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.

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32
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5answers
3k views

Wrong Planet, What would an Aspergers' planet be like?

Being on the autism spectrum is often described as a feeling of being on "The Wrong Planet" So I'm wondering what the right planet might be like... For those that are unfamiliar: Social conventions ...
32
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16answers
4k views

Could plants spread their seed to other planets?

Assume a plant was engineered to cope with a wide range of different environments, and to have seeds that were capable of traveling through and surviving both the depths of space and re-entry into ...
3
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1answer
192 views

Is it viable for a highly elliptic orbit to rotate around one of its foci?

I was experimenting with various star system designs with a gravity simulator, and one of the patterns I ended up with is best described as a planet with a very elongated elliptic orbit that itself ...
6
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5answers
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Could we transport matter to other planets with a charged particle beam?

Instead of flying say tons of metal and/or water and other raw materials/molecular matter to the Moon or Mars, could we shoot it there in ionized form by accelerating these sufficiently? Maybe ...
2
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4answers
1k views

50 bar of pressure, without modern tech… How?

So I have this "lost colony" planet where the locals decided they didn't want high-tech. Intentionally they don't go further than pre-Industrial Age tech. No internal combustion or steam engines. No ...
10
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7answers
1k views

What would prevent an orbiting ship from scanning a planet?

In science fiction a common plot device is for a planet to be surrounded by electromagnetic interference that prevents an orbiting ship from scanning it with sensors or communicating with people on ...
14
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2answers
483 views

What kind of reaction time could a mobile plant have?

We have Venus flytraps which move by closing their 'mouth' to trap prey. There are currently few identified plants with a 'quick' reflex like this. Blooms of course open and close through the course ...
21
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14answers
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Burning down a mountain

In the lore of the world I'm building, the Dwarves used to have a very large territory surrounded by more or less impassable mountain ranges. This territory shrunk significantly when the elves got ...
15
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6answers
3k views

Keeping people illiterate

Hear my Evil Overload Plan: Start personality cult and proclaim self as prophet of God or as divine being Gather about 3000 followers of my religion (big enough to sustain population) Develop ultra ...
4
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2answers
388 views

How would human-sized colonial organisms develop

This question is based off of an earlier question of mine that dealt with what would happen if humans and our Neanderthal cousins were dropped off on a world with large, technologically developed ants ...
17
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6answers
1k views

How would I transport an atmosphere?

An abandoned outpost from a long extinct race is discovered. It can easily be repaired and would make an ideal location for a colony, however it has been breached and any usable air has been long ...
3
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2answers
237 views

How would interplanetary transits take place with a “space compressing” system?

I have a fictional technology in my world that involves being able to create "tubes of compressed space" -- essentially, you have two stations and a (straight or curved) line of space between them ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Mars as “Earth sister”

Lets pretend that Mars was a bit larger, so the gravity could hold on to the water and possible atmosphere, and then play along with the accidents that happened on earth happened at a similar tact. ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Re-enforcing a feudal society

Assuming a sci-fi setting, tech level capable of interplanetary travel, but incapable of interstellar travel (no FTL). Would it be possible for a sufficiently powerful (politically and ...
15
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3answers
9k views

Would it be possible to smelt and craft things from salt

During a brainstorm session the idea of the ruler of a maritime empire sitting upon a throne made from worked salt came to me. Before I break out the handwavium there is something that I would like ...
-1
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1answer
146 views

Shovelling a driveway with fire [closed]

How feasible is it to use a flame-thrower, or some other source of heat, to melt the snow on my driveway instead of a shovel or snow blower to move it? Ignoring the risks of setting my house/lawn/car/...
6
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4answers
598 views

How would life evolve on an over urbanized earth?

Let's say that tens of thousands of years pass and earth effectively becomes a giant city. What species of organisms survive our conquest? How do these species evolve to adapt? How long would human ...
5
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3answers
351 views

A Shining Beacon of Modernity and Hatred

In my setting, religion is an incredibly big deal, mostly because the 'God' of my setting (which I call 'The Creator', I'm so freaking imaginative), actually actively did things and brought my humans ...
7
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7answers
2k views

You can download skills into your mind. How many can you get? Can you forget them?

There is a system that allows compatible humans to download and fully integrate into their minds the skillsets of the most knowledgeable experts in a field. Note that not all humans are compatible ...
30
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6answers
4k views

Evolution of species with separate sapient and non-sapient forms?

This question is inspired by the last paragraph of my answer here: Negating the negative effects of childbearing (A follow up question to this can be found here: Methods to ensure gene flow in ...
37
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5answers
8k views

How would multi-race humanoid evolution happen?

If we were to pull the following races out of a D&D players handbook and remove them from the setting/history of Faerun and look at them from a biological/non-magic perspective (no other planes of ...
4
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3answers
386 views

Is molecular/transport beam cloning feasible for a quick reaction team to disasters?

In Star Trek, the Federation uses a a Transporter to disassemble the atoms that make up an individual and reassemble the said individual near another transport beam. It has been speculated (at least I ...
2
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2answers
562 views

Does Intelligent life require oxygen?

This question is related to the following question on whether complex life is possible without oxygen but is not a duplicate. I was doing some searching and found this and this link, the first on ...
19
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11answers
5k views

How big can a space empire get?

In a world where travel is limited to the speed of light, reaching a different star, while not necessarily impossible, would be very time consuming. For an empire stretching across several solar ...
106
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11answers
18k views

Could a Dwarven Civilization Exist?

