Questions tagged [humans]

For questions about humans as we know them or slightly changed, their physiology, psychology, politics, society and goals.

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127
votes
18answers
81k views

What is the minimum human population necessary for a sustainable colony?

How many humans are needed in order to sustain and grow a steady population in a habitable area? Assume resources are adequate and the environment is favorable. To further refine this question, let'...
35
votes
11answers
7k views

Would humans be able to derive nutrition from foodstuffs found on alien planets?

Suppose humans have developed the technology to travel between star systems. This might be some science-fiction method like warp drive, jump drive, peanut butter drive, hyperspace drive or whatever, ...
19
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1answer
3k views

How to make a flying human

We are in a future where genetics has advanced to a point where arbitrary modifications can be done to living beings. Now a geneticist wants to make a flying human. That is, he wants to modify a human ...
46
votes
7answers
30k views

If accelerated natural healing were to occur, what would happen to the human body?

The Details: The human body is capable of impressive acts of self-repair, but such processes take a lot of time, and can take a toll on the body. Infection or other complications can also develop, and ...
58
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14answers
32k views

Would the human body support living on planets with a greater gravity than Earth?

I once read a novel about a prison-planet which was chosen to make the prisoners suffer. One of the different "tortures" was a gravity three times higher than that on Earth. Would the human body ...
50
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6answers
34k views

If we put humans on planets with atmospheres different from Earth's atmosphere, but still containing oxygen, would humans be able to breathe?

From Wikipedia: By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. For example, would humans be able to survive in ...
16
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6answers
4k views

What would be the tallest possible height for humanlike creatures in earthlike conditions?

This is about "giants" inhabiting a fictional earth-like planet somewhere in the Universe (like those in the movie Prometheus, for example). Assuming that all the conditions (temperature, gravity, ...
30
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5answers
8k views

What would be the consequences for Earth if the moon disappeared?

Scenario: The Moon disappears slowly -- within 3 days. It is a result of natural causes and we don't have any control over this disaster. What will be the Major Effects On Earth and life on Earth?
107
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16answers
14k views

How many humans can I abduct without getting noticed?

Humans as Pets is now a thing. But not for AI (as in the linked question) but for the aliens. This celebrity was seen with their human pet and now every alien kid is begging their parent to get one ...
8
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3answers
10k views

What would humans wings need to be like to fly? [duplicate]

How would it work for a human to have wings and how would they be able to fly? What wings would make the most sense, feathered, webbed etc.? How would it make sense for it to connect to their own ...
30
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5answers
7k views

Does living without access to sunlight for extended periods have known physical or psychological effects on humans?

Humans (even programmers :-) ) are used to having some access to natural light, but in a colony in space, on the dark side of a tidally-locked planet, or underground (for example) this won't happen. ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Effect of longer day/night cycle on human sleeping patterns

So in a setting I'm developing, a moon orbits a gas giant once every four days. It naturally is tidally locked to the parent body. Halfway through the day part of the cycle there is a two hour solar ...
23
votes
7answers
31k views

How would the human body develop under a different gravity?

What would be the effects of high or low gravity on human body development? How would the human body develop under a different gravity? Many science fiction stories explore the idea that people from ...
8
votes
2answers
527 views

Surviving the world of zombie mosquitoes

Some Details Suppose an Earth-like world with the following changes: Atmosphere: 67% nitrogen, 31% oxygen, 2% other Average surface temperature: 16.7° C (62° F) Day/night cycle: 20 hours Gravity: 0....
74
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12answers
11k views

How does the government cover up alien crash landings?

One night a spacecraft of extraterrestrial origin crash-landed in the densely populated city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The force of the impact leveled the entire city within a radius of 1 ...
48
votes
12answers
6k views

How would a Martian colony be able to celebrate Christmas?

Accept that we had a reason to go to Mars, managed to build a colony there, and what we found on Mars is valuable enough to ship back to Earth. There is now a self sustainable colony living under the ...
60
votes
30answers
9k views

How can humans coexist with an intelligent carnivorous species?

