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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3
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1answer
42 views

Moving mountains

In our world, mountains generally only move up (while forming) or down (while eroding or sinking). Otherwise they follow the tectonic plates they happen to be on. In island chains like the Hawaiian ...
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5answers
3k views

Would it be possible to have a GMO that produces chocolate?

I am inspired by some people who apparently believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows. I know that for sweet, delicious chocolate to come into existence, we need to do things to cocoa. Ferment it, ...
19
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12answers
3k views

On the feasibility of space battleships

We all know and presumably love enormous space battles with vast battleships doing minimal damage to each other for hours before being blown up by a single fighter. On Earth battleships became big ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Would this system work to purify water?

This is part of my generation ship worldbuilding. I mentioned my water purification system in a different question, but I never directly asked about it. Here, I will directly ask about it. I think it ...
6
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5answers
143 views

Planetary neighbors

Let's say there is another planet in our solar system that harbours sentient life and this sentient life can build castles, buildings, and other such structures. When would we notice that? We can ...
18
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17answers
8k views

Can one Battlestar conquer Earth?

Suppose that nowadays Titan Class Battlestar drop out from FTL(Fast-Than-Light) near Jupiter. Its FTL drive was heavily overloaded, stops working, and need serious repairs (at least 6 months + ...
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2answers
104 views

How do I make my main character react realistically to the discovery of a Christian Bible, in a world where it is highly illegal? [on hold]

So; I am working on a story that is inspired by my Christian faith to an extent, and I would like the main character to become a "redemptive hero" who becomes a hero by simply helping people to see ...
0
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2answers
131 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 an AI. It's mid 2050's and my company Neuroconnect has produced a nanotechnology BCI (brain computer interface) capable of ...
10
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2answers
108 views

Algae using UV light from auroras for photosynthesis

I was reading some questions on Quora and I found this claim: The polar regions have a very odd reason for them to have so much oxygen production. You see the Polar aurora run day and night in the ...
3
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1answer
96 views

Will my planet work? (size, gravity, atmosphere)

I was going to sort this all out beforehand, and then write the book, but when the writing flows... you make hay. I am a perfectionist/details-oriented person, but you lose me on math/hard science. ...
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3answers
72 views

How would someone establish a dictatorship during the zombie-apocalypse [on hold]

We're talking about a big group of ~3000 (possibly more) survivors around 5 years after the downfall. 1% of humanity is still alive, 59% is zombified (classic slow zombies, TWD-like), the remaining 40%...
0
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2answers
128 views

Major empires have been destroyed. Results in numerous independent cities [on hold]

I'm in the process of building a world for a D&D 5th ed campaign which is due to kick off in the new year and I'm looking for some feedback on a time line, political climate, etc. for the world ...
3
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1answer
96 views

Physical causes of multiple births in humans?

The setting I'm building has a race of people, derived from modern humans, whose primitive survival as a species relies partly on very fast reproduction, and I think I want them to have a tendency for ...
4
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3answers
111 views

How to find the radius of a planet given its internal composition?

Consider a planet very similar to Earth, with the same radius and the same mass. In a very simplified model of its interior, 70 % of its mass is magnesium silicate and the remaining 30 % is iron. This ...
7
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3answers
143 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
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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
193 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
320 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
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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
487 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
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5answers
840 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
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3answers
121 views

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

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
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1answer
129 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
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1answer
111 views

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

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
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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
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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
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5answers
626 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 ...
10
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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
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8answers
290 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
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6answers
467 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
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0answers
79 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
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2answers
307 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
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5answers
305 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
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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
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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
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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
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9answers
832 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
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3answers
139 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. ...
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6answers
452 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
197 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
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2answers
77 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
523 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
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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
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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
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1answer
176 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
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5answers
612 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
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0answers
180 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
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1answer
151 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, ...