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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5
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9answers
4k views

Would using carbon dioxide as fuel work to reduce the greenhouse effect?

I'm trying to find a plausible way to reduce global warming in a world past the tipping point. I recently read this article : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171127173225.htm. It ...
-2
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1answer
72 views

Are you able to mix amber with different elements to give properties beyond encasing and preserving? [on hold]

Is it possible to mix it with other elements to give it properties beyond preservation? Like strengthen a sword, or enhance a person's muscles. I've been looking around to see, however I've yet to ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Questions about sick trees in wood

I want to write a piece of fiction about a female tree caretaker who researches a small group of beeches in a wood. When she arrives, she sees that the trees are dried out. Is it realistic to say ...
0
votes
1answer
180 views

Does my climate map work?

I'm looking for notes on my climate map for a continent I've mapped out. Does this set up seem plausible. Map (Imgur) [3 Previous question with general planetary conditions edit Don't have time ...
1
vote
3answers
215 views

Infinite energy, helicopters and world-wide attention

Story is set in our days, modern Earth with all it's current problems and conflicts. Let's say someone had secretly found a way to produce almost infinite (reasonably infinite, of course) amount of ...
1
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3answers
92 views

what is the proper physical build of a fantasy adveturer? [on hold]

I am trying to make a game and I want the characters to look somewhat like they could actually be someone who goes around slaying monsters, fighting evil over lords and their henchmen, all while still ...
4
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3answers
219 views

Can you prevent a star from dying with infinite energy?

In my story, an advanced alien civilization that can travel to other universes has created an infinite energy source, named "an amvelian core". This core resembles a small sphere in appearance (about ...
7
votes
7answers
224 views

How would a deinonychus-like sapient species defeat humans in antique/medieval battles?

I'm currently designing an mesothermic reptilian sapiens for my world, that have evolved from a deinonychus-type of dinosaur and developed flexible hands with opposable thumbs, but still possessing ...
9
votes
6answers
321 views

Detecting a Starship at the L2 Lagrange Point

Assume that an alien starship pops into existence at the L2 Lagrange point of the Earth-Moon system, behind the Moon as seen from Earth. When and how is the starship detected and recognized as ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Anatomically Correct - (ONI) Hatch

My offering to the Anatomically Correct Series. I came across a curious creature, the Hatch! The Hatch is an adaptable creature whose wide-ranging diet allows it to integrate easily into most ...
9
votes
1answer
148 views

Designing rugged bush plane to work on a planet with 3 atmosphere pressure

For practical purposes I think about something in line of Cessna 172. As it was the most produced aircraft, then it must have hit some sweet spot or be near it. atmosphere with barely noticeably ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

If the nucleons in an atom were heavier, could it still be stable? [closed]

If the protons and neutrons had, say, a hundred times more mass than they normally do, could the atom overall still be stable? Would it affect the atom's electron cloud somehow, or would it still be ...
5
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3answers
182 views

Realistic melange - Part 1: Formation

Melange, also known as "the spice", is a fictional drug in Frank Herbert's famous Dune series, which has many benefits (and some drawbacks). In this series of questions, I'll try to see how many of ...
6
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5answers
455 views

The Giant Roc and Pulse Jet propulsion

I am currently in the process of making a world, and am trying to ground it in scientific fact as much as possible. The world is a hard magic setting, and while fantastical creatures exist, they are ...
7
votes
3answers
991 views

Bronze Age Underwater Civilization

I was thinking of an alternate history, in a part of a civilization, living along the Eastern Mediterranean, during the Bronze Age moves to the sea floor to found an underwater civilization. They ...
4
votes
3answers
148 views

How can monsters affect traditional fantasy worldbuilding? [closed]

I just watched this video from Shadiversity about implications of monsters and magic in a fantasy setting. Ha said a lot about how society could be, but it makes me think: how can the society "...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

U.S Government response to an entire city population falling unconscious for two days [closed]

In this scenario, some kind of field encompasses the city, causing anyone inside it or entering to fall unconscious with nothing able to wake them up. I already imagine that the direct consequences ...
3
votes
3answers
218 views

Is a confluence of more than two rivers plausible?

