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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.

4
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2answers
203 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
413 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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5answers
194 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
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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
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2answers
102 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
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4answers
309 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
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2answers
131 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
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1answer
59 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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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
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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
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2answers
228 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
447 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 ...
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1answer
63 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
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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
763 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 ...
8
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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 ...
12
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5answers
806 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
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4answers
403 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
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5answers
249 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
463 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 ...
50
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
109 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
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3answers
247 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
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1answer
256 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
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4answers
472 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
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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 ...
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1answer
196 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
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5answers
459 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; ...
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5answers
186 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
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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
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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 ...
4
votes
2answers
129 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 ...
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0answers
156 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
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5answers
490 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
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2answers
240 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
450 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
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2answers
135 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 ...
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1answer
113 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
179 views

How quickly could a major city disappear off the face of the Earth?

And I don't mean by nuclear bombs or meteor strikes, though the latter does come into play. Let's imagine for a moment that a meteor containing alien gray goo crashes into the sea a few miles out from ...
2
votes
8answers
401 views

How can an entire kingdom be removed from the middle of a continent?

In my 10 book series, the historical time line turns on the fact that the greatest nation in the major continent's history, disappeared overnight during a national celebration. This nation was ...
4
votes
1answer
394 views

Underground City scenario: Unpredicted earthquake

If an earthquake happens, will people underground be in more danger than people above ground or not? I can think of several pros and cons for each: Stay underground Pros: Minimum risk of ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

What noticeable impacts on a human body if every ocean turns into dead sea? [closed]

Suppose the salinity of all the ocean in the world rivals the dead sea, using time lapse to illustrate how would an average healthy adult human being is susceptible to the aftermath of inhospitable ...
10
votes
3answers
559 views

Geopolitical and Economic Implications of a Large Eruption at Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is the site of a large supervolcano that is somewhat due for an eruption in the geological near term. I have seen slides and discussions to the effect that large portions of ...
1
vote
2answers
196 views

Is it possible for a planet the size of Uranus to skim Saturn without colliding?

I'm looking for a way to strip Saturn of its rings. I'm imagining the planet coming in on the same plane as the rings, counter orbitting Saturn long enough to destroy, absorb, or deflect the majority ...
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3answers
237 views

The Sewers—300 Feet Down

In this alternate metropolis, the sewers of the United States are interconnected via a central sewage hub (probably in New York, Chicago or Omaha) and of uniform size—32 feet from ceiling to base, 160 ...
7
votes
5answers
335 views

How can I catch an asteroid?

I'm interested in asteroid mining, but don't have the infrastructure in place to process ores and the like in space. However, I've got a nice planet-based refinery setup where I could easily process ...
1
vote
2answers
296 views

How to naturally maintain a Earth-sized Planetary Ring System and the possible periodic bombardment that can ensue?

I need some help with a couple of the planet building theories I’m playing around with. I’ve looked up most of this stuff and can follow the physics if given the time (and instructional tutuorial help ...
9
votes
3answers
196 views

What part of the coast gets hit by the tsunami?

I've drawn up a set of landmasses for my story, and now there's a tsunami headed for them. I know where the tsunami is coming from, and I could decide how big it is, or any other characteristics of ...
7
votes
3answers
222 views

Is it possible for coronal mass ejections or perhaps a gamma ray burst to cause firestorms on an earth-like planet?

Ideally this would be some sort of sun or star-related natural disaster that would affect the entire planet and make life outside of protected/shielded areas extremely dangerous. This is a human-...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

How to evacuate large parties of people from urban areas into safe zones within a reasonable amount of time? [closed]

Let's say there's a virus or a tsunami or a tornado in a mega city (similar to Coruscant city from Star Wars). The event takes place in the middle of the day, so the streets are packed. How could I ...