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Questions tagged [earth]

For questions about planet Earth as we know it. Changed Earths (extra moon, closer solar orbit, etc) should use the [earth-like] tag.

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1answer
115 views

How broken would a ~5ms reaction time be?

Suppose we've got one character, who for whatever reason (handwave.gif), has around a ~5ms reaction time (20-40x regular people's). That's enough to be many, many times faster than the rest of the ...
7
votes
3answers
207 views

What would a global highway look like?

I've been toying with the idea of a global highway that completely circles the globe. Ideally it would (on average) be as close to the equator as possible but also hit or at least come close to major ...
33
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14answers
6k views

Is there a hypothetical scenario that would make Earth uninhabitable for humans, but not for (the majority of) other animals?

I'm trying to think of a scientifically plausible reason for humanity to be forced to abandon earth that would leave animals and plants largely untouched. Is there any natural disaster that would have ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Climate and weather without obliquity and eccentricity?

Obliquity is the most important factor of seasons. Without axial tilt, eccentricity causes small temperature variations. What would climate and weather on Earth look like, if Earth doesn't have any ...
2
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3answers
246 views

How long could humans survive only on other humans?

A tragic event strikes the Earth, killing all living plants and animals except humans. With no other food source, humans turn to cannibalism. Assuming fresh water and oxygen is still available, how ...
17
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5answers
2k views

Could flying insects re-enter the Earth's atmosphere from space without burning up?

Huge numbers of genetically modified flying insects (purpose not disclosed here but it relates to affecting the whole of humanity) are to be dropped into the Earth's atmosphere from space so that they ...
5
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2answers
223 views

What's the biggest, most spectacular asteroid collision the moon could save us from?

An asteroid collision big enough and fast enough to see a massive ejection of rock and moon-chunks, from the surface of the earth AND not wipe out the population of the planet. What size and speed of ...
8
votes
1answer
560 views

If the Earth was part of an ultimate solar system, what would the sky look like?

I once show a picture depicticting the idea of an ultimate solar system: Image Copyright Sean Raymond In this solar system there are 8 planetary orbits, each containing 52 equal-mass, evenly-spaced ...
2
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1answer
102 views

Earth tilt changes due to space launches

How many rocket launches are needed to change the axial tilt of the Earth so much that it is noticeable with instruments available today? We can assume that we are talking about the heaviest rocket ...
6
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1answer
344 views

Does my plot point centered around eclipses make sense?

My main antagonist is an infant Great One that's been imprisoned below the Moon's surface and I want its influence and physical form to have a weakness to direct sunlight which, I think, gives me a ...
1
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2answers
75 views

Radiation causing mutations to pass on to offspring [duplicate]

The setting: In the future, Earth's population reaches over 70 billion individuals, all living under an authoritarian government. Culture, tech level and wealth are pretty monolithic and everywhere ...
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5answers
204 views

If the earth is not flat, are we walking uphill or downhill? [closed]

If the world isn't flat and a person is walking around it from east to west. Is he walking downhill or uphill ? (This a stupid question on many levels, but I'm looking for intelligent answers.)
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2answers
87 views

What would be the mathematical formula to figure out a person's weight on a world bigger or smaller than Earth?

Okay, trying to figure out this math guys! This may be simple math to some of you, but not me!!! I googled various ways of asking this question and got some good results, but I'm looking for a simple ...
5
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5answers
2k views

What natural event could strip all of Earth atmosphere?

I was reading up on Mars thin atmosphere and was wondering how could Earth becomes like the red planet except it only has only 100 pascal (air pressure) at imaginary sea level? Mars is 600 pascal on ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

Earth Time Periods: Choosing for a hidden lair in time [closed]

You are a former nuclear scientist who has researched in the field of fusion, who is in possession of a device that once activated will create a two-way portal into any time period on Earth. The time-...
7
votes
1answer
315 views

Can fiber optic cables be used to pipe sunlight into an underground bunker for growing plants?

One major problem with living underground is you lose all of that wonderful energy provided by the sun. This energy is useful for many things including growing plants for food. A window is effectively ...
0
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3answers
175 views

What amount of heat would be necessary to evaporate the oceans? Can his heat threshold be reached if there were no ozone layer? [closed]

The problem in my fictional future Earth was: almost the entire ozone layer disappeared due to a massive release of CFCs in the atmosphere. I was trying to calculate if this would lead to the oceans ...
7
votes
1answer
89 views

How much does the ecosphere weigh?

