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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2
votes
1answer
43 views

Can Humanity Expand to the Oceans?

Consider a large landmass such as Australia. Imagine if they hypothetically wanted to expand their borders, but they already used up all of their landmass, including the deserts. Could humanity find ...
2
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1answer
52 views

Tidally Locked Planet, Weather

If the polar cap of a tidally locked planet was all ocean, what weather patterns would emerge? The ocean couldn’t be half frozen/half boiling, right? I need a weather pattern so the planet isn’t just ...
30
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13answers
9k views

Is there any real potential advantage to having two hearts?

One common way sci-fi writers try to make their aliens seem more 'alien' is to give them an extra heart. This has been done for example in Babylon 5, Dr. Who and Alien Nation among others. But: ...
4
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3answers
197 views
+50

Is it possible, given modern technology, to fake brain damage?

I'm writing a story, in which it's in a character's best interest to fake a brain-damaged state -- just for a week or two. I know MRI's are available to access brain activity, but would my character ...
3
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4answers
165 views

How Fast Can A Weightless Human 'Swim' On Air Using Medieval Tech?

This world has gravity, air, and clouds. If humans are weightless yet still has mass, it's gonna take some force to accelerate them. How fast can they move on air, say, if they had fins like divers? ...
4
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6answers
241 views

Indispensable tools for scavenging

In my world the „apocalypse“ dates back several decades and most people have settled down, the scavenging is left to professional adventurers who roam the less accessible and more dangerous ruins of a ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Would it be possible to build a submarine-like city?

I mean as in a city that is not situated at the bottom of the ocean but is not floating on the surface of it either. What would a plausible size and population size be for this kind of construct? ...
2
votes
2answers
233 views

Handheld Speargun used out of water for manhunting

Can I have a character make use of a handheld speargun in a postapocalyptic setting to shoot people and pull them back (or at least retain them) with the gun's cord? I came across some criteria/...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

Shooting around obstacles with bow and arrow (without magic) [closed]

Bow and arrow are a basic part of many medieval and fantasy settings. Be it for assassins (silent), for (elven) tribes that live in harmony with nature (not industrialized), or to emphasize the skill ...
3
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2answers
81 views

Harvesting Energy from Gas Giants

In my world, humans live on a moon of a gas giant that has extreme weather conditions. They also: have crystals that can store energy. possess the ability to make floating islands (on which they can ...
14
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2answers
331 views

Whip it like Indy

Is it possible to use a whip to seize things or persons like depicted in the Indiana Jones movies (e. g. the whip is wrapped around a root so he can swing over an abyss)? For example a slave trader ...
-2
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2answers
143 views

Ancient City Expansion

I want to write about a city in environments like the grasslands in France. Its progress from its rise until its fall. Could the city expand to an empire in one or two generations? (Middle ages ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

What could be a plausible scientific explanation for a man with radioactive skin that acts like a nuclear reactor?

A bit outlandish, but here me out: I'm trying to make a villain for my story who's essentially like DC's Fallout in powers. Attribution: January 2015, dc.fandom.com/wiki/Fallout That being said, he ...
23
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5answers
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
397 views

How to get earth like conditions with a Hollow-World?

For my space-fantasy setting I'm considering using the concept of Hollow-Worlds. I devised in-universe reasons for the presence of a day night and season cycle. The Hollow-world's "Inner-sun" ...
18
votes
7answers
5k views

How would a village use its river that it shares with another village downstream?

This question is for a fantasy story loosely based on medieval west Europe. The story is centered around a small remote village in a mountain that sits by a river. The village uses its river for ...
5
votes
5answers
124 views

How Would Weightless Creature Steer Itself In The Air? (Can It Sail?)

Gravity does exist in this world, and so does air and clouds. But this creature only has enough weight to stay in the air without falling or being lifted up. It's big like a whale and it does have ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Can an immune person be the key to finding a cure to a disease?

At the risk of almost repeating a question I asked some time ago... Scenario: A character has been cured of a deadly disease, but all records of the cure have been destroyed (files, actual meds, etc)....
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Is a gas-mask as a spacesuit possible?

I'm writing a short story about space faring race of people. I want to emphasize how technology has allowed a casual approach to space, making it seem like only a minor inconvenience or hazard. One ...
19
votes
12answers
6k views

Shield only combat

Asking this for a more realistic view for ''rising of the shield hero' and possible uses in future writings. A shield is not a weapon, it is basically armor, that's why heavy armored knights rarely ...
9
votes
6answers
667 views

Can there be a unique planet visible each different month?

In my world, ten is an important number that shows up frequently. In the solar system my world belongs to, there are ten other planets beside it, and there are ten months in a year. I know next to ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

Evolutionary pressure leading to dragons

Here on the stack exchange we talk about dragons... a lot. We have discussed all the factors that would allow dragons to exist and yet, there is a question we have not asked. What evolutionary ...
6
votes
4answers
177 views

Anatomy of a chinese serpentine dragon?

In our world there are two species of dragon that took different evolutionary paths due to environmental pressures. The first of them, called smaugs, are as large as a quetzalcoatlus, with a wingspan ...
33
votes
19answers
5k views

How do I create armor for a physically weak species?

In a world I am building, the sapient species (the Lokk) have discovered another species (the Lotl) and they have decided to go to war. The problem is that their bone design is physically weak against ...
-1
votes
1answer
117 views

How would falling buildings affect the earth?

So basically, humankind was t the pinnacle of technological greatness. We had a massive network of floating cities all around the globe. During "The Fall", all the massive spire-like buildings fell, ...
18
votes
22answers
6k views

What traits or behaviors would favor female warriors over males?

