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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7
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6answers
2k views

Would a lobby-like system of self-governing work?

In this form of self-government, a lobby is a set of 21 people in an area. Similar to a county, but on a much smaller scale, each lobby governs their immediate surroundings. The 21 people are only ...
3
votes
2answers
276 views

How do you counter the wobble of spinning ring world filled with ocean? [closed]

I imagine a bicycle spoke rim scaled up a thousand time orbiting a star, the side of rim facing the star will experience more pull therefore more water... assuming its spin axis is along the orbital ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Can Multiple Stars Naturally Merge Into One New Star?

Assume just for this question that in one same plane of space, there are the following stars within close proximity of each other: An O-type main-sequence star (18x wider, 15-90x more massive and 40k-...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

How to design a proper void whale?

I was thinking about the concept of space whales that are presented in some sci-fi universes. Usually, their origin is either unexplained or explained in some pseudo-magical way. As an example, it is ...
0
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0answers
35 views

Life in the Temperate Zone of an Alternate Earth with an Axial Tilt of 42 Degrees--What Would the Seasons Be?

Suppose that in an alternate universe, Earth has an axial tilt not of 23.5 degrees, but 42. This means that from the equator, tropical climates with binary seasons (wet and dry) would persist from as ...
16
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1answer
872 views

What problems will a person with purple blood (hemerithrin instead of hemoglobin) have?

Hemerythrin is an oligomeric iron-containing protein of the metalloprotein class found in the blood of some invertebrates. Able to reversibly bind with oxygen, ensuring its transfer to tissues. ...
3
votes
3answers
146 views

How useful would it be for a hunter to be able to climb trees really well?

I'm writing a medieval fantasy hunter character whose gimmick is that he's really good at climbing trees. If you can imagine a tree being climbed, then this guy can climb it without breaking a sweat ...
4
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5answers
102 views

Alternative power that produces smoke

I have a post-apocalyptic world that is devoid of plant and animal life, although because of underground bunkers containing stored chemical materials and underground gardening,reservoirs,and mining, ...
5
votes
5answers
277 views

Logistics of crafting ammunition after the apocalypse?

So, nuclear war has wiped out civilization, and brought humanity to its knees. Nuclear winter, radiation and violence has turned the Earth into a wasteland; a slaughterhouse and a breeding ground for ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Creating a stable, liveable ringworld orbiting a binary black hole/stellar pair

I'm creating a setting for a sci-fi RPG. I would like to check whether the concept is physically possible. The main action happens on a giant ringworld which centrifugally orbits a paired black hole ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Are Aeroplankton a feasible food source?

On an Earth-like planet, you would assume oceanic plankton and terrestrial microorganisms would exist. But, could there be plankton in the sky? While there are certainly nutrients floating through the ...
15
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12answers
3k views

Why would people invest in very-long-term commercial space exploration projects?

In a relatively near future, the humanity discovered a way of commercializing space, in the sense that a project emerged that is extremely costly, but if successful, would be worth it and then some. ...
-3
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2answers
198 views

How would a dragon fly, give it all you got, the dragon has 4 wings, and has an avarage (edited) 300Kg weight

The dragon's weight can be reduced, by a mixture of lighter than air gases, heated air, vacuums etc. I have done some research, but I forgot the equation, this was for a 6000 kg bird, how large does ...
10
votes
4answers
299 views

Would seasonal fungal forests be possible?

This question is inspired by a comment by PcMan Imagine you have an Earth-like planet, except it is just a little farther away and has longer days. Instead of having a tropical equator, the planet now ...
10
votes
8answers
943 views

Asteroid mining and Newton's 3rd law

Imagine mankind has established mining facilities on NEOs Some of them send raw ore directly to other processing stations in space, others refine on site. All of them use a system based on cargo '...
5
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5answers
194 views

What would cause creatures on a planet to favor large sizes over small sizes?

On Earth, there are far more insects by biomass than any other creature type. Not only that, but they constitute a wider variety of species too. As a result, they also evolve interesting mechanisms ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

How possible would it be to make a S.C.O.B.Y. the size of a bog in the medieval era?

