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Questions tagged [reality-check]

Asks if a given concept is realistic in a given context. Answers should say yes or no, with supporting info. Compare this with the science-based and hard-science tags. This tag should never be the only tag on a question, because this tag frames how a question should be answered, not the topic.

8
votes
4answers
2k views

Desert planet with forests at the poles

I'm thinking up a Mars or Venus type planet where the poles (or one pole) has a forest growing out of it due to a device that is used to make the planet more habitable by creating a oxygen friendly ...
2
votes
4answers
87 views

Could Argentavis be Ridden?

In my book series, there is a planet called Aurea that is home to all sorts of strange fauna. Not only does it have animals from the real world, but it also has prehistoric and mythical creatures as ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Could Earth still survive if we lost almost 90% of all surface water?

I have been toying with the idea that all oceans are gone. Underground water still exists but the Earth has essentially turned into the planet from Dune. My characters all live / survive out where ...
4
votes
4answers
651 views

Could a terrestrial planet have water for a core?

There’s a planet called eaglypt whose surface is 100% barren desert. However, there is a twist: the planet’s core consists of liquid water, and there are a few places where this water seeps through ...
5
votes
1answer
61 views

What kind of transports would be invented in a world with an enhancer-material?

You have a material that greatly enhances electric and magnetic sources or electro-magnetism in general. In this world, the material, is known to be a naturally occurring liquid found in geological ...
9
votes
4answers
637 views

Feasibility of a purely mechanical grayscale “computer monitor”

Based on a previous question asking about mechanical computing (Babbage engines, etc.) I wondered how a steampunk story could present the concept of a modern computer monitor in a steam-driven ...
-2
votes
6answers
184 views

200G to 1G environment

Let's say a human were to live most of his life in a 200 G environment but then suddenly enter a 1 g environment, What would be the effects to his body and will this give him the ability to carry ...
1
vote
6answers
134 views

Gaining energy from draining your Happiness

In my world there is a villain who rules over the unhappy. In fact, we recently determined that he actually absorbs their happiness and uses it as energy to make himself stronger. This world does, in ...
2
votes
6answers
108 views
+50

Logical reason why would the bunker population use Wastelander DNA samples?

It’s been a little over 190 years since WWIII, AD 2157. Most of the surviving human population live in small farming settlements, tribal villages, or, if lucky, United City States. But, there exists a ...
4
votes
5answers
173 views

What are some reasons an employer could legitimately require your voting rights as part of your employment?

In accordance with Citizens United and with the acceptance that the real wealth creation of this nation is created by corporations, we hereby declare that the voting rights of corporations have been ...
1
vote
2answers
190 views

A reverse centaur walks into a bar - Why the long face?

A centaur as we all know is a horse with a human head (and torso). I would like to consider a reverse centaur, which, for the purposes of this question, I will define to be a human with a horse's ...
4
votes
7answers
179 views

Why keep a prison for superhumans near/inside a city?

In fact, why keep a prison for even normal humans in a city at all? Where are the benefits that offset the obvious drawbacks? From my limited knowledge on the subject, you would prefer to have a ...
20
votes
9answers
5k views

Why Have Faceless Helmets? [on hold]

What are plausible reasons for equipping an army with the Faceless Goon style helmets? Is there a good reason at all? Please note that its a faceless helmet not a Balaclava or other form of covering ...
6
votes
3answers
116 views

Forging with geothermal heat: Possible alternative to fire in alien species' technological progression?

A world idea I'm playing with for a sci-fi idea I'm working on has an atmosphere similar to the composition of Earth's atmosphere during the Carboniferous Period: Lots of oxygen, so while a human or a ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Apocalypse by Atomic Catalyst

This question is a continuation of Unprepared and Without a Homeworld. The premise of this idea is that a substance called an Atomic Catalyst exists that can lower the temperature at which particles ...
26
votes
22answers
8k views

A solution for the time-travel paradox - What could go wrong?

Time travel has been invented and it goes like this. You travel backwards in time at the same speed you normally travel forward. Everything is identical - you do all the actions the same but in ...
4
votes
2answers
114 views

2 weeks day, 2 weeks night, how would the sleeping pattern of the planet's dominant species work with a 28 'day' Day?

