Questions tagged [extinction]

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

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27
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
-4
votes
2answers
123 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, ...
12
votes
13answers
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....
2
votes
4answers
189 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
279 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
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 ...
26
votes
16answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
164 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. ...
18
votes
9answers
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
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 ...
7
votes
6answers
349 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 ...
6
votes
9answers
3k views

Conquering the Galaxy with DNA - What is the best vector?

An evil emperor wants to conquer the Galaxy. Before sending humans he wants to send out an advance force that will subdue other life-forms. The Emperor's Adviser comes up with the idea that the ...
7
votes
3answers
174 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
131 views

Explanation as to how 4 species were wiped out close to extinction?

In my epic fantasy I have four races of creatures which were all hunted down due to their valuable blood which grants the drinker magical abilities (premonitions). After time they all became extinct ...
7
votes
10answers
567 views

What would cause an entire space-faring civilization to “expire”

Let's say there was a Type II Kardeshev Scale civilization that suddenly went extinct. Why would the entire species just die out? An added condition is that they knew of their impending destruction ...
16
votes
13answers
3k views

The weird case of the unresponsive Earth - why does the Earth stop communicating with Mars?

Mars has been colonized, close to a million people are now living above (and below) the martian soil, every few months a ship from Earth arrives with more resource for expansion and more settlers, ...
7
votes
5answers
451 views

How to wipe out ALL life on Earth, but leave it habitable?

NB: This is not a duplicate of this question, because A) it only asks to wipe out humans, not any other life-form, and B) it insists that one person must survive. The survival of anything is not ...
21
votes
6answers
5k views

An iron rain to starve a planet

I have a generic Earth like planet, same atmospheric composition, and the same oceanic composition. The crust of this planet is predominantly silicon based but plenty of iron, nickel and copper. ...
14
votes
13answers
4k views

What could explain why trees only have 12 rings?

A colony of space travelers makes their way to their new home planet. After landing and establishing their base camp, a wood worker begins to cut down trees and notices that none of the trees have ...
4
votes
8answers
773 views

Extinction Equilibrium: 50%

The last time I asked a worldbuilding extinction question, I asked on what sorts of factors would create an extinction event in which 96% of all terrestrial species and only 70% of marine species died ...
12
votes
5answers
819 views

An Inverse Great Dying

252 million years ago, the worst event in the history of life on Earth occurred. 70% of all terrestrial species and 96% of all marine species became extinct through, according to geological records, ...
-1
votes
2answers
137 views

Is it possible to resurrect extinct insect species and other arthropods?

As we all know, animals are going extinct all the time and that includes arthropods. Many scientist say that we could bring extinct species (like black rhinos, tigers etc.) back to life. I was ...
6
votes
17answers
705 views

How could aliens exterminate the human race while leaving the Earth unharmed?

Imagine an alien race that's advanced enough to wipe out humanity. They are here and they want Earth. They know we are not gonna let it go easy 'cause they've studied us for decades. Their motivation ...
10
votes
6answers
800 views

Man-made mass extinction that benefits arthropods

Context To revive the Carboniferous period of earth one man and a group of other scientists have been genetically engineering and breeding land arthropods into giant sizes and exotic shapes since the ...
0
votes
2answers
231 views

How would an AGI dispose of humans? [duplicate]

Disclaimer : before marking this as a duplicate please take the time to read the entire question, thank you. So a bit of context, in a world similar to ours a scientist/group of scientists create an ...
1
vote
2answers
138 views

How threatening is instant human extinction to life on earth? [closed]

All humans magically drop dead this very instant. How badly will this affect other lifeforms on the Earth? Ideas: Will nuclear plants leak radiation since there is no one left to man them? Will ...
11
votes
17answers
4k views

War in a dystopian setting

In a world where there is ever-declining population due to a phenomenon that has no satisfactory explanation, what could cause war or large-scale armed confrontations between countries or sections of ...
3
votes
2answers
411 views

Would there be any mass extinction should the polarity of Earth magnetic field flips at 1 GHz? [closed]

If the polarity of our Earth magnetic field were to flip (oscillate) at around 1 GHz or 1 billion cycles per second, would it spell disaster to fauna and flora that depends on it for navigation like ...
4
votes
3answers
305 views

How can the human race disappear in a few days? [duplicate]

Is it possible to eradicate the human race in one week? And if yes, by which way? Of course, the human race should do everything to survive. What could be more powerful than our will to survive? 1. ...
2
votes
2answers
163 views

What aquatic creatures would survive a large-end mass extinction?

