Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [environment]

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

18
votes
15answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
645 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
384 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
136 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
310 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
125 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
661 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
328 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 ...
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
146 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
157 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
104 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
123 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
175 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
131 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
268 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
83 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
133 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
256 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
201 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
138 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
282 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
832 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
151 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
95 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
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 ...
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
643 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
620 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
213 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? ...
-2
votes
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
votes
2answers
64 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
142 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
votes
2answers
151 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
186 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
vote
4answers
211 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
595 views

Could a new species wipe out the rest of an established ecosystem?

I'm not asking about an exotic species in the modern world we know all too well the havoc that can be caused by the introduction of an alien species into an existing ecosystem. I want to know if a ...
6
votes
3answers
149 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 ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

Could a moon or planet exist with “puddles” of breathable air in deep craters?

Could a moon or planet with otherwise no atmosphere maintain gas pockets in sufficiently deep craters, and could it be habitable by humans without pressure or space suits? I found this similar ...
11
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Creating a gas-giant based empire, how can I maximize the amount of Earth-sized habitable worlds around a gas giant?

As the title says. I need to have at least 3-5 habitable Earth-gravity worlds (preferably with atmosphere, nitrogen oxygen) as many smaller, lifeless moons as possible, and a planetary ring. (i.e. ...
1
vote
1answer
144 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 ...
16
votes
16answers
4k views

How to cause an exodus from the west coast of the United States inland?

What I Need I need to bring about a scenario where most, if not all, of the west coast has been abandoned before the alien-robot-zombie apocalypse wreaks havoc on the world. Sweet, sweet havoc! ...