Questions tagged [exploration]

For those questions that boldly go where none have gone before.

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2 answers
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What is the minimum level of technology needed to explore a large flood volcanism event?

The world in question has had this flood volcanism event going on for longer than humanity has been around. It is comparable in size to the one that created the Columbia River Basalt Group and is ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,192
25 votes
8 answers
5k views

How can explorers determine whether strings of alien text is meaningful or just nonsense?

A group of xenoarchaeologists is studying the remains of a bygone civilization with the aim of understanding its culture. So far, isolated artifacts have been found, such as metal plates with symbols ...
user73910's user avatar
  • 823
4 votes
1 answer
197 views

How would one navigate and explore a planet with a non-euclidian surface using current technology?

On this planet space is non-euclidian in an non-uniform way. This means that two random points (A and B) on this planet could have the following properties (exact numbers are arbitrary): One could ...
KronosCult's user avatar
14 votes
12 answers
3k views

How to map arms of the galaxy?

Some background: My interstellar civilization(s) have fled our home Solar System, spreading throughout the nearby systems in the Orion Arm. They possess FTL, but for plot reasons, they have only just ...
The Commander's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
258 views

Is excavating alien technology legal? [closed]

I know that there are diffrent laws regarding excavating resources on other planets and asteroids,but they are far from being precise. Many conflicts arise when nations want to make one law that ...
Mishima's user avatar
  • 979
1 vote
4 answers
214 views

why would a post apocalyptic exploration team want a Teenager in their group? [closed]

So for the setting : the world is recovering of a mass apocalyptic event the place in which where all of the mankind steading, is actually a small communities and towns centered around a city of ...
faddllz's user avatar
  • 1,812
5 votes
9 answers
3k views

How best could our society explore dungeons?

First of all, for the question of how did the dungeons get there or how we found them let's say that they have been hidden since ancient times by a race of magical wizards. They cast spells making the ...
Mattna's user avatar
  • 562
24 votes
8 answers
9k views

What's stopping me from inventing a planet with oceans of mercury?

It doesn't necessarily need to be breathable by humans. But it should be room temperature (at which mercury is liquid). My concern is whether mercury oceans could remain stable or would they all get ...
DAVID RICKS's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is there a good way to approximate alien biological age?

Let's ignore extraterrestrial visitors on Earth because I don't want to discuss twin paradox, we should be focusing on life inhabiting on another planet instead. Here on Earth we can do carbon dating ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 47.8k
26 votes
13 answers
9k views

Why don't adventurers (and monsters) suffocate in lower levels of dungeons?

Why don't adventurers (and monsters) suffocate in lower levels of dungeons? Gases in mines and dungeons can be unbreathable I asked a question about this on Physics to check my reasoning. Why does ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is mirror test a good way to explore alien inhabited world safely?

In a distant future our robot will be setting their tracks on another hospitable planet, I believe we are not alone and there must be other intelligence beings out there in these billions upon ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 47.8k
4 votes
3 answers
240 views

How would cats navigate oceans?

So, these are the same cats detailed in previous questions. Intelligence is equivalent to 'human in cat bodies', they have mildly opposable thumbs, they can be bipedal temporarily (Think like bears or ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 1,063
3 votes
1 answer
267 views

How long would it take for a group of settlers to form a new civilization

In my world, sometime before the main events of the story, a group of about 100 explorers set out to cross the uncrossable mountain range that divides the continent and venture into lands unknown. ...
ArmindoFlores's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
2k views

Anatomy of men with beards

Lest anyone think I am making fun of men with beards, I should point out that I am a man with a beard. A space-exploration team land on a new planet. They are surprised to discover that the local ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
8 votes
6 answers
319 views

Most Likely Way to Protect Against Infectious Disease When Visiting Other Planets?

In various science fiction works, we see our plucky heroes beaming down to, or flying down to planets other than their own. They meet with the inhabitants there, be they human or otherwise and then ...
Ralph Bolton's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
184 views

Putting together a research expedition to an alien planet - what kind of scientists am I taking with me?

It's the 22nd century and we have discovered a derelict alien craft somewhere in the Oort cloud. The craft contains a star chart showing its origin on an alien planet some 30 light years away. Let's ...
Faz's user avatar
  • 1,385
6 votes
2 answers
418 views

Exploring a world with chiral biochemistry: chirality detection

Space explorers have landed on an Earth like planet and, to their surprise, the place is luscious and covered in life, to the point of resembling some earthly tropical atoll. What they don't know yet ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 283k
14 votes
14 answers
5k views

Exploration for a noble reason (something other than expansion of religion or conquest)?