Two rivers converging into one is obviously extremely common, most often when one is clearly dominant over the other (whereby the lesser one is the 'tributary' of the greater) but also sometimes where ...
3
votes
8answers
408 views

Does this half-armor make sense in this context?

In a setting I was thinking of, most of humanity lives in complex tunnel and cave systems, in sprawling masses of underground cities. To the scope of this question, let's assume their technology is ...
3
votes
3answers
87 views

What would be the chemical composition of the crust and core of a planet comprised primarily of diamond?

I’m creating a world for a webcomic and I’m running into some difficulties – namely, my own limitations. I’m not a scientist, and I don’t even know how to start asking the questions I want answered. ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

Looking for a review of my tidally locked red dwarf planet system specs!

Hello! I've put together my first planetary system, but as I'm not a scientist (and bad at maths) I'm reaching the limits of my brainbox and would really appreciate some fact checking! I have ...
10
votes
1answer
127 views

Dissipating sonic booms

Alastair Reynolds is a contemporary sci-fi writer whose works often demonstrate a strong grip on science as it presently stands. Recently, I picked up his book On The Steel Breeze for a quick re-read ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Could a single highly elliptic orbit be used to redirect to another planet?

I'm modeling this on the Voyager 2 flight path. I want to have this flight at this particular time, and not wait for a more advantageous launch window. Based on this orbital configuration (1st ...
26
votes
15answers
6k views

Would dual wielding daggers be a viable choice for a covert bodyguard?

In the setting of a royal court in a stereotypical 'medieval' low-fantasy world, the royal princess must obviously be guarded. Assuming this society sees it as 'unbecoming' for a woman to be armed, ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

In what ways would the earth's orbit/atmosphere/ocean currents have to be different in order to create summer with long nights?

As far as I know, summer and winter are governed by the amount of sunlight absorbed per unit area, where longer days would increase the temperature along with a higher sun angle. To elaborate on the ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Historical experience as a guide to warship design?

I've been working on designs for some model starships, in particular warships. My working assumption has been that the designs and materials for these ships will reflect the way that the civilisation ...
2
votes
2answers
183 views

Would a diet of fish and potatoes be able to support a person in this situation?

I have been thinking of a setting that involves a person getting stranded in a temperate forest that has not been previously inhabited. He eventually meets other people but until then he has to ...
2
votes
3answers
205 views

Is it plausible to to cover a desert in self-replicating solar panels, using only the materials found in the desert?

Silicon is the main material used in both computers and solar panels. Sand is silicon. Deserts have a lot of sand and sun. This may be an oversimplified way of looking at things, but could we ...
6
votes
3answers
218 views

Could people harness the bioluminescence of a firefly?

The world I am creating is in a swamp that contains larger than life bugs; this includes fireflies. What I ask is, could the bioluminescence of their glow somehow be harnessed or used as a light ...
5
votes
2answers
188 views

External ATP Synthesiser Plausibility

Assume a civilisation with futuristically advanced knowledge of biochemistry. Assume it wants to develop a cybernetic device meant to facilitate the organism's ability to perform high-power activities ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Wirelessly charging the world

In my world (consider it an Earth analog for simplicity), power stations on the ground ionize columns of atmosphere using high-energy, electromagnetic beams. The plasma columns stretch all the way up ...
9
votes
3answers
376 views

Is it possible to farm in a swamp?

In my world they live in a swamp similar to the Okeefenokee swamp in Georgia. My question is, would it be possible to farm certain plants like wild rice, milkweed, and lilypads in these conditions? ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Can I have a forest in the rain shadow of a mountain range?

