Questions tagged [post-apocalypse]

For questions dealing with events taking place after a catastrophic event.

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171
votes
14answers
22k views

Humans are Gone: Do the Chickens Make It?

Some hundreds of years ago, all humanity was removed from the Americas. In fact, most humans are gone from the world altogether. In the intervening time, nature has overrun the formerly human ...
166
votes
23answers
38k views

If everyone in the world disappeared except 35 random people, how long would it take for one of them to realize they're not alone?

Everyone suddenly disappears from earth except 35 people randomly scattered wherever they were before everyone disappeared. How long would it take on average for 2 or more people to meet? What other ...
132
votes
11answers
24k views

Everything alive in the world dies this instant. Without bacteria to decompose anything, what happens to the remains? What does this look like?

So when I say everything, I mean everything. Humans, animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, all dead. If the bacteria and other detritovores and decomposers can't decompose anything since they themselves ...
121
votes
33answers
29k views

What vehicle would be the best one to start a >1000 km travel in a post apocalyptic zombie situation?

In order to define the best vehicle these inputs have to be taken into account: The zombies are the classical ones, "the walking dead" ones are a perfect example (definitely killed only by headshot, ...
74
votes
24answers
16k views

How would primitive peoples detect radiation?

In an environment in which acute radiation hazards are common what tools or techniques could be employed by primitive people to detect and thereby avoid radiation exposure? These people do not ...
73
votes
32answers
19k views

How could an apocalypse kill off all adults — leaving only those under the age of 18?

I've been trying to write a book for years about a post-apocalyptic society entirely run by children, in which all of the adults died off and the children have to figure out how to survive and, ...
66
votes
22answers
26k views

Humans are gone - what can I harvest from their cities 30M years later?

A new species with technological potential is starting to multiply and subjugate the Earth. What resources can it harvest from human (our) cities which were destroyed 30M years ago (humans are gone ...
61
votes
17answers
25k views

What would a Boeing 747 look like if it were left in a hangar for 5,000 years. Could it still be flown?

Assume a passenger aircraft were left undercover for a very long period, perhaps thousands of years, in a damp, arboreal environment. How much of it would survive? Which parts would remain intact, and ...
55
votes
15answers
11k views

I want to become a living god! [closed]

So here's what happened. One day, I was struck by a bolt of handwavium, and it caused me to become immortal (unkillable by any means). Shortly after that, a majority of civilization was wiped out by ...
52
votes
6answers
10k views

Farming after the apocalypse: chickens or giant cockroaches?

So let's say you live in a terrifying post-apocalyptic world. For whatever reason, this world is now infested with cockroaches the size of chickens (similar to radroaches from the Fallout games, but ...
50
votes
11answers
15k views

For how long after an apocalypse would modern cars remain usable?

Imagine a "soft" kind of apocalypse - nothing like Earth being hit by an asteroid. In particular - 90% of human population have just disappeared (no matter why). So there are abandoned cities and ...
48
votes
9answers
9k views

Only the Swiss Are Left - Can They Survive?

It's unclear what happened. Perhaps there was a nuclear apocalypse, the one event for which the Swiss (with their 100% nuclear shelter population coverage) are uniquely prepared. But that comes with ...
47
votes
21answers
6k views

Most valuable resources from houses?

In a post-apocalyptic scenario a group of circa 100 people is looting houses to gather resources for their survival. They are the only ones in the region, and resulting from this have no issues with ...
44
votes
8answers
14k views

How dangerous is a 500-year-old nuclear warhead?

Inspired by this question: For several excellent reasons, a 500-year-old nuclear warhead is not going to produce an actual nuclear explosion. But that doesn't mean it's not dangerous anymore. ...
41
votes
31answers
16k views

A way of getting the water to the top of the tall building without electricity?

First, let me explain the situation. Post-apocalypse setting, a group of humans (let's say around a hundred of them) have to find safe places to live at, protected from animals, bandits, and other ...
40
votes
14answers
10k views

How many people are necessary to maintain modern civilisation?

Modern Earth; a series of connected events (natural disasters, mass migration, drug-resistant pandemic, collapse in biodiversity, armed conflict) have led to a significant reduction in human ...
40
votes
22answers
4k views

Is it realistic to believe an apocalyptical setting can last 500+ years?

