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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.

2
votes
1answer
109 views

The World is ending, but we have a time-machine

Let's say an event is occuring that within a short timeframe makes at least the entire solarsystem uninhabitable. However, in a global effort, scientists and engineers have developed a backwards time ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

Defense against endless hordes [on hold]

Imagine humans of the present day and an enemy who suddenly appeared (seemingly) out of nowhere. The enemy has following capabilities: Their army consist of all kinds of creatures from kind of ...
4
votes
2answers
235 views

Could life in a planemo be sustained by cosmic background radiation?

I need to create a race that should be utterly older than humanity (and as such, much more powerful). My idea is to have that race originate from a rock planemo - a rogue planet, orbiting the center ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

How Would Plate Tectonics on an Inverted World Work?

Recently, I came across an inverted world map on the MapPorn Reddit made by MChainsaw. "Inverted" as in, the "continents" are now below sea level and the "ocean floors" are high and dry. (...
77
votes
18answers
17k views

Would a 'World Tree' be feasible in real life?

A livescience.com article claims that trees can reach a theoretical height of 400 to 426 feet (122 to 130m). This is due to the tree being unable to carry water up to the top at that certain point due ...
3
votes
4answers
817 views

Giving Tolkien Architecture a Reality Check: Lothlorien

I need to bring something up before continuing on with another question. This is Giving Tolkien Architecture a Reality Check, which means whether or not the architecture that Tolkien described and ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Giving Tolkien Architecture a Reality Check: Dwarvish Kingdoms

Having escaped Isengard and left Rivendell, we are off to destroy the Ring. Our first stop--Khazad-dum, known contemporarily as "Moria". Being a Dwarvish kingdom, the problems I see with Moria are ...
97
votes
9answers
16k views

Could a Dwarven Civilization Exist?

Could a Dwarven society as described by Tolkien mythology actually work? Dwarves for the purposes of this question are short, stout, bearded men and women who live primarily underground. They have a ...
2
votes
3answers
354 views

Can a large hemispherical planet be stable? [duplicate]

I had a vision of a planet twice the size of earth sliced in half like an apple by an invisible force, one half drifting away from the other into eternity. Unlike the planet Earth, it did no longer ...
56
votes
30answers
12k views

My perfect evil overlord plan… or is it?

Me You might call me evil but the facts are I deserve to rule all of the world, everyone & everything in it. What I already have done For years I have worked in the shadows (as much as you can ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

Would advanced Plantoids be plausible? [on hold]

Could it be plausible that if enough time given and favorable conditions are met, the dominant species of an alien planet could be a species of plant and by dominant I mean achieving sentience and ...
0
votes
4answers
151 views

How significantly would the course of rivers change over 10,000 years?

This one is rather straightforward. A character falls into a magically-induced coma for about 10,000 years and then wakes up to find the world around him different in quite a few ways. There's not a ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

Solar insolation/flux's effect on biome diversity/richness on an alien world

The Questions I'm trying to answer three main questions: Does a three-axis biome chart make sense for my world? How productive/life-rich should a biome be given a specific level of solar flux (...
-1
votes
1answer
125 views

Could a black hole be used to lessen surface gravity on a Super-Earth?

Due to the moon's gravitational pull, objects at Earth's surface directly under the moon are slightly lighter. This tiny lessening of gravity would also take effect if the moon were on the exact ...
12
votes
9answers
2k views

How do I make oxygen for a generation ship?

On a generation ship, the people living on it need oxygen, lots of oxygen. More than they can realistically carry, thus a generation ship must be able to create breathable air from relatively common ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

How long can language drift before it becomes indecipherable, and how to minimize drift?

A general question here, relevant to many world-building scenarios. Language drifts, to the point that I likely could never understand old English, but I'm not sure how much. I want to know how long ...
5
votes
3answers
758 views

Anatomically Correct Demons

Demons have been a staple of multiple religions for thousands of years, just like angels. While some of the points brought up in the Anatomically Correct Angels post (and other posts on flying ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

How might a landlocked lake become a complete ecosystem?

