Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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
13 views

How to justify a completely mute character?

I have searched for a while now, but I cannot find a definite answer. A character I am writing has been captured by the antagonist, operated on and released, now completely mute. I've looked ...
8
votes
11answers
2k views
+100

How to market an anarchic city as a tourism spot to people living in civilized areas?

So, in my Post-Apocalyptic world, there’s a city down in South Nevada known as Vegas. Unlike the rest of the majority of North America, Vegas was not hit by nuclear warheads in its near vicinity. But, ...
7
votes
5answers
320 views

Velocity Difference From Teleportation

In Steven Gould's Jumper series, the main character has the ability to teleport, and he eventually realizes he automatically does frame matching when doing so - no matter where on earth his origin and ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

What adaptations would allow standard fantasy dwarves to survive in the desert?

Recently I was talking with a friend of mine on fantasy stuffens. I brought up that its interesting that dwarves are rarely in the desert and he immediately listed reasons why the dwarf build is bad ...
6
votes
3answers
339 views

What is the botanic equivalent to ears?

As part of a series on plant animals, plantimals if you will, I am now asking about ears. All surface life has them or some sort of equivalent to them and with good reason. Other than sight, hearing ...
69
votes
14answers
10k views

How could we fake a moon landing now?

The moon landings actually happened, and there's plenty of contemporaneous evidence of it. But what if the United States government wanted to fake a moon landing now? We have the technology to ...
-4
votes
1answer
188 views

Dragon centipede, could it work? [closed]

Basically, -in lieu of giant pterosaur torso fossils - we have to assume this was true for the giants, too. The 544 mm long humerus of Q. northropi translates to a predicted torso length of just c. ...
14
votes
4answers
341 views
+250

Navigating storm fronts in space

Storm fronts — especially surprise storm fronts — are a popular Sci-Fi trope. Ion storms and radiation storms and neutronic storms and they invariably look 2D, like ribbons in space. But ...
4
votes
4answers
188 views

Aquatic lizard: Is being warm blooded essential?

Now, I know that most likely this 50 foot long aquatic lizard I mentioned in a previous question of mine would give live birth because reptile eggs and in fact any eggs really can't keep saltwater out....
7
votes
16answers
2k views

How would the world control an invulnerable immortal mass murderer? [on hold]

This question came to me after re-watching Jason movies and some Hulk movies. SCP-096 was a huge inspiration as well. Forgive me if this question is silly but I'm curious on how humanity would react ...
99
votes
28answers
13k views

How to monetize uploaded consciousness?

In 2039, our company was the first to bring a safe and reliable solution to upload someone's mind to the cloud. Although it was 10 years ago, you probably remember the news, don't you? We guaranteed ...
2
votes
9answers
280 views

Logical reason why motor vehicles wouldn't be allowed in post-war towns?

So, I am creating a post-apocalyptic world set 97 years after nuclear war, in the former state of California, AD 2059. The Californians, compared to the rests of the wastes, have done well for ...
9
votes
5answers
445 views

Would a virus be able to change eye and hair colour?

The basic idea is that a small group of people, that were infected by the virus but managed to survive, has their hair colour changed to white and their eye colour changed to green. Said traits would ...
6
votes
0answers
144 views
+100

Stellaser Part I: Trial by stellar Fire or The best design out of three for a solar powered 5 Petawatt laser?

I´m building a hard-sifi setting and want to use Stellasers (abbreviation for stellar laser) to provide thrust and power to interstellar vessels. This part one is only concerned with the construction ...
33
votes
9answers
4k views

Antler Helmet: Can it work?

Lord Woodesy wants to have a glorious antlered helm! But he has heard that having antlers, horns, or other projections on a helmet can be severely detrimental in conflict since they can be grabbed or ...
3
votes
3answers
178 views

Medieval/ancient/fantasy setting in southern hemisphere?

I was unfortunate enough to imagine an ancient setting upside down. I started out with small features and, after connecting them, got the following: ...
13
votes
2answers
427 views

How could chocolate be as addictive as heroin?

