Questions tagged [natural-resources]

For questions that deal with the natural resources found in the environment.

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2
votes
1answer
66 views

Time to develop a human breathable atmosphere on a captured frozen wandering planet

Suppose that a wandering frozen planet is captured by a star and this planet could develop an human breathable atmosphere. How much time could the process take? EDIT: the planet is earth-sized with ...
37
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13answers
9k views

What would America lack if cut off from World trade for years?

North and South America totally cut off from world trade for years in modern times. No intercontinental except between the two. Would there be any current technology that couldn't be made due to lack ...
24
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8answers
3k views

What sort of materials could be used to make clothing in a swamp?

We have some characters living in a wetland biome (freshwater swamp, specifically) without access to trade from other areas. What kinds of options do they have when it comes to using the natural ...
1
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2answers
104 views

Is it possible for primitive tribe of humans to live most of their lives in system of caves?

I have an idea for a society of humans who have a level of technology similar to that of the North Sentinelese Islanders: borderline stone age with maybe some ability to use metal. The population can ...
5
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4answers
170 views

What kind of tradable resources would come from the ocean in a Renaissance era culture that would be different from our own society?

Ocean sourced Trade goods in a Renaissance era Earth I am in the process of writing a fantasy book that is set in a post-apocalyptic late medieval/renaissance era society. This is on Earth, about 1300-...
4
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13answers
411 views

What could be a valuable resource in an isolated desert, where workforce should be really small in an era before the discovery of electricity?

It's an era before the discovery of electricity and I'm aiming for realism. There is a small desert town of only 15 people by a river and along a strong trade route (so they don't have to produce ...
15
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14answers
4k views

What resources (especially mineral) can you find on terrestrial planets but not asteroids?

I'm writing about people living in space who can mine asteroids and I'm wondering what minerals or other resources, if any, they might need access to larger planets for. Since planets and asteroids ...
18
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13answers
5k views

How to decide if a Planet is better off to be Terraformed or Stripmined?

In Science Fiction, when civilizations grow powerful enough to conquer the planet and are in need for room, they turn to the planets in outer space. Obviously, the other planets have very different ...
7
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4answers
495 views

What resources would underground creatures look for in the surface?

Surface-dwellers (like us) often went underground for resources e.g. mining. However, I find it hard to find a strong reason (resource or otherwise) for underground creatures to be on the surface. But ...
-1
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1answer
82 views

What valuable resources or features could a city state have to keep themselves independent and a dominant local power? [closed]

Trying to build a coastal region of feudal/renaissance city states surrounded by small feudal kingdoms. Looking for resources that are valuable beyond their access to sea, its bounty and the trade ...
6
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3answers
339 views

Could present-day humanity survive on Antarctica alone?

Tomorrow morning, an apocalyptic event wipes humanity off the face of the earth - except for in Antarctica. The nature of the catastrophe is unclear, but it seems that any human will die within a few ...
4
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3answers
163 views

How much “value” would someone able to make certain commodities have in a post-apocalyptic world?

I'm still unsure how much technology will be available in this world, I don't know if there will be "pockets of working grids", if people can only get energy from generators(which also adds the ...
5
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3answers
159 views

Generating breathable air on Europa?

Humans have colonized the subsurface oceans of Europa - building large cities embedded in the icy crust, hanging beneath it, and resting on the rocky seafloor. These colonists mine metals for ...
6
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9answers
4k views

How would an unethical corporation go about extracting resources from a nation unwilling to co-operate?

In the 22nd century, resource depletion is a serious problem, as most of whatever we had left has been stripped bare. A large multinational corporation, let's call them Deus X, is searching everywhere ...
7
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5answers
952 views

Natural Metre Bar

Consistent units are one of the most important inventions to the modern age. Before standardization, one used natural units such as 'feet', but these all varied from person to person. My world ...
5
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3answers
225 views

How would iron smelting work in a planet with no oxygen?