Let's assume that there is a lake that has formed from snowmelt and rainfall. The lake has never been in contact with other bodies of water. How might this lake become a complete ecosystem?
29
votes
11answers
4k views

Half of living beings in the universe die: Does society survive? [closed]

Some purple person, somewhere, collected the Eternity Baubles, clicked their heels and suddenly, half of all living beings in the universe just go poof.1 The effect isn't restricted to sentient ...
49
votes
6answers
9k views

Could two planets be tidally locked to each other so close they share their atmosphere?

Could two planets be tidally locked to each other at such a small distance from one another that they share their atmosphere, and material is floating around between the two?
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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
120 views

How realistic is the travel of the Wandering Earth, would its mass be enough as energy source? [closed]

In the movie Wandering Earth, our planet travels to another sun. That is, it gets attached about 10000 engines fed by rocks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wandering_Earth Given humanity could ...
4
votes
5answers
132 views

Logical explanation for why Brainbots would not retain their original identities memories

So, my setting is a post apocalyptic one, 197 years after WW3 kicked off and destroyed pretty much everything. The current date is 2259. Before WW3 started, the USA was experimenting heavily with ...
-1
votes
2answers
89 views

Laminar Flow Fountain Shelter?

Say you were stranded on an island with no shelter whatsoever, but for some odd reason you had all the supplies and water necessary to construct a laminar flow water dome as a shelter. Keep in mind -- ...
9
votes
5answers
154 views

Reality check: Is this a plausible way to breed raccoons?

You’re a lone immortal who’s decided to breed raccoons to a human-level intelligence (over the course of hundreds of thousands or millions of years). To do so, you need to both feed a significant ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Highest level of 1930's Technology possible [closed]

Backstory I have a character who goes back in time to plant an idea in the minds of government scientists during the 1930's. The idea is to analyze a DNA sample and recreate it for future use in the ...
24
votes
10answers
9k views

How long would it take for people to notice a mass disappearance?

If 5 million people disappeared at the same time globally, assuming an even spread of random disappearances (not focused in any one location) how long would it be before people noticed there had been ...
12
votes
13answers
6k views

Is this state of Earth possible, after humans left for a million years?

It is the year 4056 (or probably later). The rocket with the last residents of Earth just took off, because global warming and pollution couldn't be stopped nor reverted and Earth became uninhabitable....
8
votes
6answers
383 views

How long would it take for a group of humans to travel across a continent by foot?

Think a Lord of the Rings-esque quest to save their kingdom. This quest would also involve detours, but I can just factor those in later. The continent is around the size of Australia, with a lot of ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Would it be possible to ride a gravitational wave?

I'd like to travel really really fast, and I've got some scientists proposing a novel new way of doing so. They've developed the technology to generate extremely powerful controlled gravitational ...
3
votes
2answers
369 views

Would It Be Feasible to Hollow Mount Everest Into a Palace?

Let's say that some Oriental emperor had decreed that he should move his palatial residence from China to Everest. Specifically, he wanted Mount Everest to be his palace, which means hollowing the ...
5
votes
6answers
652 views

Is it plausible that current insects will evolve sapience?

Scenario: In my Evil Overlord plan, I release a poison into the wild which should kill all humans. However I made some sort of mistake in my poison design and I killed all Vertebrates bigger than 0.5 ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

Could bio-luminescent plants survive in total darkness for ~3 months annually?

If a three-month dark period was a normal, recurring, part of a 15-month calendar, and plants had evolved to be bio-luminescent, could they survive? Would only some survive and, if so, would it be ...
7
votes
6answers
10k views

Can a genetically modified human breathe something other than Earth's oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere?

