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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3
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2answers
91 views

Would redox flow batteries be good for the development of all-electric armored vehicles?

I am in the process of creating a somewhat hard military sci fi setting and was enamored by the idea of all-electric armored vehicles for a future war. For this I decided to used Redox Flow Batteries: ...
2
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3answers
234 views

The reinstatement of Rhodesia: avoiding a repeat of history

Disclaimer The below is an entirely fictional world. I'm in no way advocating for anyone to actually reinstate Rhodesia. Premise In 2024, Zimbabwe has collapsed under the weight of policy impotence, ...
5
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2answers
249 views

Could something approximating a Star Wars AT-AT be built with today’s technology?

It must be roughly the same size and height as an At-at and walk on legs, but it does not have to have all of the other At-at features. So no laser cannon or similar, but it can have missile launchers ...
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1answer
51 views

Could the vaporization of all the oceans push away most of the air in the atmostphere?

You may remember my question here, part of which assumed that all humans would die in one way very quickly, with minimal destruction to the planet. This question will ask about the way humans would ...
3
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1answer
90 views

Plausibility of this Atmosphere on Ocean worlds [closed]

My planet is an Ocean world tidally locked to Ultra-cool red dwarf Star. (Based on this Wikipedia article a planet can retrain Water in this type of stars with a mass around 0.08-0.11⊙ and avoid ...
7
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5answers
1k views

How to keep Utility Fog in place?

I was thinking about the concept of Utility Fog, programmable matter that can replicate a physical structure. They can be made to form air, furniture, and even entire buildings, with sufficient ...
3
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2answers
123 views

How the weather would look like on a planet with H2O Vapor(steam) atmosphere? (Closed)

How the weather would look like on a planet with an atmosphere composite mainly ($H_2O$ vapor 90%> Other gasses 10%) of $H_2O$ Vapor/Steam. Would it rain continuously? With density around 1 $g/m^...
5
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5answers
824 views

How to design a secure private estate that can be stealthily infiltrated and exfiltrated? [closed]

I am trying to design a present day environment which is semi-realistically secure but at the same time has some realistic weaknesses that can be exploited. The aim is for this weakness(es) to allow a ...
3
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3answers
186 views

How Do Cold-Blooded Aliens Keep Warm in the Snow?

Note: this question uses third party worlds and species to illustrate the point, but it is not in any way about them, therefore this question is not off-topic. I checked. I have just finished ...
22
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6answers
3k views

Robbing the past to pay the future: Where do the resources go? How to balance the books?

In the future, the world is in a parlous1 state. Earth people of the future (let us call them Futurians as in the answer by DWKraus) are desperate but they still have a number of time portals in ...
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1answer
90 views

Is My Oceanic Super-Earth with steam/water vapor atmosphere plausible?(Closed)

My Oceanic Super-Earth orbits a K3 Star at 0.5 AU inside the Habitable Zone, the planet is composed of ≈30% Water 51.5% silicate shell, and 18.5% iron Core. That resulted in a deep global ocean. The ...
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12answers
6k views

Why are they so good at magic?

Magic, humans are not good at magic, actually they need thousands of hours of ACTIVE studying. A person needs to to put full mental effort and energy into magic studies for 1500 hours on average just ...
3
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1answer
61 views

Does my planet's climate check out? [closed]

So as part of a worldbuilding project I've decided to write up basic specs for a fictional habitable planet and draw a map of its continents and climate, but my main concern is that I haven't quite ...
6
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2answers
181 views

Horseback Travel in an Unpopulated Pacific Northwest

I'm writing a novel that takes place in a very sparsely settled coastal PNW, and the MCs have two horses that they use for transportation and as their carrier animals (Bedrolls, tent, some rations). ...
19
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9answers
4k views

Earth is accelerated out of the solar system - do we keep the Moon?

I've been reading about stellar engines. The Wikipedia article on them says this about the acceleration they could provide to a star: Such thrust and acceleration would be very slight, but such a ...
2
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2answers
155 views

How do I Cram Many Different Biomes Into a Very Small Landmass?

In my book series, there is a planet called Ryu 108 that is almost entirely a water world. It is the furthest planet from its star (a supergiant), and has a relatively cold-but-still-habitable climate ...
20
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8answers
4k views

Where in the world can film in a crashed photo recon plane survive for several decades?