This is about a world which is quite similar to Earth in many respects. It has continents, oceans, mountains, fjords, humans, and every other property Slartibartfast might be more or less proud of in ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

Anatomically Correct: 4-legged sapient creatures (“centaurs” etc.)

This is a part of the Anatomically Correct series. If a magic-free fantasy/SF world were to have naturally evolved hexapods as humanoid as possible, living among bipedal humanoids, how would they ...
8
votes
1answer
530 views

The limits of human biology: atmospheric tolerances (#1)

This is the first question in a series on the physical limits of the human body. The intent of this series is to, illustrate the upper and lower limits of human biology for the purpose of building ...
10
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18answers
23k views

How can I kill every human on earth? [closed]

One day, "God" said to me: You need to eliminate the humans race! So, I was thinking at this problem: How can I kill every human on the planet (and then kill myself)? Some ideas: Nuclear Bomb - ...
12
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7answers
5k views

Is it possible to dodge bullets? [closed]

It seems that a human can't dodge a bullet once it is shot. That has been made rather clear by the articles I read. But is it possible (in a story context of course, I'm not trying this IRL :p) to ...
5
votes
4answers
455 views

Early Army without foraging: How do we keep ourselves supplied in the field?

In a previous question we determined that to survive on an alien planet, we'd be heavily reliant on stuff we brought with us. Whatever plants we could convince to grow that we happened to have on hand,...
48
votes
19answers
18k views

How to conceal my immortality without hiding for a hundred years?

In my story, I have this character that cannot die and cannot grow old. She got this from a curse. When ordinary people see her, she probably looks like 20 or so. How can I make it so that nobody ...
52
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21answers
7k views

How would humans adapt if low-wage labor was done by robots?

Background: Nearly all low-wage labor is done by humanoid robots (retail, factories, transport, sanitation, construction, mining, and similar fields). These robots have all the physical capabilities ...
13
votes
11answers
4k views

How do you establish identity when people can change their appearance at will?

Building on the universe established in this question, what happens to identity verification when someone's physical appearance and genetic code are modifiable at any time? Review of universe rules: ...
7
votes
10answers
815 views

If humans were photosynthetic, would there be an impetus for technological development?

Picture this, humans (or human-like sentient beings) having the innate ability to photosynthesise their food in a similar manner to plants - thus providing all the nutrients required for sustained ...
72
votes
9answers
16k views

If the insects declared war, who would win?

It is the near future and insectoid aliens pass our planet. They are shocked and dismayed to find that disgusting fleshy creatures seem to be in charge. Using their alien technology they imbue all of ...
51
votes
11answers
17k views

How long would it take to “domesticate” humans?

If aliens came down to Earth and enslaved humanity, how long would it take to selectively breed the humans to make them more docile and less resistant to their alien captors? For example, if they ...
51
votes
11answers
14k views

If an FTL spacecraft entered Earth orbit, how long would it take for humans to build a FTL spacecraft?

It’s just another average day in the life of modern day earth. Suddenly a transmission from orbit washes over the planet! Oh no! An alien race, calling themselves the “Thull”, has suddenly arrived in ...
32
votes
17answers
8k views

Teaching people not to ask gods for help

(For my own needs) I write stories that are primarily fantasy, but with very strong touch of modern technologies (modern technologies converted to magic world, for example magic bomb that behaves like ...
31
votes
7answers
6k views

How does an AI keep its Human Pets Happy?

It is late in the day, and humanity has made the fateful step: digital transcendence for some. The last few weeks before the Singularity were singularly chaotic, with widespread violence by opponents ...
22
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9answers
4k views

Is extending human gestation realistic or I should stick with 9 months?

