutes an AI's body? Depends on the AI. The easiest ones to define are the ...
0
votes
7answers
1k views

What would make the gatekeepers of life and death of humans wipe out the species? [closed]

Keep in mind, these 'gatekeepers' are usually morally strong. They kill those who need to go, whether to end suffering or in justice of a major wrong doing. They walk among the streets as humans, ...
5
votes
3answers
979 views

Could I fake a dead human body?

What sort of technological innovations and inventions would need to be made so that I could fake a character’s death by having the protagonist find their dead body—except it’s not their dead body, it’...
1
vote
1answer
230 views

What would happen if the brain disappeared only for microseconds in a human being? [closed]

Will the person live if his/her brain disappeared only for microseconds? Disappearing only for microseconds means absent for microseconds & it reappears again in its original state.
56
votes
18answers
16k views

Could a joke be funny enough to kill?

(This Monty Python sketch got me thinking) Could a joke be funny enough to actually kill a person? By "joke", I'm referring to the written/typed and narrated types of "jokes" (videos, pictures, ...
4
votes
10answers
307 views

Explaining undeath in a setting where Life and the Life Cycle is proven [closed]

I have a setting where the cycle of life is well known and proven. A creature must be born, grow old, and die. After that, its soul goes to the Otherworld, and will born again. The world is built ...
8
votes
12answers
2k views

What geotechnical conditions would force the use of crypts or catacombs for burial (vs. sticking coffins in the ground)?

I'm working on the layout of a fairly large crypt/small catacomb (for a RPG dungeon), and I want it to be built out of necessity (thus justifying its size, relatively frequent visitation, and ...
-8
votes
2answers
302 views

Murder against Murder [closed]

My Kepler Bb people are very anti-murder. What I am proposing is that murderers get murdered but not with a typical murder weapon. There are 3 types of murder that they are concerned with. Those are ...
0
votes
1answer
562 views

How to survive being burned alive? [closed]

I live in a village where magic is considered as a sin. Those who have magic in their blood must be burned alive. This is because in the past many people abuse magic. And somehow society believe that ...
0
votes
3answers
330 views

How would someone from ancient times kill themselves without any weapons? [closed]

It's a question that most people have not thought about: How would they kill themselves without using any weapon (or anything that could be classified as a weapon)? It would be almost impossible, ...
25
votes
14answers
5k views

In a world where death isn't permanent, can being burned alive be made a less excruciating experience?

In the not too distant future, technology is developed that allows human minds to be scanned by nanobots, uploaded to a server, and then downloaded into artificially produced organic bodies, ...
41
votes
23answers
10k views

How do I keep my remains safe from being summoned as a skeleton?

Imagine a magical world similar to this question, where everyone uses skeletons as soldiers. There are mages running around searching graves for bones to summon them into skeletons. How do I keep ...
24
votes
8answers
2k views

Why doesn't the verified existence of heaven change characters' attitude toward death?

In speculative fiction shows like Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, characters witness firsthand the existence of heaven, perform successful seances and resurrect the dead. Despite this, however, ...
2
votes
2answers
360 views

What are political and religious consequences of the end of dying? [closed]

In this question I asked: How long would it take until we realise that on the whole world people suddenly stopped dying by natural causes? ...and now I am curious about consequences. There will ...
38
votes
2answers
7k views

How long would it take until we realise that people stopped dying from natural causes?

This would only comprise death by natural causes, no accidents, suicides, homicides etc. As Wikipedia says: A death by natural causes is one that is primarily attributed to an illness or an ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

How long will it take for the amount of living to exceed the dead population?

The current world population is around 7 billion living people and 107 billion dead people. Since the population is increasing steadily and faster than ever, I was wondering if we could ever reach the ...