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.

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2 answers
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Could harvesting antimatter from a Gas giant's van Allen Belts be feasible?

Could a sufficiently advanced civilization feasibly harvest antimatter from the van allen belts of a gas giant and use it for fast interplanetary travel. The main idea stemmed from this video, among ...
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1 vote
2 answers
71 views

Could a planetary disk create a shared atmosphere?

So essentially, we have a protoplanetary disk filled with asteroids ranging from boulders to 30km long. Could they sustain a breathable atmosphere for humans, or would there have to be oxygen tanks ...
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6 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is a religion which allows cyborgs but not AI or genetic engineering realistic?

On an alternate Earth I am designing, the entire industrialised world is dominated by a single religion. This religion has many denominations, but in all of them both genetic engineering and advanced ...
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3 votes
2 answers
118 views

Is there any feasible way for Antarctica have hidden oases?

Antarctica is a large barren wasteland. Located at the bottom of the world, it appears far away and forgotten. The Earth's largest desert and yet the coldest landmass. The age of exploration has come ...
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1 vote
2 answers
148 views

Is this an accurate environment for life on a super Earth speculatively?

My alien planet is a super Earth. It revolves around a K-type star in the habitable zone and has a lower gravity. The mass is that of 2 Earths(or how ever superearths mass normally are).The atmosphere ...
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1 vote
2 answers
89 views

Large projectiles vs heavy personal armor

In my world personal body armor has reached a point where most weapons designers have given up trying to make cartridges that will penetrate armor, and instead have gone back to large caliber rifles ...
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2 votes
1 answer
50 views

What atmospheric pressure and temperature are reasonable to maintain water on a low gravity planet?

I'm designing a low gravity planet, and I want it to be as realistic as possible. I've calculated the lowest mass and radius it could have while maintaining a similar density to Earth and while still ...
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19 votes
7 answers
4k views

Could the Soviet Union have hidden the launch of the first satellite?

In the summer of 1957 Soviet leadership was shown a model of the soon-to-be first man-made object in outer space. It was a shiny sphere with thin antennae. The energized chief designer didn't mince ...
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can Mars disintegrate entirely in this scenario?

I have a hypothetical scenario in which Mars flies over Jupiter at close range. I want to make Mars disintegrate entirely in this scenario while keeping the scenario scientifically accurate (please ...
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0 votes
3 answers
180 views

Is my environmental map consistent?

This is the map of my alien planet's continents and I want to know if the environments are accurate. The symbol at the top is the Arctic island. It's like Greenland and has some greenery or should I ...
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5 votes
3 answers
463 views

The Emperor's Coffee House - how to build a neolithic steam engine?

This is a thought experiment that I had for a long time, and I would like to know if it is possible/feasible. Let's assume that we have a very powerful ancient emperor, who has an idea to harness the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
90 views

How realistic would a planet almost entirely covered in water be? [duplicate]

Essentially, take a planet with a diameter of 19,000 km and roughly 2 km of water on top. Would the planet keep the water, or would it evaporate into thick clouds. It orbits around the same area as ...
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3 votes
2 answers
89 views

A mainly barren world with two moons and a shared ring. Is it feasible?

I am creating this planet which is mainly barren and desert around the equator, but towards the poles there are huge mountains with glaciers and frosts. There is not much sea around. The inhabitants ...
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-7 votes
4 answers
101 views

How to create realistic alien evolution in a swampy planet? (Like dagobah from Star Wars) [closed]

Essentially, I’m curious to know what would be the most likely (semi-complex, multicellular) animal lifeforms to develop on planets with gravity similar to Mars and Earth.
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5 votes
10 answers
705 views

How to Sneak Von Neumann Probes Past the Enemy?

150 years into the future, a space faction is in a confrontation with a stronger rival. Our faction is a Kardashev Type I civilization and has a similar technological level to its rival, but the rival ...
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3 votes
3 answers
138 views

Could a hot desert plausibly exist in this location?

I'm attempting to construct a world such that a hot desert like the Sahara exists in the region outlined in yellow. The same map depicting prevailing winds (thick arrows) and ocean currents (thin ...
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1 vote
3 answers
324 views

How realistic would it be to have a human based colony surviving a “great flood” style event and living only on ships?