For a pen-and-paper RPG scenario, I want the player characters to find and salvage undeveloped film from a crashed early-cold-war or late-WWII photo recon aircraft. Where in the world is it most ...
14
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7answers
1k views

How to determine the person-hood of starfish aliens?

Our space explorers got some friends together to try to form a galactic union. Most inter-species unions would be an empire where a few species are controlling lots of others, or a partnership between ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Organic piezo-electric generation

Piezo-electric quarts are crystals used in watches, lighters, etc. to convert elastic energy into electrical charge (and vice versa) by compressing or expanding the spaces between bonds in the ...
17
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20answers
5k views

A new way of invading a besieged castle?

Forget those old-fashioned siege ladders. No-one wants boiling oil poured on them as they labour to the top. They need to get there much quicker and with no ladder to be pushed away when they are at ...
4
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2answers
168 views

Using fire magic to levitate (hot air balloon style)

A magician has the ability to produce, control, contain and extinguish fire anywhere near his body, as much as necessary and has enchanted himself and any object, for example clothing, on himself to ...
2
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1answer
57 views

Next big global technological breakthrough with a next-gen DevOps toolchain backbone - in an imaginary world, who would be able to support that? [closed]

While software as it was "eating the world" and penetrating industries in first decades of the 21st century, it became an important driver of technological progress. Then, DevOps has been a ...
11
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8answers
3k views

The physics of flying archers

A kind of soldiers in my world can use certain magical equipment to launch themselves into the air and stay airborne (sort of like gliders. They need to keep moving ahead; they can't hover much). Note ...
2
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3answers
189 views

Making a world as Agriculturally productive as possible

Basically, God decided to create the perfect world for man to work the land. Even then, he voluntarily decided to follow the laws of physics. I've investigated about some factors that supposedly ...
3
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1answer
118 views

Orbital Warfare Maneuvers

So lately I’ve been re-rereading (again) some of the articles on Atomic Rockets and I was metaphorically struck by the idea of orbital combat as presented on the site. To summarize, it involves using ...
2
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4answers
125 views

Where would people with magic blood cut to shed the most blood but cause the least harm?

There are characters in my world who have magic blood that they frequently need to shed for various reasons, including but not limited to - during combat to try to get it on their enemies for some ...
5
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10answers
216 views

In a cultural worldbuilding scenario, what would turn a whole multitude of languages to sound virtually nothing like their common ancestor?

Allow me to clarify by starting with the opening paragraph of the Wikipedia article on "Proto-Indo-European language": No direct evidence of PIE exists – scholars have reconstructed PIE ...
22
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11answers
5k views

What would cause a culture to keep a distinct weapon for centuries?

Imagine you have the stereotypical mysterious nation across the ocean. Their mercenaries are sometimes contracted into your army. They dress weird, talk with an accent, and have really odd weapons. ...
4
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3answers
361 views

How effective would the White House serve as a fortress or makeshift Forward Operating Base/FOB?

So in my world, the entire White House area has been turned into a small fortress/FOB. Due to the post-apocalyptic dystopian state of my world what with zombies, breakaway secessionist states, hostile ...
4
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1answer
30 views

Flying arboreal theropod venom mimicry

I have an idea for an alternate world where "mythical" creatures exist, but are based on biology. For instance a unicorn is more closely related to ovines (sheep/goats/deer) than to horses ...
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3answers
144 views

Tidal Effect of Twin Moons

In order to account for an immense amount of technological and cultural disparity, I have been attempting to figure out ways that the world in a setting could be extremely hostile to travel. The idea ...
8
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2answers
99 views

What environment could lead to adipose-rich plants, and what would they look like?

I need a plant that acts as a very relatively effective, portable source of stored chemical energy. I figure the best way to do this is to have a plant/plant-like organism that stores its unused ...
3
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3answers
194 views

Could intelligent animals stop civilizations from colonizing too much land?

I am trying to create a world where humans can survive and thrive, but they are unable to colonize every piece of fertile land available. There are great civilizations (early medieval technology) and ...
3
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3answers
202 views

Lowest tech level to blow up the solar system

Background The year is XXXX, or maybe XX,XXX (or maybe even XXX,XXX, though that'd be less than ideal). Humanity has been prospering for the past few millenia, and has stretched out to the stars. I ...
11
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2answers
2k views

What would make a plant's leaves razor-sharp?