I am currently building a world where one of the most powerful countries/kingdoms is much known for its exploration and architectural culture. To be really short, exploration is a noble profession for ...
Emie's user avatar
  • 511
19 votes
14 answers
5k views

What could prevent a thriving civilization from exploring neighboring lands/continents?

first question here (but not last I think). I'm currently thinking about ideas I have to form the base of a book I'll then write, and I need some insights/knowledge about exploration. I'm looking for ...
OyuunKha's user avatar
  • 193
14 votes
13 answers
4k views

Why would a medieval civilization leave newly discovered land undeveloped?

tl;dr: what issues would cause more risk than reward for a civilization to settle a fertile, heavily forested area; bonus points for less magic / historical examples / it being a threat My son, ...
JSCoder says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
138 views

What are the components of a Von Neumann probe? [closed]

A Von Neumann probe is a theoretical space probe based on the 'Universal Assembler' concept. The probe would be capable of using raw materials found in the universe to create copies of itself, thereby ...
Code Monkey's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
157 views

How long would could a mars rover remain intact?

The year: Sometime a long time from now The place: Mars Little Bobby Colonist is going to play out in sand dunes beyond the edge of the domed city where he lives. Terraforming efforts over the last ...
enpaul's user avatar
  • 2,129
3 votes
6 answers
248 views

Could dinosaurs have been discovered during the age of discovery? [closed]

Could dinosaurs have been discovered on the Americas during the age of discovery? Some things to take into account: Assume they survived their extinction event Assume they could survive on the ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 51
12 votes
5 answers
2k views

What could prevent concentrated local exploration?

In my world there is a village with a hot spring, the only one on the entire island. The spring emerges from a local cave which has been filled / caved in by a past civilisation, since the water is ...
A Lambent Eye's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Aliens in a 4D universe try to explore our 3D spacetime fabric: How can they do it?

They do not necessarily meet humans and try to interact with them. This question is more about the technical possibility/impossibility of 4D aliens being able to "analyze" the inner structure of our ...
Christmas Snow's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
242 views

How to broadcast Earth's position to someone in the future?

Using current technology, what could I do to optimize the odds of being located by time-traveling humans a thousand years from now? The accuracy must be such that they could "transport" me out of a ...
imagoomba's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
882 views

When did humanity have the knowledge to prove this semi-flat world is an octagon?

The world below is flat. However, there are no endless walls of ice or force or magic - Instead, each side of the octagon "wraps" to the other side. That is, the North boundary wraps to the South ...
Andon's user avatar
  • 11.5k
0 votes
2 answers
256 views

How to find earth's relative position anywhere in the galaxy without any markers or brute force exploration?

The idea is that is to find the ancient seat of power of humans which is earth, but no one knows where it is, there was no transmitter nor any markers that will give the relative position. The catch ...
mico villena's user avatar
  • 2,498
38 votes
15 answers
11k views

The Infinite Sea, how narrow can that be?

I have a Roleplay setting on the books. It's a constructed pocket universe that the Dragons built to hide from the Great Old Ones; because of its structure, there are vast bodies of water, potentially ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.7k
1 vote
6 answers
784 views

A large island is discovered and thoroughly explored by scientists. What happens next?

I doubt that any of you remember "the guy with the island". Basically, about 3 months ago, I asked a whole slew of questions that were preparatory for a book project. Now, the book is very nearly ...
SealBoi's user avatar
  • 14.9k
-2 votes
2 answers
138 views

What could make a group of living organisms disappear completely from a closed structure?

An alien pyramid had inhabitants trapped within. Without prospect for rescue, they eventually went mad. Later the pyramid is discovered by human explorers. No trace of the alien inhabitants or their ...
ICWiener's user avatar
  • 494
15 votes
20 answers
5k views

How to make people spread over the earth?

I created human beings and placed them on a planet full of landmasses, oceans, rivers, forests, desserts, swaps, snow, mountains, hills, animals, insects, plants, fish you name it. But I have a ...
Rolf ツ's user avatar
  • 1,185
1 vote
2 answers
374 views

What equipment would a well-funded research team need to explore a previously undiscovered island about 55,000 km2 in size? (EDITED) [closed]

NOTE: I have edited this in the hope that it will be deemed on-topic, as the previous version was too story-based. I have checked the guidelines for fixing story-based questions and believe it ...
SealBoi's user avatar
  • 14.9k
38 votes
15 answers
10k views

Colonizing the galaxy by slow boating reality check

Humans like to explore and seem to have an almost instinctual need to expand. After spreading throughout the solar system and even into the Oort Cloud they decided that humanity should follow the ...
Dan Clarke's user avatar
  • 7,201
6 votes
3 answers
445 views

How unlikely is it that Hawaii was discovered by Old World explorers?

