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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3answers
163 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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4answers
140 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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3answers
91 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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2answers
168 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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2answers
118 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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2answers
880 views

How close must a supernova be to severely harm the Earth?

I did a little looking and it appears stars outside of 10 parsec/33 ly will have very little effect on the Earth. What it did say was that inside that range the gamma rays would affect our ozone ...
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0answers
57 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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What did the night sky look like 63 million years ago?

I'm working on a comic which is essentially alternate-history fiction, and a big upcoming part of it involves the formation of the Chicxulub crater 63 million years ago. As I am a stickler for ...
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1answer
153 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. ...
4
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3answers
747 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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2answers
126 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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4answers
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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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24answers
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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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2answers
117 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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4answers
878 views

What if the asteroid never hit? [closed]

Science fiction and fantasy stories are full of alternate worlds populated by races of beings that look mostly human but kind of different. But is that at all realistic? When the dominant life forms ...
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4answers
334 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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2answers
328 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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3answers
177 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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8answers
331 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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3answers
121 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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5answers
310 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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1answer
176 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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3answers
288 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 ...
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5answers
346 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 ...
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3answers
247 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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5answers
432 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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2answers
243 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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11answers
489 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
208 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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3answers
624 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 ...
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10answers
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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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2answers
124 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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355 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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2answers
145 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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1answer
67 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
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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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32answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
287 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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5answers
261 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. ...
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5answers
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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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8answers
804 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 ...
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1answer
67 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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
885 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, ...
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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 ...
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4answers
576 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 ...
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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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10answers
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How to build a tsunami proof island city?

Igbi Island, a remote island located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, is notorious for its extremely powerful megatsunamis, huge, deadly waves averaging 500 feet (≈ 150m), but sometimes ...
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4answers
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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 ...