Questions tagged [natural-resources]

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

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23
votes
15answers
4k views

Are there any non-organic resources that are rare in the grand-scheme of the Universe, but common on Earth?

I have been world-building a setting where a species of advanced aliens invades Earth, only to be forced off after the humans resort to guerilla tactics. In this setting, biological life is abundant ...
3
votes
6answers
160 views

What would the commodity money system of an interstellar civilization be made of?

I'm building an interstellar empire that uses commodity money as its preferred currency. Despite the network of wormholes connecting various star systems, light lag between planets and stations within ...
14
votes
9answers
661 views

Why are Orcs always at war for seemingly no reason? [closed]

Orcs are just as smart as humans. They have access to all the resources they need to survive in abundance. Why are they constantly at war? INFO Orcs are a society of roughly 0.8 Million people. Each ...
0
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3answers
152 views

What could be ethical reasons for deep sea mining? [closed]

Unfortunately in real-life on our planet (Earth) deep sea mining for rare earth minerals is devastating to biological ecosystems and has very little motivations beyond the capitalistic/industrial ones,...
18
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14answers
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 ...
1
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1answer
33 views

How can a planet's seasons be only controlled by either its land, sky or water?

I have a planet established (similar to Earth) which instead of countries has 3 main zones of habitation: land, water & sky. Each supernatural inhabitant looks after one natural part of this ...
22
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14answers
4k views

How can magic and the economy reliably stand together?

This question assumes that in any kind of magical world, any form of magi can create nearly anything, but especially -- using only magic, can create gold, silver, gemstones, other currency, etc. as ...
-2
votes
1answer
105 views

Drinking water distribution in the event of permanent shortage [closed]

In a world with a strong water deficiency and without the possibility to produce more. It is at a level where some people die of thirst. How could drinking water usage be regulated? Distribution per ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views

Where can lithium be found in the Solar System?

My question is pretty straightforward, beside earth, what celestial bodies could hold exploitable quantities of lithium-7 and lithium-6? I understand that lithium is a scarce element in our universe. ...
-2
votes
1answer
76 views

What would a gaint make it's house out of

For one the giant is much bigger than a normal human, To be precise about 110,000 feet tall and about 500 feet wide. Because of their size what would be some reliable things to make their houses and ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How could my island-country mostly populated by massive humanoids subsist its inhabitants?

In my prospective dramedy science-fantasy children's videogame Salade de Fruits (which means naturally Fruit Salad), there is an island-country comprising a total of eight islands: The smallest has ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

How would you rebuild a time machine in the wilderness? [closed]

In my game the player travels to a parallel dimension and their time machine gets heavily damaged. So now they have to use the resources in the world to rebuild/repair it. We can assume that the ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I make a steam engine work - with next-to-zero hydrocarbons, or, for that matter, biomatter - to use as fuel?

Let's say that my colony ship crash-landed on an atmosphere-less planet. Sure, there might be sub-surface pockets that have evolved primitive life, but sulfur and phosphorous are at a premium in the ...
6
votes
3answers
441 views

Where would be the most likely location for an early Mars base?

Quite simply, given considerations like radiation protection, locations of scientific interest, local resources for building construction, water, propellant production, mining, etc, what would be the ...
7
votes
5answers
225 views

Transportation in a fantasy world without wood

In my low-fantasy world wood is a very limited resource because all forests are haunted. Cutting a tree often means drawing the wrath of the creatures living in the woods, resulting in some very ...
15
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15answers
5k views

How Do You Get Wood in a World Where Monsters Defend The Forests?

PROJEKT ' IRON SONG ' In the Empire of Tyvertsia, there are many strange and often hostile beasts—bears, mountain lions, sirin, bauk and the like—living among the wildlife of the thick Western forests,...
13
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11answers
3k views

Why would space nations find more value in empty space rather than star systems?

In most 4x games, almost every space nation fights for star systems, planets, black holes, etc. The benefits are obvious: planets to colonize or mine from, solar energy, strategic positions and so on. ...
5
votes
2answers
337 views

Could medieval people build an airtight spaceship or space ark using their common resources?

This is set on a fictional alien world with medieval people. However, this world has alien livestock that are capable of flying into outer space and traveling to other worlds. These medieval-age ...
10
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17answers
4k views

What natural material shatters when thrown like a grenade?

Our intrepid wizard protagonist realizes there is only one of him and an army of baddies. He has a band of some 50 people with him, but only a dozen have combat training and he is the only spellcaster....
2
votes
1answer
140 views

How realistic is finding ore veins in natural caves?

