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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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32
votes
4answers
4k views

Less boring classifications of earth-like terrain when making maps

When creating a map for a fantasy world, I typically add broad top-level descriptions for terrain. Mountains here, forests there, a river, a swamp etc. Watch any nature documentary, and each terrain ...
3
votes
4answers
101 views

Could a terrestrial planet become a gas giant?

I know that gas giants are much larger than terrestrial planets, but wouldn’t several million or billion years allow for it to gain mass from collecting space debris and the like?
35
votes
6answers
6k views

What would be the effect of a giant magical fireball burning in the ocean?

Original prompt: "What would be the effect of a giant magic fireball burning in the ocean? Imagine there's a magical fireball that stays in one spot in the middle of the ocean and emits heat at a ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Would a medieval world use the word “trail” to describe a foot path?

I'm in the process of naming some routes and roads in my medieval fantasy themed world, and I want to specify routes that could only be managed on foot. I'm tempted to say trails, but since every body ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

What kind of planet environment could best host aliens like *Battle: Los Angeles*?

If I want a home for aliens like those which invaded in Battle:Los Angeles, what would be the best fitting features? The aliens: Burn water for fuel (assume they are using deuterium for fusion) ...
4
votes
2answers
140 views

How can I have an Earth-like moon?

My story takes place on the moon of a large gas giant planet. I have been trying to decide on a way for the moon to be as Earth-like as possible, but I have now decided to ask the community for help, ...
18
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5answers
4k views

Is it possible for complex life to evolve on planets without oxygen?

*By complex life, I mean something more complex than microorganisms. Something closer to what we have on Earth. Similar to this question: Is it possible for life to evolve on planets without water? ...
3
votes
3answers
154 views

What's a plausible reason for a bacteria/disease to only exist near the surface of a planet?

Context: Humans have escaped a a super-bacteria, similar in situation to the Bubonic Plague, that they could not create a cure for. They've done this by engineering gargantuan trees and adapting to ...
3
votes
3answers
56 views

Fauna (and flora) in temperate polar region

Due to the world being based more on magic than actual science, I have a "planet" with changing season everywhere. A "sun" orbits it roughly near the equator, but it only gives light, it doesn't ...
6
votes
5answers
228 views

What would the flora and fauna be like on a planet with the most competition? The most violent planet

My setting has a lush rainforest planet, which houses some of the most feared animals in the galaxy. The abundance of food would make competition tougher and tougher over millions of years of ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

What effect would a red sky and/or sun have on plants and animals?

If an Earth-like planet had an older, red sun — or maybe just a reddish sky due to some property of the atmosphere — how would that affect the growth and/or adaptation of plant and animal life on the ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

What would it take to slow down fermentation? (Specific: Wine / grape juice)

I am working on a story about a person who was raised on an earth-like planet and later moves to our earth. The planet he is from specializes in fruit juice and alcohol making, in specific, wine. When ...
8
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3answers
264 views

Plausibility of Massive Maelstroms

Maelstroms are ginormous whirlpools. They can exist continuously in an area. They're cool. The question is, how large can they get? As large as an island? Could a maelstrom have a diameter of ...
7
votes
3answers
604 views

Could “normal” human development lead to a sufficient air pollution to make gas masks mandatory?

I'm starting a story taking place around 2080 AD/CE, and I'm wondering if the key element - global pollution - is plausible. In my storyline, the XXIst century brings no huge technological advances (...
2
votes
4answers
203 views

If North America and Latin America unified into one country, how would the highway system work?

Canada, the US, and Mexico all have pretty nice highways. However, that isn’t the case with most Latin America countries that don’t even have paved highways. Would the supercountry use all of its ...
35
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19answers
10k views

Are dead worlds a good galactic barrier?

In my fictional universe there are two galactic civilizations that have never interacted until recently and thus have developed different cultures, science, etc. From a technological standpoint, one ...
25
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4answers
2k views

How to Survive Mountain Environments With a Tribal Culture?

