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Questions tagged [environment]

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

9
votes
3answers
860 views

Would a shallow ocean planet be possible?

For a story I am writing, I need a planet covered in a shallow ocean. What I mean is that I want the majority of the planet's surface (=> 60%) to be in the photic zone of the ocean. This planet must ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Salem witch trials safe haven

With the story I'm writing I really want to find an accurate place to set up a school (preferably in New York) that was originally a safe place to go to during the Salem Witch Trials. I'm hoping to ...
7
votes
3answers
469 views

How can I prevent holy aura from a human body from radiating too strongly?

When gods descend to the mortal plane, they must inhabit specially built bodies in order to maintain their presence and hold their aethereal energies. These bodies are built in the aethereal realm ...
0
votes
4answers
159 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
405 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
293 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
376 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
385 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
224 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
116 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
49
votes
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 ...
21
votes
9answers
2k views

Polar Heat, Equatorial Cold - Climatic Effects of Inverted Global Temperatures

How does inverting global temperatures affect climate? Here exists a fantasy world similar to earth in all important ways. Except, however, that global temperatures have been flipped; it is coldest ...
11
votes
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
18
votes
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
394 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
165 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
votes
4answers
340 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
133 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
votes
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
votes
7answers
674 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 ...
21
votes
21answers
5k views

Is it possible to have a habitable planet unsuitable for agriculture?

I want to have a planet similar to earth with 45% axial tilt when hunter gatherers have an advantage over agriculture. The only thing I could think of is far north(Siberia, Alaska) & Sahara desert,...
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. ...
1
vote
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 ...
29
votes
5answers
6k views

Does living without access to sunlight for extended periods have known physical or psychological effects on humans?

Humans (even programmers :-) ) are used to having some access to natural light, but in a colony in space, on the dark side of a tidally-locked planet, or underground (for example) this won't happen. ...
33
votes
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
votes
2answers
109 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 ...
31
votes
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 ...
26
votes
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 ...
-3
votes
3answers
139 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
181 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
138 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
274 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 ...
24
votes
8answers
2k views

How could a generation ship maintain a source of potable water?

A generation spaceship (a spaceship designed for multiple generations of humans to live in) could sail through the galaxy for hundreds of years before finding another planet, let alone a planet with ...
6
votes
1answer
86 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
votes
1answer
134 views

Is there a best place to begin Neo medieval world building? [closed]

I'm just barely starting out with trying to get a basic idea of what architecture, infrastructure, and systems would work best as I'm drawing my world. I have a twin characters who are raised in a ...
1
vote
1answer
258 views

What would be the effects on the enviroment if a Giant walked by in a world with Earth like physics?

I recently came by the many questions of scaling creatures and the square-cube law in real world physics right here, and it piqued my interest a bit to make this question. Think of it as an exercise ...
4
votes
3answers
206 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
844 views

How would a half-steppeland, half-desert kingdom with only a single river function?

On one of the continents in one of my fantasy worlds, I have a kingdom. The kingdom is comprised of two different geographical regions, a steppeland area in the kingdom's north and a desert region in ...
1
vote
3answers
155 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
97 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
votes
2answers
610 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 ...
49
votes
27answers
13k views

If a large space ship crashes on a planet, what could kill passengers without obliterating the ship?

The situation I'm considering is as follows: A large research vessel with a crew of about 100-200 attempts to land on a potentially habitable planet, but something goes wrong during the descent. A ...
7
votes
4answers
663 views

What would life around a hydrothermal vent on Europa be like?

Hydrothermal vents are thought to exist on Europa. On Earth, these vents are surrounded by all manner of freakish and bizarre looking creatures, mainly various worms, crabs and octopodes. Europa's ...
6
votes
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
votes
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 ...