Our world of fiction is filled with books, movies, and games suggesting a Mad-Max-style apocalypse can last hundreds of years. This, despite the fact that nuclear fallout would decay within a decade ...
39
votes
32answers
31k views

Most effective long-term zombie killing weapon

So I asked this question a few days ago, with excellent and certainly useful feedback. I've decided I'd like to build upon that question with some ways to combat our 'new and improved super zombies'. ...
39
votes
14answers
8k views

Security measures that could plausibly last 150+ years?

So, the world experienced an apocalypse about 150 years ago. Sad times. Me and a couple buddies are the the salvaging business, and hello, recently we found a jackpot, an untouched military base. When ...
39
votes
29answers
10k views

Why would a crash landed generation fall back to the stone age?

Background In the mid 22nd century, a super plague has killed 99% of human life, many survivors are killed in the ensuing riots and fighting. The few billionaires that are hiding in their bunkers ...
39
votes
10answers
55k views

How many people are required for a healthy re-population of the Earth (Post-Apocalypse)?

In my particular Earth, much has remained after the human-killing virus, and nature is thriving - even taking over the cities. It's beautiful. But I have separated the healthy populace in orbit ...
37
votes
14answers
7k views

Suitable real world critters for a causing mayhem (disabling comm and defense systems) via catapult?

So I have a concept in mind for a future dystopian world. The world: Technology exists on par with modern technology. This technology is not widespread; in fact, it is quite rare. Most humans do not ...
35
votes
10answers
6k views

How long can an adult survive on pure carbs?

In reference to the classic Indestructible Edible Trope, how long can an adult subsist on largely junk food? I realize that "largely" is vague, so feel free to clarify as desired to give a helpful ...
35
votes
10answers
7k views

Preventing post-apocalyptic society from becoming misogynistic

The apocalypse has happened, but humanity survives. People still remember the technology they had, but too many of the people who really understood how it worked and how to make it have died, leading ...
34
votes
7answers
9k views

How many years could notebook computers and phones be stored in a closed bunker/vault and still operational when found?

The idea is for some people in a post-apocalyptic future to find these bunkers/vaults and be able to turn on the computers and charge the cellphones. How many years could the equipment last if they ...
32
votes
11answers
4k views

Long-lasting self-sustainable presence indicator beacon

This morning when I woke up, I found nobody. Literally... All houses and cars where abandoned, as if everybody was gone in a hurry leaving everything. I took a car and drove around: nothing... My ...
31
votes
9answers
5k views

How useful would a hydroelectric power plant be in the post-apocalypse world?

The details don't matter, just that a large fraction of people have died (let's say 90%) and society has completely collapsed. It's only a year or two later, and people have started to gather ...
30
votes
8answers
7k views

What is a city like after a hundred years or so of neglect?

I have a post-apocalyptic setting where the vast majority of humanity died off a few generations ago and the remnants were rounded up and placed on the island of Oahu, which has been made into a ...
30
votes
8answers
13k views

How many survivors would be left after a global nuclear war?

Twenty years ago, in year 2029, World War III happened. Everyone nuked everybody else. More specifically, India and Pakistan nuked each other, the US, England, and France fired everything they had at ...
29
votes
11answers
5k views

Post-apocalypse ammo

The world has ended and our valiant group of survivors is roaming around the ruins of the old world about sixty years after the apocalypse. Now, most people carry around black-powder muskets and ...
28
votes
15answers
9k views

Zombie killing structure that's easy to construct, durable and low maintenance?

What would be an effective zombie killing structure that an average person could put together in a typical suburban neighborhood? Previous discussion that touched on the topic often rely upon ...
28
votes
11answers
5k views

A Treasure Chest for your Post-apocalyptic Children

Prior to the point in my story when the nature of the looming apocalypse becomes known, my main character acquires a large (6-foot) air-tight freezer chest, puts it (unplugged) in his basement, fills ...
28
votes
7answers
5k views

Hallway cannon, the last way out

I'm working on a comedic horror about an overzealous doomsday prepper. One idea I was playing with was an escape route, should it be needed... The story centers around a hermit who's been preparing ...
27
votes
10answers
5k views

Could people in a post-apocalyptic setting work around the fact that fuel expires? [duplicate]

Typically, gasoline has a short shelf life (some months, maybe a year). This is handwaved in some post-apocalyptic settings where the writer wanted vehicles to play a major role (such as Mad Max — ...
27
votes
9answers
4k views

Can you buy your way out of the Apocalypse?