I used to play World of Warcraft and a few other MMOs for their crafting systems and always wondered what a fantasy RPG with a crafting system would look like with a more realistic distribution of ...
2
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2answers
171 views

Could humans survive in the solar system if the earth was destroyed? [closed]

In this setting humans have settled all around the solar system but the bulk of the population is still in earth however an asteroid wiped out all life. Now can humans sustain themselves with whatever ...
3
votes
1answer
168 views

Could a space faring civilization extract valuable resources from a gas giant?

I have been developing an advanced civilization inhabiting a world orbiting a gas giant about 3 times the mass of jupiter, the conditions have already been tuned to allow life to develop over its ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

What are some non-military reasons for a country wanting to control an impact crater where the Strait of Gibraltar used to be?

Let's say that there's a 2-million-year-old impact crater where the Strait of Gibraltar used to be, and that there's an impact peak or a series of impact peaks in the middle that are far enough above ...
2
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3answers
154 views

How would closing borders and supply routes affect market prices? [closed]

This was originally posted in Role Playing Games but they felt it was better posted here (this will be used for D&D 5e, some people thought it might be relevant.) I'm developing a world where ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Where would primitive settlements first start to occur outside of the middle-east and turkey? [closed]

Say when people as nomads, and started to form settlements with other people, where would these primitive settlements first started to appear, they would have first started to settle in regions around ...
2
votes
3answers
121 views

Effectiveness/Possible Uses for a Nationwide Draft, Post World War 3

I'm making a situation where in the near future(5 year), the world is thrust into world war 3. The vast majority of the world's military is decimated, and it is to the point where any high tech ...
18
votes
14answers
6k views

What kind of Alien artifacts or minerals could advance the human race?

Let me explain what I mean. Let's say an Alien civilization left a lot of devices on a planet or moon (in our solar system or wherever). They had a colony, want/wanted to Terraform (or "Xenoform&...
2
votes
3answers
180 views

natural water filters, natural water de-pollution

Memories of my childhood come by reminding me of how I used to swim in the Danube river, until the age of 6 when after a walk along the coast I saw bodies of various animals rotting by the river, cows,...
2
votes
3answers
159 views

How to estimate maximum possible colonization of Solar system?

How many people would be able to live in the Solar system before resource problems similar/comparable to what we have now on Earth would arise (rough estimation)? Is that equation/extapolation just ...
1
vote
3answers
112 views

Mining, Scavenging and Recycling in an artificial world

Billions of years ago, an extremely advanced civilization created an artificial world. Whether it is a ringworld, a shellworld, or something more isn't really relevant. This world's crust has a depth ...
4
votes
4answers
216 views

Pumping Oxygen into Titans atmosphere

In the future, humans build massive factories on the moon Titan, components of which drill tunnels down to the water ocean beneath the ice surface. Assuming the ocean is there, and that it's similar ...
5
votes
4answers
606 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Scanning for Resources and Mapping a Rogue Planet

EDIT: Thanks to Starfish Prime's answer to this it looks like the atmospheric ice would only be ~16m thick, and the water vapor is a rounding error. I have adjusted the layering to account for their ...
8
votes
5answers
589 views

What are the political pitfalls with the ability to shift liquid water to any location? [closed]

I would like to propose being able to transport water at very low cost to any location on our current or near-future Earth. The mechanism of transport is technology based, and results in 100% pure ...
22
votes
6answers
3k views

Robbing the past to pay the future: Where do the resources go? How to balance the books?

In the future, the world is in a parlous1 state. Earth people of the future (let us call them Futurians as in the answer by DWKraus) are desperate but they still have a number of time portals in ...
20
votes
16answers
4k views

Why are there still resources in space?

In this universe humans aren't the first civilization to reach space in the local stellar neighborhood (a bubble of ~1000 light years across). In fact for the past several billions of years ...
3
votes
2answers
219 views

Coal or coal analogs without Carboniferous?

In my world, there could be no Carboniferous, during which the overwhelming majority of coal was deposited on our planet. No swamps probably exist either, cutting off that way of generating coal as ...
12
votes
19answers
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/...
1
vote
3answers
190 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 ...
19
votes
15answers
3k views

How can various tiers of worlds be beneficial for God's portfolio?

God is the ultimate world builder who designs various planes, which with their own worlds. He created human beings as living batteries in order to fuel him and give him power. Dea feeds off of the ...
3
votes
1answer
103 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 ...
4
votes
13answers
445 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 ...
36
votes
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 ...
25
votes
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
221 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-...
15
votes
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
563 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
238 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?
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Creating a realistic world map - Fuel

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. Following the question Creating a realistic world map - Mineralogy , I realized that it was a very large topic to cover all the possible ...
35
votes
6answers
5k views

Creating a realistic world map - Mineralogy

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. I know how continents are formed and how they evolve over time but what does it look like under the surface? The crust of the planet is ...