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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.

9
votes
7answers
563 views

What reason would an alien civilization have for building a Dyson Sphere (or Swarm) if cheap Nuclear fusion is available?

The Dyson Dilemma states that every civilization of a great enough development stage will want to capture all of the energy from it's home star and surround it with a Dyson Swarm that uses solar ...
7
votes
2answers
672 views

Siamese Twin Planets?

Premise I want to explore the possibility of a planet that is extremely misshapen. If we were to extrapolate what we have observed from our solar system and the extra-solar planets discovered so far, ...
8
votes
2answers
190 views

Is it possible for a creature to exist that uses lye instead of acid to digest food?

As far as I could gather the digestion relies on enzymes which in turn set requirements for pH. Is it possible for an alien creature to have a different set of enzymes that require basic environment ...
63
votes
10answers
10k views

How much steel armor can you wear and still be able to swim?

I know there are many historical accounts of soldiers trying to cross a body of water and drowning, but this got me thinking how much of this was due to panic, lack of swimming skills, water currents ...
7
votes
2answers
381 views

What element would make up a creature if it used the weak nuclear force during its metabolic processes?

I was doing some research on how to design a scientifically possible alien, when I came across an interesting section on metabolism. I found it very interesting and read about the weak force, as ...
0
votes
5answers
657 views

Why make androids self aware?

In my world, automation reaches a new level with the introduction of androids. Robotic human beings capable of doing any job a regular person can. The concept of these androids is that they can be ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Where should a runway for a spaceplane be located?

If a spaceplane like the Rockwell X-30 existed and was flying to a location in geostationary orbit, would it be substantially more efficient to take off from a runaway at the equator, or would it not ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

Are there examples of rowers who also fought?

In my world I plan to have a naval army with boats that are driven by manpower. The rowers are not slaves but are also soldiers. However, I am struggling to find examples of times in history where ...
42
votes
10answers
7k views

Electricity free spaceship

Assume there's a spaceship in earth orbit that its crew of 24 want to get to Mars, the crew are all humans and possess all of modern day knowledge and equipment, is it possible for said ship to make ...
5
votes
3answers
147 views

What can I see on the flyers' world?

Planetary conditions: ~0.5x Earth gravity (guess: 0.9x Earth density, 0.777x Earth radius, so about 0.42 Earth masses... but that's probably not important). Atmosphere broadly similar to Earth but ~...
45
votes
31answers
9k views

How can I make humans NOT WANT to investigate how a supernatural ability works in an intelligent, non-human creature?

We've had a few questions where answers state, to a lesser or greater degree, "humans would investigate this ability to figure out how it works" in another creature with abilities not readily ...
3
votes
10answers
530 views

Logical justification to wear black leather in the Post-Apot

So, let’s say we have a character like this: Living in a place like this: In many post-apocalyptic media, leather jackets and blue jeans are the main form of attire for characters, even ones living ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it possible for underground bunkers on different continents to be connected?

In a scenario I'm thinking of, the Earth has been nuked bare and a few remnants of humanity are surviving in their underground bunkers. Let's say there is one in North America, one in Central American,...
5
votes
1answer
112 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 (...
7
votes
4answers
89 views

Likely advancement of quality-absorbing sapient

Many anthropologists believe that equatorial Africa became super culturally-advanced and technologically stunted compared to the rest of the Old World in large part because of 1. Lack of trade routes,...
-4
votes
6answers
373 views

Can medieval weapons (swords, spears, polehammers, etc) be more viable than guns in this SciFi setting?

Context In this world, laws of physics are roughly the same as ours. No placeholder magic involved. Wars are fought by cyborgs/mutants/synthetic mutants (super soldiers) who can manipulate certain ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

How effective would a full set of plate armor be against wild animals found in temperate regions (bears, snakes, wolves)?

Imagine the following situation: a late 16th century knight loses his horse in a battle and is forced to flee into a forest to escape capture. He lost all his weapons but still has his plate on (a ...
2
votes
4answers
117 views

Largest sailing vessel manned by 2 people [closed]

I am currently running a D&D campaign and am entering an area that doesn't have many set rules and I'd like a reality check. I want to give them a vessel around the size of the ones from Pirates ...
-2
votes
2answers
135 views

WW3 The robot war [closed]

In the near future could robots that exist today be slightly modified to go off road or in water. In the show called "Battlebots" I imagine, what if it was bot vs Solder. The show is a must watch to ...
4
votes
4answers
513 views

culture changes to reliable and mandated birth control used from puberty until ready to conceive [closed]

Lets say were in the somewhat near future and our current forms of birth control have become more reliable, in particular female birth control is less likely to cause side-effects. The government has ...
5
votes
6answers
410 views

Is plausible to have subspecies with & without separate sexes?

I'm creating humanoid specie with two subspecies Hairy races - roughly based on humans, chiss, mirialans, with standard males & females sexes Tentacle races- roughly based on asari, twilek, ...
5
votes
3answers
151 views

Could the Amazon's jungle exist in a continent without the Andes mountain chain?

I assume a planet like earth. Obviously the Amazon river is fed into the Andes mountains as well as other rivers that give water to the system. Could the same amount of water come from a specific ...
7
votes
3answers
218 views

Realistic Bacta Tank Fluid

Ever since I watched Star Wars I have always been fascinated with the Bacta Tank: that tank with the funky blue liquid Luke Skywalker was submerged in. But now I'm wondering could it become reality? ...
4
votes
7answers
2k views

Wizard clothing for warm weather [closed]

Wizards in fantasy worlds are very often portrayed in thick robes and hats (and of course long beards and hair for the men). These don't seem very practical for summers or any kind of hot weather (...
7
votes
9answers
1k views

Minimum nuclear weapons required for deterrent?

