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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Basing a civilization on maize, beans, and squash as staple foods?

In my world, an apocalypse happened, a nuclear war. Fast forward to the future. In places like Vegas, New Fresno, and Lost Angels (post-apoc LA) I was thinking about agriculture, and after doing a ...
1
vote
5answers
138 views

Could my island, its inhabitants, and its tunnels exist? If so, how? If not, how could I tweak it to make it so?

My island is on Earth. It is my intention that it was a part of a larger landmass at some point during ancient history, so not as early as Pangaea. That’s important because the island’s inhabitants ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Is it possible for primitive tribe of humans to live most of their lives in system of caves?

I have an idea for a society of humans who have a level of technology similar to that of the North Sentinelese Islanders: borderline stone age with maybe some ability to use metal. The population can ...
4
votes
2answers
111 views

Best hydroponic crops to support an underground society?

So, in my world, after WW3, a contingent of American government officials, military officials, scientists, and engineers hid out in a specially constructed bunker, where they'd remain for nearly 200 ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

What advantages or disadvantages would a bipedal humanoid have if their neck connected at the back of their skull rather than the bottom?

While designing my species of trolls I came to the question of how there heads attach to their bodies. What I've had in mind was that their necks were horizontal rather than vertical so that their ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

Linking genetic sex to a set of climate adaptations

My world is fairly chaotic, with the same 2/3 of it being completely broken up and remade in chunks such that the whole 2/3 is always completely different than it was ten years ago. So once species ...
5
votes
3answers
158 views

How to hide this underground city from seismologists, oil prospectors, and ground surveying projects?

In my previous question Would this underground city be noticed by seismologists?, it was established that a Goblin city in one of my settings would probably not go unnoticed do to the meddling of ...
4
votes
3answers
132 views

Does having antibodies completely protect against reinfection?

I feel funny asking this question, in light of current events. But my question is purely in fictional context. I'm just trying to make sure it aligns with reality. I have a character who was ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

After a major nuclear war/disaster, how much radiation would remain after ~300 years?

The setting for my story is a post-post-apocalyptic Earth. There was a nuclear war (and several related nuclear disasters due to power plants being either targeted or neglected), and it's already been ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Are there advantages to using a quad-treaded/split tracked system for a vehicle?

All real military ground vehicles use a continuous caterpillar track or tank tread, but quad-treads/split tracks are often seen in sci-fi, with their futuristic tanks and settings. (Halo scorpion, C&...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Would this underground city be noticed by seismologists?

The setting is current day Los Angeles... except for the goblin city that exists beneath it. Its chambers range from about 500-2000ft underground and has a population of several thousand. A lot of ...
2
votes
3answers
152 views

Realistically would the government try to capture a person with powerful psychokinetic powers? [closed]

And Which government agency would even be the ones tasked with hunting you down? And what's a way that they would find out about you? I'd have to guess that most people would have the common sense to ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

How valuable and effective are spies and covert operations? [closed]

So this is a fairly abstract question, as it is not really specific to a single setting, but how valuable are intelligence gathering and covert operations conducted by intelligence agencies in terms ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

The Earth is our Moon - A Reality check for a Binary Planet System [closed]

This question is connected to another one I asked about Interstellar Transport Vehicles, but more concerned about what we could expect from a Binary Planet System. So I want to talk about a few major ...
5
votes
5answers
965 views

Plausibility of running Hoover Dam in a post-nuke world?

So, in my world, the city that was once Las Vegas was rebuilt into a type of gang-ruled Sodom and Gomorrah, where the remnants of human civilization degrade themselves with prostitution, drugs, and ...
7
votes
5answers
306 views

What would cause vampires to become aroused when feeding?

I know that vampire bites could be very...erotic in most fictions, mostly due to proximity and intimate nature; more so with a human partner and it's heavily empathised but I'm wanting to understand ...
1
vote
5answers
353 views

Invading a universe made of absolutely nothing

Background Parallel universes where the cosmological constants are different to ours have been hypothesised. Most of these would presumably lead to a chaotic mess. The observed values of the ...
7
votes
2answers
144 views

Is it possible to create a new hybrid species of the homo genus that can produce offspring?

