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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15 votes
4 answers
4k views

Would a zombie apocalypse be possible if zombies existed?

I want to do something set in the first weeks of a zombie apocalypse. I am using a viral, slow, infinite energy, 24 hours or so transformation time, zombie model. So I want to know, if a zombie were ...
15 votes
10 answers
4k views

Would it be plausible for a laser weapon to pass through glass and retain its destructive power?

So, the characters in my story are trapped in an abandoned city in a glass dome at the bottom of the ocean that has suffered damage from some sort of bombardment. I'm currently trying to work out the ...
21 votes
7 answers
8k views

How plausible is an Alcubierre drive, really?

Like on a scale of one to ten, how plausible are Alcubierre drives in terms of our current understanding of physics? Plausible enough to be considered "hard sci-fi", or are they just another form of ...
21 votes
15 answers
4k 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 ...
5 votes
8 answers
732 views

How to counter magical airforce with civil war level technology [closed]

An engineer finds himself in a fantasy world. Through a series of events he ends up leaving rebellion against the noble mage class. Because of his understanding of technology he is been able to ...
4 votes
4 answers
738 views

Can aliens evolve to communicate through X- or Gamma-rays?

My alien life started out inside deep caves on a dark and icy planet. Over millions of years, a strand evolved into a mighty, technologically-advanced civilization. To have achieved all that they have,...
4 votes
1 answer
135 views

Can Logoworld - the planet in the worldbuilding SE logo - exist as depicted?

I really like the logo at Worldbuilding SE; it features a polyhedral planet and a beautiful city with a flying whale ship. That planet is particularly neat. Light glances off its facets, resulting in ...
0 votes
0 answers
37 views

Metamorphosis in alien vertebrates

For an alien planet I'm making I thought of some creatures which are descendants of non-metamorphosing creatures with solid bones. These creatures however have a very diffrent life cycle than their ...
28 votes
11 answers
5k views

Can a habitable world rain glass?

Requirements: There is a solid surface. Somewhere on the surface, the temperature exceeds 2,230 C, such that pure silica vaporizes. Elsewhere on the surface, the temperature is at most 25 C, such ...
8 votes
8 answers
3k views

Which US Government Agency would handle the coverup of a new mineral found on a different planet?

In a planet within our solar system, the US Government with the help of a private space industry discovers a really special cool McGuffin mineral. It is super shiny. However, the US Government doesn't ...
9 votes
2 answers
95 views

Compressible satellite ears?

Essentially, I have a flying predatory creature in my world which is roughly the size of a raven and hunts at night, relying quite a bit on sound for echolocation in tighter spaces, hearing for both ...
1 vote
1 answer
99 views

Can giant bugs and humanoids be in the same place at the same time?

There's definitely a rise in oxygen but humans might be poisoned by O2 so I thought of the increase being a gradual change and both invertebrates and humans evolve the necessary respiratory systems. I'...
2 votes
2 answers
113 views

Can an organism have body structure materials that crumble upon being injured?

I'm working on building a species of wild animal, and I have several criteria in mind, and I'm looking for any glaring issues I may have missed that makes such a creature entirely infeasible ...
17 votes
5 answers
2k views

Could a body of orbiting debris artificially vary the length of night?

I'm drafting up a world for a pet project of mine. I came across the idea of "what if there was a much longer night every X days?" I thought that would be an interesting theme for the world, ...
3 votes
5 answers
328 views

War and Conflict within a O'Neil Cylinder

I have an idea for a story I'm brewing but I want to know if such things are possible or even plausible. The basic idea is that the O'neil cylinder was created after a failed attempt of colonizing a ...
31 votes
32 answers
7k views

Is there any reason why The Chosen One should bother to do anything if their victory is prophesized? [closed]

Assume the prophecy says that The Chosen One will defeat the DARK OVERLORD. The spell of the prophecy is always accurate and has a 100% chance of being true. This has been mathematically proven and is ...
3 votes
0 answers
97 views

Altering the muscles of giant creatures to let them stand without collapsing by changing their proteins

One of the problems with scaling up creatures without increasing their proportions is that their muscles won't be strong enough to support their weight due to the square-cube law, which I'm sure you'...
1 vote
2 answers
70 views

Post scarcity economy via time travel/alternate universes

I'm imagining a world where it's possible to travel back in time, but doing so creates an alternate universe rather then changing your past. There is some high, but manageable, cost the first time ...
8 votes
8 answers
3k views

Would the successful creation of nuclear powered bombers in the 1950s have had any meaningful impact on the Cold War?

