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Questions tagged [environment]

For questions about an environment or aspects of it such as geographical, atmospheric or climate.

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4answers
146 views

How significantly would the course of rivers change over 10,000 years?

This one is rather straightforward. A character falls into a magically-induced coma for about 10,000 years and then wakes up to find the world around him different in quite a few ways. There's not a ...
8
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6answers
382 views

How long would it take for a group of humans to travel across a continent by foot?

Think a Lord of the Rings-esque quest to save their kingdom. This quest would also involve detours, but I can just factor those in later. The continent is around the size of Australia, with a lot of ...
2
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2answers
114 views

Could bio-luminescent plants survive in total darkness for ~3 months annually?

If a three-month dark period was a normal, recurring, part of a 15-month calendar, and plants had evolved to be bio-luminescent, could they survive? Would only some survive and, if so, would it be ...
6
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2answers
216 views

Drawing landmasses for this odd-shaped planet

I've just come here for some help drawing a map for this fictional planet where two roughly similar planets have been smushed into kind of pear shape like this: So this planet spins on an axis which ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Physically based explanation for glowing geometric shapes found embedded in a city, visible only in IR [closed]

I'm looking for an explanation for the presence of large geometric luminescent formations that are found to be embedded in the infrastructure of a city. They must be esentially undetectable to the ...
9
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4answers
372 views

No oceans but not deserts?

I'm picturing a world without oceans. I'm not after Arrakis; I want a quite lush surface. I'd like no surface water at all, but I'm concerned that makes evolution impossible. (I imagined using ...
6
votes
1answer
291 views

Could lakes of mercury exist on an Earth-like planet?

I am working on a planet that has insignificant (almost 0 degrees) tilt, no moon, rotates twice as fast as Earth. I intend to create quite an exotic "biome", so to speak, in a subtropical desert zone ...
2
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0answers
97 views

Planet builder? [closed]

I've got questions I haven't been able to get a grip on for two different planets. One has its axis at about 90deg (like Uranus), with day & year like Venus (day longer than year), orbiting a ...
3
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2answers
88 views

What would the climate/environments be like on a planet covered in small crater lakes and seas? [closed]

Imagine an Earth-like planet with no major oceans, all the water has collected into circular craters from impacts that are no longer occurring. Let's say the planet is covered evenly with 50% water ...
12
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12answers
2k views

Rivers without rain

On Earth, rivers are possible because rain and snow deposit water in high places. That water then forms rivers when flowing to lower places. Would it be possible to have the phenomena of rivers ...
18
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4answers
5k views

Could moose/elk survive in the Amazon forest?

In my story, there is a civilization living in the Amazon rainforest. They need some time of mount that is adapted to the forest. I don't think horses can survive by themselves in there, so I was ...
49
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18answers
9k views

How to not starve gigantic beasts

If I create dragons to be castle-sized animals, how am I supposed to let them eat? Won't they need too much for an earth-like planet? I'm currently trying to build a world where a whole lot of ...
5
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3answers
162 views

Plausibility of purple oceans

Alright, so I've been meaning to write out a planet with golden/yellow fields and a violet / purple ocean. What I was thinking about is having the water of this world is so clean and nourishing that ...
13
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4answers
337 views

Can a liquid sand ocean exist naturally?

I'm talking about this sort of liquid sand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My4RA5I0FKs "Desert-as-sea-analog" is present in many media, but often they lean heavily into fantasy, and it seems not ...
2
votes
3answers
131 views

Atmosphere that makes people wear masks for breathing

(I'm new here, so I apologize in advance if I do something wrong) TL;DR of what I'm looking for: A substance (natural or artificial) that... can be suspended in an atmosphere is harmful to breathe,...
25
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19answers
6k views

The logistics of corpse disposal

A pair of fearless killers, thousands of years old, guard a path to what is believed to be heaven. Of course, all towns in the area have different ritual and traditions where either their criminals or ...
3
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7answers
673 views

What items from the Roman-age tech-level could be used to deter all creatures from entering a small area?