The principle of the Cold War was Mutually Assured Destruction... but what if this idea is now obsolete? In the 1950s the US planned to deliver hundreds of atomic weapons to Soviet targets via a ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Asteroid impact. How big does it have to be to globally affect plate tectonics?

I want to know about the plausibility and required parameters of the following scenario: Take an Earth-like planet, about the same size, composition and gravity. It has no plate tectonics to speak of....
81
votes
19answers
18k views

Would a 'World Tree' be feasible in real life?

A livescience.com article claims that trees can reach a theoretical height of 400 to 426 feet (122 to 130m). This is due to the tree being unable to carry water up to the top at that certain point due ...
6
votes
1answer
83 views

Could a split cycle intercooled flamelicker have been a viable power source?

Flame lickers work by sucking hot air into a cylinder and then relying on the cooling of the air by the cylinder wall to create a partial vacuum to pull the piston back. see video In an alternate ...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

Realistic nuclear land mine in megaton range

Situation: there is an are of likely attack, something in line of Fulda Gap which looks indefensible in case of serious war, so classical approach would be just a barrage of tactical nukes the value ...
75
votes
20answers
93k views

Possible distance travelled by horse over 6 weeks?

I always get very annoyed if a writer is sloppy with maps and travel-distances. E.g. "They left city Y and arrived in city X 5 days later." When you look at the supplied map Y and X are a 1600 ...
-1
votes
1answer
97 views

World underwater: technical viability

I want to put a story in place where a country lived underwater, and I am wondering of its viability. Here is the world description: It is a square of 100 km*100 km on the ocean with the weather and ...
46
votes
15answers
12k views

How could a group of 6 people destroy an army?

One of my wow moments when playing Baldur's Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal happened when the three most powerful Bhaalspawn siblings (Imoen, Sarevok and the Player Character), together with just three more ...
8
votes
3answers
208 views

Could a life form evolve an organ for generating temperatures less than a degree Kelvin above absolute zero?

I was thinking of a life form with a similar surface temperature to Earth, as well as a similar temperature variation to that of Earth. Could such a life form evolve an organ for generating ...
7
votes
7answers
3k views

What side effects would a genetically enhanced 10 times stronger human have?

I haven't seen my exact question answered in my research, so hopefully this is not a duplicate. I am building a world where the human race on another planet has a reason to genetically enhance ...
6
votes
1answer
177 views

How could a foam habitat support animal life?

Knowing foam is formed by trapping pockets of gas in a liquid or solid, what could a foam able to support life on an earth-like planet be made of? This foam ought to be stable enough and large enough ...
5
votes
2answers
290 views

A deadly disease, 95% of the population dead, suppresses or alters memory in unpredictable ways

Whilst not strictly relevant to this question, the questions and answers may interest the curious: this is the 4th in a series of question here - 1, 2, 3. My population (in excess of 500,000) ...
51
votes
14answers
10k 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? ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

Flying vehicles powered by superconducting magnets pushing off the Earth's magnetic field [duplicate]

Maglev trains are fun, but who wants to be stuck on a track? Dr. Acme had the brilliant1 idea of ditching the track and simply using the Earth's magnetic field as the base that would repel his ...
25
votes
13answers
10k views

Is it possible to have a wealthy country without a middle class?

I'm trying to create well-off country, which judging solely by GDP per capita would be considered wealthy with something like 60,000 USD per capita. However the country middle class is very small. Is ...
18
votes
14answers
7k 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 ...
38
votes
10answers
7k views

In modern day combat, what would warrant singing during battle?

Cicad the singer is having a downtime in his career. Over the millennia, Cicad sang anywhere from royal courts to farmers' cottages and have been rewarded with many, many hand-claps. But to keep ...
25
votes
10answers
8k views

Can the poison from Kingsmen be concocted?

In the movie Kingsmen, there is a poison which behaves differently from most other poisons. It has to be ingested in order to kill, but that is not enough. It is harmless until a radio signal is ...
29
votes
10answers
4k views

How to help give vampires a more positive reputation?

"Congratulations, you're hired!" Is usually something everyone is happy to hear. Except, the job... You're the local vampire lord's publicist. Well, congratulations. Your job is quite literally to ...
17
votes
11answers
3k views

How viable would an analog computing revolution be?

I am trying to write a sci-fi setting in a not so distant future in which analog signal (brainwaves, in this case) processing is one of the main points of the plot and pretty much required to explain ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

The World is ending, but we have a time-machine [closed]

Let's say an event is occuring that within a short timeframe makes at least the entire solarsystem uninhabitable. However, in a global effort, scientists and engineers have developed a backwards time ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Would the US government be able to hold control if all electronics were disabled for an indefinite amount of time? [closed]

In my story (modern fiction/ apocalyptic survival fiction) an enemy of the US sets up a EMP pulsing satellite over the continental US, and before we can respond all electronic systems are shut down. ...
5
votes
1answer
285 views

Is it possible to use Magnetic refrigeration to cool down a sun probe, so that it could survive at least a few hours inside the photosphere?

The probe in my mind is unmanned, with a super-reflective surface to deflect most of the energy from the Sun on all wave length, only absorb enough to power its operation. Please also elaborate if ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Are “living” organ banks practical?

I was inspired by Dead Space which had cloned organ banks for transplants due to mining accidents. I honestly found this idea intriguing so what I'm wondering would it be practical or do better ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

Shape-shifting using particle-sized 'building blocks'

My fictional world has special sorts of vehicles that can shape-shift, using some sort of building blocks which are a few times larger than average molecules. These sorts of substances can rearrange ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Could the Missouri River be running while Lake Michigan was frozen several meters deep?

During an ice age, would it be possible for a great lake to be frozen while a relatively nearby river was still running? To help illustrate my point: Would it be possible for Lake Michigan (or parts ...