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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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2
votes
2answers
95 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 ...
31
votes
24answers
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 ...
-2
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4answers
316 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 ...
8
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2answers
295 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 ...
6
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3answers
171 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.
5
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8answers
305 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
114 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 ...
4
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5answers
287 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 ...
2
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1answer
167 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
233 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 ...
1
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5answers
424 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
228 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 ...
6
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11answers
469 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
199 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 ...
10
votes
10answers
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
116 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
329 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
138 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
65 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
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 ...
9
votes
5answers
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
259 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 ...
7
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5answers
499 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 ...
-2
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1answer
65 views

Planet Size Disaster [closed]

What kind of disaster could be large enough to wipe out an entire planets life and leave it like a complete wasteland, similar environment to what Mars is? Nuclear warfare or meteors are what I have ...
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
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8answers
787 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 ...
9
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8answers
1k views

To Conquer the Earth by Appearing Ship

An alien species has been conquering planet after planet around the Milky Way for some time. They detected intelligent life on Earth a while back and now they decided it’s time to add us to their ...
13
votes
5answers
842 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, ...
8
votes
4answers
481 views

Can I trigger supernova artificially?

As far as I know stars are going supernova as a natural process. Can aliens trigger it artificially? If this is possible then: How can I do this (what minimum technology and civilization development ...
2
votes
5answers
256 views

Effects of asteroid passing very close to the planet

I am trying to think of a natural event that causes very big impact to human lives - massive movements of people, shift of power, etc. This event happens in a medieval period on an earth-like planet. ...
9
votes
5answers
521 views

Could a nuclear explosion occur naturally on a planet with crazy enough (but still possible) conditions?

My question here is if there is any circumstance, however unlikely, that could lead to explosive nuclear fission that was not set off by intelligent creatures. I'm working on some bizarre planets for ...
51
votes
32answers
19k views

How to completely destroy a city, without leaving clues for humanity 4,000 years later?

Background I want to burn down a city completely. Nothing must remain, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Even though I'm a supernatural being, I want this to happen in a natural way. I also want the ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

If there were giant irregular mirrors above cities that would reflect sunlight, would that heat the atmosphere and cause global warming? [closed]

Or would the heat dissipate back into space? For my world building purposes, I need it to cause global warming, I just don't really know if it would work. Maybe the cities would need to be bigger then ...
3
votes
3answers
265 views

Likely warning time for extinction event asteroid

I'm looking for a science based answer based on current technology. Given that we do commit some small amount of resources and time to searching for stellar objects, with our current technology, how ...
0
votes
1answer
348 views

Do different angles of strike affect the destructive power of an asteroid?

I'm looking into the destructive power of a 5km asteroid strike, a bit smaller than the k-Pg event. How does the angle of the strike affect the destructive capability of a land-based impact. For ...
8
votes
4answers
488 views

What kind of natural disaster could create a permanent, global cloud cover?

“Permanent” here meaning “significant over geological timespans”, so it would have to last at least 10,000 years and produce a thick enough layer of clouds that it would cover the entire planet in an ...
12
votes
8answers
1k views

Would an asteroid of similar size to the one that hit 65 million years ago cause humans to go extinct?

Could humans sustain life after a k-t like extinction event? I know that a long lasting winter was a side effect then, but humans have technology to protect against cold. What other effects of an ...
-2
votes
1answer
230 views

The Nuke and the Tornado [closed]

What would happen if a nuke was launched into a super powerful tornado? Would the nuke drop as the tornado weakens? Or if the nuke exploded inside of the tornado, would the pieces of the nuke fall on ...
2
votes
5answers
491 views

Defending against 100-year flood

The city I'm designing had a 100-year flood in the year 1907. The city has a population of 90,000 inhabitants and is situated on a confluence of two navigable rivers. River "Q" is about 400m wide; ...
-2
votes
5answers
192 views

How would an armed group or army use natural calamities against their enemy? [closed]

This new story I'm writing was born out of a dream with an excellent screenplay! :D Basically what happens is, its a regular workday when the city is suddenly hit by tornados and hurricanes. Things ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How many “years without a summer” can society survive?

In 1815 Mount Tambora erupted throwing so much dust into the atmosphere that the year became known as "the year without a summer". *There were a few other mitigating factors but Tambora is thought to ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

A few dozen Millennia after Yellowstone erupts, how close would a parking lot look to a natural Iron Vein?

I'm at the mall and Yellowstone erupts - My, and everyone else's car is covered with ash, fire, and maybe even lava. Lets say it was a big shopping day too, like Black Friday or Christmas Eve, just to ...
5
votes
5answers
339 views

Life on planet regularly hit with meteorites

Is it possible for life to evolve— and survive— on a planet that is regularly hit by [relatively small— usually no more than a few feet across when they make an impact] meteorites? If so, what effects ...
4
votes
2answers
139 views

How could a triggered earthquake be stopped?

A fault that ruptures causing an earthquake can cause a chain reaction of dynamically triggered earthquakes in nearby faults, thus causing a much larger seismic event. What are some high unlikely but ...
1
vote
0answers
165 views

Effect of asteroid impacts on Earth [closed]

So specifically I'm looking at three asteroid impacts at once. Little backstory: It takes place over 100 years in the future. Population steady grew. For unimportant reasons aliens show up. Three ...
2
votes
5answers
565 views

What would be the most likely cause of a major flood in London and what would the effect be to buildings?

I am writing a story about London flooding for an English project. What would the most likely cause be for this huge city to be completely flooded about 10 meters above street level?
2
votes
2answers
246 views

Recipe For the 300-Mile Wide Crater

66 million years ago, a space bomb ten kilometers, or six miles, wide raced through the atmosphere at 20 kilometers per second and landed on the Gulf of Mexico at an angle of 90 degrees. The result ...
17
votes
2answers
461 views

What would be the immediate climatic effects of having a continent appear out of nowhere?

I am writing a story where a freak magical accident causes a fully-formed landmass to pop into existence like it was there all along. For the purposes of this question, let's assume: the continent ...
6
votes
2answers
136 views

Missouri Flood, 2011--FULL POWER

From June 2011 all the way to August, the American Midwest underwent a headline disaster--the overflow of Gavins Point Dam just outside Yankton, South Dakota, resulting in a region-wide flood. The ...
-2
votes
1answer
115 views

Exploration team design [closed]

I am trying to design an exploration team so that they can explore what Kepler Bb, the planet I am constructing, has in store for them. Here are some things I want for my exploration team: They must ...