Please assume the following: There is a item on the ground and I want nothing but bare earth touching it. I cannot move the item myself. The item is impervious to fire. I cannot afford to guard ...
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0answers
167 views

Tsar Bomba Red Forest [closed]

Since 1986, a thousand square miles of eastern Europe is off-limits to average people. That is because of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl. Ironically, the fact that people aren't allowed in the ...
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 ...
4
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2answers
108 views

Planetary tidal locking causing asymetrical water distribution

Imagine a planet of roughly the same size as Earth with the same amount of land, the same atmosphere and the same proportion of water (other planetary parameters may vary from Earth like) that has ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Would a More Extreme Icing of Antarctica Create an Extinction Event?

55 million years ago, the world was literally a jungle. It was so warm that plants like the bald cypress and the dawn redwood have been found at Ellesmere Island, right inside the Arctic Circle. ...
26
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5answers
4k views

Plausibility of Mushroom Buildings

How plausible would buildings made inside of, or made using, giant mushrooms be? Copyright Raphael Lacoste 2018 A staple of the fantasy genre, mushrooms have commonly been seen as magical and ...
31
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12answers
10k views

In the late 1940’s to early 1950’s what technology was available that could melt a LOT of ice?

In my story I’ve devised lore where Greenland becomes a US territory, and they begin populating the region. It initially just served as the hub for numerous military bases and airbases, but eventually ...
13
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3answers
395 views

Are these climate zones somewhat realistic?

I have been slowly losing my mind trying to build a somewhat realistic climate map for a fantasy world I'm building for my book. A geographer I am not... I modeled the climate zones and such after ...
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3answers
138 views

Earth like planet with two moon like satellites

I was thinking about this world with different ancient factions on war. The war caused both of them and most life on the planet to die, I was thinking about one of the moons getting shattered as a ...
11
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4answers
393 views

Dredging in a fantasy setting

So, I am setting up a world for a DND campaign in which, through a magical accident in the past, the face of the globe is covered in ocean, all except for a few tiny islands where the highest mountain ...
6
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2answers
180 views

Can enough CO2 be captured, in order to reduce global warming, to reduce oxygen levels to suffocating levels?

In a comment to a recent question, it was pointed out that Biosphere II failed in part because too much CO2 was absorbed by the concrete, leaving insufficient oxygen in available CO2 to be released by ...
6
votes
1answer
137 views

What tree type grows into the most dense forests?

"Tree" is (apparently) not a very well defined term as far as scientific classifications are concerned, so I'll put my own restrictions on it for this question: Typical healthy adult specimens must ...
6
votes
1answer
85 views

Effects of Red Dwarf CME (Flare) on Biological Life and Atmosphere

I have a planet circling an M-Class star (M3/M4). I'm trying to figure out what the effects of flaring on the planet's biosphere might be. Background: As some of you may know, M-class stars are ...
4
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2answers
272 views

Life in the Northern Hemisphere if Beringia Never Drowned

When one hears the name "Beringia", we most often think the land bridge that formed as a result of a drop in sea levels during the Pleistocene, resulting in a connection between Alaska and Russia. But ...
0
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1answer
149 views

How would floating islands work? [duplicate]

Soaring among the clouds over an earth-like planet, islands... on which fortresses are built for strategic advantage, on which stations for the dragon air force are built, and which can be relatively ...
6
votes
5answers
298 views

Salty or fresh or brackish waters?

So this is a small map of all the continents on the small planet of Parsas Decem. As far as most of the rivers go, I’ve got it figured out. What I’m wondering is, can salt water flowing in from the ...
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3answers
154 views

How can a kid be so much better than trained adults at “Monster fighting” [closed]

The world is populated not with animals but with "monsters". "Monsters" appear randomly in particular places, and can be caught using specialized devices shaped like a ball. There are many different ...
4
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3answers
205 views

How large can a magical cold region be before it dramatically alters global climate?