I want this world to have two things, typically on the complete opposite end of geological timescales: Land fauna is incredibly "Young" - Pretty much nothing larger than a "large" insect (Some ...
0
votes
2answers
299 views

How big of an asteroid could all the nuclear bombs of the world move? [duplicate]

More than the threat of nuclear war, we should worry more about asteroids destroying the Earth. For the first time we could save ourselves from that happening. Take all the nuclear missiles of the ...
-3
votes
1answer
151 views

How would you wipe out humanity without contaminating Earth? [duplicate]

Nukes are destructive, and yes, they blow up everything in range. One easy way to kill off humanity. But, say, some person comes along and looks around. He sees the imperfections everywhere and ...
-3
votes
2answers
174 views

How would you make humanity extinct? [closed]

I'm trying to explore the consequences of just removing humans from the ecosystem. How could I kill off all of humanity without affecting plants, other animals, etc?
1
vote
4answers
118 views

The Path of Evolution Post a Mass Extinction [closed]

So an asteroid cluster wipes out 95% of life on earth. It kills all carnivores, most herbivores, and almost all of photosynthetic life (Humans survive but I am concerned on non-intelligent life). The ...
35
votes
12answers
7k views

How can a human cause the Yellowstone to erupt?

The story is in contemporary earth and with same technology. How can a single human make the Yellowstone explode with the tools available to us now (or with slightly advanced ones, but nothing too sci ...
3
votes
3answers
230 views

How long for a KT style event meteor to be visible from the ground level?

You are standing on the ground and a meteor 6 miles wide is hurtling to earth. It will wipe out 50 - 70 % of life. Short primer on meteor impact on a nice planet. You know much about this event, ...
28
votes
23answers
6k views

Reasons for my dark ages world to have no horses at all

I am writing a fiction set in the 'dark ages', a pre-industrial, pre-gunpowder world. On Earth that would be no later than 800 AD, but this doesn't have to match Earth. There is no magic, and I won't ...
11
votes
7answers
4k views

Human response to an existential threat that isn't

This is possibly not quite the right place to ask this question but it's fundamental to the world I'm working on so here it is; if faced with a potent existential threat, in the form of an outside ...
2
votes
6answers
420 views

What could possibly cause the near-extinction of a spacefaring Human race?

I got this really interesting setting where Humanity is reduced to a few shattered outposts in hiding and a community that has fled to take refugee into an isolationist alien empire. But I'm having ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Everybody over the age of 15 suddenly dies, what happens? [duplicate]

So in this scenario everybody over the age of fifteen years has suddenly died of an unknown cause (I don't think it's relevant, but not an infectious disease). The event refers to the deaths of all ...
0
votes
2answers
156 views

What kind of effect would removing all species of mosquitoes or spiders have on the global ecosystem? [closed]

Any kind of annoying pest really, but I chose arthropods because I hate them. And someone else hates them too. Let's say he's some sort of well-intentioned but reckless mad scientist who really needs ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Is it possible for humanity to face extinction at the hands of a pandemic? [duplicate]

Over the course of history, humanity has faced a number of epidemics, some have even lead to the mass death of many people throughout the world. Surely though we are advanced enough to cope with ...
1
vote
4answers
416 views

Would we be able to determine if dinosaurs developed intelligence and wiped themselves out? [duplicate]

If a species of dinosaur were to have evolved intelligence and tool use, and had managed to get from there to technology that could wipe out all dinosaurs within 50000 years, would there be any ...
2
votes
5answers
587 views

Asteroid making a hole through the crust

How plausible would it be for an asteroid impact to create a hole through the Earth's crust into the mantle? What sort of traces would such an impact leave behind? Would it be survivable by at least ...
6
votes
14answers
905 views

How can I poison humans over several generations?

So.. I've decided to kill all the humans on Earth. Just a routine fumigation prior to a terraforming job. Although I don't mind a bit of collateral damage I do want to keep most of the plant life ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Plausible Human extinction [closed]

I'm trying to come up with a sequence of events that would render humanity extinct without killing off all vertebrate life. I'm starting with the assumption that this is modern humanity and that it ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

How would a group of survivors with a rebel criminal get along stranded on an alien planet? [closed]

The rebel criminal committed something terrible that gave them their fate to be stranded on the planet. The other survivors believe that he is the one to blame since he's the only person from an anti-...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How do the wealthy live/survive after social/economic collapse?

I am thinking about a realistic Earth scenario following total economic/social collapse as well as mass extinction of humans on Earth (90%+). The scenario involved "stragglers" who try and eek out ...