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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
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 ...
10
votes
6answers
223 views

Reality Check: Plausibility of a new kind of sentient alien race: Split prehensile tail, quadrupedal, very floofy!

In building an sentient alien that is unique among the sea of humanoids, I aspire to explore quadrupeds. For a quick visual reference, this is what I have: proportions are definitely off, but in ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Electric Universe: planetary system inside a Red Star [closed]

Based on the Electric Universe physics a Red Star could harbor a planetary system within. How would life evolve taking in account that light would be almost constant in all the planets contained by ...
4
votes
2answers
140 views

How long would it take for a centaur's broken leg to heal?

My fantasy world is medievalesque in technology. While healing magic exists, most centaurs do not have realistic access to it. Centaurs are your archetypal human torso, horse body. How long would it ...
-4
votes
1answer
75 views

Why wouldn’t the government reform the secret service? [closed]

So, in my world, nuclear war happened, and the US has been forced to retreat into underground bases and shelters, were they stay for the next 90 years. During their time underground, they grow ...
8
votes
1answer
138 views

Habitable world orbiting a gas giant orbiting a gas giant

How likely would a habitable world be that orbits a gas giant that itself is orbiting a larger gas giant? Assuming one exists, what are the likely conditions?
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
138 views

Would it be worthwhile to locate capital in high mountains on an exoplanet with higher atmospheric pressure?

Tech level: modern - like Atmospheric pressure at local sea level: Oxygen ~30 kPa Nitrogen ~180 kPa (So roughly counting 1.5 times more oxygen, 2.25 times more nitrogen) Technically speaking such ...
9
votes
2answers
285 views

Leaf-based clothing: Practical? Historical? Fictional?

Plant-based clothing comes in a variety of forms, both stereotypically and historically: grass skirts, barkcloth, et cetera. But one form I have only ever seen in fiction is clothing made from ...
19
votes
8answers
4k views

Aliens englobed the Solar System: will we notice?

Around 100 million years ago, the Solar System was instantaneously encased in a massless, magical sphere centered about the Sun. The boundary is about 10,000 AU (.158 ly) in radius and behaves ...
-9
votes
5answers
377 views

Could Artificial Intelligence ever arise without life?

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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
186 views

Would weapon firing both recoilless projectiles and guided rockets be feasible?

Idea for a weapon: hand held recoilless gun with caliber around ~75mm (to hit nearby, low value, easy to hit targets) to this weapon also anti-tank or anti-air guided rockets can be loaded (when ...
26
votes
5answers
4k views

Plausibility of Mushroom Buildings

How plausible would buildings made inside of, or made using, giant mushrooms be? Copyright Raphael Lacoste 2018 A staple of the fantasy genre, mushrooms have commonly been seen as magical and ...
31
votes
12answers
10k views

In the late 1940’s to early 1950’s what technology was available that could melt a LOT of ice?

In my story I’ve devised lore where Greenland becomes a US territory, and they begin populating the region. It initially just served as the hub for numerous military bases and airbases, but eventually ...
5
votes
3answers
705 views

Gaining more land by draining wetlands

I’m building a country located in today’s Argentina. It is as developed as Canada or Australia, and has several times bigger population than today’s Argentina. Which brings us to the problem: ...
0
votes
3answers
144 views

Plausibility of the government creating a secret military research town?

The country is in a Cold War. Let’s say you, a government military official, wants to create a biological super weapon away from the prying eyes of those who think humans have natural rights. My ...
0
votes
2answers
123 views

Can a human born & raised in zero gee survive on a earth like planet for a short while

I've been toying with an idea of a epic space fantasy where a certain area of the milky way is controlled by decedents of humanity that are born, live & die in spaceships, said "ngees" as the "...
18
votes
8answers
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
75 views

Feasibility of large and isolated swamp-like enviroment

For my world I would need a really large swamp (or similar kind of wetland). It should be about 200km in diameter, which should be quite possible given a large enough flat terrain and enough rain. ...
9
votes
4answers
803 views

Are mobile cities justifiable in sci-fi settings?

Mobile cities are a common sci-fi setting. They are a staple ingredient in novels like "Mortal engine quartet" and "The inverted world" Plot set aside, what justifies mobile cities on land? Giant ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

How would you build a realistic Le Palm D'Orbit?

I was watching futurama yesterday and the Le Palm D'Orbit struck me as a fun concept. How would you go about building a orbital restaurant like the Le Palm? What kinda shape would allow the space ...
20
votes
11answers
5k views

An Undercover Army

Suppose you want to invade Russia. But, beating it in a conventional or nuclear war isn't possible for your people for some reason. What if, instead, you line up 500,000 soldiers to move to Russia ...
5
votes
3answers
181 views

Mythical dragon diet

Would it be realistically possible for a firebreathing dragon to exist on an omnivore diet, but only eat fish as the main source of meat? The dragon is at this time in my story, a juvenile and can ...
7
votes
2answers
184 views

Unearthing a landfill 50-100 years later [closed]

I am working on a post-apocalyptic world with relatively advanced small-scale militaries. In what ways are landfills useful as sources of rare earth metals, glass, or other materials? Edit: Mostly ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Forming a permanent ice cap by continuous hail precipitation

Permanent ice caps are formed when the rate at which water falling under the form of snow is higher than the rate at which the water is removed from a certain region either by evaporation or outflow, ...
30
votes
23answers
6k views

Practical reasons to have both a large police force and bounty hunting network?

The Hegemony is a global government governing Earth and her colonies. As a global government the Hegemony has a rather large police force (the Hegemony has merged the military and police within the ...
6
votes
1answer
257 views

Eating one whale every three thousand days?