I recently went to Hawaii for a business trip. As I was coming in for a landing and looking at the progress map in front of me, it occurred to me just how very small the Hawaiian Islands are out there ...
Trekkie's user avatar
  • 892
11 votes
12 answers
6k views

Two countries have a five thousand mile desert between them. How can a city survive there?

In a world that I am building, there are two countries that both are fairly primitive and only have medieval methods of transportation. They have a huge meeting every 100 years. Other than that, they ...
lightofdeanthomas's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
559 views

How far would I need to go back in time to find an isolated island on our earth?

If you want to tell a story of a lonely island on earth, isolated from the rest of the civilization, how many years do you have to go back to be realistic? I think about a story about 350 people who ...
Wolfgang Adamec's user avatar
21 votes
6 answers
3k views

Exploration of a 50 mile high mountain

My friends and I are building a world with a 50 mile high volcano on it. The mountain is the result of some bored god deciding to play a joke on everyone. Or, some other god got angry and decided to ...
Green's user avatar
  • 52.7k
2 votes
1 answer
185 views

Exploring extraterrestrial oceans with submarines?

So, with all the recent discoveries and almost certainly true theories that a few of Jupiter and Saturn's moons could have a subsurface ocean, notably Enceladus and Titan, would an ~10 meter long ...
Leoclarus's user avatar
14 votes
18 answers
2k views

How might the actions of descendants matter for their ancestors? (reverse causality)

Imagine two groups of people exploring the same location, but at different times. For convenience, think of the group exploring first as the "ancestors" and the group exploring later as the "...
someben's user avatar
  • 159
-2 votes
1 answer
128 views

Exploration team design [closed]

I am trying to design an exploration team so that they can explore what Kepler Bb, the planet I am constructing, has in store for them. Here are some things I want for my exploration team: They must ...
Caters's user avatar
  • 4,159
4 votes
2 answers
199 views

Reasonable way to determine orbital parameters in an unknows stellar system

After traveling a long long time, your spaceship is finally entering into the gravitational sphere of influence of a Sun-like star. Your captain would now like to move from the Oort-like cloud ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 283k
6 votes
4 answers
599 views

Battle tactics for portal warfare / exploration

In a story a long time ago in an age long forgotten, the main characters find an ancient portal-gate-system, powered by an even more forgotten magic. The main characters have access to soldiers, ...
Magic-Mouse's user avatar
  • 5,672
22 votes
12 answers
5k views

Is it possible for a large pre-electricity empire to stay in touch?

Background Information In my world, there is one spherical world that is 2,000,000 miles in diameter and has the same land-to-sea ratio as the earth. On this world , there is a civilization of elves ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
258 views

How much area of a gigantic world could an 18th century maritime civilization explore in a millennium? [closed]

In my world, there is one spherical world that is 2,000,000 light-years in Diameter. The world also has the same land-to-sea ratio as the earth. On this world , there is a civilization of elves ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
150 views

Can humanity survive on red planet

Research is done each and everyday, challenging the boundaries of what we used to think was impossible. After all, it used to be thought impossible to land man on the moon. Is it possible, give today'...
quintumnia's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
426 views

Logistics of manned Europa exploration?

It is 2057 and a manned mission to Europa has been comissioned in the prospect of further exploring the ecosystem and energy signatures of Europa. Unlike the implied unnmanned probe, this mission ...
Zoppadoppa's user avatar
  • 1,084
6 votes
4 answers
990 views

How can I tell if stone age aliens are sapient?

Let's say I have been chosen to evaluate whether or not alien worlds contain sapient life before we terraform them. Just assume that we learned to work together and live as a species in peace, ...
TrEs-2b's user avatar
  • 56.2k
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can we land on a planet with methane-oxygen atmosphere?

If there is a planet whose atmosphere consists of : 30% methane 70% oxygen Then, can we land on it? If yes, then how, and why would it not explode? Also, can such a planet exist for a long time?
dryairship's user avatar
44 votes
11 answers
6k views

Migrating Dungeon Monsters / Why do monsters not leave the dungeons?

Background : Consider a typical dungeon, which has weak monsters at the top and the lower you go, the stronger the enemies become. Some questions about dungeons have already been answered - why are ...
King of Snakes's user avatar