Questions tagged [extinction]

For questions relating to the disappearance or death of an entire species.

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Which marine organisms would survive this longer Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum?

56 million years ago, Earth underwent the greatest rise in temperature in the last 100 million years. In just 20 to 50 millennia, the global temperature had risen by five to eight degrees Celsius (...
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23 votes
14 answers
5k views

How can AI know that all humans are dead?

This question is indeed inspired by I Am Mother movie and Horizon series, but scenario I envisioned is different. Below is the in-world intro, feel free to skip it. Hello, I'm Refa. Full name: ...
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20 votes
5 answers
4k views

99.9% of the flight-capable birds died at once. How screwed is the rest of the world?

When a massive handwavium accident happened on Earth, 99.9% of all flight-capable birds worldwide, instead of dealing with it, answered with "Nope, gone to heaven." Basically, they died ...
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0 votes
0 answers
76 views

When (if) data dependent AI can think in all ways better than humans, will humans depend on esp or premonition to maintain survival value?

I'm working on some big questions to rule a small world. If all intelligence, organic and inorganic sources historical data to think, it seems only foretelling, forecasting, esp, premonition type ...
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4 votes
1 answer
231 views

Migration of seeds between continents

In my story, life is disappearing from every continent of the world, from small animals to great sequoia trees, except for bacteria, of course, and marine life. except for one continent: Antarctica. ...
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  • 577
5 votes
3 answers
802 views

What if all life disappeared from the earth?

What if all life (plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, and everything from the smallest cell to the largest whale) disappeared instantly? And here I don't mean things related to the disappearance of ...
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  • 577
5 votes
1 answer
101 views

Climate after the Ragnarok IMPACT

I am curious (with reasons) about what will happen after an asteroid (called Valhalla 2! Valhalla 1 had collided with the Moon!) collides with Earth. Initially, Valhalla 2 is a major fragment that ...
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  • 577
2 votes
4 answers
672 views

Too much oxygen and not enough carbon

If a planet has a lot of oxygen to support mega flora and fauna, how much would be too much? My planet has the oxygen content about that of the carboniferous(as a starter example), which had a about ...
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1 vote
3 answers
200 views

What animal would be the most likely to become human-like after an asteroid wipes out all mammals? [closed]

If an asteroid struck the Earth with enough power to cause the extinction of mammalian life, which animal would be the most likely to both survive the event, and evolve to be able to use language and ...
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2 votes
3 answers
269 views

What animals would most likely fill large land animal niches after a mass extinction that wipes out 99% of life caused by nuclear war?

Before the Permian extinction synapsids occupied large land animal niches. After the permian extinction some synapsids occupied large land herbivore niches, but most large land animal niches were ...
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6 votes
1 answer
184 views

Who on Land Will Survive The Inverse Great Dying?

Long ago, I asked a question on what would create an inverse Great Dying. Allow me to clarify on what I meant: 252 million years ago, the worst event in the history of life on Earth occurred. 70% of ...
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4 votes
3 answers
187 views

Would different types of species change drastically ove the course of 1000 years if humans went extinct? [closed]

If humans all went extinct from war and lack of resources and left no trace except for their big cities, would any species change drastically over the course of 1000 years? Would they have notable ...
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3 votes
2 answers
916 views

Bill Gates Is Thinking About Dimming the Sun - What's the worst that could happen? Real-life WorldBuilding

Bill Gates Is Thinking About Dimming the Sun The billionaire is backing a study of the controversial technology called solar geoengineering. Let us suppose that the research shows that cooling the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
97 views

Impact winters and understanding their “impact” [closed]

I have visited Impact Earth! and love the amount of information. I understand the information on how much particulate would be ejected into the atmosphere. However, there are no calculations for how ...
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3 votes
5 answers
1k views

How many species does a virus need to infect to destroy life on Earth? [closed]

Okay, let's say that there's a virus that can infect multiple species, is very hard to cure, extremely contagious, can linger asymptomatically for long periods of time, and likely to be deadly. It ...
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4 votes
2 answers
174 views

How to Cause a Hydrosphere Apocalypse Part II The Great Flood

This is part two of a two part question. You can find part one here.(How to Cause a Hydrosphere Apocalypse Part I The Great Drought) One of the more interesting movies I watched growing up was ...
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5 votes
3 answers
196 views

How to Cause a Hydrosphere Apocalypse Part I The Great Drought

This is part one of a two part question. Part two can be found her (How to Cause a Hydrosphere Apocalypse Part II The Great Flood) Desert planets are a staple of science fiction. And while we have ...
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0 votes
1 answer
148 views

