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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
2answers
43 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
177 views
+250

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 ...
8
votes
5answers
320 views

Could a mass-proportional physical speed limit on projectiles “nerf” guns but not ruin archery?

Like many other writers, I'm hoping to create some sort of justification for destroying the monopoly firearms have on the modern combat scene so that I can justify mixing things up with melee weapons, ...
8
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
16
votes
26answers
4k views

Limit computation technology in a futuristic society

I'm wondering what kind of events or limitations would be needed in a science fiction society hundreds of years into the future in order limit computational advances to the level of the early 70's to ...
17
votes
14answers
10k views

Would a Type 2 Kardashev Civilization really build a Dyson Sphere around their own sun?

We are currently estimated to be about 0.7 on the Kardashev Scale. I am interested in the second level of the Kardashev Scale: Type II "A civilization capable of harnessing the energy ...
1
vote
1answer
70 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
89 views

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

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 ...
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, ...
10
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
169 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 ...
3
votes
8answers
393 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
441 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
977 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
138 views

How can monsters affect traditional fantasy worldbuilding? [on hold]

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 "...
4
votes
2answers
115 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
129 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
212 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
3answers
81 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
180 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
82 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
216 views

Are pharyngeal and cutaneous breathing possible for an aquatic mammal?

I'm working on a setting with merfolk that I'd prefer to be fully mammalian. However, they have underwater cities and I find that hard to believe for a species that needs to surface every few hours ...
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 ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Creatures that intentionally blow themselves up

How could a creature explode itself? Why would it? We see example ideas of these all the time (Scourges, creepers, etc.) but nobody ever said how or why a creature would intentionally explode. I am ...
144
votes
40answers
47k views

If time travel is possible in the future, no matter how distant, why haven't they come back to tell us?

In a world where time travel is possible, but has not been invented yet, would travelers from the future come back to prove it exists? Surely, they would bring that technology back in time to let the ...
2
votes
3answers
201 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
1answer
121 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
674 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
223 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
212 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 ...
36
votes
18answers
8k views

Can we build a roguelike maze?

Edit: this is not a dupe because the other question asks for an everchanging maze that is built with pre-historic technology and that is impervious to engineering (i.e.: immune to drilling). Mine ...
5
votes
2answers
186 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 ...
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 ...
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,...
9
votes
3answers
373 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? ...
30
votes
18answers
11k views

Would 'magic' muskets be a significant advantage over actual muskets?

In my world I have one side armed with 'muskets' which utilize a simple form of magitek. Their 'bullet' is actually a magical 'blast' of condensed magic from the air. Despite being magical in theory,...
6
votes
2answers
147 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 (...
4
votes
3answers
187 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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
5answers
309 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
109 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
421 views

Would my horned theropod dinosaur- like creature be able to lift his head and/ or balance?

I'm in the process of designing a creature loosely resembling a theropod dinosaur that sports a number of horns/tusks on its head and face, and I'm wondering if anyone can help me evaluate its ...
3
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
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, ...
25
votes
8answers
4k views

Could a city be built out of Balloons?

I would like to use this scenario in writing a book. Using only countless balloons that permanently hold hydrogen made from water could a city be built in the sky? Workers from the ground can raise ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

Underwater acoustic muffling/dampening and sonar evasion. Is a stealth torpedo possible?

So I have various factions with submarines and surface ships battling it out for control over various underwater resources. One of the rarer and more lethal weapons is a "stealth torpedo". It ...
14
votes
1answer
297 views

Planet-wide vocalizations: is there a natural limit preventing it?

Premise I recently recalled when the Chelyabinsk meteor crashed overhead in 2013. The pressure wave was immense. The infrasounds, as recorded by nuclear missile detectors, appeared to traverse the ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Possible material for dragon wings

Most (quadruped) dragons are depicted as having two wings sprouting from their back, consisting of a limb structure draped with a leathery membrane as the way to create lift and fly, somewhat ...