Questions tagged [natural-resources]

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

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43
votes
16answers
5k views

Resources to justify long-distance space mining missions

Earth is setting up mining colonies on Tau Ceti e. But how can they justify the enormous cost of sending people there? ...Because during the initial exploratory missions, it was discovered that in ...
113
votes
12answers
27k views

How long would it take to create a Windows 1.0 capable machine from complete scratch?

I've been thinking about this concept for a while and have not been able to figure out what could be a plausible answer. It seemed appropriate for my first question on this website. Imagine an ...
6
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6answers
1k views

What are the minimum set of physical characteristics to define an Earth like planet?

Introduction I have a vague notion of building some sort of strategic space game. Similar to other strategic games, locations are assigned value based upon some abstract evaluation. Following in ...
34
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 ...
25
votes
16answers
4k views

Precious Materials in a Galactic Empire

Picture the future, where man kind has spread out across the galaxy. What would be the most precious and sought after materials? Today it is metals like gold and platinum that are most sought after. ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Space wizards city : Is it sustainable?

Context Six thousand years ago, magic users from Earth managed to create a portal between Earth and another planet, far far away. This planet is Earth-like but developed no life forms whatsoever. ...
21
votes
13answers
3k 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 ...
13
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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 ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I get enough food into my underground empire?

I'd like to have a large underground world. Imagine the "Underdark" which will be familiar with DnD folks. A huge network of large and small caverns connected by winding passageways. The occasional ...
18
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there a way to have coal but not oil?

Reading this answer I realized that for my purposes I don't really want a fully steampunk world. All I want is lack of cars and planes as we know them, and lack of oil, or inaccessible deposits of oil,...
11
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/...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

World without oil? what is the quick replacement?

What will happen if just today we find out that no more oil left in the planet. With the current infrastructures, how would that change, affect our lives? What is the fastest replacement?
5
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3answers
2k views

What would be the main societal changes if we invented a free and unlimited energy source tomorrow on earth? [closed]

In this setting, a scientist invents a method for free and unlimited energy that is accessible to each and every one (open source, easy to manufacture...). This happens on nowadays earth. What would ...
1
vote
5answers
219 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 (...
0
votes
1answer
677 views

Harvesting lightning from within the thunderstorm with a Faraday Cage

Lightning is abundant in some places in Earth. Attempts had been made it collect it. Laser triggered lightning below is the closest attempt. By the time it reaches the ground most of the power ...
25
votes
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
736 views

Is a habitable desert planet with large fossil fuel deposits possible?

I'm working on a sci-fi Western scenario on a habitable desert planet along the lines of Tatooine from Star Wars and Arrakis from Dune. For it to be habitable there has to be water below the surface ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Could Inuits survive in Antarctica?

Imagine that a group of Inuits from Greenland settled in Antarctica; let's say on the Antarctic peninsula, if there is no better place in Antarctica. Could they survive there with their traditional ...
7
votes
3answers
259 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
332 views

Living on a Giant Tree - Resources

This is one of a series of questions centered around living on a giant tree. The setting/scenario is described below: In my fantasy world, elves live on a giant tree, very similar in structure to a ...
13
votes
1answer
268 views

What sort of water sources could occur in a world tree?

I'm working on a fantasy setting that's literally a giant tree on a planetary scale. Magic is in effect, so concerns of how a tree that large could survive are irrelevant, but I need to figure out ...
11
votes
3answers
942 views

Where in the galaxy would one find the most heavier elements?

I'm trying to flesh out the history of a fictional galactic society, specifically the initial settlements and inhabited worlds. Something that I thought would be important to settlers would be an ...
9
votes
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
508 views

What resources would we fight over in space? [duplicate]

Obligatory Backstory*: In year, whatever the count is now, humans get their black hole ships in working order, and decide to venture into space. We colonize a few worlds, and start establishing some ...
17
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4answers
374 views

What qualities are necessary for an effective herd creature?

What qualities about a land-dwelling creature are absolutely necessary to maintain an effective herd of that creature for food and/or resources? Assume this is an earth-like environment.
8
votes
4answers
518 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
265 views

What would be the effects on daily life if wood was unavailable? [closed]

I'm am currently creating a world in which wood is not used as a resource because it is not available. People can use stone, reed or other plants, but not wood. To specify; the world is in medieval ...
5
votes
2answers
448 views

The Desert of Ore, how would people live in it

Based on my previous question over here, which starts up and talks about a desert which is full of ore sand instead of normal sand. What would people need to be able to simply live in it, since ...
5
votes
3answers
171 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
219 views

What would a space elevator on the moon be made out of?

Okay, so some space miners fly into space to get Helium-3, and then fly it back to earth to sell to non-space people. Flying into and off the earth is rather expensive, so they want to simply take an ...
4
votes
4answers
460 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
votes
2answers
170 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 ...