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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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11 votes
13 answers
5k views

Why wouldn't the world have advanced warning of a significant asteroid/comet strike?

Suddenly, the news warn of a civilization-resetting asteroid/comet about to hit the earth in hours. No-one knew a thing. Why? Well, my research shows that such an event is extremely unlikely in any ...
user110391's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
389 views

What natural forces can cause a volcano to erupt seasonally?

Simply put, what forces of nature would cause a volcano to erupt on a seasonal basis? Say it does not do anything 9/12 months, but it becomes very active for three months and often erupts. I would ...
Rory 02's user avatar
  • 191
6 votes
2 answers
992 views

How to avoid Kessler syndrome on a Dyson sphere

Kessler syndrome is a chain reaction where satellites and debris collide with each other, eventually resulting in the obstruction of space and its unusability. Imagine we had the same situation around ...
koi's user avatar
  • 431
-4 votes
3 answers
120 views

Help conceive of some possible disasters that threaten the solar system and countermeasures [closed]

I'm trying to envision a science fiction setting: Scientific Discovery: Scientists have captured and analyzed some of the neutrino signal information and found that the information is highly ...
Tara Kara's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
201 views

Is it plausible for a landmass to shatter in a tectonic/volcanic cataclysm?

In George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the land of Valyria was transformed from peninsula to archipelago by a volcanic cataclysm followed by earthquakes, tidal waves, a miasma of smoke ...
Fictotum's user avatar
  • 319
4 votes
2 answers
358 views

A 1:1 tidally locked world begins to spin. What sorts of non-solar natural disasters occur?

As stated a tidally locked world that has complete 1:1 begins to spin slowly. It starts slowly, a 2:1 ratio that steadily ramps up over the course of a month to one rotation every month, which would ...
Quinn's user avatar
  • 1,206
-2 votes
1 answer
272 views

If humans all disappeared would it be good for the environment? [closed]

SIGNIFICANTLY UPDATED I've seen similar questions, but not the answer I'm looking for (kinda - obviously all answers are...well...answers). Yes, I am aware that what I'm asking is really multiple ...
roryhewitt's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
217 views

Disasters to prompt the bettering of civilisation [closed]

so, being a cynic as well as a speculative biologist and all-round sci-if fan, I believe that the scenario I want to reach in my project, where humanity has restored the Earth’s biosphere and climate, ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,657
4 votes
2 answers
182 views

What are the challenges of living on a planet with constant meteor showers?

I have been thinking of a planet that has or is experience(ing) a lunar holocaust; moon broke into pieces and many of them fell to the planet. Initial disasters probably caused a massive mass-...
Quinn's user avatar
  • 1,206
0 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why is English the only language spoken?

Long: So in a previous question (HERE), I asked the plausibility of a disease killing off everyone who could speak a language other than English. This time, I’m asking if there’s a point in history, ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
5 votes
8 answers
3k views

When dealing with a drought or a bushfire, is a million tons of water overkill?

The people of the Vorfall Panzer Werkstat gesellschaft build the largest aircraft in the galaxy. The pride of their fleet is currently the Gyre Explorer, which is an aircraft weighing in at 140,000 ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
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12 votes
10 answers
6k views

Would human intelligence evolve if humans had access to infinite food?

In a world with infinite food (each organism had access to an infinite amount of food/energy from another universe), would human intelligence develop through some evolutionary mechanism? If resources ...
Estbot z's user avatar
  • 121
4 votes
2 answers
146 views

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, ...
Meep the Changeling's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
115 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 ...
Vakus Drake's user avatar
  • 2,803
5 votes
4 answers
219 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 ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
46 votes
3 answers
9k 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 ...
WordyBirdy's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
331 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 ...
Boo Radley's user avatar
  • 1,196
4 votes
1 answer
166 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 ...
Devio52's user avatar
  • 421
3 votes
3 answers
162 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 ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
0 votes
1 answer
199 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 ...
Zakum's user avatar
  • 103
2 votes
2 answers
130 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"?...
spargle's user avatar
  • 23
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 ...
User12321313's user avatar
  • 1,320
2 votes
1 answer
176 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 ...
Axion's user avatar
  • 1,154
4 votes
2 answers
410 views

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 ...
Justin T Warner's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
158 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 ...
user11937382's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
167 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....
Benjamin Hollon's user avatar
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, ...
ssfg's user avatar
  • 299
3 votes
2 answers
170 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 ...
Incognito's user avatar
  • 38.5k
5 votes
6 answers
366 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. ...
Touchdown's user avatar
  • 193
1 vote
1 answer
162 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 ...
Cascader's user avatar
-2 votes
3 answers
217 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 ...
David's user avatar
  • 1,622
4 votes
4 answers
353 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 ...
Thom Blair III's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
124 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 ...
N Francis's user avatar
  • 819
2 votes
2 answers
424 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, ...
In the name of the story's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
447 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 ...
Wax's user avatar
  • 655
4 votes
4 answers
175 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 ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.5k
3 votes
1 answer
201 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. ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
4 votes
3 answers
842 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 ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
0 votes
2 answers
154 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 ...
Sandorien's user avatar
10 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 ...
A Can of Beans's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
189 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 ...
neutralParadox's user avatar
33 votes
24 answers
12k 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 ...
John Doe's user avatar
  • 461
-2 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 8,169
8 votes
2 answers
512 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 ...
breathlessblizzard's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
213 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.
joshua.thomas.bird's user avatar
6 votes
8 answers
509 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, ...
savo's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
3 answers
157 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 ...
def_not_anne_mccaffrey's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
484 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 ...
overlord's user avatar
  • 6,312
2 votes
1 answer
359 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 ...
Faz's user avatar
  • 1,453
3 votes
3 answers
557 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 ...
Jake's user avatar
  • 41