Could a Dwarven society as described by Tolkien mythology actually work? Dwarves for the purposes of this question are short, stout, bearded men and women who live primarily underground. They have a ...
9
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2answers
378 views

Would a gelatinous mass be possible?

In the world I have been working on my planet has a gelatinous mass of cells coexisting but not a technical single creature. It bridges the gap between single celled and complex and it grows in size ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Must all planets have a solid/liquid core?

At the moment it seems we have two different types of planet We have Rocky planets with a solid core that occupies most of the mass of the planet We have Gas Giants that contain a solid core but are ...
27
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10answers
2k views

What effect would “item memory” have on modern day economics and production

Background: In this modern day we live in, a use and throw away society, production is getting so cheap and complex that in most cases a repair of an item is close to impossible. Casestudy: Let's ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Unsettled continent

In my world, I would like to have a certain configuration and I wonder if it's plausible or not. There is a continent with a climate similar to the Amazonian basin, covered by a very dense forest. ...
13
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10answers
1k views

How long can the physics behind a technology go unexplained?

Somewhere out in space, we stumble upon an alien device. It is immediately taken back to base or Earth or wherever and given to scientists to investigate. Reverse engineering the device reveals that ...
16
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10answers
15k views

Poisoned close-combat weaponry — practical implementations?

The use of poisons (often assumed to be in liquid form) on knives and other melee weapons, often by stealthy or roguish characters, is a classical fantasy trope. However, some have said it to be of ...
9
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4answers
3k views

How many deaths can be caused by a Coronal Mass Ejection (Solar Flare)?

Where should I shoot a solar flare that is at least as strong as the solar flare(s) in 2012 for the most death? What else would happen? And how much death, in percentage of world population, would the ...
46
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15answers
13k 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 ...
9
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3answers
673 views

The “Golden” Horde

In Hellboy 2, the titular protagonist and his party face up against a so-called 'Golden Army', which consisted of golden colored automatons who could constantly rebuild themselves after death. For my ...
12
votes
2answers
986 views

How can my accidental time travelers determine the year using star/stars?

Time travel on movies and tv always say they were able to tell the year by looking at the stars. But how? For example Voyager goes back in 1996 and Ensign Kim says astrometrics puts them in the year ...
9
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11answers
4k views

How would a child of a human and alien inherit abilities?

Imagine a child of mixed race, one parent is human and one is an alien who has some ability humans do not have, for the sake of argument telepathy. I'm assuming there is some advanced medical ...
10
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5answers
2k views

How would humans have developed without fossil fuels?

I am designing a world where humans have somehow developed or have been put onto a planet in a primitive state. This world has only been habitable for about ten thousand years and therefore only has ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Is it possible to block light from a planet temporarily with stardust?

I've just come across a subplot in Jack McDevitt's Firebird where the earth-like planet Villanueva and the rest of its planet system was moving towards an unspecified dust cloud that made the planets ...
12
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9answers
3k views

What would benevolent aliens look like for first contact?

We always assume first alien contact will be meeting with some strange looking alien, maybe with a multitude of limbs, sometimes with none, etc. etc.. However, so many of our Science Fiction ...
17
votes
3answers
921 views

Could a Species Use Tools (and Build a Civilization) Without Thumbs?

If humans were to vanish completely from the Earth rapture-style, other primates would possibly slowly evolve and eventually take our place (in a few million years?), since they have both the basic ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

What if the Empire State Building were buried to the roof in snow?

I recently wrote a silly little flash fiction piece in which some party-goers go hide in a bunker under an apartment building in NYC because of a "megablizzard." In said silly flash fiction, I buried ...
12
votes
11answers
3k views

Larger weapons for a larger world

Okay, so its been said by various people time and time again that overtly huge fantasy melee weapons are not practical in any way whatsoever. They are too large and cumbersome, and in a fair fight ...
10
votes
1answer
350 views

Life on a Venusian world?

I define "Venusian world" to be high pressure, thick atmosphere, and high temperatures. Assume the atmosphere is similar to Venus, but whatever gets the same effect and supports life is fine. I'm ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Maglev transportation without tracks

A frog has already been levitated without any magnetic object attached to it. I'm wondering if it's possible to reverse this for transportation purposes, by having a vehicle levitate itself using ...
5
votes
1answer
377 views

Underground life on Mars

Simply put: Given the current state of Mars, how plausible is it that any intelligent life would be several miles below ground? I do not have any other requirements for such a race, I'm just asking ...
10
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8answers
3k views

Lighter-Than-Air Bridge Technology

Imagine a very long bridge (Visbi Bridge - named after the designer) across an immense canyon - really almost a wide deep gorge -use on an earth-like world. My concept is that part of the support of ...
6
votes
4answers
475 views

Which types of firearms would be damaged or broken by a global change in combustion intensity?

I'm wondering what types of firearms would be impacted if explosives and combustion in general were to have a random chance of being more potent or less potent. Could new firearms and/or ammunition be ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Could we find a dinosaur civilization in space?

Imagine that humankind finally takes wing and reaches out into the heavens to claim its vast cosmic birthright ... ... only to find that a previous wave of dinosaurs from Earth, who left ~65 million ...
15
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7answers
2k views

A continent lost underwater?

So I've been trying to create a world and I've been planning on the continents being drowned out almost completely in water from a terrible tsunami, storm, earthquake or an act of one the gods or ...
42
votes
11answers
5k views

Hammer-proof armor

We know, unlike what Hollywood would have you believe, that plate armor was actually incredibly effective when it was being used. In order to combat this, some bright spark came up with the concept of ...