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Questions tagged [geography]

For questions about the characteristics and effects of natural features on a world.

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3answers
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What would happen if Earth had oceans of dense gas instead of water?

Ignoring the fact that we need water in order to survive, what would happen if all of the "oceans" on Earth were filled with a dense non-reactive gas (e.g. xenon or sulfur hexafluoride) instead of ...
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10answers
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How large can a volcano be?

A key part of the plot in a story I'm working on revolves around the main region being on top of volcano that is set to erupt. The trouble is that the region in question in my setting is roughly the ...
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0answers
586 views

How would medieval civilizations be changed if lands were seas and seas were lands? [closed]

If we lived on Earth, but with land and sea swapped, how would this affect civilizations on Earth? This would include a total topographic inversion of Earth, so The Mariana Trench would become the ...
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4answers
485 views

Could a Snowball Earth drive us to extinction?

Could a Snowball Earth drive our species into total extinction? The most obvious problem is: How would we grow food to sustain any grouping of people?
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4answers
241 views

Is it possible to alter plate tectonics?

Is there a way to split a tectonic plate into two plates? or a way to alter their motion? -What would the impact of a such a change up here on the surface? I know that plate tectonics is run by giant ...
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12answers
8k views

Where in Europe can I detonate 100 kt (non-nuclear) not to harm anyone?

Reality check: Protagonists of my story have a scientific device of a peaceful purpose. Unfortunately, despite the peaceful purpose, activation of the device, as a side-effect releases about 100 ...
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4answers
660 views

Is a mountainous crater filled with fog realistic? Ways for a species to penetrate the fog?

I have an area of my world that is essentially a large crater. It is a huge barren land surrounded by mountains. The ground is stone, then below are underground rivers, and below those are pools of ...
11
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1answer
902 views

Open sea navigation on a tidally locked moon

On a tidally locked gas giant moon (which is otherwise earth-like - see this question for pictures) how would medieval sea navigation techniques differ from Earth? I presume that compared to Earth, ...
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11answers
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Explaining uphill rivers scientifically?

I see this in so many maps. Normally, the water flows downhill because of gravity but here it is the opposite, rivers will go above the hills. When you mention this incoherence, the authors refuse to ...
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2answers
371 views

Trade city on a lagoon?

Is it possible to have a major trade city built on the edges of a lagoon? For a city I'm designing it is situated on a lagoon but if there is a small strait/canal so that ships can move in and out of ...
7
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2answers
684 views

The Desert of Ore, how is it different from a desert of sand

So, within my setting, I would like to also have a kingdom based in a special desert. Absolutely all of the sand in the desert would be ore sand. Ores of any and all kinds that you could traditionally ...
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5answers
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The shortest possible distance between a boreal area and a hot desert?

Let's assume a planet like ours, same size and same conditions. My characters live at approximately 60° North, in a boreal forest, with a climate much like the Nordic countries in Europe. They are ...
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4answers
1k views

Horses for Absolutely Everybody, how it came to be

Suppose that I have a fantasy kingdom, built on a magical land, and the thing is that horses are so cheap and plentiful in that land, even the poorest peasant would have at least a horse to their name....
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5answers
1k views

Unsettled continent

In my world, I would like to have a certain configuration and I wonder if it's plausible or not. There is a continent with a climate similar to the Amazonian basin, covered by a very dense forest. ...
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6answers
2k views

What determines distribution of natural resources?

I am currently creating a world from scratch, and while I have a map, I still need to figure out distribution of natural resources. For resources like fossil fuels, while many do appear in deserts, I ...
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3answers
171 views

Huge sea level rise in a specific area [duplicate]

I have a continent and I want the sea level to rise temporarily, for several hundred years. The area that needs to be covered by water is about 3 million square kilometers. I was thinking about a ...
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1answer
1k views

What would happen if the earth starts burning?

What would happen if the earth lights up on fire? Like this picture below: The earth is burning is it gonna explode or maybe even melt? What would happen to the water? Is it gonna boil? What if ...
15
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7answers
2k views

A continent lost underwater?

So I've been trying to create a world and I've been planning on the continents being drowned out almost completely in water from a terrible tsunami, storm, earthquake or an act of one the gods or ...
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3answers
8k views

How much TNT do you need to blow up Mount Everest?

How much TNT do you need to blow up Mount Everest? Is this even possible and can mankind survive a huge explosion like this? Or would the whole world be covered with dust? And if you can survive ...
2
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1answer
270 views

Volcano the size of Australia

What would happen a volcano the size of Australia were to erupt? How high on the extinction-list would it rank? Would it be above the asteroid that hit Earth and killed the dinosaurs? Which known ...
25
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12answers
9k views

Can planets die of old age

I was wondering if planets die after a certain amount of time, perhaps because of decay? If this is the case, how do they die and how long does it take? Do they implode? Explode or perhaps just fall ...
3
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2answers
925 views

Where would deserts form on this world?

I think the mountains are positioned well. I used Fractal Terrains.
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3answers
1k views

What determines where a desert is?

Especially like the sandy Sahara. I read a little and found said desert lost its lushness from a change in Earth's tilt. Are there other reasons?
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3answers
915 views

What science-y stuff could hide an island?

I'm considering making a novel about something weird that really happened sort of: an island that was on every map of the world, but never really existed. The real deal is called a Phantom Island, ...
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2answers
224 views

Method for creating aerial visuals (photography) for fake landmasses

What is the best method for creating a visual that mimics aerial photography for a fake island. The desired quality is USGS standards for actual aerials, preferably 2 foot aerials. The end product ...
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3answers
1k views

How to name places that have multiple names?

