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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.

6
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4answers
1k views

A mass manipulation tech - possible?

Idea I'm interested in exploring the following concept: people have discovered a certain kind of matter, let's call it "Unobtanium" (as it always goes). Unobtanium actually has mass and is comprised ...
21
votes
8answers
6k views

Would it be feasible to have a wolf as a mount?

On my fantasy planet, humanoid peoples are at war and ride different animals into battle, including wolves. People and their wolves are, for all intents and purposes, extremely similar to humans and ...
2
votes
2answers
150 views

Should insurgent groups centralise their hideouts? [closed]

Exposition: This story takes place in a fictional world set in medieval-esque times, where shapeshifters exist in the sense that they have one human and one animal form. In a kingdom called Caelus, ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

Ancient-Roman-type Postal Service with Rats as Couriers

Background In the Great City the underground sewers extend to all but the most impoverished households. Most dwellings have an outside privy for their needs as indoor toilets are relatively new. The ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

Floating cities with a new superconductor v2

I made a question regarding floating cities coming from a misunderstanding of this great answer. Luckily one comment showed me how floating cities could be possible in a slightly different scenario. ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a reason for a humanoid species to be 'biologically' matriarchal with females being slightly more dominant than the males?

Following my last question asked regarding oviparous humanoids, is there a way for evolution to 'regard' females as the more dominant gender without going down that road, forming a heavily matriarchal ...
4
votes
11answers
360 views

In a world without science, what would cause society to widely lose belief in the fundamentals of its religion?

Here's the intended situation: There's a religion based on the premise that the priests are protecting the general public from evil magic. Use of magic is taboo. What they call magic is actually ...
20
votes
13answers
5k views

How to keep the anonymity of people attending a regular event taking place at the same location everytime?

In my setting, a handful of characters have to attend a daily event (such as classes). They do so anonymously, as attending this event could endanger their civilian life if the wrong people were to ...
8
votes
5answers
288 views

Is there a way for human-sized oviparous humanoid mammals to produce young in eggs without going the full marsupial route?

As per my last two questions asked, I still have a niggling query left regarding a humanoid species in production. To further support their matriarchal theme through evolution, I have decided to make ...
8
votes
3answers
319 views

Life on giant planet | Can centrifugal force reduce gravity?

In my world a space civilization is colonizing a massive solid planet. The planet has an extraordinarily fast rotation. The gravity is severe at the poles, making life impossible, but life flourish ...
7
votes
3answers
469 views

Aliens selectively breed humans to be bigger. How big could they get and still look human?

Can we go from this: to this: Suppose over millennia (or as long as it takes) humans on Earth are artificially selected by aliens to be big and healthy. Is there any theoretical reason that they ...
4
votes
3answers
237 views

Could a Tree grow around a humanoid being?

So, let’s say a group of survivors tie an immortal being to a young tree sapling. The immortal does not need food, nor water, so can survive indefinitely. After about 100 years, could that young ...
3
votes
4answers
172 views

How to resettle and rebuild the Wasteland after other governments arise? [closed]

So, the Nuclear Apocalypse has come and gone. The year of 1962 wasn’t a good one for humanity, at all, but the United States government, in their eternal infallible wisdom, had a plan to outlive ...
6
votes
4answers
218 views

Is it plausible for a being to possess a singular halo-shaped 'horn', while other members of the species possess two 'regular horns'?

I am currently working a humanoid roughly deer-like species in a sci-fi roleplay setting, and one of the developments I have had with such species has me stuck trying to explain it in a way that makes ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

How strong would an armor made out of steel grain bonded with living GMO plant root possibly be?

