Questions tagged [natural-disasters]

For questions about naturally occurring phenomena that cause damage and threat to a sentient being, e.g. tornadoes, earthquakes, meteors, etc.

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How do I determine the locations and strength of earthquakes using a fictional tectonic plate arrangement?

I've got a world that I made using a combination of star system and plate tectonics simulations via a variety of programs. I've used this to build plenty of overlays for my world map—plate boundaries, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
99 views

What Would Be The Consequences of An Asteroid Literally Falling Onto An Ice Sheet?

On this alternate Last Glacial Maximum Earth powerful psychics bring an asteroid into near earth orbit and deorbit it using entirely laser ablation. Bringing it carefully down onto the Laurentide Ice ...
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5 votes
4 answers
182 views

What (natural) phenomenon could cause an earthquake on O'neill cylinder?

There is an O'Neill cylinder about 10,000km long and 10km wide in diameter orbiting a blue giant star. The crew on board have been complaining about the tremors or sometimes a powerful 6.8 magnitude ...
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45 votes
3 answers
8k views

How much damage to the US would a Yellowstone eruption cause?

I posted this question: How would the United States survive and adapt in the decades following a Yellowstone eruption? What things would need to change as the world recovers? and it was closed due to ...
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3 votes
3 answers
123 views

Could an asteroid impact permanently reduce water content on a planet?

I am building a world that used to be almost entirely covered in water but was struck by a large metallic asteroid (roughly the same mass as the one that killed off the dinosaurs) which boiled off ...
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5 votes
1 answer
122 views

How would this island tribe survive when a tornado meets a volcano?

What would happen if a hurricane went inside a volcano and sucked up all the lava at the same time that the volcano was erupting? Details: The island is 10,754km$^2$ and has just under 4 million ...
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  • 526
3 votes
3 answers
139 views

What yield of nuclear explosive would need to be detonated in Valencia, Spain, to flood the Balearic Islands?

A nuclear device goes off on the beach in Valencia, Spain - immediately adjacent to the ocean. How large will this device need to be in order to flood a majority of the human settlements in the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
154 views

What happens if an entire continent is evaporated? [closed]

Suppose that a continent on planet Earth is entirely evaporated in an instant - including all that lives on it at that particular moment (birds which flew over it at the time of its evaporation were ...
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2 votes
2 answers
114 views

If the world was perfect, how would we know how to decipher imperfections?

I've always wondered that if everything was always "good", how would we know that there was something "less good" to distinguish the "good" from the "less good"?...
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26 votes
11 answers
5k views

Could a natural disaster completely isolate a large city in the modern world without destroying it?

I'm trying to construct a society which has had a narrow miss with a natural disaster that has isolated them, scared them considerably, changed the culture, made many of them preppers, but didn't kill ...
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2 votes
1 answer
164 views

How can a planet have relatively common lethal hailstones?

Sometimes hailstones reach sizes that are deadly to large animals and people and livestock have been killed. This is a relatively rare occurrence on Earth of course. If I want a planet where lethal ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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What would happen if the Somalian tectonic plate was suddenly lifted directly up?

I am writing a book where prior to the current events, an event caused by a magic surge resulted in the Somalian tectonic plate to be quickly lifted directly up enough to create a new continent. I was ...
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2 votes
3 answers
141 views

How could we recover from being ejected from the solar system?

I just finished watching the newest kurzgesagt video on if the earth got kicked out of the solar system here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gLZJlf5rHVs And I wanted to use that scenario in a story but ...
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2 votes
2 answers
142 views

How would Atlantis work on a Planetary Scale?

I have a world, and when the story begins, I want it to almost completely covered by water. There are islands scattered across the planet reasonably frequently, and most of the oceans are very shallow....
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14 votes
23 answers
6k views

How can water magic destroy the world?

The question is self-explanatory. In my novel, there is an evil sea goddess that wants to destroy the world. I want to emphasize that she wants to destroy the world completely, in a way no plant, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
154 views

How can energy seeping into reality be prevented from spreading?

Our reality is separated from the realm of chaos by a thin barrier that prevents either realm's inhabitants from interacting. The exception is during an event which occurs every 1000 years. In this ...
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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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1 vote
1 answer
134 views

Are large meteor craters possible with the survival of most human society?