I'm developing a world in the near future where a start-up company develops an artificial womb. Now well-off people could grow their children from their eggs & sperm. My story is about couples ...
35
votes
8answers
18k views

How will our world change if all men suddenly die? [closed]

In a world... with today's technology and level of development there is a Mad Scientist. A woman, to be exact. One day she concludes that men are responsible for all evil in the world and starts to ...
13
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5answers
3k views

Psychological impact of being immortal

Imagine a meta-human, one engineered to be immortal. A combination of cybernetic enhancements, genetic engineering, and other scientific modifications have made it so this human will not die from ...
36
votes
10answers
6k views

No newborns on Earth. How much time to find a cure?

Pretty much what it says on the tin: It's the beginning of 2016. Due to a fast-spreading virus, humans have lost the ability to reproduce themselves. The virus makes current artifical fertilization ...
34
votes
8answers
86k views

What would be the effects on the human body if the oxygen level increased by a lot?

How would the human body be affected if oxygen levels increased by a lot? Our air is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. If it increased to 30% oxygen, what would the effects be and how long would it take ...
30
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6answers
6k views

How inhuman can a human be?

As worldbuilders, we routinely tweak our unwitting human victims to new environments, new abilities, and new dangers. So far, we've accelerated the natural healing rate, opened new doorways, and given ...
45
votes
4answers
8k views

How many people would have to be killed to make the streets 'run red with blood'?

For example, a street this wide to have enough blood run down the length shown in this photo? Assume that the blood isn't going down storm-drains for whatever reason and assume the stretch of road is ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Would a human individual adapt to a change in the day-night cycle?

I'm thinking on the colonizing of another planet by humans. The conditions of this planet are quite different from Earth, and particularly the day-night cycle is much larger. In my fictional planet, ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

When does gravity become too much for humanoids?

Supposing you took Earth or a planet like it and doubled its mass, the gravity would obviously increase in whatever proportion to that. As a result, humans as we know them would be ... thicker, (I ...
13
votes
7answers
16k views

How would lack of sunlight affect a human population?

Other than photosynthesis being an issue, if the Earth's surface became inhospitable and humans were forced to live underground, what biological changes would they be expected to go through to adapt ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How would humans be affected by a 12-hour day?

In Can I significantly shorten the days on a planet that can support human life? I asked about changes needed to a planet to support human life with a much-shorter day (12 hours or so instead of 24ish)...
9
votes
4answers
516 views

Little Green EARTH Men?

This question is based on the articles saying that the Mongoloid body plan was all due to an individual mutation from 35,000 years ago. In science fiction, humanoid aliens that aren't of the human ...
6
votes
3answers
725 views

How long would a modern human population need to be separated in order to suffer allopatric speciation?

A sizeable human population was separated from the rest of the Earth people for a long time, long enough for allopatric speciation to happen. They are no longer Homo sapiens and now have ZERO ...
5
votes
1answer
607 views

How hot can I make the insides of my spaceship before damaging crew too much?

Spaceships are a peculiar thing; as are the things inside them. Humans... Humids... Humies - the colloquial term for those crazy enough to make a living by crewing these hulks of metal. A special ...
1
vote
3answers
199 views

Determining sufficient nutrition with minimal technology

We're in a military space cruiser, designed for in-system patrolling. We're selected to test out a prototype FTL drive. The initial tests are supposed to be short-ranged in-system hops. A disaster ...
47
votes
3answers
6k views

How early was the Earth liveable for today's humans?

Say you were to drop a (bunch of) human(s) at some past era of our Earth. I'm assuming they might encounter a few problems such as the composition of the air not being breathable, the water being too ...
49
votes
5answers
8k views

How long would people live in the US if an immortality treatment was available?

Very narrow question: assuming an immortality treatment keeping people at a biological age of a fit 30's, free of infections and cancers & ruling out death by aging, how long would people live (in ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I make humans not negatively affected by radiation?

My people are traveling in a generation ship. For some reason they can't make the ship radiation-proof. Their solution: genetically modify their descendants to be radiation proof. How could one modify ...
33
votes
11answers
10k views

Why are low gravity humans depicted as TALL?

I totally get why humans who have colonised a low gravity environment (Mars or an asteroid, for instance) are skinny. Muscles doing less work, square cube law, force output of a muscle proportional to ...