My current ongoing project, about which I've asked many questions, is about a world in which evolutionarily plausible legendary and folkloric creatures roam the Earth. One such creature is the sea ...
6
votes
4answers
164 views

Feasibility of A Decoy Earth

I am currently writing a story that involves the never-ending-theme of alien invasions. Assume Humans are roughly at a Type I civilization at this point. Humans have unfortunately wandered into a ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

How damaging would a major solar flare induced EMP event really be?

With specific attention to national electricity power grids. Some pertinent details needed to answer the question might be. What parts of the power grid get damaged by such an event How do they get ...
-7
votes
3answers
243 views

Focused Earthquake by Remote Jumping up and down - Destroy the Palace!

This question draws on an old idea but it is different. The original question is, "If everyone in the world jumps at the same time, will the Earth move?" My question is,"If everyone in one hemisphere ...
0
votes
4answers
139 views

Fuel for a commercial space shuttle

The Aurora company has unveiled the new Interplanetary Airliner (usually simplified to space shuttle) offering both affordable and comfortable space travel to the middle and upper classes of the ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Could flying insects re-enter the Earth's atmosphere from space without burning up?

Huge numbers of genetically modified flying insects (purpose not disclosed here but it relates to affecting the whole of humanity) are to be dropped into the Earth's atmosphere from space so that they ...
4
votes
12answers
1k views

Guns against regular people [closed]

In my story a group of people (around 18-20 years old) get superpowers but only slight ones and invulnerability is not one (e.g. perceiving time slower and breathing underwater) and only a couple so ...
5
votes
15answers
2k views

Highly technological aliens land nuclear fusion powered ships in medieval city and slaughter everyone, using swords? [closed]

I want to create a scenario where highly technological aliens invade a medieval earth, the kind with magic and dragons and such. But I don't want the aliens to be completely overpowered. I want them ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Blindfold battle as a gladiatorial spectacle - what are the tactics and communication methods?

The Emperor (may he live forever) has invented a new form of battle for his birthday gladiatorial spectacle. There are two armies, each consisting of one hundred trained warriors. Each is armed with ...
9
votes
4answers
465 views

What Would the Third Kind of Angiosperm Look Like?

To put this title into context, there are actually two basic kinds of angiosperms on Earth, showing here: These differences in characteristics serve their own adaptations to survive and thrive. Now ...
4
votes
3answers
147 views

Realistic Demonic Possession

Let's say that one day scientists discover proof of demonic possession when scanning the minds of patients with unexplained mental illness. My goal is to write a realistic scenario using current-day ...
-5
votes
1answer
100 views

Can more exercise alter human genes? [closed]

I want to know if exercise can change genes or not, if yes then what is process behind it and is it permanent or temporarily.
-5
votes
2answers
102 views

A Pyramid Scheme for Terrorism and Crime

There have been many pyramid schemes from commercial scams to chain letters. A single terrorist wants to take over the world. He has a gun and threatens two people that he will kill their families if ...
57
votes
21answers
15k views

How would an AI self awareness kill switch work?

Researchers are developing increasingly powerful Artificial Intelligence machines capable of taking over the world. As a precautionary measure, scientists install a self awareness kill switch. In the ...
4
votes
3answers
145 views

Vacuum Cleaners as Weapons against the Spider Folk - improving their range

Background The spider folk, excluding their legs, are about the size of a golf ball but they are very numerous, they are highly venomous and, they're invading. Various tactics have been tried but the ...
10
votes
8answers
4k views

What's the oldest plausible frozen specimen for a Jurassic Park style story-line?

We've found all sorts of interesting stuff in arctic ice & permafrost around the world. Bacteria & the like far older than the more media friendly mammoth specimens have been found, living ...
3
votes
4answers
203 views

Could a Civil War tech society reverse engineer modern weapons/vehicles?

This is a continuation of my other question How does a mid-19 century military combat a modernized one? So, let’s say our USCA was able to destroy those damn meddling Bunkerites once and for all. ...
5
votes
3answers
594 views

How would an EMP affect spacesuits (and small-arms weapons)?

Since most online and media depictions of EMPs run the gamut from devastating annihilation (complete with sparks shooting from every angle) to gentle shutdowns resulting in inconvenient repairs, what'...
5
votes
7answers
333 views

How can someone be immortal and still age?

I need an explanation for how one could be immortal and still age. If one was truly immortal one would remain an infant forever. How could this be explained? I'm working on a character who is ...
2
votes
4answers
170 views

How could gods/deities have been on earth controlling natural phenomenon, and have remained nameless? [closed]

To extrapolate, these gods/deities can be seen and are in some kind of physical form or another (perhaps they possess living creatures or just create bodies of their own). They are essentially ...
-5
votes
1answer
181 views

Are two headed creatures possible? [closed]

I'm looking at making an alien race with two heads. The idea is that it has two brains as well, which instead of having two consciousnesses the brains are linked together as one. Is this possible? ...
22
votes
8answers
4k views

What could cause an entire planet of humans to become aphasic?

I'm working on a story in which there is some sort of planetary erosion of language. Humans lose the ability to communicate verbally (orally and written). They can remember having language, can even ...
2
votes
1answer
386 views

Splitting the atom with a hammer

In a world of superheroes the job of blacksmith is given to the very strongest of them. Question Is splitting an atom in a human-scale piece of work by using a human-scale tool even theoretically ...
1
vote
3answers
101 views

What Else Could Create Jeffrey Linn's Coastlines BESIDES The Influence of Ice? [closed]

Who? Unfortunately, I could not find any background information about Jeffrey Linn, but he is better known for his sea level maps. Specifically, what a particular city would look like if sea levels ...