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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.

27
votes
13answers
8k views

Is an hour-long weekly driving ban feasible in modern America?

So here's the deal: my story takes place in modern America in the aftermath of an unexplained event where a runic magic system was introduced to humanity by an unknown entity. Every week a new rune is ...
3
votes
3answers
223 views

A planet that cannot be orbited [duplicate]

I'm wondering if it is possible for a planet to be impossible to orbit stably over a significant length of time. The shorter the length of time the planet can be orbited for, the better. It should ...
1
vote
2answers
130 views

Destroying one of the Great Pyramids without killing the protagonist [closed]

A woman finds herself inside the Great Pyramid of Kheops when a bunch of terrorists starts blowing it down from outside. The woman manages to find a way out but before being able to leave the Pyramid,...
0
votes
3answers
229 views

How can I prevent wizards from “spreading their royal oats”? [closed]

Granny Weatherwax has broken up with her husband, who she discovered had been cheating on her with various women all through their 40 years of marriage. After killing him, she drowns her sorrows in ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

Using light as a barrier to block people without grilling them

We know that light exerts pressure upon matter. I'm imagining a hallway where an intense light source on one end shines towards the other end. The goal is to have the beam of light exert so much ...
3
votes
9answers
222 views

Can a religious order keep the peace between nations with sacrificial games? [duplicate]

This world takes place in a continent with advanced 20th century technology. The one key difference from our reality is that war does not exist in the way we would think of it. Disputes between states ...
3
votes
1answer
238 views

Is my fantasy map unrealistic and/or too small?

I've finally drawn out a map of the world in which my fantasy novel (mostly) is set in hopes of creating more countries and deepening political tension between the existing ones through figuring out ...
23
votes
4answers
5k views

What happens when two flames meet from opposite sides?

What happens when two flames (whether from dragons or blowtorches) meet head on? Many films make it appears as a front where the two flames repel each other, but my intuition is that, in fact, the two ...
4
votes
1answer
195 views

Is sleep exercise possible? [closed]

Is is possible to put someone to sleep and, while they are sleeping, attach muscle stimulating pads, causing the muscles to do work and causing exercise to be done without consciousness?
6
votes
4answers
336 views

How difficult would it be to use scrap metal from a car to make armour or an effective short sword without using fire?

Tools available would be wire, bricks, hammers, a hack saw, a pair of compound snips, and flex glue. As well as the intact body of the car itself. Assume you find the tools inside or easily within ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

sequioa & redwood trees [closed]

There is a treehouse community. The treehouses are connected by bridges and platforms. The tree houses are on 100-200 feet high sequoia and redwood trees. There are 1-2 houses on each tree if the ...
1
vote
3answers
89 views

War between human/animal shapeshifters and humans

In my story, set in medieval times, shapeshifters exist who have a human form and an animal form (only one, which they are born with). The majority of the population is human, many of whom hate the ...
4
votes
1answer
312 views

Interstellar Propulsion for Hard Sci-fi Novel

Hypothetical: Hundreds of years into the future. Humanity needs to travel to exoplanets quickly. I'm aiming for hard sci-fi. What kind of propulsion can travel people at 0.1 - 0.9 lightspeed? Is it ...
4
votes
3answers
168 views

Would fast decompression take place in a sealed tower on an Everest-sized mountain?

I have a large skyscraper-sized tower built at the summit of the highest peak in my world. At that height, I am aware that people need oxygen masks and other aids to survive for long and reach the ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Could someone reasonably clean off and return a child's toy retrieved from a radioactive fallout zone?

So... I've been playing a lot of the video game Subnautica lately, which put me in the mood for a "trying to cope with being marooned on an alien planet" sort of story; however, there's something in ...
-6
votes
3answers
151 views

A proposed method of flying for superheroes

I can understand Super-beings' great strength and some of their other powers, but flying is hard to justify. I want to consider only superheroes that can actually fly rather than merely jump tall ...
5
votes
5answers
214 views

Viability of a robot/mecha body with jumping-stilt/Cheetah-blade-like legs?

