Questions tagged [deserts]

For questions about the formation and existence of deserts, how civilizations survive in them, creatures of the desert, and related topics.

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Is This Desert Planet Realistic?

Okay, I have a desert planet that orbits an M0 star and an G0 star at an circumbinary orbital radius of .9 AU from the shared center of gravity of its twin suns. It’s tilted on its axis by 23.5 ...
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1answer
56 views

What would be the effects on wildlife of an atomic bomb on a Sahelian or Saharan grassland or desert?

So, I'm coming up with a world in which, after a nuclear war in Africa, there is a bunker in the country of Chad. The main characters leave the bunker as the radioactivity has mostly worn off (after ...
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1answer
68 views

What would be the effects on terrain of an atomic bomb on a Sahelian or Saharan grassland or desert?

So, I'm coming up with a world in which, after a nuclear war in Africa, there is a bunker in the country of Chad. The landscape has been affected by over 50 atomic bombs. The main characters leave the ...
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3answers
590 views

Time estimate for converting desert to savanna/forest

I'm building a world in whose history climactic changes causes a region of desert to start seeing regular rain. This causes the native culture of the desert people to also change along with it, ...
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3answers
147 views

How to Cause a Hydrosphere Apocalypse Part I The Great Drought

This is part one of a two part question. Part two can be found her (How to Cause a Hydrosphere Apocalypse Part II The Great Flood) Desert planets are a staple of science fiction. And while we have ...
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4answers
2k views

Why might an area of land be so hot that it smokes?

I'm attempting to design a desert area that could almost constantly be covered in a thin layer of smoke. It does not block out the sun but instead sticks closer to the ground. The land is hot, arid, ...
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2answers
242 views

Are the deserts in this continent realistically placed?

I have asked previously how I could create an earth-like world with as many deserts as possible in it. Based on the answers I got, I designed this continent, and asked for a reality-check, but the ...
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2answers
1k views

What temperatures would occur several meters below different types of deserts?

What temperatures can one expect 50-150 meters below different types of deserts? The rocks in my campaign heavily feature iron sediments, like in Australia, but since this is a fantasy world I am open ...
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1answer
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what I need to make mirage to constantly occur in sand desert?

I want to make a desert known to always generate mirages (I don’t mean it necessary occur during night though, only during a day is fine too, but if it possible for mirages to happen during the night, ...
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2answers
100 views

Dusty city living

I am writing about a magical-realistic city in Latin America that is very dusty, See: A brief introduction for visitors How do modern humans adapt their lives to urban environments with frequent dust ...
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2answers
141 views

Would large enough equatorial continent produce a central desert through sheer size?

As I understand it, the deserts require a number of conditions to occur, leading to the overall decrease in precipitation. And areas around equator usually lack these. While there are some deserts ...
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4answers
231 views

How to maximize the sand depth of a desert planet

NB: There is a related question – What kind of planet could have giant sand worms? – but this one is concerned specifically with the sand. Giant sand worms would be awesome incidental. Assuming a ...
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1answer
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Physics Question: Time needed to melt vast blocks of ice in the desert? [closed]

Please consider a physics question that I am asking here because I have no ability to calculate the answer myself. Given a large cubical mass of water ice is deposited on a desert location on Earth, ...
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2answers
228 views

Hygiene in a Desert-like setting

The setting is a desert-like area, meaning there just enough water for one to drink and not to dry out. How would someone care for hygiene, like wash themselves, when water is a precious rarity? Is ...
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13answers
430 views

What could be a valuable resource in an isolated desert, where workforce should be really small in an era before the discovery of electricity?

It's an era before the discovery of electricity and I'm aiming for realism. There is a small desert town of only 15 people by a river and along a strong trade route (so they don't have to produce ...
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2answers
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How does trophy hunting helps in conservation of rare “Poop Bomber” dragon?