In my world, I am looking for a crater formed by a meteor impact that deposited a large number of resources there. The final crater should be 200 miles in diameter. I would like to do this with ...
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-2 votes
3 answers
181 views

Who is likely to die because of a prolonged power outage? How long does it take?

My antagonist is going to cause a widespread blackout to flex on the protagonist, but the unexpected consequence is that some folks are going to die as a result. This will cause the protagonist to ...
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4 votes
4 answers
203 views

What do you call a society after it collapses to a certain degree? [closed]

I've been thinking about phrases like "a post-apocalyptic society", "a stone-age society", "bombed back to the stone age", etc. I've also been wondering how these terms apply to First World, Second ...
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1 vote
3 answers
116 views

Attempting to Cripple Society while Preserving Biosphere

Asking for a project that's floated in and out of my head for the past few years. I'm desiring to create a scenario where human society is globally affected - not wiped out, not even Mad-Maxed, but ...
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2 votes
2 answers
280 views

How to evacuate an entire planet?

Setting: An Earth-like planet except all the continents are joined together like Pangea. The locals are in the medieval era and have the ability to use magic. Magic can level buildings at best, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
332 views

Can Florida become an island?

I've been building a world set in the near future (decades/centuries) that includes Florida as an island. My intent was for a manmade or natural event to occur at or near the South Georgia Rift, but I ...
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4 votes
4 answers
164 views

What Kind of Bolide Would Chicxulub Be to Create the Bigger Airburst--Asteroid or Comet?

66 million years ago, something brought an end to the long-established dinosaur empire. The pendulum just kept shifting between an asteroid and a comet, astronomical bolides that actually have ...
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3 votes
1 answer
193 views

Floor is lava, need answer

Imagine a tsunami of lava has flash-flooded cities. Oddly enough there weren't eruptions or earthquakes, just a sea of molten rock covering every inch of road, street pavement, what have you. ...
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4 votes
3 answers
813 views

Is there any way for humanity to cope with perpetual acid rains?

All of a sudden, overnight, abruptly, weather forecast guys go on strikes... everywhere is raining nitric acid non stop so that on average the amount reported is 100mm and the pH level is 3 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
146 views

What would we need to have 1km deep fissures spanning out across the planet?

Art by Sylvain sarrailh What kind of event would we need to have 1km deep fissures spanning out across the planet. I can work with a hypothetical scenario where the planet might have had some sort ...
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11 votes
4 answers
3k views

What would be the effect(s) of this asteroid?

"At this very moment we face a threat insurmountable to Man. We are faced with two options. Stay on Earth and die, or leave Earth to space." - UN Preservation Council, CE 2047 Earth, year CE 2047 An ...
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2 votes
2 answers
155 views

How long until land life can return after the impact?

So, it finally happened. The Earth was hit by a comet, and anyone outside of a research station at the bottom of the Atlantic is now dead, or dying. So, here's what we need to know: How big would a ...
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33 votes
24 answers
11k views

What would make the internet go away?

Assume that we're in roughly our currently timeline in present day, plus or minus 5 years (for increase or decrease in technology that would/could make a specific method plausible): what event or ...
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-2 votes
4 answers
391 views

The moon will fall to earth in 100 years, how fast is the asteroid that knocked it down?

We have at most 100 years to abandon earth. The 10-km asteroid which killed the dinosaurs has hit the moon head-on instead. As a result, the moon has slowed down and it’s orbit will decay by 400,000 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
463 views

What would an asteroid impact feel like to someone standing on the moon?

On the Earth, with our atmosphere, even small objects entering the atmosphere such as Tunguska or Chelyabinsk can do devastating damage due to the shock-wave travelling through the air. People could ...
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6 votes
3 answers
204 views

Can Shade Balls be used to stop hurricanes?

I think it would make sense for hurricanes to be combatted using shade balls to block the evaporation of the ocean into the storm. What would we need to stop a hurricane? Info on shade balls.
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6 votes
8 answers
452 views

What disaster could wipe out civilisation worldwide, but allow for immediate rebuilding? What would be the side effects?