Saw Pacific Rim for the first time with a friend recently; I'd never really thought too hard about giant robots/been as into Mecha and Gundam stuff as some of my friends before, but the Jaeger concept ...
2
votes
3answers
258 views

Explosive joints that allow people to jump really long lengths

How does a joint need to operate and be structured in order to allow a person to do leaps of 10 meters in length with ease and without taking a long run first? Here's an example of what I'm talking ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

How long can a preserved human body last before turning to dust?

Some Context The setting is a fantasy world with lots of magic where Liches exist. A Lich is "born" through a series of complex, dangerous and horrific rituals that a mage casts upon himself over ...
18
votes
11answers
5k 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
1answer
76 views

Designing a somewhat realistic “Astomi”: Filter-Feeding Humanoids?

I've been thinking of reviving an old Fantasy idea of mine, and I recently came across a description of a group of mythological beings that piqued my interest, and which would actually fill a niche I ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

The Colonist - Part II: Landing

This is the second part of a series of questions I'll ask about a self-sustaining colonization ship. I'll keep editing this post as things unfold. If you can, check out the other questions of this ...
5
votes
2answers
80 views

Poisoning with remote controlled insectoid drone?

Would it be possible to create a mosquito drone like the one below and use it to inject a target with some deadly poison like Novichok?
6
votes
1answer
112 views

Effects of a ferret-like spine/ribcage on bipedal posture, possible leg lengths/proportions?

I was recently redesigning some mostly hominid Aliens I designed a long time back in high school and felt were a little lackluster, and since they were already Tall, Wiry, and vaguely Shambolic-...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

Is it possible to divert a 1km Asteroid from Earth?

I am writing a scenario for a game that I am a fan of. It involves an asteroid heading for impact with the Earth in 2027. This asteroid's initial diameter is about 1km, but it is slowly disintegrating ...
21
votes
9answers
7k views

Could common people be ready to go to space in a matter of days?

Let's say that suddenly NASA needs my characters, a party of scientists without prior experience, to go to space with a Space Shuttle-like spacecraft for a seven days mission. They only need to do ...
8
votes
1answer
196 views

Is this a plausible timeline if the United States legalized prior restraint following the Pentagon Papers?

In actual history, the Supreme Court ruled in 1971 in New York Times v. US that prior restraint is illegal, upholding its earlier decision in 1931 in Near v. Minnesota. In my alternate history, the ...
20
votes
13answers
6k views

Ways to keep a fantasy cold war between dragons and knight sorcerers cold?

So here's the scenario. I have two rather large and evenly matched empires: one led by human knight sorcerers with bloodline based magic and another by dragons, who are fairly similar to the dragons ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the Avian species from the game Starbound plausible?

I apologize if this question is not written up to standards, I am rather new to this site. I have been an avid fan of chucklefish's acclaimed sandbox title, Starbound, for a number of years now and ...
-1
votes
3answers
147 views

Using Snow to generate Electricity in Antarctica

So I had an idea for an emergency electricity generator that works like this: you fill a bucket up with snow, you pour it down a hatch and the snow spins some turbines which spin some generators to ...
4
votes
4answers
118 views

Hypothetically, should cultural/genetic Homogeneity in Aliens be considered the Exception, or the Rule?

Humans all belong to a Single Species, localized on a single small-ish planet... Yet we are incredibly diverse in both Culture and Individual Appearance/Adaptation to our environment. This also seems ...
8
votes
2answers
144 views

Could a Nautilus Shell, Squid Gladius, or similar structure eventually form the basis of a Spinal column/Skeletal system?

Ok, so, some quick background... I'm not an evolutionary biologist or anything, but I'm helping a friend with some alien design ideas, and at least one of them she designed and wanted help to somehow ...
7
votes
3answers
158 views

Plausible futuristic infrastructure for an underwater micronation built 300-500 feet below the surface

My story takes place hundreds of years in the future after global warming has made life at the surface uninhabitable for most life forms. What’s left of mankind survived because it became popular to ...
4
votes
7answers
205 views

Is broadcast power suitable for recharging robots?