Technology: end of ww2 era (before de-armerment) Population: ~2.5 billion Location: current earth Essentially, massive amounts of water have appeared, covering the entire earth. Humanity has roughly 1 ...
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11 votes
6 answers
4k views

Could a hive mind work for a non-insectoid species?

I have a terminte/winged ant based insectoid species, but it doesn’t fit in well with the rest of the universe. I was reading the Darksaber book by Kevin Anderson and thought that the Taurills were a ...
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6 votes
2 answers
228 views

Can you survive a reduction of particle mass?

Inspired by reading some recent questions about going to space and torchships and such, I've come to the sad conclusion that space is hard and rocket equations suck. So what if we made advances in a ...
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8 votes
7 answers
554 views

Social status by fuel used?

In this universe contained self sustaining fusion has been achieved. As we know the fuel for fusion is most commonly isotopes of hydrogen, and helium is produced as a byproduct of that. Helium is, as ...
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-2 votes
6 answers
155 views

How realistic would the emergence of strong Artificial Intelligence leading to a global war? [closed]

If sentient AI emerges and begins to dominate every field and make most of the population unemployed--even to the extent of replacing governments--then humans would probably rebel against the machines....
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5 votes
2 answers
163 views

Firearms in early modern time - who could afford them?

Could a middle-classman eqivalent afford a whellock or later flintlock pistol? How realistic would it be to give them to regular bandits with an explanation that they've gotten them from soldiers' ...
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4 votes
2 answers
104 views

For a planet with a given equilibrium temperature, what is the maximum pressure possible?

I've been working on trying to calculate atmospheres for a given equilibrium temperature $T_{eq}$ planetary mass $M_{planet}$ and radius $r_{planet}$, how would you calculate the maximum possible ...
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  • 101
9 votes
17 answers
5k views

How to quickly dispose the bodies of 100 million individuals?

In a country of a typical dictatorship, the government has planted within each person an obedience chip. This chip has a kill switch that could be triggered if the government wanted a particular ...
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38 votes
10 answers
7k views

Can a planet stay cracked?

Images like this and this are common in sci-fi/fantasy settings, for the obvious "rule-of-cool" reasons. And while the 'rule-of-cool' is certainly worth using (in moderation) when ...
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1 vote
2 answers
85 views

Would a carbon-based lifeform be able to emerge and live in Venus-like conditions?

I'm trying to make carbon-based alien lifeforms which live in a Venus-like world, where: The temperature is $\pu{650-750 K}$ and the pressure is $\pu{0.9-1.1 MPa}$ Sulfuric acid is abundant Because ...
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6 votes
2 answers
163 views

Could a Massive Freshwater Lake and River System Exist in a Desert Environment?

In my book series, there is this lake called Lake Pheron. Lake Pheron's surface is located about 2,200 feet above sea level in a mostly flat, inland area called the Tangolian Desert. This desert is ...
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10 votes
14 answers
4k views

What reliable source of power is best on a newly colonized interstellar planet?

I have been working on a hard Sci-Fi narrative of a first-time human colonization scenario on an interstellar star system like Alpha-Centauri. My narrative though uses NO FTL drives or other fictional ...
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3 votes
2 answers
188 views

Can a superhuman swim in air?

Assume the superhuman has no powers besides super strength, speed, durability and coordination. What would be the optimal way for them to fly without any assistance?(no gadgets, suits and additional ...
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  • 551
2 votes
1 answer
54 views

Would a quantum locked maglev magnetic shield protect the user in a useful way?

Let's imagine that in the future we have a way of creating room temperature superconductors that can be used to have electric magnets that can create quantum locks. So the design is a shield made out ...
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6 votes
6 answers
849 views

Can the 1980s US government recreate a smartphone?

Inspired by this question. A time traveller appears in two situations in the year 1985 in front of Steve Jobs and other Apple high ups in front of few federal and us army officials The time ...
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  • 1,658
6 votes
6 answers
425 views

How long can stubble get before it becomes clear it isn't made of human hair?

The werewolves in my setting have a problem. Letting humanity at large know that either they or any other sort of magical creature actually exists is illegal, and so they have to pretend to be human. ...
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6 votes
2 answers
124 views

How do I justify the evolution of merpeople within a few million years?

I'm creating a sort of fantasy world that I'm still trying to keep scientifically accurate (it's more alternate history than anything since I'm having it take place in our world with a few points of ...
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  • 537
6 votes
4 answers
973 views

The believability of flesh eating plankton

Context I am disigning a place called the Poisoned Sea, see this question for description, there are clouds of purple plankton that eat the tough flesh of the dead God-Eaters and anything that enters ...
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5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is my character's wingspan designed well?

