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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7
votes
3answers
115 views

Maintaining a Moon Suit

The Apollo-era A7L Extravehicular Mobility Units were used for less than eight hours at a time, within a few days, with a maximum of three moonwalks per mission. Assume a fictional moonbase with ...
60
votes
16answers
11k views

Stealth in Space: How realistic is it?

This has been considered other places on the net, but I thought it would be good for the hard-science challenge, since it is often an example of the subtle difference between soft and hard science. ...
12
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3answers
172 views

Is a carbon planet with seas of methanol on its surface scientifically possible?

I am creating a carbon planet with seas of methanol on its surface, but I am not sure that this is possible. It is predicted that carbon planets are depleted of water, since the available oxygen ...
4
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5answers
287 views

Would molten tin solidify and coat an organic horn?

Tieflings are routinely captured and imprisoned. Those that are compliant enough are sent out and used to hunt other tieflings, but not before having their horns dipped in molten tin as a way of ...
36
votes
16answers
7k views

Effects of immortality on human brain and consciousness

I'm writing a story that features modified humans that have a very long lifespan/ practically immortality. Immortal characters in fiction aren't exactly rare, but I want to write something more ...
19
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21answers
6k views

How to explain why humans weren’t encountered by alien species? [closed]

So, I’ve been writing a sci-fi novel that takes place a few centuries in the future. In the novels lore, it says that there was plenty of life throughout the galaxy, but humans were just contacted ...
7
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6answers
485 views

Spying on another star system

I want to find out what's going on in another star system, but I don't want to go there. How feasible is it to just build a big telescope and take a look? Scenario: Earth does not respond to ...
7
votes
5answers
833 views

Could stone be used in place of metal for certain items?

For certain categories of items, namely weapons, armor and machinery (that's pretty general, I know), how well would stone fare vs metal? Assume that any complications with shaping the stone are gone. ...
2
votes
3answers
115 views

Would falling (not impact) from the Cliffs of Insanity actually have killed the Man in Black? [on hold]

If you’ve read The Princess Bride by William Goldman, you may remember the scene where the kidnappers are taking Buttercup up the Cliffs of Insanity and the Man in Black is climbing up after them. ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Could life exist on a planet that is heated mainly by hawking radiation from a super massive black hole that is millions of solar masses? [duplicate]

At a time long after the stelliferous there is a planet in orbit around a super massive black hole with almost all external heating coming from hawking radiation from the black hole it orbits. By ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

How do I determine whether hybridization would be possible between various creatures? [on hold]

I ask because the world I'm building has eight distinct races of humans on one planet, as well as various non-human animals that don't currently exist in the real world. I'd like for some forms of ...
21
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4answers
1k views

Is this coral lagoon geologically possible?

BACKGOUND I’m working on a region for my world, and I have a very distinct idea of what I want the physical landscape to look like. Below is a description of what I'd like for the land, and an ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

How different would the internal composition of a carbon planet be from that of Earth?

My idea is a carbon planet 50 % larger than Earth and with 5 times its mass (approximately), but I set these values ​​after investigating those of several discovered exoplanets and none of them is ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Can lodestones be used to magnetize crude iron weapons?

Imagine a setting where humans have to compete with another sentient race, which can only be harmed by magnetized weapons. Humans have only basic technology, and magic is very very rare. Would it be ...
4
votes
5answers
624 views

Plastic coated bullets

In an episode of CSI Miami a sniper uses ammunition with a thin plastic coating between the bullet and the shell casing. supposedly when fired the plastic coating is shredded or destroyed, but the ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Reality check - cognitive cyborg with an advanced brain-computer interface

I am going to finally create a human cyborg with super-intelligence to beat one other AI. It's mid 2050s and my company Neuroconnect has produced a nanotechnology BCI (brain computer interface) ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the requirements for an atmosphere retaining moon with a stable orbit around an Earth-like planet with non-destructive tidal forces?

For story writing purposes I would like a realistic setup where there is a planet with close to earth conditions in terms of gravity, relative position to the sun etc. However I aim to have a much ...
7
votes
8answers
285 views

How can I create an infinite space bound by another infinite space (or contained within it)?

First let me preface by saying this question will be very math heavy, and might be as equally suited to math stack exchange as world building. For that I apologize, but since the reason for my ...
6
votes
6answers
462 views

Realistic rollerblade steam propulsion device, like something that might have been invented with 18th century technology. Is it possible?

This was an idea generated by my sister that I thought was very interesting. I intended to make it work by strapping rollerblades on a person's legs and utilize a compressed gas/steam-powered pumping ...
5
votes
0answers
74 views

What are some issues I can expect in creating a self-sufficient, post-apocalyptic underground society? [closed]

(Please bear in mind I am quite new here, and I have in fact created this account just now. I've tried my best to follow all the rules I've read browsing around. I do realize this is quite a broad ...
7
votes
2answers
304 views

Anatomically Correct “Stranger Things” Mindflayer's Monster

Background, with potential spoilers: In the Netflix show Stranger Things... If we skip the psychic stuff, there's still a pretty interesting creature there. To qualify as a Mindflayer monster, an ...
1
vote
5answers
301 views

Anatomically Correct Monsters, Incorporated

In the world of Monsters, Inc., the titular monsters have wildly varying morphologies and abilities, but they nevertheless all seem to be members of the same species; after all, if it was a multi-...
10
votes
8answers
3k views

How to avoid infinite gravity

I have a world I want to put together but I ran into a problem. Description This world is a cube infinite in all directions, exactly half of it is full of earth and half is space (where we see ...
13
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....
10
votes
11answers
3k views

Plausibility of Ice Eaters in the Arctic

Could a creature plausibly exist with its diet consisting of consuming ice, possibly for hydration? I'm unaware if it needs a secondary diet for nutrition, but how would its metabolism feasibly work?...
8
votes
9answers
831 views

Can industry work on a poor import schedule?