It is often suggested that if a an imminent crisis was about to occur such as a huge comet strike or Yellowstone erupting, that all the rich people could buy their way into special bunkers to protect ...
26
votes
29answers
9k views

Ideas for practical post-apocalyptic currency 100 years from now

First, let me introduce the setting. It's happening in post-apocalyptic SE Europe (Balkans specifically), about 100 years from now. Strange genetic disease wiped out large portion of humanity in a ...
26
votes
8answers
8k views

What would human survivors eat in a post apocalyptic Nuclear winter?

Let's assume that: the entire nuclear arsenal available on earth is launched and detonated, completely obliterating civilization but leaving a few humans and animals in very remote areas alive. this ...
26
votes
8answers
9k views

Is it safe to grow and eat food on post-nuclear-war land?

Follow-up of Could the entire world have been destroyed by the existing nuclear arsenal in 1962? Is it safe to grow food on land that was hit by nuclear bombs? Or will such food kill/fatally sicken ...
25
votes
31answers
11k views

How would I make guns uncreatable in a post-apocalyptic world?

I am building a world in which technology has taken an enormous step back due to an apocalyptic event. For one reason or another guns no longer exist in the world and I would like to have a reason why ...
25
votes
8answers
9k views

How would societies be if created and populated only by young people?

I’m writing a post-apocalyptic RPG, but I have a problem when dealing with the reconstruction of the society. The apocalypse left alive only the young people up to 21 years of age. Even though the ...
25
votes
21answers
7k views

How can I have a permanent post-apocalyptic world?

I've recently been looking into post-apocalyptic settings for a possible novel. I like the feel of people trying to survive off of the land with nothing but the clothes on their back, or banding ...
25
votes
12answers
7k views

What could cause a post-apocalyptic, rapid desertification of vast areas of the world, similar to the land in Mad Max: Fury Road?

I apologise as this will be vague - but I am building a world set in the future (late 21st century) and looking at realistic ways for rapid desertification of huge land areas, say America, and ...
25
votes
11answers
3k views

Restoring the world after a global apocalypse

So the world has been destroyed. Pick your poison. We have probably 300 different scenarios lying around here somewhere. What's Left: The world is a desolate wasteland, dry and crispy and barren ...
24
votes
17answers
4k views

Why might a robot's memory be unreliable after the Apocalypse?

Setting A nuclear war between two superpowers happens, and nuke after nuke is fired at nearly every country on the globe. The war, which lasts for about 4 hours, kills over 3 billion people, and many ...
24
votes
8answers
5k views

What would a laptop look like after 300 years? Would it still work?

Assume a standard, inexpensive modern laptop, left in a standard laptop bag for 300 years, under cover, in a dryish, but imperfect environment, such as a cupboard in a house. How much of it would ...
24
votes
13answers
5k views

What kinds of remnants might be evidence of a previous civilisation?

The trope of an ancient advanced civilisation that disappeared is as old as the hills, but it does raise an interesting question: what kinds of evidence would suggest that somebody else was here first?...
24
votes
7answers
6k views

How would nuclear fallout affect the oceans?

I'm trying to build a setting in which humankind would have no other choice than to live underwater to survive. Suppose there was a nuclear war in which a huge part of the human population died, and ...
23
votes
8answers
4k views

What could cause an entire planet of humans to become aphasic?

I'm working on a story in which there is some sort of planetary erosion of language. Humans lose the ability to communicate verbally (orally and written). They can remember having language, can even ...
23
votes
11answers
5k views

The World's in Perpetual Winter. How Long Can Humanity Survive?

A Little Background March came and went, but the snow continues to fall on earth, even in Sudan and Brazil. What was once thought of as a miracle of Christmas has begun to cause problems. Winter came ...
22
votes
10answers
5k views

Moving stealthy in an hostile enviroment

I'm in the middle of sketching out a new story, settled a post-apocalyptic version of our present. The main feature of this enviroment would be blind, mindless, aggressive and contagious versions of ...