As far as I am aware nuclear powered bombers were the first attempt by the USSR and USA (either unintentional or not) at enhanced nuclear deterrence. Intending to place a nuclear reactor in a plane ...
0 votes
1 answer
66 views

Ideal conditions for Star Trek cultists with nuclear weapons to force the rest of the world to roleplay with them [closed]

A handful of extremely intelligent and resourceful Star Trek fanatics have, over the course of 2-3 generations assembled an arsenal of nuclear weapons in secret. Upon completion, they plan to ...
3 votes
1 answer
246 views

Is This Desert Planet Realistic?

Okay, I have a desert planet that orbits an M0 star and an G0 star at an circumbinary orbital radius of .9 AU from the shared center of gravity of its twin suns. It’s tilted on its axis by 23.5 ...
6 votes
1 answer
162 views

How can we maximize the speed of a bipedal digitigrade humanoid?

How fast can a digitigrade bipedal ape possibly run? I've raked through any question I could find on here talking about speedy bipeds or digitigrade bipeds (that aren't robotic/synthetic), but none ...
2 votes
1 answer
150 views

Edible plants that can survive climate change while living in a desert where it's over 110 degrees...in the winter

Some folks I write about live in a series of mutually-supporting, mostly self-sustaining agricultural stations/colonies on the edge of a desert, and are attempting to turn said desert greener. ...
4 votes
2 answers
76 views

Day/night cycle and tracking celestial positions in S-type binary star system

I know this has been asked before but I'm going to pose the question again under slightly different circumstances and with a more specific goal. I'm trying to work out the details of how the day/night ...
15 votes
6 answers
3k views

Seeing in the Dark - Flashlight Eyes

Darkvision, or seeing in the dark. But how does it work? In my world, I've been envisioning darkvision as eyes that emit a color of light that most humanoids can't see. Are there any problems inherent ...
3 votes
2 answers
113 views

How would a planet having a high concentration of metals like an asteroid affect it's ecosystems?

I am working on a Sci-Fi/ Fantasy world called Atterra which is an very alternate version of earth that has been artificially injected with metals and materials from the asteroid belt. Long story ...
4 votes
2 answers
470 views

A genetic disease that makes humans unable to produce adrenaline

I wonder if the disease I invented is realistic or a total fiction. In a white drama/lighthearted tragedy (the opposite of black comedy/dark humour) web-series for a teen audience in mind I want to ...
6 votes
2 answers
325 views

What would my phylogenetic tree composed of sixteen Homo species look like?

In my world, there are sixteen human species (mammalian species from the Homo genus): Anatomically modern humans (no explanation is necessary); Marine humans/Merfolk (they have a seal-like blubber, ...
-1 votes
1 answer
109 views

A genetic disease that makes genetically and biologically male humans unable to grow facial hair (the opposite of hirsutism)

In a live-action musical film I want to direct, Le Président et Moi (I want the film to have French as its original language), there is a character named Édouard Wang. They (Wang is a closeted non-...
5 votes
7 answers
1k views

Is there a more balanced way to make a slightly better female rights setting but also make it authentically medieval? [closed]

The description of this question is lengthy because I want to make my situation precise , well-defined and detailed to avoid answers covering what I've already made my decisions with (Like how about X ...
12 votes
5 answers
3k views

Could an insect cast in amber stay intact in space?

I have a mosquito in my story who is suspended in amber. The chunk of amber it is encased in eventually finds itself drifting through deep space without any sort of human-sourced protection (long ...
4 votes
1 answer
121 views

Giant realistic Prototaxites like fungi in a hot climate

My planet is very similar to earth around 359 to 299 million years ago. years ago. It’s mostly covered in deserts, jungles, swamps, temperate forests, and their variants. (The Carboniferous period) ...
-1 votes
1 answer
106 views

How likely for a religion to be almost similar in a different world? [closed]

In my secondary world, one of the main religions is a vague medieval Christianity. Of course, there are differences made for it to fit in with the lore, as well as a few other major religions. After ...
4 votes
0 answers
83 views

Phantom Field Creation (Negative Kinetic Energy Scalar Field) [closed]

I'd like to create a scenario a few decades to a century in the future where an experiment (attempting to create a wormhole to Luna on Earth via quantum foam mining) gone wrong causes a phantom scalar ...
10 votes
1 answer
858 views

Would a "Rigid" balloon "filled" with a vacuum work better than a hydrogen balloon in an earth atmosphere?