In the modern days, World Wildlife Fund has promised a donation of a lump sum of $100 million to save a certain endangered dragon species found only in the Sahara desert. The adult dragon weights 1.5 ...
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2answers
133 views

Possibility of a “hot Mars”

Premise/question Correct me if I'm wrong, or if humans have terraformed the planet by the time you're reading this, but Mars is mostly desert-like. It has large ice caps which contain most of its ...
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1answer
85 views

Implications of ocean basins filled with coral sand

Setting Assume we have a planet with shallow oceans. A fast-growing coral (or any organism with calcium carbonate skeletons) fills the oceans from the bottom up, layer by layer. As the biomass of the ...
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6answers
4k views

Why do villages in my artificial desert need their water delivered by caravan? [closed]

I'm making a strategy RPG, and I'm having trouble justifying the gameplay's core premise in light of some recent developments in the world I've built around it, and I need some help filling in the ...
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5answers
249 views

How would a giant reptile creature hunt in a desert?

I'm talking about place similar to the Jordan desert, where the biggest prey is similar to wild donkeys and antelopes like oryx and gazelles. My creature is 1.92 meters tall and 4 meters long, looks ...
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5answers
273 views

How to get Wood if my story takes place in a desert? [closed]

Okay so my story takes place on a desert planet, and the plot revolves around nomadic people who get from place to place with the help of wooden wagons (think Oregon trail). Well, I need some way for ...
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3answers
156 views

How Would Organic Material Erode If Petrified

So in my world, the main Antagonist has the ability to drain the life from things around her, turning them to stone in the process. That made me wonder how organic material would erode if it were ...
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12answers
594 views

How to dry an ocean planet and turn it into a salty desert?

I have a planet covered with a large shallow ocean, which extends over most of its surface. I want to turn this planet into a great desert, specifically a salty desert (the salts of this desert are a ...
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2answers
922 views

Northern Great Lakes in an Alternate Island Africa--Would the Sahara DESERT Still be Around?

Recently, I found this map of Africa's paleolakes in the Imaginary Maps reddit: Finding this map was mere coincidence, but this map definitely interests me. Now there have been multiple what-if, ...
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2answers
195 views

What geological processes could form the Crystal Desert on the planet Thra in the Dark Crystal?

The Crystal Desert is a Sahara-like expanse of sand, dotted with numerous large clusters of crystal, and containing numerous monolithic sandstones. What would we expect Thra geologists to determine ...
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10answers
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How can glass marbles naturally occur in a desert?

I had a dream that on my alien planet, there was a large desert that had naturally occurring glass marbles in the sand. My dream logic was that the sand was melted into glass and natural weathering ...
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3answers
426 views

Fertilizing desert in magical medieval world

Suppose there exists a magic-based civilization. Their mining techniques are medieval and their understanding of organic chemistry and biology are on the Enlightenment era level. However, they are ...
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3answers
283 views

How to get rid of the rainforest for a desert moon with only habitable poles?

I wanna build a habitable desertworld which is a gas giant moon. The desired and already semi-fixed parameters are: mass between 0.4 and 0.25 Earth-masses only 10 to 30 percent global ocean cover, ...
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4answers
363 views

Is it plausible to to cover a desert in self-replicating solar panels, using only the materials found in the desert?

Silicon is the main material used in both computers and solar panels. Sand is silicon. Deserts have a lot of sand and sun. This may be an oversimplified way of looking at things, but could we ...
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10answers
887 views

Logical justification to wear black leather in the Post-Apot

So, let’s say we have a character like this: Living in a place like this: In many post-apocalyptic media, leather jackets and blue jeans are the main form of attire for characters, even ones living ...
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11answers
3k views

How could Dwarves prevent sand from filling up their settlements

The Dwarves of Zanzibar (no, not the real place I just liked the name) have long lived within the Great Red Desert among its mountains and arid plains. But I've noticed one issue with burrowing in ...
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4answers
421 views

Water planet turns into desert world without being rendered uninhabitable

A habitable (human could survive in its atmosphere without suits) desert planet which used to have large oceans is quite common in ScFi. I was thinking about the processes which could have been ...
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2answers
241 views

How can I keep an area next to a mountain range from being a desert?