Imagine a field of plants that when walked through cuts human skin. Unlike a Stinging Nettle, the leaves would have to have razor-like edges, without the trichome hairs. The leaf edges should cause a ...
27
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10answers
5k views

What sort of work environment would require both an electronic engineer and an anthropologist?

In a futuristic setting, I have two characters, an electrical/electronic engineer and an anthropologist, and I would like them to meet as coworkers. In what sort of environment would those two ...
4
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1answer
134 views

Could a world exist without autotrophs, but have heterotrophs?

I was watching Biblaridian’s biosphere videos and he said it is believed that heterotrophs evolved before autotrophs. This gave me a cool idea: what if a (my) world had heterotrophs, but no autotrophs?...
3
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0answers
96 views

Are these ocean currents realistic for a planet that rotates 16 times slower than Earth?

Ocean Current Map: The straight red lines are 60* North and South, and the straight blue lines are 30* North and South. The curved blue lines with an arrow represent cold currents, while the curved ...
4
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8answers
3k views

Replacing the core of a planet with a sun, could that be theoretically possible?

We have a sun that is like ours, does not matter I think because of scaling. That sun is completely encased in large rock formations like that of a planet. Basically if you replace the core of a ...
12
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7answers
3k views

How would interspecies lovers with alien body plans safely engage in physical intimacy?

Now I had previously asked how a loving interspecies couple would work around very Alien Body Plans that is now sadly closed (How will interspecies lovers overcome different body plans?) That question ...
3
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2answers
183 views

Ways in which a 20th century tech-level society could detect an interstellar society: is it possible?

A wealthy, 22nd century trillionaire, for whatever reason, builds an EIS (Embryonic Interstellar-Ship). He sends a ship with frozen human embryos, and an AI system to grow and educate them, to a ...
3
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2answers
546 views

Would Venusian Sunlight Be Too Much for Earth Plants?

This is Chris Wayans's map of a terraformed Venus: While there have been questions in this Stack Exchange on how to make Venus more livable for us humans, one question stands glaringly absent, and ...
6
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2answers
185 views

Civilization in a giant Flood plain continent?

Basically, in my world, there is a continent bigger than the whole of Eurasia, it is extremely flat (a 50 meter hill would be considered an important landmark), and its whole surface is a flood plain. ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Could an evaporating micro-black hole serve as a useful weapon?

According to Wikipedia and Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, micro-black holes are expected to evaporate quickly due to Hawking radiation, releasing a burst of final emission equivalent to ...
5
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5answers
1k views

How will interspecies lovers overcome different body plans? [closed]

There are plenty of famous interspecies couples throughout Sci fi and fantasy. Personally I like this trope because I am a sucker for science fiction that deals with the possibility that we can get ...
1
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1answer
185 views

Would the “Rule Lawyers” pen-and-paper game be feasible? [closed]

Anri (DM): All right, new turn! Gyvaris (in-character): DM, I believe that Viri was using hearsay as evidence, which is inadmissible. Viri (in-character): Actually, it's not hearsay if you aren't ...
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8answers
1k views

How can a kingdom bring back the inquisition without letting them become horribly corrupt and despotic? [closed]

Backstory So, the Kingdom of Maliscyle used to have an inquisition, to weed out the cult of the horned lord (a terrible demon). But... they found they were almost as bad as the cultists, as they just ...
3
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2answers
156 views

What would the effect of a magical ring of ice around the equator be?

So the question here isn't exactly is it possible or what would make it happen, but what would the consequences be? A massive magical ring of ice around the equator, sucking in heat from the hottest ...
0
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2answers
108 views

Is my “Puff Runner” plausible?

My world has creatures called "Puff Runners", which are theropod-like reptiles that have beaks rather than teeth, are armless or have tiny useless arms, and they mate for life. One of the ...
6
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2answers
275 views

Plausibility of a cosmic flashbulb

Pendorain, admiral of the illustrious Tenth Fleet, had gathered its fleet near the Xzlicyan Pulsar to nurse its wounds. Battle against the hated Andecklin was not going well. The fleet was using the ...