I've pretty much finished the map of a world I'm building for a fantasy novel, but I've realised that on one of the continents I need there to be forest on both sides of a large mountain range. I've ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Hiding a solar system in a nebula

I have a planetary system with a yellow dwarf similar to our own Sun and three habitable planets. I want to hide this system from sight and long range scans in a nebula, a giant cloud of dust and gas ...
4
votes
3answers
191 views

Fusion powered aircraft methods

I am trying to design a single seat fighter capable of achieving (or getting close to) hypersonic velocities at high altitude. In this universe I am assuming compact fusion is a common technology. ...
1
vote
5answers
316 views

Does a character being allergic to water (specifically the $H_2O$ molecule) make rational sense?

I'm writing a drama book and it's meant to be taken 100% seriously, and the main character was born with an allergy to $H_2O$. She does not have Aquagenic Urticaria, as that only affects the skin. She ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

How much surface water do I need for plate-tectonics on a planet?

I want to build a habitable desert gas-giant moon and I´m not sure how little water I can give it and still get plate-tectonics instead of an Io-like lid-tectonic setup. I want plate tectonics because ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Would skyscrapers tip over if people fell sideways?

Suppose that for some reason gravity magically changes, but only for people. While this goes on, instead of gravity pulling people down, it pushes them East. To be clear, it's just people. Not animals,...
3
votes
1answer
212 views

How big would this creature be before it would collapse in on itself?

I am making a titan like creature, similar to godzilla, that lives in a swamp like environment. What I was wondering is, how big could it be before it crushes itself under it's own weight. Here is ...
27
votes
5answers
7k views

Could you fall off a planet if it was being accelerated by engines?

Some background In the movie The Wandering Earth, the rotation of Earth is slowed to a stop, and then 10000 engines are strapped to one side of the planet and used to accelerate it out of the solar ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Closest Proximity of Oceans to Freshwater Springs

I am trying to wrap my head around the geography of a settlement in my world. The settlement is situated along the coast, along a river roughly 500m wide with temperate mixed forests surrounding it, ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

Deadly virus going extinct - “grey goo” a solution?

With the evolving global warming and thawing of permafrost, an ancient deadly virus begins to spread from Siberia across Eurasia, affecting domestic animals first and mutating quickly onto the rest of ...
0
votes
1answer
170 views

Can human remains be turned into crude oil?

I have a potential sub-plot in a story that takes place in the not too distant future where most of the world's fossil fuels are exhausted or contaminated (war reasons more than environmental) and ...
1
vote
3answers
148 views

Harvesting carbon free electricity from a field of plants [duplicate]

In the Matrix the movie machines used fields of humans to efficiently harvest electricity from them. In the endeavor to find a renewable carbon free energy source I can only see using plants this way. ...
9
votes
1answer
221 views

How to build the Cube Prison from Cabin in the Woods?

This question is about the Cube Prison as seen in the 2012 film The Cabin in the Woods. My question is not about the film or its lore, but how the cube prison can be constructed. Specifically, how ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Archery in modern conflicts

Imagine someone who could do everything Lars Andersen can, but with even more accuracy and power, in addition to being very strong and athletic and being able to do it with a heavier bow and faster ...
0
votes
4answers
155 views

The consequence of creating vast amounts of toxic waste [closed]

In my world cars operate on an inverse principle. Instead of fueling the car, the tank is preferably ran empty. As the car runs, viscous, toxic liquid builds up in the tank. When the tank is full, ...
35
votes
9answers
8k views

What reason would an alien civilization have for building a Dyson Sphere (or Swarm) if cheap Nuclear fusion is available?

The Dyson Dilemma states that every civilization of a great enough development stage will want to capture all of the energy from its home star and surround it with a Dyson Swarm that uses solar panels ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Where should a runway for a spaceplane be located?

If a spaceplane like the Rockwell X-30 existed and was flying to a location in geostationary orbit, would it be substantially more efficient to take off from a runaway at the equator, or would it not ...
67
votes
10answers
11k views

How much steel armor can you wear and still be able to swim?

I know there are many historical accounts of soldiers trying to cross a body of water and drowning, but this got me thinking how much of this was due to panic, lack of swimming skills, water currents ...