I have read about hybrid speciation: "speciation where hybridization between two different species leads to a new species, reproductively isolated from the parent species". I wanted to know ...
7
votes
5answers
294 views

What kind of wing is best for a winged cat

I need to know if this is possible, and if so, what kind of wing to use. I've thought of placing the wings on or behind the shoulders, and having hollow bones. The cat itself is no bigger then a pet ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Magical Island question part 2: How to add desert to it

Part number 1 of the question can be found here: Now I wanted to add a few things just to be on the clear side of things, my world is originally inspired by Brazil. So: On the southeast the continent ...
22
votes
11answers
4k views

Biological duck tape - how does it grow and how did it evolve?

Imagine vast areas covered in sheets of a (preferably grey) biological waterproof material that is stuck to the rocks below it. Humans come along at harvest time and cut these sheets into strips, peel ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

How to have a landmass the size of Great Britain have almost every single climate

I'm creating a continent which will be about the size of Great Britain (250.000 km2) and I'm creating it under certain constraints.: This continent was very powerful once upon a time, but now it is ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How would one get a small moon spinning?

I'm considering writing a story taking place in a base on Saturn's closest moon, Pan. The premise for the base is that they got Earth-normal gravity by setting the moon spinning, causing anything on ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

What would a floating castle look like after it hit the ground [duplicate]

So basically, there’s this giant floating island with a whole kingdom built on it. When the magic that’s holding it up fails, it hits the ground (middle of the ocean) at a high speed. The actual story ...
4
votes
3answers
120 views

Plausible way to make it seem like the surface is uninhabitable?

In my world, right before WW3 went down, a few influential government members, well trained scientists and engineers built an impressive technologically advanced bunker for themselves to survive in. ...
6
votes
2answers
190 views

Is it possible to make a catapult with bronze & wood instead of iron/steel & wood?

I've read that Roman catapult were made out of iron and I was wondering if it was possible to replace that iron with bronze instead. In a world where bronze is readily available, copper and tin..etc ...
4
votes
6answers
243 views

Just how big of an advantage would an army with bronze weapons & armor have over another more primitive army armed with stone & bone made weapons?

The reason I'm asking is because I'm building a fantasy world where iron/steel is exceptionally poor and the materials necessary for bronze (copper, tin...etc) are super abundant and readily available ...
4
votes
4answers
153 views

Messenger Line for Interstellar Travel

My goal is to generate a plausible means of interstellar travel without using FTL technology while supporting round trip travel time to nearby stars within a human lifespan (measured by the life of ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Founder’s effect causing the majority of people in a post-apocalyptic world to become colorblind?

So, in my world (or more rather the region in which my story takes place) when the nuclear war happened the majority of people survived in small, survivalist compounds, remote wilderness shelters, and ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Hand-bone scanner biometrics

Instead of scanning a user's fingerprint or palm-print to enter my secret lair, I want to scan the sizes and shapes of the bones in their hand. This way people can wear gloves, be dirty, injure their ...
8
votes
1answer
171 views

How long would it take for a earth-based ring to break up given solar and lunar gravitational forces?

In my world-building project, a decades long orbital conflict has resulted in the trashing of Earth's orbit with massive amounts of debris, shipwrecks, and space junk. However, after an anomalous ...
12
votes
9answers
4k views

How can you have an eternal war against vastly weaker opponents?

I want an empire that is simultaneously enlightened and barbaric. So the idea is to split the territory in two: the meritocracy in my previous question, a mostly peaceful realm, has a vast periphery ...
7
votes
3answers
708 views

Is it realistic for chieftain to conscript woman into service? [closed]

My story happens in the same settings as my previous questions: Would a trained falcon be useful as a scout? Are the draw weights of 90# to 100# realistic for women archers? There's a tribe as in ...
37
votes
8answers
4k views

How realistic is it to have building blueprints?