In the setting I'm working on, I want to have a vast 'sea' of diamond dust that is sustained by some kind of chilling magic effect that's spread across the surface of the land. Since magic is ...
2
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3answers
96 views

Shooting all flying creatures in fear of spying drones [closed]

Spying technology is getting more sophisticated. Drones as we know them are obsolete. Robots appearing as living creatures are becoming science fact. First, robotic birds, then robotic insects. They ...
11
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2answers
608 views

Life in permanent shadow

I've been experimenting with a fantasy world that is flat, with the sun fixed in place over the centre. The day-night cycle is provided by the sun dimming and then brightening again. Most of the rest ...
6
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5answers
630 views

If Earth's atmosphere were to be enclosed, what effects would what have?

A universe-destroying parasite is set loose, and basically earth is placed under magical quarantine. (Think of it like the world is wrapped in magical cellophane.) My question is, how would earth's ...
13
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11answers
4k views

At great altitude, what conditions are needed to support a human community?

In my part of this (Earth-like) world, there is a stable community of completely isolated pre-industrial humans, numbering perhaps 1,800. They live at an altitude of (at least) 25,000 feet (7620 ...
3
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3answers
254 views

Can trees and plant life grow on rock?

So I’m creating a world where the ground is mainly made of different rocks and stone in most areas - soil is sparse. Could trees and plant life grow on the stone ground if a water source is nearby? ...
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6answers
230 views

200G to 1G environment

Let's say a human were to live most of his life in a 200 G environment but then suddenly enter a 1 g environment, What would be the effects to his body and will this give him the ability to carry ...
4
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2answers
69 views

Stellar and magnetic parameters for creating polar radiation hazards

I've got a generally earthlike planet, but my goal is to make radiation exposure in the polar regions a much larger hazard than it is on Earth, while not being an issue in other regions. Nothing ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

What would happen to the Earth if it were suddenly transported to a completely empty void? [duplicate]

The entire planet Earth is suddenly teleported (never mind how for now) to a completely empty space. No sun, no moon, no stars or other planets. There's absolutely nothing out there and it appears ...
4
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2answers
159 views

How would plants evolve with longer days?

(First post on StackExchange, hello world!) The project that I'm currently working on involves a Binary Planet system, both with life, although I'm only focusing on one. This planet has a climate ...
4
votes
2answers
194 views

How much heat would a 1km asteroid release into earth's atmosphere?

I am writing a theory for a game that is in an apocalypse. An asteroid is heading for earth and will crash into the earth regardless in this theory. It is 1km in size but due to the YORP effect it has ...
1
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4answers
212 views

What is the “fullest” the universe could be in terms of living space? [closed]

Lets take a civilization that has surpassed the type III on the Kardashev scale. It has the following assumptions: It harnesses the energy of entire Galaxies, its populace did not transcend. If you ...
6
votes
3answers
160 views

Technology to produce food without land, what will happen with the land next?

Let's say we have the technology to produce all of the human food in factories without the need for land (i.e. Solarfood, Memphis Meats). Right now, there is about 50% of all habitable land use for ...
11
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12answers
3k views

Why would life energy be poisonous for the environment?

Mana is the life energy of the soul that is bestowed by nature. Everything is born with a certain amount, with humans containing the most. When something dies, it's body naturally decays and supplies ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Are there chemical elements deadly to mushrooms but not to humans?

Are there any chemical elements dangerous to fungus/mushrooms that wouldn't threaten the human species. The chemical elements I'm looking for would be in the periodic table of elements. It doesn't ...
6
votes
4answers
326 views

Cave/Subterranean Lighting

I have a cave that is ravine like and stretches approximately one kilometer down into the Earth. Let's assume that the cave has a clear, crystalline roof allowing some light in. Is there any sort of ...
6
votes
3answers
160 views

How to have people and big bugs at the same time

There's been a few questions about making big bugs before and the consensus in they can't get much bigger than 3ft or so (which in reality is still huge). Catch is, you need quite a bit of extra ...