Assume we have an Earth-like environment. If a tribe with only early medieval technology were to settle in a mountain environment: What resources would be needed to deal with the elevation, cold, ...
-1
votes
1answer
131 views

If Vikings Settled on a Tropical Island, How Would That Affect Up The Native Ecosystem? [closed]

An ice age has hit the already cold planet of Ryu 108. Its inhabitants, with the culture and technology of Scandinavia at the height of the viking age, are forced to feed themselves with a drastically ...
3
votes
3answers
497 views

Long term living without sunlight

May be the wrong site, but researching for a writing project... What effect would there be on a group of humans living in a lightless and cramped environment (assume underground) for nearly 800 years, ...
6
votes
2answers
154 views

Thunderstorms but with Fire!

The planet is huge roughly four times the size of earth, with lots of hydrogen in its atmosphere (group A water in Hydrogen out, B water out.) it is also very humid. what do I do to have giant Storms ...
34
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18answers
5k views

Lighthouse Alternatives

In my pre-electricity world, fast communication is achieved by means of lighthouses, each being able to direct strong and precise beams of light towards distantly visible lighthouses. However a ...
6
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4answers
2k views

How big would the ice ball have to be to deliver all the water at once?

One popular theory to explain how Earth got its water is that it was delivered by asteroid/comet/etc. The form this theory usually takes is that many small impacts occured over a long time, each ...
4
votes
1answer
111 views

Making a planet with high humidity

I'm making a Region of a planet with very high humidity, mostly covered in fog at ground level. I am open to having seasonal changes and would like there to be a few sunny days lets say 1 out of 15, ...
9
votes
7answers
207 views

What reason would a hidden, deep ocean society have to come up to the surface of a post-apocalyptic Earth and claim the land for themselves?

This is strictly Earth based. Would it be possible for a society to develop their own civilization underwater (nothing fantastical like Aquaman or whatever, but more of a grimy, hardscrabble existence ...
2
votes
3answers
122 views

Impact on the Environment of a Steam-Powered World

So in the world I've been creating, I decided that the inhabited world (which is actually pretty small because of reasons) uses steam power as its main source of energy. This inhabited area is about ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

Tidally Locked Planet, Weather

If the polar cap of a tidally locked planet was all ocean, what weather patterns would emerge? The ocean couldn’t be half frozen/half boiling, right? I need a weather pattern so the planet isn’t just ...
6
votes
2answers
154 views

A semi perpetual gloomy climate is possible?

I'd like to know if a climate with snowy and gloomy winters and rainy and cloudy summers is possible. Because the climate of Russia in summer is sunny enough and the Icelandic ones isn't so snowy. So ...
10
votes
3answers
404 views

Mass extinction because of too low CO2-lewels

We have all heard what too much CO2 can lead to, but so far the biosphere have never been exposed to too low levels of CO2. But what if it did? And please, this topic has nothing to do with the ...
10
votes
2answers
169 views

What metals other than calcium can be used to create alien bones that won't also engender a human-toxic environment?

Edit: Okay, truth be known that this question was part of a set of 5 related questions that I was recommended to break up into individual posts (in their original form, the comments had no trouble ...
6
votes
2answers
130 views

Longest “linear” natural formations

In an effort to gain inspiration for planetary formation and, at the same time, inspiration for governmental/territorial boundaries between residents of said formed planets, I've recently encountered ...
17
votes
14answers
3k views

Retroactively modifying humans for Earth?

I understand, of course, that humans evolved for this exact environment! However, if you could travel back in time 2,000 years and modify our species (without any unintended health consequences), ...
5
votes
7answers
307 views

Is development of technological civilization without ecological damage possible?