In fictional media that revolves around police, SWAT, or agents from some three-letter-agency, it's common that before they go somewhere, they have their tech-genius go though some database and ...
8
votes
7answers
611 views

What would it take to make a “true” universal translator? [duplicate]

In Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy I know you put the Babel Fish in your ear and it telepathically translates any language, and the one from Star Trek could translate languages that the Federation ...
5
votes
3answers
146 views

Societal implications of a portion of the population possessing immortality?

Background Info: All human beings possess magic in some way, shape, or form. This magic can express itself in a variety of ways, which is where the different types of magic-users come into play (...
5
votes
3answers
211 views

Best crops to grow in the post-apocalyptic wasteland?

A nuclear-WWIII happens, lots of people and animals die. Surviving humans are afterwards forced to either hide out in small survivalist compounds on the surface, or self-sufficient underground bunkers....
19
votes
15answers
5k views

Would it be possible for hunter gatherers to accidentally colonize an exoplanet, from an asteroid knocking a rock containing a cave into space?

I was thinking of a situation, in which a band of hunter gatherers goes into a cave, and while they are in the cave an asteroid crashes into the Earth, causing the rock that the cave is in to be ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Assigning realistic climate zones

I'm thinking about the Koeppen climate zones for my Earth-like planet. It is all very roughly painted, because I would like to get it right first before fine-tuning the world. I've so far started with ...
7
votes
4answers
422 views

How can I make my often-lightning-struck mesa sound like giant drums?

Premise 1: I prefer to know if it's possible to realize this without much handwaving (hence the science-based tag) but, as this is going to be in a fantasy setting, answers which make it possible with ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Evolutionary narrative for bipedal troglodytes

It would be easy to assume conventional evolutionary heritage and have humans move into caves later, but in this otherwise earth-like world, the surface was never habitable. Given the somewhat ...
5
votes
1answer
68 views

Can post-glacial (icesheet) landforms be present on the warm desert (BWh/BWc)?

How realistic would it be to have moraines and dried lakes on deserts? I plan to have a salt lake with a few rivers flowing in - how much time would they have to erode canyons? Natural disasters ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it plausible for a tribe to have a standing army?

I'm creating a parallel world inspired by migration period in the dark ages. I have a tribe that has a something akin to standing army consisting of infantry cavalry rangers Wealthier clan leaders ...
5
votes
2answers
112 views

An organic “mecha” or “krang”. Possible or unreasonable?

In my world, one of my creatures is a 100kg, 2 meters long flying alien. It has a durable yet relatively light endoskeleton which allows it to have proper anchoring for its flight muscles and its ...
7
votes
4answers
221 views

Counterbalancing a Ringworld so it doesn't explode

Ringworlds are a bit of a SciFi staple but as they're commonly portrayed, the large ones have a major problem... they'd, well... explode if they were built out of materials that actually existed. This,...
24
votes
17answers
5k views

Is the concept of a biometric smart gun that will detonate when anyone besides its owner touches the weapon unrealistic?

This is basically an extension of the idea of the smart gun, a gun that will only fire when in the hands of its biometrically linked owner, but two steps up. The idea is that someone won't dare to ...
4
votes
3answers
172 views

Is it possible for a Halo array to have a 24-hour day/night cycle?

The Halo series features ringed worlds called Halos that are roughly 10,000 kilometers in diameter. You play the game across a variety of locales on the inner surface of these ring worlds, but also ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

What is the tallest structure that can be built on the Moon? Can it be used as a landing pad?

Earth provides many obstacles to building large structures. Earthquakes and strong winds are just two of them. As far as I know there are no quakes on the Moon nor are there any winds. Question ...
0
votes
3answers
171 views

Can we time travel to the past physically? [closed]

What is the most scientifically realistic way to accomplish time travel?
3
votes
6answers
365 views

What wavelength should I use for my ray gun?

A villain is wreaking havok in town. He can become intangible at will, making him invulnerable to all conventional weapons and the hero team's powers. However one of the heroes notes that since he's ...