My world has a continent in the northern hemisphere that lies primarily in the Ferrel cell where the westerly winds are. The continent is fairly large, just a tad bit smaller then than North America. ...
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4answers
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Could Earth still survive if we lost almost 90% of all surface water?

I have been toying with the idea that all oceans are gone. Underground water still exists but the Earth has essentially turned into the planet from Dune. My characters all live / survive out where ...
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4answers
882 views

Could a terrestrial planet have water for a core?

There’s a planet called eaglypt whose surface is 100% barren desert. However, there is a twist: the planet’s core consists of liquid water, and there are a few places where this water seeps through ...
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4answers
274 views

Natural uncovering of desert ruins

My world has a semi-nomadic people that inhabit a vast sandy desert. Underneath this desert lie the ruins of an enormous metropolis -- a city that was abandoned tens of thousands of years ago. In the ...
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4answers
313 views

Habitability of a planet with highly variable temperatures

The surface of the planet I have envisioned is almost entirely desert save for several city-sized "oases," or pockets of water, flora, and fauna that do not exist elsewhere. The temperature ...
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3answers
348 views

How do I build an ancient moisture vaporator?

Let us suppose a world that exists under a harsh red sun. The entire planet, which may once have been fertile, is, in its current state, covered with desert. The civilization living there, which may ...
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2answers
309 views

Could the World's Rainshadows Have Spiny Forests?

There is no other way around it--Madagascar is an evolutionary uniquety. 80% of the island's species live nowhere else on Earth. Among this uniqueness is a habitat that seems to come out of science ...
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5answers
776 views

How can a medieval city built in the desert defend against sandworm attacks? [closed]

I'm writing this book series called the Weasel Sagas (link here for more on that) that has this planet called Aurea. Aurea is the planet in this universe most similar geographically to Earth, with ...
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2answers
459 views

Planet with no rain, only fog, like Chile's Atacama Desert

I'm trying to design a planet with weather conditions similar to the Atacama desert in Chile- mainly in that there's no rain, only fog. From what I understand, in Chile, this is caused by a rain-...
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8answers
3k views

What would the temperature be like in a black desert?

This is mostly asked out of simple curiosity since this is the backstory of a LARPer’s character within my story and thus has little expectation of scientific rigor. But basically, this character is ...
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3answers
394 views

Designing an Earth-like alien that can survive the harsh conditions of this desert planet [closed]

The planet or orbits a G type star like the Sun that’s 20 percent brighter than the Sun, it orbits once every 130 days at 0.5 AU with an eccentricity of 0.08, and rotates once every 335 earth-days. ...
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4answers
1k views

Would a large delta allow my desert people to feed a continent?

Context : In a world, very similar to our good old Earth, with late medieval technology, a great kingdom has united a whole continent. Except, that is, for a small country, located southernmost of ...
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14answers
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How to sustain/create a 4 foot tall city?

For my story, I intend to include a city/civilization that is entirely 4 foot tall- with plants, greenery, walkways etc. on top of the connected 'houses'. This city is located in the middle of a ...
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3answers
125 views

What would be the effect of a world with much less water? [closed]

Say a world has, instead of about 70% water (earth), only 25% water. This would be in the form of one ocean, and all the rivers and lakes. The land has about five mountain ranges, and the planet is ...
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3answers
198 views

Would agriculture be possible in desert regions before the Roman Empire age?

If so, how would they irrigate the crops? And if not, how did people live in such areas back then?
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2answers
197 views

Would this region have a desert?

I realized that mountains typically form deserts and lush areas via the rain shadow effect(in other words, most of the rain is on 1 side of the mountain forming a lush area and barely any rain gets to ...
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8answers
4k views

Medieval town built on the desert side of a mountain range?

Could a medieval town have been built on the desert facing side of a mountain range? Not a Himalaya size mountain, but definitely at least Rocky Mountain size. It's a big desert and is one of the ...
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3answers
246 views

Preparing human colonists for a desert planet with a red giant

Assuming humanity found a planet they could travel to and was suitable for colonization, how would scientists re-engineer the human colonists for life on this new world? Planet details: It's ...