Okay, so I have this binary planet system. The main planet a bit bigger than earth with a size appropriate moon-planet. Both are habitable and with a humanoid species that evolved there. But, I know ...
7
votes
10answers
2k views

What mechanisms need to be in place for an advanced, peaceful society to retain high testosterone levels?

While by no means a smoking gun, there is still a reasonable amount of empirical evidence on the notion that socialization and testosterone are negatively correlated. Archaeological Evidence From ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

Effects of long term exposure to a non-earth like rich atmosphere

Imagine that humanity found a rocky planet with earth like gravity, atmospheric pressure, and temperature, orbiting a sun-like star. The only problem is that the planets atmosphere is that it is ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Is a sling a viable ranged weapon option for someone with poor eyesight?

I have a character who is, for lack of a better term, a Monster Hunter. She's physically fit, has a pretty high pain tolerance/is generally pretty durable, and is skilled in various forms of hand-to-...
10
votes
3answers
738 views

Parrots for tone-deaf people where magic is performed through song (followup)

In my previous question: Magic for tone-deaf people in a world where magic is performed through song it was suggested by Ynneadwraith (many thanks by the way) that animals that produce music would ...
2
votes
7answers
236 views

How can society advance as a civilization if it kills off its best people?

In our world, we consider human life to be precious and valuable. It is meant to be preserved, and a deliberate act of taking a life is considered deplorable by society. This is considered normal. The ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Floating cities with a new superconductor

Inspired by this great answer. There is a planet with: Floatium, a superconductor that behaves as such at 0 ºC and is found in nature. A stronger magnetic field than Earth's. In really cold areas I ...
7
votes
7answers
355 views

A possible solution to stealth in space

I'm sure most worldbuilders will have heard the aphorism that in space "Everyone sees Everything", or that "There Ain't No Stealth In Space". I'd like to propose a possible solution to this. The ...
27
votes
13answers
8k views

Is an hour-long weekly driving ban feasible in modern America?

So here's the deal: my story takes place in modern America in the aftermath of an unexplained event where a runic magic system was introduced to humanity by an unknown entity. Every week a new rune is ...
3
votes
3answers
204 views

A planet that cannot be orbited [duplicate]

I'm wondering if it is possible for a planet to be impossible to orbit stably over a significant length of time. The shorter the length of time the planet can be orbited for, the better. It should ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

Destroying one of the Great Pyramids without killing the protagonist [closed]

A woman finds herself inside the Great Pyramid of Kheops when a bunch of terrorists starts blowing it down from outside. The woman manages to find a way out but before being able to leave the Pyramid,...
0
votes
3answers
186 views

How can I prevent wizards from “spreading their royal oats”? [closed]

Granny Weatherwax has broken up with her husband, who she discovered had been cheating on her with various women all through their 40 years of marriage. After killing him, she drowns her sorrows in ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

Using light as a barrier to block people without grilling them

We know that light exerts pressure upon matter. I'm imagining a hallway where an intense light source on one end shines towards the other end. The goal is to have the beam of light exert so much ...
3
votes
9answers
204 views

Can a religious order keep the peace between nations with sacrificial games? [duplicate]

This world takes place in a continent with advanced 20th century technology. The one key difference from our reality is that war does not exist in the way we would think of it. Disputes between states ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

Is my fantasy map unrealistic and/or too small?

I've finally drawn out a map of the world in which my fantasy novel (mostly) is set in hopes of creating more countries and deepening political tension between the existing ones through figuring out ...
23
votes
4answers
5k views

What happens when two flames meet from opposite sides?

What happens when two flames (whether from dragons or blowtorches) meet head on? Many films make it appears as a front where the two flames repel each other, but my intuition is that, in fact, the two ...
-1
votes
0answers
46 views

Present day reaction to Aliens landing [closed]

A group of stealthy scouting aliens discovered earth and decided to make direct contact with humans. They decided to make a grand entrance and dazzle the primitive 21th century humans by landing in a ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

Is sleep exercise possible? [closed]

Is is possible to put someone to sleep and, while they are sleeping, attach muscle stimulating pads, causing the muscles to do work and causing exercise to be done without consciousness?
6
votes
4answers
308 views

How difficult would it be to use scrap metal from a car to make armour or an effective short sword without using fire?