My question is simply whether my character as shown in the picture, Would it be able to fly and Would it look believable if it did fly? I have seen similar posts but all refer to wing types more ...
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4 votes
3 answers
216 views

Can some countries regress and other advance when petrol will not be available anymore?

In my world, petrol will not be available anymore and there will have been a crisis ending its availability (the story is set after the crisis). The consequences will be these: Developing and poor ...
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3 votes
3 answers
308 views

Could a Preindustrial State Control an Entire Planet?

The Aurean Dominate is an empire controlling the entire planet Aurea and a scrap of the neighboring planet Awal (known as the Exarchate of Tifinagh). Aurea is around Earth-sized (although all of the ...
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5 votes
2 answers
90 views

Could a tether be used to boost Phobos’s orbit?

Background: Phobos, the innermost moon of Mars, is in a decaying orbit which will either crash into Mars or break up in a few million years. It is a very valuable staging port in my universe, due to ...
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4 votes
3 answers
197 views

Is it reasonable to have transparent faceplates on powered armor?

Is it reasonable to have transparent face shields on powered armor or should they be covered with armor? While there are fairly good arguments for why open helmets were fairly popular historically ...
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12 votes
4 answers
887 views

What would it take to, in 1998, soundproof a room against someone with the hearing of a wolf?

So, my story, set in America in 1998, has werewolves. I'm not quite sure how good their hearing is going to be, but bare minimum, even when in human form, they can hear as well as a real-life wolf can....
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  • 5,405
-1 votes
6 answers
206 views

What kind of reproduction methods would allow for an only male animal species to exist?

I was reading that there are certain species of starfish which fission made them in some locations to have a scarcity of female starfish and in other locations there are species which only male ...
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2 votes
2 answers
64 views

Secreting a fast forming, high compression strength material

I am thinking about an alien species that secretes its own biosuit and I am wondering if they can secrete a substance with enough compressive and tensile strength to create strong objects and ...
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3 votes
3 answers
867 views

Could a planet without an orbiting moon still be habitable to human life in at least one small pocket? [closed]

No moon likely means no tides. Does this make a planet half water, half land, or similar divisions? Do freshwater and saltwater have separation? Or would it just be a planet like ours, with delineated ...
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21 votes
12 answers
5k views

Why would a supermassive sarlacc-like creature let captured prey wander around inside itself?

On a fictional planet far away from our own, there is a part plant, part animal creature of truly massive proportions embedded in the sand of a desert-like portion of the planet, kinda like a cross ...
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6 votes
5 answers
206 views

Paradox Free Time Travel: What Are the Implications of the “One More Ball” Thought Experiment? [closed]

Note: this question uses third-party worlds and events to illustrate the point, but it is not in any way about them, therefore this question is not off-topic. I have had an interest in time travel. ...
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7 votes
2 answers
684 views

Could interspecies blood transfusion from organisms of various sizes occur?

In my universe, there are sixteen species from the Homo genus: anatomically modern humans, demons, angels, merfolk, ogres, giants, halflings, dwarves, elves, goblins, gnomes, orcs, trolls, vampires, ...
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8 votes
4 answers
227 views

A gold-proof suit for King Midas

As we all know, King Midas wished that everything he touched would turn to gold - his wish was granted by the god Dionyssus. This proved to be his undoing. He couldn't eat because his food turned to ...
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3 votes
3 answers
159 views

Could shocking grasp be used as a defibrillator?

A common trope among role-playing communities is that Shocking Grasp can be used as a defibrillator. Could a spell that allows you to shoot lightning from your palms allow you restart a recently ...
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4 votes
3 answers
119 views

Plausibility of an Ecosystem Based on Giant Diatoms?

In this wildly divergent Earth timeline, a group of diatoms evolved to be up to a few inches across (rather than 2mm or less). With this group presumably developing some similar traits to organisms ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
57 views

Self-propagating radiation that turns humans into walking radio towers that are part of a 'collective unconscious'; feasible, or no?

A little background... I have a story idea revolving around "Agent ROY-G-BIV" (the name is a reference to the 7 colors of the rainbow), a self-propagating form of electromagnetic radiation ...
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