Imagine a small planet, rich with iron, but with a negligible atmosphere, mostly devoid of oxygen. Once harvested, how could iron ore be smelted and refined into iron? And would the ore itself be ...
1
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1answer
91 views

Imagine a well functioning atmosphere on the terraformed moon

Just assume we are long into the future, all other parameters have been met and we have the technology, will and money to terraform our moon and keep it so. Atmosphere, as commonly agreed on, would ...
6
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7answers
283 views

How to get raw materials from a water based world?

I am developing setting for a dnd campaign I like to run next year. Its takes influences from Xenoblade 2, where people live on or inside humongous creatures while the entirety of the world is an ...
1
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1answer
181 views

Alternate history where Italy finds oil [closed]

One of the most important resources in the world in the modern era has been oil, but arguably at no time more than during WW2 where many of the Axis' plans revolved around the procurement of a steady ...
4
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4answers
416 views

Where could materials to build a Dyson swarm come from?

Let's assume we want to build a Dyson swarm that collects over 90% of the energy from the sun and orbits between the Earth and the sun. Also assume that we want to get none of the resources to build ...
2
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2answers
165 views

What is the smallest land mass to develop human civilization? [closed]

(Related to this question about the smallest land mass to support a civilization, possibly dropped in fully-formed by magic or advanced technology. This question is asked in response to comments there ...
8
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4answers
485 views

What is the smallest land mass to support human civilization?

Let's say we have an Earth-sized planet and the same general solar activity and climatology. However, the continents are much smaller, and it's effectively impossible to accomplish travel between them ...
18
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5answers
4k views

Getting fresh water in the middle of hypersaline lake in the Bronze Age

An ancient kingdom covers a several rivers in a desert basin all converging on a central, hypersaline, lake. Because of its central location, and the importance of the salt, the lake has important ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Closest Proximity of Oceans to Freshwater Springs

I am trying to wrap my head around the geography of a settlement in my world. The settlement is situated along the coast, along a river roughly 500m wide with temperate mixed forests surrounding it, ...
3
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4answers
224 views

What plant life and resources could humans consume if colonies were established on the ocean floor?

I'm interested in creating a society in the Twilight and Midnight zones of the ocean. By what means could they mine, farm, and trade in what is supposed to be a more futuristic society?
14
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2answers
517 views

Where do I put diamond mines on my map?

I've got a home-brewed D&D setting. Diamonds, in D&D, are needed for resurrection magic, so access to diamonds is literally life and death for any country with clerics capable of casting such ...
1
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5answers
199 views

How would Elves survive underground without prior experience? [duplicate]

Background: An Elven nation that once thrived for thousands of years as a predominantly agricultural race was forced underground because of unexplainable occurrences of extreme weather conditions (...
49
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18answers
10k views

How to not starve gigantic beasts

If I create dragons to be castle-sized animals, how am I supposed to let them eat? Won't they need too much for an earth-like planet? I'm currently trying to build a world where a whole lot of ...
2
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12answers
685 views

How can I make personal mana capacity relevant to a form of magic that doesn't use it?

Dryadism is a passive form of magic that anyone with the skill and training can learn. Unlike other forms of magic, it does not depend on the individual using their mana, but on the natural mana ...
6
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8answers
397 views

Ambush tactics for dummy witches?

Magic in this world focuses on controlling the elements of nature (earth, air, fire, water). Witches perform magic by drawing in energy from the natural world and focusing it into a spell using their ...
10
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18answers
3k views

What aspect of planet Earth must be changed to prevent the industrial revolution?

I am thinking of a planet (I suppose one would call it a parallel earth) where the industrial revolution never happens, and people live with 1700s technology forever. What differences in resources/...
11
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5answers
3k views

Important resources for Dark Age civilizations?

In a time period with medieval technology, what would be the most important local resources? I've put together a small list and broken it down into categories, but I'd like to know if there's anything ...
2
votes
1answer
422 views

Post-Apocalypse Technology? [closed]

I’m currently writing a book where there is a large explosion in Mid-USA, in the year 2025. Following this, there is a world war that diminishes the US population to ~70 million people. There is a ...
6
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5answers
280 views

MacGyvering medieval poison

Does anyone know of any compound/substance one could have access to in a stone prison cell (From food? The rocks? The metal bars?) that could be processed through rudimentary means into a quick acting ...
5
votes
5answers
652 views

How to share a mine of irresistable resources in the middle of an ocean without conflict?

