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
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 ...
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  • 151
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 3,714
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 ...
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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,...
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  • 682
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 ...
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  • 12.1k
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'...
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  • 93
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 ...
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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'...
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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 ...
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  • 49
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 ...
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  • 31.1k
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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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  • 4,055
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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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-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-...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 1,512
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 ...
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-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 ...
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  • 1,295
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 ...
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  • 187
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 ...
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  • 2,254
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. ...
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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-...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 344
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....
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  • 1,199
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 ...
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  • 1,597
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....
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  • 347
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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  • 1,742
5 votes
1 answer
299 views

My eusocial species has biological radio and limited verbal speech. Is this plausible?

The mechanics of biological radios are already detailed in response to this question, but I had a more specific use of it that I was planning to use. My story has a eusocial species that can ...
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  • 1,512
6 votes
2 answers
139 views

Can we have a mycelium tech-tree?

Considering the impressive complexity of the vast mycelium networks that permeate the world, I was wondering if it would be possible for a civilization to use mycelium as a "coding" ...
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  • 617
1 vote
1 answer
72 views

Would larger oceans stabilize temperature on a smaller planet with a thinner atmosphere?

I'm working on a planet with 75% of Earth's gravity, and I'm wondering how to get a stable climate despite the thinner atmosphere. I know a thinner atmosphere doesn't trap heat well, so the ...
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  • 475
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are Mass Effect "style" guns possible?

In Sci Fi, the majority of weapons come in the form of either some kind of energy beam/bolt, or as testosterone-dripping slug-throwers. In Mass Effect and the Aldreaverse utilize weapons that fire ...
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  • 3,327
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 ...
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  • 12.4k
4 votes
2 answers
152 views

Would 25% less gravity produce dramatic differences in animal morphology?

I'm designing a low gravity world, and when taking into account a variety of factors from plate tectonics to escape velocity, I've figured that 75% gravity is about as low as I can go and still ...
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  • 475
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Would a lower gravity planet have deeper oceans and higher continents?

I'm designing a lower gravity planet that's got enough mass to hold onto an atmosphere but around 75% of Earth's gravity. I read that lower-gravity planets will have more pronounced geological ...
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  • 475
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Could harvesting antimatter from a Gas giant's van Allen Belts be feasible?

Could a sufficiently advanced civilization feasibly harvest antimatter from the van allen belts of a gas giant and use it for fast interplanetary travel. The main idea stemmed from this video, among ...
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1 vote
2 answers
107 views

Could a planetary disk create a shared atmosphere?

So essentially, we have a protoplanetary disk filled with asteroids ranging from boulders to 30km long. Could they sustain a breathable atmosphere for humans, or would there have to be oxygen tanks ...
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7 votes
7 answers
2k views

Is a religion which allows cyborgs but not AI or genetic engineering realistic? [closed]

On an alternate Earth I am designing, the entire industrialised world is dominated by a single religion. This religion has many denominations, but in all of them both genetic engineering and advanced ...
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5 votes
3 answers
258 views

Is there any feasible way for Antarctica have hidden oases?

Antarctica is a large barren wasteland. Located at the bottom of the world, it appears far away and forgotten. The Earth's largest desert and yet the coldest landmass. The age of exploration has come ...
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1 vote
2 answers
175 views

Is this an accurate environment for life on a super Earth speculatively?

My alien planet is a super Earth. It revolves around a K-type star in the habitable zone and has a lower gravity. The mass is that of 2 Earths(or how ever superearths mass normally are).The atmosphere ...
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2 votes
6 answers
224 views

Large projectiles vs heavy personal armor

In my world personal body armor has reached a point where most weapons designers have given up trying to make cartridges that will penetrate armor, and instead have gone back to large caliber rifles ...
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  • 1,136
3 votes
2 answers
94 views

What atmospheric pressure and temperature are reasonable to maintain water on a low gravity planet?

I'm designing a low gravity planet, and I want it to be as realistic as possible. I've calculated the lowest mass and radius it could have while maintaining a similar density to Earth and while still ...
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  • 475
21 votes
7 answers
4k views

Could the Soviet Union have hidden the launch of the first satellite?

In the summer of 1957 Soviet leadership was shown a model of the soon-to-be first man-made object in outer space. It was a shiny sphere with thin antennae. The energized chief designer didn't mince ...
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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 ...
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