If a human is kidnapped by an alien vessel and taken to another planet - and, for the sake of argument, let's assume that the alien life-form lives in a completely different environment from Earth's. ...
-1
votes
1answer
151 views

Do any of the things happening on this world actually have a chance of happening? And if they do, how long would humankind survive? [closed]

In this world, global warming has reached a tipping point. The equator has reached temperatures well over 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 Celsius, 373 Kelvin), resulting in the "Boiling Sea". Global ...
1
vote
0answers
96 views

Is it possible for industrial revolution to happen without colonialism? [closed]

As we all know, with Christopher Columbus re-"discovering" America in 1492, the wondrous Age of Discovery began - and with it new dreams of conquest and wealth, that became realized in the way of ...
2
votes
0answers
159 views

If a boy was tattooed on his back, would the tattoo more-or-less sruvive into adulthood intact? [closed]

If a child, say, a white, ten year old boy, got a big tattoo on his upper back (read: shoulder to shoulder), would it change a lot as the child grew into adulthood? Since the early-ish industrial ...
3
votes
5answers
519 views

What would an animal that absorbs nutrients though its skin be called? [closed]

Animals that eat meat are carnivores, animals that eat plants are herbivores, animals that will eat anything are called omnivores. But what are animals that absorb 25% of their nutrition directly from ...
5
votes
4answers
626 views

Possibility of a terrestrial moon orbiting a Jovian planet for the setting of a fantasy world

I am currently creating a world for a series of fantasy short stories (and hopefully movies one day), and I need some help with the science. Ideally, I would like the story to take place on a moon ...
2
votes
3answers
497 views

Would a Glass “Rupert Drop” Weapon be Plausible?

Can a large glass Rupert Drop somehow be manufactured into a useful and effective weapon in medieval warfare, such as a club? I've developed a society that primarily lives in the desert with sand in ...
3
votes
4answers
192 views

Could a tree build its bark out of Starlite-like material?

How could trees in an environment with 23% Oxygen (The atmosphere is identical to earth in all other respects.) grow bark with Starlite-like qualities? Starlite is a material claimed to be able to ...
-1
votes
1answer
112 views

Could a U.S. president change political parties? [closed]

This has intrigued me for a long time. Hypothetically, could a president-elect be able to switch political parties once they assume office? I'm aware of the ramifications and backlash they would get ...
4
votes
2answers
579 views

Can my heraldic dragons fly?

Heraldic Dragons Heraldic dragons are the creations of a mad god, called Anon, designed after the classical six-limbed ones. Measurements: Head+neck length: 180 cm Body length: 180 cm Height at ...
2
votes
3answers
181 views

Fireproof liquids that are non-toxic to carbon based life?

What sort of fireproof liquid could be used by carbon-based life without causing harm to the organism? Whether it be absorbed from exterior sources or produced in the organism's body. I say organism ...
4
votes
4answers
131 views

What sort of hip bone is required for quadrupedal animals to locomote on their hind legs?

I am designing a creature that is quadrupedal but can run after prey on its hind legs. What kind of hip bone would allow for the excess stress to be put on it during bipedal locomotion? The animal is ...
3
votes
4answers
184 views

How can I make these feet spikes more sturdy?

The bone is three inches circumference at the joint and one-millimeter circumference at the tip. How might this bone support the front of an animal weighing one-hundred pounds? It runs with its legs ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Are there certain qualities needed for an animal to be tamed?

Are there certain qualities that animals need to be tamed? Let's say, for example, a quadrupedal omnivore with intelligence on par with Earth's ravens. It does exhibit opportunistic predatorial ...
20
votes
11answers
5k views

An Undercover Army

Suppose you want to invade Russia. But, beating it in a conventional or nuclear war isn't possible for your people for some reason. What if, instead, you line up 500,000 soldiers to move to Russia ...
2
votes
9answers
252 views

How would a fixed altitude magical Airship be propelled?

Background In my world, there are vehicles that can spatially "lock" themselves to a single altitude. The locking mechanism is a magical core, combined with runic metal bands extending around the ...
28
votes
8answers
7k views

Would glacier 'trees' be plausible?

The setting is in a region of a planet comparable to Earth's California in regards to location. The soil is extremely rich in nutrients and subsurface water. But for the past three million years the ...