I've been working for some time on a universe in which there is limited FTL consisting of short (up to five light years at a time) jumps between points in space. The jumps take no time at all for ...
0
votes
3answers
136 views

Could Devils Tower Be the Model for Rapunzel's Tower?

Many adaptations of the Brothers Grimm tale of Rapunzel have come up with ways to make Rapunzel's tower so unscalable that the only way up is to ask her to let down her very, very, very long hair. ...
-10
votes
6answers
451 views

Could Artificial Intelligence ever arise without life? [closed]

I have been musing this on and off since R. Daneel Olivaw. It is tempting to wonder if R. Daneel Olivaw was created by humans, or did it (He?) spontaneously arise without intelligent living ...
-2
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3answers
196 views

Can we create a human recognition technology for long guns that disables it from mass shootings? [closed]

I have been imagining tech welded to a long gun that makes shootings of public groups of people -- public mass shootings -- almost or totally impossible. What if there was human body recognition ...
6
votes
2answers
76 views

How to calculate the average temperature of a planet with greenhouse gases?

I am creating a planet with an orange dwarf as its host star and which is at a certain distance from it in such a way that it receives 1 % of the light received by the Earth from the Sun. Obviously, ...
17
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1answer
520 views

Electricity without electrons

The universe so far: If charged lepton fields are eliminated from the universe, charged pions become stable (having no decay path that preserves charge), replacing electrons to form bound "atomic" ...
12
votes
9answers
4k views

Would evolution select for mermaids without breasts?

So ignoring all the other hydrodynamic inefficiencies associated with sticking a human torso on a fish body, let's just worry about those most distinct of human female features, breasts. The problem ...
105
votes
11answers
17k 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
1answer
175 views

How could mega-biomes be possible?

I was wading in a creek today and imagined if a little rock was the size of a person. Then I thought about how something like that would even be possible. I came up with a few ideas but am still ...
5
votes
5answers
610 views

Making a slow orbit around a large gas giant

First of all, this website is a dream come true. I'm a total sucker for this stuff. Secondly, I love astronomy and worldbuilding, and lately, I've been thinking of a hypothetical situation, and was ...
-4
votes
0answers
170 views

Plants and Animals “Switch Places” - How Could This Have Happened?

Setting the Scene Say that you have a planet where, like on Earth, you have a taxonomic branch of its overall "Tree of Life" graph that has all the traits we associate with the "Plant" Kingdom on our ...
-2
votes
1answer
150 views

Can we realisticly ever land on alien planet? [closed]

This question is heavily inspired by Netflix series Another Life We build another worlds to be explored. Mostly by humans. However, reckless behavior of space crew of ship Salvare made me realize, ...
-4
votes
5answers
207 views

Can a land-based organism get to be at least 100 ft. in length and still be plausible?

Basically, I'm trying to see if a land-based creature roughly between 50-100 ft. long could exist on Earth at the moment and still be scientifically plausible. I know that whales and other creatures ...
25
votes
8answers
6k views

Would this winged human/angel be able to fly?

I take no credit for the image below. All artwork and information belongs to Blue-Hearts on DeviantArt: (click on image for a higher resolution) I'm personally very impressed at her level of detail ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Biophage: A creature that kills all other creatures

Concept: For some twisted reason, a xenocidal space-race living somewhere in our vicinity decides that nothing deserves to exist. So they make a species. Any feasible size, any kingdom. It eats ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Reality check- atmospheric percentages, gravity, mass, and pressure [closed]

What would changing these qualities do to an earth-like world? Would humans and other earth-like life be able to survive, and what effects would this have on them? And what modifications would need to ...
4
votes
2answers
192 views

Can you actually swing, shoot, throw while suspended in the air with a jetpack?

Disclaimer: I don't know a single thing about aerodynamics but I'm hoping to get a little pointers in where to start. I'm currently writing a fantasy story where jetpacks are a very practical and ...
10
votes
2answers
659 views

How close to the Sun would you have to be to hear it?

Taken from this fascinating answer: The Sun is immensely loud. The surface generates thousands to tens of thousands of watts of sound power for every square meter. That's something like 10x to ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Planet spinning at 90 degrees [duplicate]

I'm creating a planet and I was wondering what would happen in its situation. The planet's rotation axis is rotated 90 degrees, but still spins. Its gravity is twice than that of the Earth, and ...
8
votes
7answers
326 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 ...
38
votes
13answers
7k views

Keeping supplies for 1000 years

My main protagonist is going to fast-forward himself in time by 1000 years. He will simply reappear in the same place (marked by a small beacon), the process being instant for him (no hibernation etc)....
6
votes
2answers
163 views

Would an underground civilization be feasible on a frozen, sunless Earth? [closed]

If our Sun was teleported away by aliens, would it be possible for people to survive? I'm assuming that humans had prior warning of this ice age (the aliens warned us first) and could drill ...
33
votes
34answers
13k views

How can guns be countered by melee combat without raw-ability or exceptional explanations?

I'm writing a science fantasy setting for a tabletop game. Its major influences are Dune, Final Fantasy 7, and Borderlands. My goal is to give a universal account why swords, spears, etc., equal or ...
6
votes
3answers
188 views

How could a small civilization move about normally, tactically, and quickly in a large swamp?

This is a small civilization (more than just a town or two) almost under the shadow of the regional hegemon. The dominant civilization knows they are there, but don't go too deep into that swamp ...
9
votes
2answers
181 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 ...