The last time I checked ASIMO's battery pack only had enough juice for something like 30 minutes of continuous operation & then it has to plug in & recharge which isn't really that useful. I'...
3
votes
2answers
93 views

Realistic Puppets: Depth of Emotion

In my story, there is a puppet master who uses disturbingly realistic marionettes in his theater. His goal is to create a marionette that is wholly indistinguishable from a real person, aside from the ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Sentient Cephalopods in Exoskeletons

On a distant planet covered mostly by water a species of highly intelligence cephalopods have evolved and even developed space travel. The problem? Most other species are land dwellers and the ...
7
votes
3answers
805 views

Can cellular replacement based on embryonic copies explain the longevity of elves?

In my research on how I could get elves to live the time spans I wanted them to live, I came up with this solution: Every elf generates while still developing inside the womb of the mother copies of ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it possible to prevent a gun from firing by blocking the mechanism with your hand? [closed]

Suppose that someone is pointing a gun right at you. He's not really convinced about shooting, so you talk and manage to get very close. You keep talking and you can actually put a hand on the gun, ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Vibrations weakening spaceship

I have a scenario where a spaceship has been badly damaged and now the normal vibrations of the power supply are becoming amplified through the damaged hull, and threatening to tear the ship apart. ...
6
votes
3answers
252 views

Effects and feasability of a modern-day Olympus and Hephestus

The time... a few years from now. On the laser-launch pad of one of the spacefaring nations of Earth, a spacecraft stands, the time until its launch counting down steadily. The launch vehicle weighs ...
1
vote
7answers
340 views

Would it be realistic to have a world with no currency, just trade?

In the world I’m creating, there’s no specific form of currency. People trade for goods- you could buy clothes from a merchant and in return, they could get food, valuable items, things that could be ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

What could prevent a planet from possessing magnets/electricity?

Without changing a planet from being habitable for humans and keeping a similar ecosystem why could intelligent races never access electricity? What systems need to be erased from the planet to not ...
0
votes
2answers
258 views

How to keep intelligent races from discovering electricity?

Without changing a planet from being habitable for humans and keeping a similar ecosystem why could intelligent races never access electricity? ...
-2
votes
3answers
92 views

The Stone-age Limbo People - How do they hunt wild boar?

The Limbo People (who are hominids with intelligence somewhere between chimpanzees and humans) have long survived by hunting wild boar. They use spears with wooden hafts and flint tips. They are a ...
10
votes
2answers
245 views

How can a bird survive self ignition?

This may seem similar to this question but my goal is for one: The bird does not die and secondly to get more exact solutions. The ultimate goal would be to create a bird which can ignite itself at ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Never-ending string kebab for a dystopian future

For a Matrix-type future I want to feed people via solid food. This is to keep all their internal organs working properly. The idea is to feed them an endless kebab that is held together along its ...
6
votes
1answer
339 views

Does my plot point centered around eclipses make sense?

My main antagonist is an infant Great One that's been imprisoned below the Moon's surface and I want its influence and physical form to have a weakness to direct sunlight which, I think, gives me a ...
6
votes
2answers
155 views

I cast my stop-time spell and really, really, really want to punch my sworn enemy - which of these two scenarios is more believable?

I spent my life, my fortune, my family connections... I sold my children into slavery and my soul to Ilnarren... Wanted posters hang from from the Abyss of Shrondir to the expanse of d'o (most ...
2
votes
6answers
787 views

Riding a push-bike up the sides of buildings

Without going into great details for the reasons behind it, people in The City travel everywhere by bicycle. There are no stairs or lifts (elevators) in high rise buildings and no safe parking spaces ...
5
votes
3answers
187 views

A parasite that infects humans who are over the age of 25

I want to know if the disease I invented is logical or just a total fiction. A parasite (parasitic fungus) lives within the human brain. It infects other humans by releasing spores while invoking ...