Should a space faring species interfere in a Mass-extinction event, which is necessary for the evolution of a future civilization? [closed]

I recently came across an audiobook called Permian by Devyn Regueira. The synopsis was about a recent discovery of fossilized eggs and two strange cave carvings in Siberia, one that describes the ...
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7 votes
2 answers
481 views

Death of animals larger than a mouse, 16/17th century

What would be the repercussions of all non-human animals larger than a mouse dying around 16/17th century in a certain region or across the globe? Would it mean eventual extinction of humans, as they ...
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  • 641
6 votes
5 answers
682 views

Could an earth like planet turn into Venus and then back again?

So, I have an Earthlike planet with a healthy biosphere, and I need to completely reset all complex life on it. Near as I can tell, one way to do this is by totally destroying the atmosphere (after ...
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6 votes
2 answers
245 views

How long would it take for water vapor from an ocean asteroid impact to rain back down?

In my story a consortium of megacorporations spot a new comet 26km wide entering the inner solar system. Earth is in dire need of water because of an already worsening climate change disaster (think ...
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  • 69
6 votes
7 answers
661 views

The food chain was destroyed. How is it remade?

There was a nuclear war in my world Anthropocene. It caused a mass extinction of numerous animals on the planet, so many I can’t cover them all completely, so I’ll tell you what animals are left: ...
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  • 11k
5 votes
6 answers
356 views

Blowing fragments of the moon off, sending them to Earth as meteors - what is the impact? [closed]

Pun not (originally) intended. In my story, a fairly advanced, newly space-faring civilisation manages to land on the moon and establish a colony, where they do some industrial work e.g. mining. ...
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4 votes
4 answers
231 views

How to bring humans near to extinction? [closed]

So, I have a bunch of people (say a hundred) who want to bring humans to extinction. These "people" I'm talking about (let's call them demons, though they aren't actually demons) are stronger than the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
92 views

Could an Ice Age Extinction Wipe Out All Marsupials?

Say the word "Australia", and one of the first things to come to your mind would be the marsupials. Of the 334 species of pouched mammals whose earliest ancestors witnessed the fall of the dinosaur ...
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3 votes
1 answer
138 views

How Different Would the Outcome of the Fall of the Dinosaur Empire Be if Chicxulub Hit at a Different Season?

After 150 million years, the most successful empire in the history of Planet Earth finally collapsed 66 million years ago. A five-mile-wide space bomb--there's still disagreement as to whether it was ...
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  • 14.4k
7 votes
3 answers
332 views

How do I stop Megalodon from going extinct?

A long time ago, the 60 foot long Megalodon roamed the oceans. Fast forward to 2.6 million years ago and they went extinct. In the story I'm writing Megalodon hasn't gone extinct surviving at least up ...
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  • 6,033
6 votes
3 answers
145 views

In an Ice Age Extinction, Which Latitude Would Be Hit Harder--Tropical or Temperate?

Back home, five million years ago, the warm, wet climate of the Miocene sloped downwards into the cooler, drier Pliocene before descending even further into the more so Pleistocene. The slope was so ...
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4 votes
2 answers
503 views

Would civilization collapse if everyone becomes invisible to one another?

Set in the modern day, a meteorite lands in the pacific ocean and green flash of light sweep the entire globe. All of a sudden we are blinded to the presence of another human being, it seems that the ...
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5 votes
5 answers
346 views

Could a species evolve to the point were they cause their own extinction

We know that in biology, a species evolves to better survive its planet and its various climates and geography, which is mainly a result of natural selection. But, sometimes, this natural selection ...
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9 votes
2 answers
328 views

How to stop horses from going extinct in the new world?

Horse were originally native to north america but between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago they went extinct likely due to expanding glaciers into their territory. The question I propose is how could I ...
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  • 6,033
3 votes
1 answer
123 views

Can I use an active flood basalt province as a "biome" without messing my world up?

I want to use the an active large ignious province (LIP) as a "biome" on a continent in my world. This video about the Siberian Traps inspired me. A LIP modeled after the Siberian Traps gives you a ...
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12 votes
6 answers
4k views

Is it necessary to wipe out vile man-eating dragons?