Most of us are well aware that chocolate is already a bit addictive to human beings... maybe it's the caffeine or the sugar? But what if there were a species to which chocolate was as addictive as ...
3
votes
2answers
115 views

Flywheels for high altitude airship control

Airships in RL are not very great in combat for various reasons. However in my setting there is Unobtanium that is repelled by gravity, instead of being attracted. A lump of Unobtanium can be used ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Realistic fantasy slimes

Foreword: I'm aware of the limitations of the square-cube law involved in sizing an animal up, as these limitations have been relentlessly stressed in every discussion of realistic fantasy creatures. ...
4
votes
3answers
210 views

Seeing Using Gravitational Waves [duplicate]

I know that humans' eyes are adapted to detect some electromagnetic waves, and their ears are able to detect sound waves. What I would like to ask is: Is it plausible for a species to biologically ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Can a possible humanoid species capable of changing their sex in a crisis be the dominant species of an entire planet like us?

I had an idea of a concept a while ago. If a planet that for some reason or another had only one giant continent like Pangea, but bigger, for more distinct habitats and giant lakes assuring ...
11
votes
3answers
316 views

Can a single, larger black hole be split into multiple smaller black holes?

Essentially, my question is, can one larger black hole be split into a system of smaller black holes? I'm assuming energy requirements will be prohibitive, and that it may not be possible without ...
5
votes
6answers
247 views

How would a private global security force receive funding?

Intro: In my story, there’s an organization VERY similar to S.H.I.E.L.D. from the MCU (Pre Winter Soldier). The changes though are that this organization is more heavily rooted in realism and the ...
11
votes
9answers
5k views

Can you compress metal and what would be the consequences?

Following my mutant thread, I'd like some insight on one of them. I wrote this first generation highly powerful mutant whose ability revolves around metal. (Context, skippable if you're only here ...
32
votes
9answers
6k views

How realistic is a dirty bomb for area-denial?

I need a city-sized (10 km2 minimum) area to be declared inaccessible for 50 years minimum. My thought was to justify this with a dirty bomb attack of some sort. Radiological dispersal devices (RDD)...
6
votes
3answers
185 views

Anatomically Correct Huldra

Huldra are forest creatures from Scandinavian folklore, best known for their seductive natures. They are frequently depicted as beautiful women, with the additional traits of a cow-like tail and ...
8
votes
4answers
526 views

Realistic Alternatives to Dust: What Else Could Feed a Plankton Bloom?

Phytoplankton are not to be taken for granted. Not only do they form the core of marine food webs around the world, they also release half of the world's oxygen. But phytoplankton, being plant-like ...
23
votes
4answers
3k views

What knowledge of the reasons for steel strength did medieval smiths have?

What did smiths/metallurgists know about why some steel was stronger than other steel in the early 15th century in Western Europe? I want to know so I can determine whether my mages could come up ...
38
votes
23answers
13k views

Make slimes great again, but how?

Slimes are seen as merely base-level enemies which don't really challenge the heroic main character, the Chosen One. My question is how to make slimes incredibly powerful without using magic. They ...
28
votes
9answers
5k views

Value of ice during the Renaissance

This is set during the Renaissance, a mostly normal European setting. Magic works through controlling the flux of energy. A mage can't simply create energy, but he can store and change it. Most ...
51
votes
6answers
12k views

Other blood colors

Many people know that our blood is red because it is iron based. Many people also know that blood is blue or green if it is copper based. I'm wondering what color blood would be if it was let's say ...
6
votes
6answers
337 views

Can you survive by growing and eating your clothes?

On Blue Planet 2: The Deep (at least, that is the title in the US version), there is discussion of crabs that grow bacteria on themselves as a food source. In the show, they kind of looked like they ...
8
votes
3answers
177 views

How to make plane without coal, steel and oil

My world is far away exoplanet with water and some oxygene, but without life or plants, which means without coal and organic materials inside. High tech people from Earth come there and made some ...
11
votes
3answers
573 views

Bridge over Lake Baikal

Note: this takes place in a world populated by humanoid bears, where the population density in Siberia is much higher. The northern part of Russia is taken up by a country called Medwedia. As said ...
21
votes
21answers
5k views

Is it possible to have a habitable planet unsuitable for agriculture?