Just as the title says. If you pumped all the air from a balloon and somehow (handwave) kept it from collapsing. Would that balloon produce more lift than a hydrogen filled balloon? How much better ...
9 votes
8 answers
2k views

Would it be possible to have 3 planets that could be colonised by humans in the same system?

I’m looking to create a situation where there are 3 habitable planets (or moons) in the same system, each with different inhospitable but habitable (by genetically modified humans or humans using ...
9 votes
10 answers
1k views

Genetically preventing a rebellion on a generation ship

In the year 21--, a crew of 100 sets out from Earth on the good ship Tenzing Norgay, bound for Epsilon Eridani. The journey is estimated to take . . . well, quite some time, given that it was ...
33 votes
17 answers
53k views

Best places to be on Earth when an all out nuclear World War III breaks out?

This is a world building question in a preventative context because those people or countries would be left fully functional while others are gone and the safe areas are where the world building would ...
1 vote
2 answers
141 views

Building a colonial government similar to the United States, but with a few tweaks [closed]

Okay. This is the idea that I had. Our colony ship left Earth, specifically the United States, shortly after 2105, We have landed on an Earth-like world, orbiting a yellow star similar to our own. ...
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Can Mars disintegrate entirely in this scenario?

I have a hypothetical scenario in which Mars flies over Jupiter at close range. I want to make Mars disintegrate entirely in this scenario while keeping the scenario scientifically accurate (please ...
10 votes
2 answers
743 views

Synthetic animal with super skin: Looking for Biotic material that's Elastic, hard to cut and puncture with force

Hey first post here!! I have a species of Synth-animal that is designed to upset ecosystems, consume all crops and livestock, and depopulate cities. The animal is around the size of an American black-...
23 votes
7 answers
6k views

Could a supertall building have been built in the 18th century?

Supertall buildings are buildings that reach between 300 and 600 m tall. My question is regarding the possibility of constructing such a building with a level of development and understanding limited ...
1 vote
2 answers
134 views

What about Photosynthesis which uses oxygen?

So for a project I'm working on I need plants which make the air around them toxic to Earth life. A way I had thought of to make this was to make the plants photynthesize with oxygen and release a gas ...
3 votes
1 answer
66 views

Would it be plausible for a group of pseudo-spiders to form a colony?

So, ants and bees form colonies, could my spider analogs from colonies? They’re the dominant species on the planet they live in, like humans are. The pseudo-spiders are about 2-3m long, about 1m tall ...
40 votes
8 answers
9k views

How many years could notebook computers and phones be stored in a closed bunker/vault and still operational when found?

The idea is for some people in a post-apocalyptic future to find these bunkers/vaults and be able to turn on the computers and charge the cellphones. How many years could the equipment last if they ...
16 votes
13 answers
3k views

Why would someone design criminal classes in their LitRPG System?

Post-Apocalyptic scenario, the government is gone. A scientist finished his greatest creation ever. A self-replicating nanobot swarm that, when dispersed in the upper atmosphere, will settle in every ...
6 votes
9 answers
4k views

Can time go faster in a Matrix than in reality?

So. I've come up with a live-action video game, essentially like Ready Player One or The Matrix. You put on a helmet, which then intercepts your brain signals and causes you to enter a virtual reality....
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is orangeish water possible on an alien planet with advanced life?

A planet little bigger than earth with slightly less gravity. Colder than the earth, with longer days and shorter years. And water prevalence: 32% (23% surface water and 9% subterranean) and two moons....
4 votes
2 answers
93 views

Are there Tides Affecting Stellar Brightness?

I'm working on a fantasy story set in a slightly modified version of the Trappist-1 system (all orbits are perfectly resonant rather than only nearly so), and I am trying to get as good of an ...
4 votes
3 answers
266 views

Is a world where all the water is "heavy water" possible?

I recently discovered that there is another kind of water : heavy water. Heavy water is made of deuterium, a heavier isotope of hydrogen. Heavy water itself is 11% percent heavier than "normal&...

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