When designing a world it is convenient to decide how places will be named : Elements like the continents and the oceans. However, it is likely that the different cultures of the world will not ...
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3answers
460 views

Can one humanoid species evolve to live at an altitude where another, similar species could not survive?

It seems that people who live at very high altitudes have demonstrably "thicker" blood, highly concentrated with red blood cells to overcome the low concentration of oxygen in the air. Moving between ...
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7answers
9k views

What would an ammonia-based world look like?

Apart from the obvious difference that liquid ammonia needs a much colder temperature than liquid water (but ammonia-based life forms wouldn't feel that as particularly cold), what would be the most ...
13
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1answer
975 views

What effect would three moons have on ocean/landscape formation?

I'm building an alien world for a game mod, and want to avoid any blatant mistakes from a world-building perspective. The world has three moons visible in the night sky - two on one side near each ...
21
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1answer
1k views

Tool to simulate climate & weather effects

I am looking for a tool that can be used to create worlds with a realistic (= physically plausible) climate and surface given general terrain shape, or can at least assist in such a task. My ideal ...
12
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2answers
526 views

Centralised continent, with sea/wind currents?

I'm currently designing a large scale D&D based campaign, magic is based on winds and weather coming from two points, the 'northern pole' and the 'southern pole'. Currently the "world" is a ...
9
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2answers
505 views

Resolving Environmental Implications of an Extremely Massive Mountain

I am doing some work within the setting of the Exalted tabletop role-playing game. In broad brush strokes, the defining feature of the world is the five elemental poles: Water (west), Wood (east), Air ...
5
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6answers
571 views

What complications would arise from a world with an internal atmosphere and environment?

For a long, long, long time I have had a concept of a world that exists on the inside of a hallowed-out sphere. The basic construction of the world is like this: It is a large world, at the center ...
35
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13answers
7k views

Can a river be put under enough pressure to jet straight up for a mile?

I've been mulling over an idea for my preferred RPG setting, and I wanted to check if anyone knows the following: Is it possible for a river to flow underground for miles, and then suddenly be put ...
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3answers
6k views

Creating a realistic world map - Erosion

Once geological processes have created a landscape a number of factors come into play in order to reshape it. This includes weather and climate effects such as wind, rain and ice reshaping the terrain....
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4answers
3k views

If Yellowstone experienced another level 8 eruption on the VEI scale, what are the largest geographical implications?

I'm building a post-apocalyptic setting where the cataclysmic event is a volcanic eruption from Yellowstone that releases a blanket of ash that reaches from California to just before the Midwest. ...
11
votes
3answers
619 views

What is the minimum distance needed between physically distinct races?

If there are several races with very distinct appearances (e.g. Nordic-pale vs. Arabic-tan skin, red vs. black hair, etc.), how much space / natural barriers do I need between their homelands to ...
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3answers
300 views

How does the age of a planet impact terrain?

As the title suggests, what happens to a planet geologically and geographically over time? This question came to mind from the many sessions of Civilization I have played where when you set up a ...
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4answers
732 views

How to go from Australia to Europe using correspondences?

I am writing a story where we have our real science-based world, and a parallel world where magic is the more dominant principle. In fact the principle of magic is so dominant, that one cannot travel ...
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15answers
2k views

What geographic characteristics for a world would be needed/be most beneficial for airships to be a common mode of transportation?

Airships are a hallmark of countless steampunk and dieselpunk constructed universes. Of course, in our world, they were around for a short while. I want to know what effects geographical circumstances ...
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7answers
26k views

Creating a realistic world map - Landmass formation

This question focuses on the initial creation of landmasses. What are the processes that causes land-masses to form, and continents and islands to rise up from the sea and sink back into it? How can ...
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6answers
596 views

How can I create an enormous crater?

My world has a huge crater (4400 miles in diameter) on a world that's roughly earth equivalent (so a circumference of 25000 miles). The native population doesn't need to know how it was formed but it ...
8
votes
4answers
643 views

What natural or artificial geographical structures that could allow a large-scale true “water going down the drain” whirlpool?

As a child, I was always fascinated by the propensity of water going down a drain to form a vortex. I created a world with a global ocean where there was a narrow body of land running north-south ...
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3answers
5k views

What would a planet spinning fast enough to allow geostationary orbit near the surface look like?

From an answer to a previous question of mine: A planet spinning fast enough to allow geostationary orbit near the surface would result in odd side effects. Any object at rest on the equator would ...
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4answers
7k views

How (un)likely is a split of one major river into two others?

I inherited a worldbuilding project, and the former authors liked some things that seem unrealistic. One of them is that one of the world's biggests rivers splits into two other rivers some 300-400 ...
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7answers
636 views

What are some ways mass changing of terrain in a short period of time could occur?

By "short period of time", I'm referring to the timeframe of weeks to months (not days or hours). For example: at the start of one day the land is flat, but after a few weeks or months there is a ...
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5answers
415 views

What are some possible reasons for people not taking long journeys to “other lands”?

If you've read Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, you might get the reference. In that story, the protagonists, after fulfilling their duty, decide to journey over a large mountain chain to explore the ...
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5answers
3k views

Are geographically typed planets realistic?

In many science fictions we see planets which are designated by a particular terrain type. For example, Dagobah is a swamp planet, Tatooine is a desert planet, and Kamino is an ocean world. However, ...