I want to have a planet similar to earth with 45% axial tilt when hunter gatherers have an advantage over agriculture. The only thing I could think of is far north(Siberia, Alaska) & Sahara desert,...
52
votes
22answers
17k views

The 10,000 year skyscraper

If someone wanted to construct a skyscraper (bigger being better) that would survive thousands of years without maintenance, what would they make it out of? It can be built from any plausible current/...
33
votes
7answers
6k views

Could a modern times time traveler produce an antibiotic in medieval times?

Joe Everybody, a modern day man with average knowledge (high school and Wikipedia) in biology, medicine and chemistry, wakes up in an medieval city. He sees a lot of sick people and remembers about ...
5
votes
0answers
220 views

The effects of a lifetime wearing an Iron mask [closed]

Man with the Iron mask In my story I have a character who is of high nobility who is forced to wear an iron mask covering his whole head to hide (unspecified) birth deformities. Other than eyeholes ...
13
votes
5answers
292 views

Would it be possible to create a spandex looking suit that at the same time offers physical protection?

I'd like to know if such a material would be, at least, theoretically possible nowadays, if we somehow were to be able to have enough material of whichever one we wished for and the theoretical ...
22
votes
17answers
5k views

Shooting an energy beam into the Sun (from the Earth) in order to destroy it

This question is about a fictional scenario where an evil suicidal scientist has built a high-energy weapon somewhere on earth. His intention is to shoot a beam of some form of energy (or high-energy ...
4
votes
2answers
265 views

How to explain day is 10 times as bright but no warmer?

Set at the present day Earth, the daylight on average is ten times as bright as today, approximately 111,000 lux at noon for example and subject to geographic and the air quality etc. I am looking for ...
25
votes
12answers
11k views

How to avoid objects when traveling at greater than .75 light speed. or How Not to Go SPLAT?

After asking my question about seeing black holes in your path between the stars, I also wondered abut other more mundane objects. Black holes affect large areas of space so even if you didn't get '...
9
votes
1answer
143 views

Low-efficiency fusion propulsion?

I'm working on a fusion rocket concept for a hard science fiction setting. I'm envisioning laser catalyzed Proton-Boron reactors (low waste heat, aneutronic, 100% of their output being He4 Alpha ...
21
votes
12answers
4k views

Ways to hide an elven city

How could a large (10,000-20,000 people) elven city hide itself from a person wandering through? These elves can bend plants to their will and stimulate plant growth by singing, so they could live in ...
39
votes
12answers
15k views

What steps are necessary to read a Modern SSD in Medieval Europe?

So the main team of characters is traveling back in time from "modern day" to medieval Europe, arriving around the 1300s. Assumptions: They Know they are going, they have space and time to prepare, ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Human-leather Armor: Effective and Practical?

In-world background: As part of its army, Country Bad Guys has a contingent of human slave cavalry. Country Bad Guys wants these humans to have an armor that will provide reasonable protection, but ...
15
votes
4answers
283 views

Can I X-Ray a civilisation to death?

Something in orbit around an inhabited planet blasts it with a hefty dose of gamma rays/x-rays/something else, killing everyone within a relatively short time frame (hours or days) but leaving no ...
4
votes
3answers
182 views

How to have a robotic whip move effectively?

I recently read The Prefect (now named Aurora Rising) by Alistair Reynolds. The book is about a police force protecting a belt of space stations. The local democratic regime has mostly disarmed the ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Plausibility of squid whales

I am considering the possibility of having massive cephalopods evolving on my world and having them fill the niche of whales. I've heard about how whales have evolved to increase in size for the ...
-4
votes
2answers
153 views

Killing TV Presenters by Audience Consensus - Diss Topia

In a dystopian world (Diss Topia) of the future, being a TV presenter is a hazardous job. All viewers have the ability to vote to save or kill a given presenter while they are on air (more ...