A god once created a beautiful planet and populated it with all kind of plant and animals. He brought up humans, because no world is complete without them. But then he paused. Not because he needed a ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

Interesting Atmosphere Chemicals

I am currently working on world-building a planet, and I wanted to try to diverge from Earth's atmosphere a little bit, but not extremely. I am planning on still having it be a oxygen-nitrogen rich ...
4
votes
7answers
759 views

Impact on the sciences with helium instead of nitrogen

Suppose we have a planet whose atmosphere has roughly the same gaseous proportions as Earth, but helium replaces nitrogen, and has a strong hydrogen presence in the upper atmosphere; has a ...
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Dinosaurian Gamma Diversity

Gamma diversity is defined as the entire species diversity of a landscape or region. Assuming we have a region of 100 square miles of temperate deciduous forest inhabited by cretaceous fauna. How many ...
10
votes
8answers
3k views

How to avoid infinite gravity

I have a world I want to put together but I ran into a problem. Description This world is a cube infinite in all directions, exactly half of it is full of earth and half is space (where we see ...
7
votes
3answers
178 views

Preserving the mammoth steppe

During much of the Late Pleistocene stage, the world's most widespread biome was the so-called "mammoth steppe" - a cold, dry grassland which spanned eastward all the way from Spain to Canada. It was ...
2
votes
3answers
147 views

House blimp living [closed]

What problems might I run into if I live in an airship? I would like to entertain the possibility to park tethered to a sky scraper in an unpowered airship in order to save money and travel time. I ...
6
votes
2answers
107 views

How to calculate the average temperature of a planet with greenhouse gases?

I am creating a planet with an orange dwarf as its host star and which is at a certain distance from it in such a way that it receives 1 % of the light received by the Earth from the Sun. Obviously, ...
8
votes
7answers
414 views

Where to Put Self-Reliant, Rugged Individualists?

In fiction that tries to provide a wide diversity of cultural stances on the collectivism-individualism stances, there is often a trope that self-reliant, no-nonsense, rugged individualists (as a ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

How can an environment with an absence of predators be prevented from ecological damage?

The circle of life is a philosophy that represents the infinite nature of energy, meaning if something dies it gives new life to another. Of course, this is merely a cover for the Lions true purpose ...
5
votes
4answers
215 views

Connecting Biomes

I'm in some urgent need of advice about linking together biomes in a realistic manner. Can a taiga connect to an alpine tundra to the north, and a steppe to the south? Then what would branch off of ...
6
votes
3answers
223 views

How could a small civilization move about normally, tactically, and quickly in a large swamp?

This is a small civilization (more than just a town or two) almost under the shadow of the regional hegemon. The dominant civilization knows they are there, but don't go too deep into that swamp ...
36
votes
8answers
9k views

How extensive could a habitable twilight zone be on a tidally locked planet?

If a planet always faces the same side to the sun, so that it has a permanent night side and a permanent day side, it will have a twilight zone in between the two sides. This will be a band around the ...
7
votes
6answers
377 views

How can chaotic entities be prevented from spreading beyond their domain?

This is a follow up question to one I asked earlier:How can religions be structured in ways that allow inter-faith councils to work? So, these gods are basically artificial intelligences that are ...
4
votes
10answers
529 views

How can I make the Solar System uninhabitable?

For the Universe I am creating humanity has devolved into groups of scattered tribes. This is due to the fact that we ran afoul of a really nasty alien race, who decided to leave us homeless. A ...
5
votes
4answers
382 views

A fictional island on Earth with “longer” springs and autumns

I want to write a story on Earth as it is now, with the sole exception of one large island nation. I plan to introduce elements of mysticism into the story as well, but I would like to keep these ...
5
votes
2answers
190 views

Post nuclear apocalypse fauna

The chicxulub asteroid impact caused climate change, and the climate change caused a mass extinction. But many land-based animal groups survived, crocodillians, lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs, ...
12
votes
9answers
4k views

What kind of world would drive brains to evolve high-throughput sensory?

Here on "Earth" organisms tend to evolve only enough mental processing power to handle sensory inputs in modest amounts. Taking "human" brains for a quick example, even though we have millions of ...
57
votes
9answers
15k views

What impact would a dragon the size of Asia have on the environment?

Without going into unnecessary detail, one of the races of my world believe that the land itself is a dead god, and that by resurrecting it, it will ascend to the cosmos and carry the faithful upon ...