In my setting that take place around a century from now, there is a military organization which consist of multiple fraction from various lawless independent industrial colonies. Their technology ...
6
votes
2answers
512 views

Weaponising the Tesla earthquake machine or modern equivalent

In 1935 at his annual birthday party/press meeting a 79-year-old Tesla related a story where he claimed a version of his mechanical oscillator caused extreme vibrations in structures and even an ...
2
votes
3answers
864 views

Real “Alchemical Transmutation” of Some Other Mineral Into Gold? [closed]

While obviously you can't really transmute something like Lead into Gold (as far as I know), is there any real-life mineral or element that could be used to artificially create Gold from whatever its ...
6
votes
4answers
716 views

Stopping a Volcano

I've seen in multiple forms of fiction the sort of joking notion of stopping a volcano from erupting by just... plugging up the top with something? Like, a large and sufficiently heavy rock? While ...
0
votes
1answer
176 views

Would these structural reinforcements improve dragon wings?

So, I have devoted an unhealthy amount of my time to the dragon question, and a final solution will have to wait... for several thousand years at least. My original plan was to make them at around ...
1
vote
2answers
118 views

Reality Check- Small Scale Continent Geography

Is the following map fairly realistic? It is of a small continent, connected to a larger one, at a Europe like position on the globe. This is the continent in topographical map form, it also includes ...
6
votes
1answer
151 views

Exploding vertebrates

Colobopsis ants explode when they are losing a fight, a behavior which is probably meant to discourage predators from hunting that species. It may also turn tides when in ant wars for territory. ...
17
votes
4answers
345 views

Is a coral-based planet possible?

Inspired by this answer and the mention of a hyperbolic plane, I've been imagining a world based on that geometry. The closest real-world example of such a geometry I can come up with is hard coral. ...
18
votes
5answers
6k views

Chainsaw airplane: Feasibility study

In my dream I have been chased by a plane which had chainsaw blades instead of wings. That woke up my inner worldbuilder and instead being terrified, I started to wonder if something is even possible. ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How tall can you build a mountain chain of bricks?

My ancient golden dragon has a lot of time, since he doesn't die of old age in my world, and a lot of magical constructs that will tirelessly built a defensive mountain chain for him. This chain will ...
8
votes
7answers
781 views

Is a Selective Breeding Program to Create Enhanced Humans Plausible?

The idea is that the concepts of DNA, inheritance, and micro-organisms were discovered significantly earlier in history. Roughly 50 years after the founding of Alexandria as a city state in 332 B.C., ...
42
votes
18answers
10k views

City made of glass in a desert?

My world has a city of glass found along the outskirts of a desert. I decided on this because sand can become glass and so it was a huge resource that could be used for building. However, the concern ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Desert planet with forests at the poles

I'm thinking up a Mars or Venus type planet where the poles (or one pole) has a forest growing out of it due to a device that is used to make the planet more habitable by creating a oxygen friendly ...
3
votes
4answers
174 views

Could Argentavis be Ridden?

In my book series, there is a planet called Aurea that is home to all sorts of strange fauna. Not only does it have animals from the real world, but it also has prehistoric and mythical creatures as ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Could Earth still survive if we lost almost 90% of all surface water?

I have been toying with the idea that all oceans are gone. Underground water still exists but the Earth has essentially turned into the planet from Dune. My characters all live / survive out where ...
4
votes
4answers
703 views

Could a terrestrial planet have water for a core?

There’s a planet called eaglypt whose surface is 100% barren desert. However, there is a twist: the planet’s core consists of liquid water, and there are a few places where this water seeps through ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

What kind of transports would be invented in a world with an enhancer-material?

You have a material that greatly enhances electric and magnetic sources or electro-magnetism in general. In this world, the material, is known to be a naturally occurring liquid found in geological ...
10
votes
4answers
710 views

Feasibility of a purely mechanical grayscale “computer monitor”

Based on a previous question asking about mechanical computing (Babbage engines, etc.) I wondered how a steampunk story could present the concept of a modern computer monitor in a steam-driven ...
-2
votes
6answers
218 views

200G to 1G environment

Let's say a human were to live most of his life in a 200 G environment but then suddenly enter a 1 g environment, What would be the effects to his body and will this give him the ability to carry ...
1
vote
6answers
156 views

Gaining energy from draining your Happiness

In my world there is a villain who rules over the unhappy. In fact, we recently determined that he actually absorbs their happiness and uses it as energy to make himself stronger. This world does, in ...
7
votes
10answers
340 views

Logical reason why would the bunker population use Wastelander DNA samples?