So, we've gone off to another star system and decided to build a Dyson bubble--a continuous statite, supported by radiation pressure, surrounding a star--with a surface gravity of 1g to live on. Now, ...
1
vote
1answer
185 views

What would be possible reasons for Russia splitting into East and West? [closed]

I'm designing an alternate history that centers around an event known as the 'Russian Separation War', where Russia splits into two halves, East and West. EDIT: This is based in modern times (i.e. ...
3
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6answers
314 views

Creating flying cities

Writing about suspended cities within a planet's atmosphere! The story itself focuses on the air forces that fight for each of the hundreds of floating city states living in the sky, but that's here ...
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2answers
115 views

If a new planet was discovered & became a spot of constant tourism, would that decrease car pollution and give the earth's climate time to heal [closed]

if a new planet was discovered and it was possible to live there and was not too far from earth, and after it was made suitable for human life and so on and became a spot of constant tourism, would ...
9
votes
5answers
177 views

Mechanism for high geographical change but not killing everything

Premise: Earth has a magical cataclysm that pulls up new mountains, pushes down parts of landmasses, and generally reshapes Europe enough to make it unrecognizable (to the average person looking at a ...
2
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0answers
92 views

Why would somebody want to stop the four elements? [closed]

I'm writing a story about the four elements that are in four people. One controls water, one controls fire, and so on for air and earth. Why would the antagonist want to get rid of the four people/...
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3answers
152 views

How to cross the Earth's core in a straight line

My superhero generates a force field which lets him and his equipment sustain the extreme conditions found inside the Earth. He decides to travel from the Geographic North Pole to the Geographic South ...
1
vote
2answers
157 views

A sudden decrease of gravity on Earth [closed]

I have an idea about a story where gravity suddenly changed and became about 10-20% weaker (lower). Humanity now needs to adapt to the new situation. What disasters and catastrophes would this sudden ...
13
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10answers
4k views

If this earth were cube shaped would it be possible during Magellanic era using a float ship to figure out that the earth is cube shaped?

If this earth were cubed shape would it be possible for Magellan to prove that the earth is cube-shaped without going to space and looking at earth? It might seem strange to think that earth might be ...
5
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3answers
408 views

How many people need to disappear before authorities take notice of the trend? [duplicate]

Due to sensible points made in the comments, I have reworded and clarifed my question. I am trying to setup a world where due to reasons (mystical or alien) people have been going missing with no ...
8
votes
3answers
456 views

How does Maximilian establish a lasting Mexican Empire?

On 20 October 1861, while in Paris, Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph Maria von Hapsburg, brother of the Emperor of Austria-Hungary, received a letter from Jose Maria Gutierrez de Estrada, a Mexican ...
3
votes
4answers
219 views

What would be the major differences on our planet and civilization if humans were exclusive insectivores?

Let's say that in a different timeline, humans evolved to eat insects. How would that change the world today Note: Suppose that this didn't have any mass changes on our anatomy and that our species ...
0
votes
1answer
263 views

Every murderer and rapist in the world vanished without a trace. How many people is that? [closed]

In a worldwide catastrophe, every single murderer and rapist just vanished from the world at the same time. Nothing left behind, either dust, clothes, or whatever they were carrying at the moment. ...
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votes
6answers
239 views

Is it possible for an alien organism to survive on earth?

Let's assume that our intelligent alien organism is living on an earth like planet with an atmosphere but higher gravity. Its world is on the verge of doom. Somehow it could make it to earth with a ...
165
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23answers
37k views

If everyone in the world disappeared except 35 random people, how long would it take for one of them to realize they're not alone?

Everyone suddenly disappears from earth except 35 people randomly scattered wherever they were before everyone disappeared. How long would it take on average for 2 or more people to meet? What other ...
6
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3answers
183 views

How far can civilization go without inventing the calendar?

While only counting seasons and years, but not weeks or months, how far can human civilization progress? Can they reach the middle ages? Or is the invention of the calendar such a cornerstone of ...
6
votes
1answer
354 views

What was the weather like in the Eocene?