Tools available would be wire, bricks, hammers, a hack saw, a pair of compound snips, and flex glue. As well as the intact body of the car itself. Assume you find the tools inside or easily within ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

sequioa & redwood trees [closed]

There is a treehouse community. The treehouses are connected by bridges and platforms. The tree houses are on 100-200 feet high sequoia and redwood trees. There are 1-2 houses on each tree if the ...
1
vote
3answers
76 views

War between human/animal shapeshifters and humans

In my story, set in medieval times, shapeshifters exist who have a human form and an animal form (only one, which they are born with). The majority of the population is human, many of whom hate the ...
4
votes
1answer
296 views

Interstellar Propulsion for Hard Sci-fi Novel

Hypothetical: Hundreds of years into the future. Humanity needs to travel to exoplanets quickly. I'm aiming for hard sci-fi. What kind of propulsion can travel people at 0.1 - 0.9 lightspeed? Is it ...
4
votes
3answers
163 views

Would fast decompression take place in a sealed tower on an Everest-sized mountain?

I have a large skyscraper-sized tower built at the summit of the highest peak in my world. At that height, I am aware that people need oxygen masks and other aids to survive for long and reach the ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Could someone reasonably clean off and return a child's toy retrieved from a radioactive fallout zone?

So... I've been playing a lot of the video game Subnautica lately, which put me in the mood for a "trying to cope with being marooned on an alien planet" sort of story; however, there's something in ...
-6
votes
3answers
136 views

A proposed method of flying for superheroes

I can understand Super-beings' great strength and some of their other powers, but flying is hard to justify. I want to consider only superheroes that can actually fly rather than merely jump tall ...
-1
votes
0answers
38 views

Creating a earth-like moon orbiting a gas giant that life can evolve naturally [duplicate]

We're trying to create a alien race physically very similiar to humans including carbon based chemistry but with completely different mindsets, culture and society because of the different ...
5
votes
5answers
201 views

Viability of a robot/mecha body with jumping-stilt/Cheetah-blade-like legs?

Saw Pacific Rim for the first time with a friend recently; I'd never really thought too hard about giant robots/been as into Mecha and Gundam stuff as some of my friends before, but the Jaeger concept ...
2
votes
3answers
249 views

Explosive joints that allow people to jump really long lengths

How does a joint need to operate and be structured in order to allow a person to do leaps of 10 meters in length with ease and without taking a long run first? Here's an example of what I'm talking ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

How long can a preserved human body last before turning to dust?

Some Context The setting is a fantasy world with lots of magic where Liches exist. A Lich is "born" through a series of complex, dangerous and horrific rituals that a mage casts upon himself over ...
17
votes
11answers
5k views

Shield only combat

Asking this for a more realistic view for ''rising of the shield hero' and possible uses in future writings. A shield is not a weapon, it is basically armor, that's why heavy armored knights rarely ...
9
votes
1answer
71 views

Designing a somewhat realistic “Astomi”: Filter-Feeding Humanoids?

I've been thinking of reviving an old Fantasy idea of mine, and I recently came across a description of a group of mythological beings that piqued my interest, and which would actually fill a niche I ...
8
votes
9answers
1k views

The Colonist - Part II: Landing

This is the second part of a series of questions I'll ask about a self-sustaining colonization ship. I'll keep editing this post as things unfold. If you can, check out the other questions of this ...
5
votes
2answers
77 views

Poisoning with remote controlled insectoid drone?

Would it be possible to create a mosquito drone like the one below and use it to inject a target with some deadly poison like Novichok?
6
votes
1answer
102 views

Effects of a ferret-like spine/ribcage on bipedal posture, possible leg lengths/proportions?

I was recently redesigning some mostly hominid Aliens I designed a long time back in high school and felt were a little lackluster, and since they were already Tall, Wiry, and vaguely Shambolic-...