The year was 2019. Somewhere in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean (between Bermuda & Ponta Delgada) a new volcano erupted violently for a year. The volcano created a tiny island around 100 ...
7
votes
2answers
277 views

What circumstances would ensure that hybrid species of frankencats are produced in the wild naturally?

I am a mad scientist with an intelligence matching Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking, and plan to create a new species of animal. After watching Napeoleon Dynanite, widely considered by critics to be ...
18
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8answers
6k views

What would be a source of iron to ward off faeries in todays world

In a story I'm writing, I'm going to need iron to ward off magical creatures, faeries to be exact. This iron should not be used in an alloy with other metals or coated with something like paint, tin,...
5
votes
3answers
327 views

What kinds of minerals or compounds could radiate heat?

I'm working on an RPG in a world with some magical elements, like a type of energy (so far unnamed) inherent in animals and humans. Those with high amounts of this life energy in them are thought of ...
25
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12answers
9k views

How can a mortal woman successfully carry a demigod to term?

Demigods are special humans that are born partly divine. These individuals have been extremely rare throughout history, and always have various significant effects for the world around them, leading ...
3
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6answers
240 views

Would planting trees across an earth-like planet to reduce the CO2 and produce O2, be enough to keep it in balance?

An IPCC report of Oct 8, 2018 indicates - to keep the world temperature rise at or below 1.5 C, we need to reduce our CO2 emissions globally from the 2010 level by 45% by 2030, and a further 55% ...
9
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15answers
5k views

Is a world with infinite resources possible? [closed]

In my current fictional fantasy-ish endeavor, I have a world with a great war. This war is vast and encompasses all of the known land. Due to magical means, soldiers for the war are 'summoned' from ...
22
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18answers
4k views

What's the ideal era for harvesting resources by an advanced society?

It's 2100-ish and we're experimenting on our new time travel device, or let's say time travel bunker. What we gathered of information so far are: We can't really go back in time, literally. Every ...
3
votes
5answers
108 views

Resource from enemy space ships as currency [closed]

I am developing a space ship game (where you fight against enemy space ships) and want to consider which resource should be used as game currency. In comparison to classic fantasy/medieval universe ...
6
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4answers
2k views

Are there any advantages of rail vehicles in space? [closed]

In my world, humanity has turned to space as a source of resources. Of course, all that stuff has to be transported back somehow. On Earth, that is usually done with seafaring ships or rail vehicles. ...
16
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14answers
4k views

Alternative source of fuel instead of wood

In my world, humans live on an island. The island is not real big, there is a volcano, a river around which is a marsh.The forest on the island is sacred for them so they cannot enter it and cannot ...
9
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11answers
3k views

Why would male organs make better ingredients for a spell?

Witchcraft in this world is practiced openly by witches and is exclusively female. Magic works through long, complicated rituals that require multiple components. The most powerful of these demand ...
7
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3answers
240 views

What is the strongest glass that can be formed from nature?

tl;dr What is the strongest glass that can be concocted from a single reasonably abundant, natural source? (Without nuclear or quantum manufacturing) So I am developing a character for a story. He ...
4
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6answers
2k views

In a tundra, what material would be available to build houses, castles, etc?

I’m writing a story in which the setting is a vast tundra. I had in mind a medieval-like lifestyle, with a few certain changes. But I’m not sure what resources could be used to create a housing in a ...
41
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it possible for a mine to contain both gemstones and precious metals?

I have been trying to find an answer to my question for a couple hours now but I haven't had any luck on Google though I might be searching using the wrong terms I'm not sure as I know next to nothing ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Reducing power of magical substance [closed]

What would make a substance that powers magic less powerful when it is moved to a dimension where magic goes unacknowledged? I want the source - a mineral or chemical - to become something that is ...