It’s been a little over 190 years since WWIII, AD 2157. Most of the surviving human population live in small farming settlements, tribal villages, or, if lucky, United City States. But, there exists a ...
5
votes
5answers
209 views

What are some reasons an employer could legitimately require your voting rights as part of your employment?

In accordance with Citizens United and with the acceptance that the real wealth creation of this nation is created by corporations, we hereby declare that the voting rights of corporations have been ...
1
vote
2answers
212 views

A reverse centaur walks into a bar - Why the long face?

A centaur as we all know is a horse with a human head (and torso). I would like to consider a reverse centaur, which, for the purposes of this question, I will define to be a human with a horse's ...
5
votes
7answers
223 views

Why keep a prison for superhumans near/inside a city?

In fact, why keep a prison for even normal humans in a city at all? Where are the benefits that offset the obvious drawbacks? From my limited knowledge on the subject, you would prefer to have a ...
20
votes
9answers
5k views

Why Have Faceless Helmets? [closed]

What are plausible reasons for equipping an army with the Faceless Goon style helmets? Is there a good reason at all? Please note that its a faceless helmet not a Balaclava or other form of covering ...
6
votes
3answers
124 views

Forging with geothermal heat: Possible alternative to fire in alien species' technological progression?

A world idea I'm playing with for a sci-fi idea I'm working on has an atmosphere similar to the composition of Earth's atmosphere during the Carboniferous Period: Lots of oxygen, so while a human or a ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Apocalypse by Atomic Catalyst

This question is a continuation of Unprepared and Without a Homeworld. The premise of this idea is that a substance called an Atomic Catalyst exists that can lower the temperature at which particles ...
26
votes
22answers
8k views

A solution for the time-travel paradox - What could go wrong?

Time travel has been invented and it goes like this. You travel backwards in time at the same speed you normally travel forward. Everything is identical - you do all the actions the same but in ...
5
votes
2answers
136 views

2 weeks day, 2 weeks night, how would the sleeping pattern of the planet's dominant species work with a 28 'day' Day?

Okay, so I have this binary planet system. The main planet a bit bigger than earth with a size appropriate moon-planet. Both are habitable and with a humanoid species that evolved there. But, I know ...
7
votes
10answers
3k views

What mechanisms need to be in place for an advanced, peaceful society to retain high testosterone levels?

While by no means a smoking gun, there is still a reasonable amount of empirical evidence on the notion that socialization and testosterone are negatively correlated. Archaeological Evidence From ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

Effects of long term exposure to a non-earth like rich atmosphere

Imagine that humanity found a rocky planet with earth like gravity, atmospheric pressure, and temperature, orbiting a sun-like star. The only problem is that the planets atmosphere is that it is ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Is a sling a viable ranged weapon option for someone with poor eyesight?

I have a character who is, for lack of a better term, a Monster Hunter. She's physically fit, has a pretty high pain tolerance/is generally pretty durable, and is skilled in various forms of hand-to-...
11
votes
3answers
749 views

Parrots for tone-deaf people where magic is performed through song (followup)

In my previous question: Magic for tone-deaf people in a world where magic is performed through song it was suggested by Ynneadwraith (many thanks by the way) that animals that produce music would ...
2
votes
7answers
255 views

How can society advance as a civilization if it kills off its best people?

In our world, we consider human life to be precious and valuable. It is meant to be preserved, and a deliberate act of taking a life is considered deplorable by society. This is considered normal. The ...
4
votes
2answers
217 views

Floating cities with a new superconductor

Inspired by this great answer. There is a planet with: Floatium, a superconductor that behaves as such at 0 ºC and is found in nature. A stronger magnetic field than Earth's. In really cold areas I ...
8
votes
7answers
394 views

A possible solution to stealth in space

I'm sure most worldbuilders will have heard the aphorism that in space "Everyone sees Everything", or that "There Ain't No Stealth In Space". I'd like to propose a possible solution to this. The ...