Set in the modern day, reports of dragon sightings came flooding in from all over the world. No one know where they came from or why are they here but these monstrous creatures seemed to be hostile to ...
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1 vote
0 answers
109 views

De-Extinction Candidates [closed]

I know the classic deextinction candidates such as the passenger pigeon or wooly mammoth. What other animals do we have the potential to revive? Are there any odd candidates such as other mastodons or ...
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  • 2,870
2 votes
4 answers
160 views

A plausible reason for an alien race to attack Earth and lead to a post-apocalyptic setting [closed]

My current story is post-apocalyptic, but instead of a virus/asteroid/zombies, I'm going for an alien-caused catastrophe. The setting is a future Earth affected by depleted resources, climate change ...
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  • 1,337
4 votes
5 answers
393 views

Can We Prevent an Impact Winter Extinction with Modern Technology?

I was certain somebody would have asked this before, but after scrolling through the Similar questions list I couldn't find any duplicates. For this question, let's say that an asteroid or comet ...
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  • 6,122
8 votes
4 answers
364 views

Which modern organisms would survive a new K-Pg level impact?

EDIT: As many have pointed out, the whole Lunar Collision aspect I originally envisioned is probably more extreme than I predicted. I don't know where to start as far as the math goes, although my gut ...
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48 votes
12 answers
8k views

When will the last unambiguous evidence of mankind disappear?

Humanity just disappears tomorrow, let's say it is like the Thanos-snap but it kills everyone. How long until the last unambiguous evidence of our existence disappears? What was this last relic? The ...
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3 votes
2 answers
222 views

Deadly virus going extinct - "grey goo" a solution?

With the evolving global warming and thawing of permafrost, an ancient deadly virus begins to spread from Siberia across Eurasia, affecting domestic animals first and mutating quickly onto the rest of ...
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-4 votes
2 answers
181 views

19th century-like transportation without horses?

So, let’s say, hypothetically A NUCLEAR WAR KICKS OFF DUE TO PROLONGED INTERNATIONAL TENSION, AND TURNS THE EARTH INTO A BLEAK, HOSTILE WASTELAND. Now, let’s flash forward 197 years, to 2259. By now, ...
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13 votes
13 answers
6k views

Is this state of Earth possible, after humans left for a million years?

It is the year 4056 (or probably later). The rocket with the last residents of Earth just took off, because global warming and pollution couldn't be stopped nor reverted and Earth became uninhabitable....
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  • 351
3 votes
4 answers
369 views

Which Modern Mammals Would Die Out in an Alternate Extinction Event 5 Million Years Ago? [closed]

Five million years ago, a progressive downward slope in the global climate put an end to the Miocene Epoch and brought on the Pliocene Epoch. To get a visual idea, since we humans are a visual ...
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  • 14.4k
10 votes
5 answers
385 views

How to justify frogs taking over?

A cool thing to imagine would be a world where the land was dominated by megafaunal frog-descendants, as it is/was by mammals today, dinosaurs before the mammals, and non-mammalian synapsids and ...
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  • 14.7k
17 votes
6 answers
4k views

Doomsday-clock for my fantasy planet

I want the surface of my fantasy planet to be made hostile every few thousand years for long enough to make every species go extinct that breeds on land. The easiest explanation seems to be other ...
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12 votes
6 answers
4k views

What would happen to a modern skyscraper if it rains micro blackholes?

Set in present day New York City, an unknown spacecraft of alien origin expelled millions of micro blackholes each with the mass of a grape in the earth atmosphere. I like to know what happens if ...
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  • 46k
27 votes
16 answers
6k views

How can I prevent hyper evolved versions of regular creatures from wiping out their cousins?

The world is covered in mana, the life force that flows through all things. In certain places, this mana saturates to high levels. This affects the animals living in those areas, who absorb the high ...
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  • 38.1k
5 votes
2 answers
203 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. ...
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  • 14.4k
18 votes
9 answers
3k views

Gravity alteration as extermination tool viable?

An alien race was rubbed the wrong way by humans being humans and decided that humankind has to go. However, unlike many other science fiction stories, they do not intend to give the humans even a ...
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  • 8,559
8 votes
6 answers
5k views

Would humanity go extinct if pleasure ceases?

In the near future, the human population is overcrowded and food and water becomes scarce. Every preventative measure failed to address this issue and the world falls into a turmoil and panic is ...
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  • 46k
7 votes
6 answers
436 views

How to prevent a fantasy world response to repeated near extinction events?

This is for a medium/high fantasy magic setting with a medieval flavor (a D&D campaign setting) and am trying to get a grasp on expected long term effects/reaction by repeated worldwide ...
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