I was reading this question earlier today. It asks about the characteristics of global winds in a modern-day earth with Eocene-like temperatures. I'm here to ask about other kinds of weather in the ...
8
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8answers
1k views

To Conquer the Earth by Appearing Ship

An alien species has been conquering planet after planet around the Milky Way for some time. They detected intelligent life on Earth a while back and now they decided it’s time to add us to their ...
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2answers
100 views

Plausible Reason for Aliens to Travel to Earth Before Humans [closed]

Five refugees from an alien planet are traveling to escape some cataclysmic event (not important here). I need them to land on Earth, 65 million years ago. (At this point in time, their technology is, ...
37
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9answers
11k views

What are the effects of slicing the Earth in half with a particle beam?

Scenario: An exact copy of our world is sliced in half by a particle beam. The beam has a diameter of 40 meters and moves at a speed of 0.999c. The beam slices the earth from top to bottom in 600 ...
34
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6answers
5k views

Which direction of slightly tilting the Earth will be most destructive?

I am a vengeful scientist who crash-landed on your Earth. While I was repairing my space ship, I had to obtain nourishment by consuming organic matter, and visited a local nutrition warehouse your ...
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2answers
124 views

Habitation of early Earth

Based on various methods of geological dating, particularly radiometric analysis, Earth is estimated to be around 4.5 billions years old. This is around the time the Earth's Moon was thought to be ...
28
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16answers
10k views

Would evolution happen the same exact way if Earth restarted?

If Earth instantaneously reverted back to when the only organisms were small microscopic creatures in the sea, would evolution happen the same exact way creating the same animals and species? Was ...
12
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9answers
6k views

Could an object from space crash into Earth and set off a majority of the nuclear bombs created?

I'm currently trying to create a separate kind of Earth, without just changing my setting to a world that fits my criteria. So I'm trying to figure out a way for Earth to have a new beginning, so that ...
12
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3answers
256 views

Where would a dense population of human beings live underground?

By that, I don’t mean what type of structures, I mean under which part of the Earth? It's an extremely densely populated nation. As densely populated as many major cities - think Hong Kong and more ...
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2answers
138 views

What is the value for advanced alien gain in the scientific observation of humanity? [closed]

In a nearly-real-life version of Earth there is a moderately abundant amount of alien life. However, most aliens are, in fact, not interested in humanity. So there will be no grand-landing revelation. ...
1
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1answer
66 views

Changing Earth? [closed]

How would energy transfer, weather and climate be different if Earth had a different axial tilt? Different diameter? Different period of rotation? Different period of revolution? Would anything change?...
44
votes
11answers
15k views

What would happen if the Earth struck a tiny but immovable object

We are living on this big lump of rock called the Earth, drifting ever so continuously through space. Now imagine a tiny but immovable object in space, a single atom of 'unexplanium', locked in space-...
18
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5answers
4k views

Can visible light be blocked while still allowing for light for plants to survive to pass through?

What I'm thinking for this question is that some kind of filter is put around the sun by aliens that prevents some kinds of solar energy from passing through but allows other types. Like if it ...
2
votes
3answers
183 views

Could I EMP most of Earth using nuclear weapons without damaging it otherwise?

Let's say you have the entirety of Earth's nuclear stockpile at your disposal (you don't have to use it all, and if you need it there's an infinite supply of extra ICBMs) and that every weapon you ...
3
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2answers
410 views

Would there be any mass extinction should the polarity of Earth magnetic field flips at 1 GHz? [closed]

If the polarity of our Earth magnetic field were to flip (oscillate) at around 1 GHz or 1 billion cycles per second, would it spell disaster to fauna and flora that depends on it for navigation like ...
81
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38answers
19k views

How can a colony of teleporters make the most money while keeping their teleportation a secret?

The Situation A colony of 100 teleporters (between the ages of 20-40) have been hidden away living like monks for 1000's of years to prevent their detection. With the death of their old leader, a ...
5
votes
3answers
418 views

All conditions being ideal (gravity, ecosystem, etc), what are the physical limits of tree growth on earth? [duplicate]

I ask the question, not as a subjective "well, Dale, what do ya reckon?" but as a perfectly factual question about tree growth here on earth provided a finite set of physical (natural, real) ...