For a story I have, modern civilisation must be destroyed by a worldwide disaster. The objective is roughly something that: Could be man-made or aided (if not now, maybe in the future) Decimates, ...
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6 votes
3 answers
145 views

What is the longest plausible interval for a recurring, society-shaping, natural distaster?

I'm writing a story in which the characters (and society at large) have to deal with a recurring natural disaster (like hurricane season or the common winter, in a way). What I want to know is how ...
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4 votes
5 answers
397 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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2 votes
1 answer
248 views

How big would an asteroid have to be to destroy 99.9% of the human population? How would the remaining survive? [closed]

Let's say that a mega-asteroid is heading towards Earth. I want it to destroy essentially the entire population except maybe a few million people around the world. Now, I know that for an asteroid of ...
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4 votes
3 answers
365 views

What would it look like if a portal opened to a dimension with drastically less energy?

Imagine the other dimension is much much colder. Very little light/heat/etc. Suppose the portal only allows energy transfer, so matter can't pass through. What would the consequences be? Would it ...
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1 vote
5 answers
461 views

Can we move the moon to use as a shield?

Do we have the capability of moving the Moon just a little bit to time a intercept with a moon size asteroid like the one in the picture? It just said that if we could intercept an asteroid far out ...
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4 votes
2 answers
298 views

A Dozen Cubic Miles of Volcanic Ash--How Big Would the Cloud Be?

On May 18, 1980, Mount Saint Helens made American history with an eruption that took 57 human lives and killed thousands of animals. It has released only a quarter of a cubic mile of ash, but it is ...
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6 votes
11 answers
626 views

What type of natural or artificial disaster could devastate a multi galactic civilization?

There is an advanced civilization that spans multiple galaxies. The civilization has learned to tap every available source of energy within the volume that it has colonized. The civilization ...
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1 vote
5 answers
240 views

A fast apocalypse with survivors, but very low chance of rebuilding [closed]

I need an event which could make the world go from "similar to today" to post-apocalyptic in one lifetime, preferably in 20-40 years. It needs to happen fast, because I want to focus the story on ...
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10 votes
10 answers
3k views

How to transport 10,000 terrestrial trolls across ocean fast?

Trolls are about 30 meters tall on average and can weigh anything between 100 to 200 short tons at sea level. They can only be found to inhabit an island somewhere in the Pacific ocean and are in ...
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  • 46k
2 votes
2 answers
179 views

High-Altitude Asteroid Impact

66 million years ago, the dinosaur empire was in its death throes when its final nail in the coffin came hurtling down from the sky. A clump of rock the size of Mount Everest smashed into the Gulf of ...
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7 votes
4 answers
488 views

Can reckless idiots wake up a dormant volcano using mining equipment?

My story for a video game has some kind of "enemy" (think "the Others" from Lost—little is known about them; they have control over a small settlement or two and appear to be engaging in some manner ...
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3 votes
2 answers
172 views

Human caused disasters creating a whole new continent

So my world needs to be destroyed because of a variety of things. New land masses would be created and destroyed and joined till we had a single continent. In the future, people saw the possibility ...
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1 vote
1 answer
75 views

How would constant rhythmic tsunamis affect the coast lines of the Atlantic Ocean?

Premise: a massive organic structure sits somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean giving of an intermittent telekinetic pulse. This would presumably create a constant chain of tsunamis. What sort of abnormal ...
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5 votes
5 answers
2k views

What natural event could strip all of Earth atmosphere?

I was reading up on Mars thin atmosphere and was wondering how could Earth becomes like the red planet except it only has only 100 pascal (air pressure) at imaginary sea level? Mars is 600 pascal on ...
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9 votes
5 answers
2k views

How possible would it be for a whole city (and smaller towns) to be built on water?

The world is flooded and some people have survived and managed to build small towns and even massive cities on the ocean that now covers the world. Is this possible hypothetically? How much of the ...
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  • 101
1 vote
2 answers
558 views

How long would it take for an Earth-like planet to flood?

In my story, the heroes are trying to prevent a global flood and I need to know how long would it take for constant rainfall to flood an Earth-like planet so that the only things left are the tips of ...
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