In human cultures around the world, most wars are fought by men. There are many theories as to why this is the case, first and foremost that females are simply less expendable than men when it comes ...
2
votes
8answers
494 views

How can I design a magically-induced coma?

Maleficient is an evil witch on a quest for true immortality. Until she accomplishes her goal, she uses a midpoint form of magic called reincarnation in order to buy her more time and keep her alive. ...
9
votes
4answers
197 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
645 views

Could a hexapodal bat actually fly?

Sequel to this question. Basically, I've been designing an intelligent avian race based on bats. After reading through some of the answers for the linked question, I've decided that these bats will ...
2
votes
6answers
500 views

Could a tetrapod evolve from a hexapod?

I'm thinking of an alien alien world that has a vast biosphere. Now the creatures of this planet have evolved to be hexapods though there are a few creatures that are tetrapods (only have four limbs). ...
2
votes
4answers
189 views

What Practical Reasons May Encourage an Empire to Build a War Academy Campus in a Fortress or Structure that can be mobilized for War

I have a large modern fantasy Empire in my setting, and it focuses on the exploits of several students in a military academy. At some point in the story, however, a war breaks out and the academy ...
6
votes
6answers
214 views

Crazy Alien Genetics

Think of a species (ONLY ONE SPECIES) the individuals all live in the same environment, share the same sentience level BUT are divided into "A", "B" and "C" races which have different number of limbs,...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Could a simple hospital oxygen mask protect from aerosol poison?

I'm writing a story in which a character has to make it through an area filled with aerosol poison...or something along those lines. He starts out in a hospital area, with access to equipment. Is it ...
39
votes
17answers
8k views

Is there a way to “poison” oil fields permanently without releasing CO2 from them?

I have a group of ecoterrorists who want to limit the amount of CO2 the world puts out in a drastic way: by poisoning oil fields so that the oil becomes unuseable, or at least forever uneconomical to ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

How is the visual luminosity of a star calculated?

My idea is a planet that orbits a red dwarf at a distance in which the apparent magnitude of this seen from the planet is the same as that of the sun seen from Earth. Does this mean that the daylight ...
8
votes
3answers
308 views

How much medical information could we gather from a wrist-worn device?

Context I have been thinking about the Pip Boy device from the Fallout series of videogames. It is a portable, wearable computer that can gather a lot of data about the user. It looks like this: And ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

How wind patterns and ocean currents would be in a planet that does not rotates on its axis?

Imagine a world that does not rotate in its axis, the planet is not tidally locked so no half is hotter or colder than other. For example the planet does not rotate because it is in a binary sistem ...
11
votes
2answers
156 views

Symbiotic barnacles for underwater respiration

My world has two races of mammalian mermen, one of which are somewhat monstrous and I'll call them "Abyssals" in this thread. I really want the Abyssals to 'breathe' underwater, as well as being able ...
3
votes
3answers
163 views

How could someone mutate other animals?

There is currently a character I am working on that has the ability to mutate other animals (i.e. make them bigger, tougher, stronger, armoured skin) over a long span of time (Say, 4-5 years). The ...
3
votes
3answers
329 views

Could a self-aware bacterial supercomputer start its own ecosystem?

I know A LOT of this gonna be a stretch and that I'm probably misunderstanding or exaggerating current real-life trends in science, but that's kind of why I'm asking the question. We know it's ...
15
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7answers
3k views

Biological refrigeration?

Technological approaches to refrigeration tend to involve either high compression ratios of fairly exotic (from a biochemical point of view, anyway) volatile substances, or high-power, low-efficiency ...
10
votes
10answers
5k views

Given current technology, could TV display screens double as video camera sensors?

This was inspired by this YouTube video titled "Why all solar panels are secretly LEDs (and all LEDs are secretly solar panels)" and the fact that speakers and microphones are similarly related. So ...
23
votes
13answers
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
177 views

Visible light from the brain

I'm building a magic system where magic isn't just controlled by human brains, but is actively produced there. As a byproduct, when casting a spell, the brain generates a large quantity of visible ...
20
votes
15answers
8k views

A steel-cutting sword?

So within my world there exists a faction of monks on a secluded mountain whose scientific and philosophical knowledge outstrips the outside medieval world. And with these monks being famous more for ...
53
votes
14answers
11k views

Would a steam powered plane be able to cross the Atlantic ocean?

In a world where the development of internal combustion engines had been seriously delayed (for whatever reason), would it have been possible to power heavier than air aircraft by steam propulsion? ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

Use Mercury as quenching liquid for swords?

There is a really nice question about quenching swords in dragon blood: Quenching swords in dragon blood; why? That made me curious about a more realistic example: Mercury Could this substance be ...
1
vote
0answers
85 views

Could this model for a winged creature with arms work? [duplicate]

Research Birds have: Air foil (i.e., wings that taper at the bottom), Muscles and bones to allow rotating wings forward and down including strong breast muscle, Large lungs, and Hollow bone. The ...
8
votes
2answers
703 views

Can a giant mushroom be used as a material to build watercraft or sailing ships?

The basis for this question is the selected answer for Plausibility of Mushroom Buildings. Prototaxites and braket fungus are the likely candidates but I want to know if this type of fungis can float ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

Gigantic laser facility with dyson-like reflector network as defensive system. Is it a good idea for my setting?

In my setting, there are sectors in a statist union that take a role of defending union's asset, so the military doctrines in those sectors are designed around defending their own sectors. One of ...