Assuming a civilization had access to medieval tech, how likely would it be to grow large sheets of SCOBY (Symbiotic Colonies of Bacteria and Yeast,) in order to make a faux leather, by modifying the ...
10
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3answers
1k views

What pressure, temperature and atmospheric challenges exist for human habitation 1 mile beneath the surface of the earth?

Would air pressure be demonstrably greater in a subterranean city at a depth of 1 mile? Lava tubes leading into a dormant magma chamber -- this would have challenging gasses that would need to be ...
0
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2answers
196 views

Weaponising a substance with low mass but intense gravity

We have all heard of the gravity formula $F = G \frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2}\ $, establishing a relation between the mass of an object and the gravity force it is affected by. Welp, turns out Newton was wrong! ...
3
votes
3answers
144 views

Cloaks and parkour

Cloaks keep you warm, protect you from the weather, act as camouflage if made right, and overall look cool. Parkour is allows rapid movement in urban and sometimes/maybe natural environments, and also ...
0
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0answers
122 views

Bridge universe, is it possible naturally?

In our universe today, we do not know if it is possible to contact or even perceive other universes or realities, but just like out of nothingness our reality was born, certainly out of nothing other -...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Does this method of magnetic capture provide a mostly closed loop system?

The issue: I have set up a lunar base with around 500 people. Cargo shuttles ("Bullets") regularly fly up and down from low lunar orbit. These shuttles, unfortunately, have a very high mass ...
3
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2answers
223 views

Do cards require the printing press?

Pretty straightforward. I know playing cards arose with the printing press, but would it be impossible to have some before the printing press is invented? I’m mostly looking at divination cards, ...
4
votes
4answers
374 views

Could a tsunami separate two landmasses?

I posed here a question about a super-earthquake separating a Pangaea-like continent in a matter of days. Unfortunately, one of the answers rightfully points out that such an earthquake would generate ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Craggy coastline due to divergent plate tectonics

I wanted to create a landscape in which a coastline is lined with a cliff in the following arrangement (the image below is a transversal cross section): I also wanted this arrangement to be achieved ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

Are the deserts in this continent realistically placed?

I have asked previously how I could create an earth-like world with as many deserts as possible in it. Based on the answers I got, I designed this continent, and asked for a reality-check, but the ...
2
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0answers
59 views

Can a volcano perpetually spew ash without massive-scale eruptions? [duplicate]

This volcano is such that it never explodes at a scale large enough to cause destruction further than its own top slopes (it is a veeeeeeeeeery high mountain, for mythology reasons). Does it make ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

Firework-based ranged weapons?

This is an odd question, but one that has been taunting my mind for a while. I had the idea of a weapon which used a firework, or something similar to a firework, for ammunition. I'd prefer it to work ...
29
votes
11answers
5k views

Does my concept for light speed travel pass the “handwave test”?

Basically my idea for a light speed travel concept (not faster than light) is the Zero Mass Field. I am aware that as far as we know this is impossible, but want to know if this makes logical sense ...
4
votes
6answers
154 views

Post zombie outbreak world. People who die turn into zombies. Can the government detect murders from natural death + transformation?

The zombie outbreak is contained and people survived in fortified cities and on islands and so on. Humans who die in anyway that does not destroy the brain will turn into zombies. Rules of that is ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Proto-German name for Plant People

I was considering calling plant people in a setting, "skoagraz," which is a combination of the words for forest (skogaz) and flood (agraz). Flood seemed a good word to imply inclusiveness, ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

The Orbit Of Cryomoreth

Cryomoreth is the homeworld of the Cryomonians. Its year lasts for about 273.15 Earth years, and it is inhabitable for carbon-based life. Its orbit is very eccentric, which results in its seasons. ...
10
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5answers
922 views

Best way to defend against a army of 100 thousand? [closed]

So our protagonist city-state is a decently sized, rich in resources, and populated(think 100 thousand people) kingdom with Early Medieval Dark Ages technology(no gunpowder or cannons). The attacker ...
-3
votes
1answer
83 views

Can Space-time be manipulated by a highly technologically advanced civilization?

I would like to build on a previous question and queries of my own on the possibilities of manipulating the form of space-time for a space opera i am working on. If we can go on the theory that matter ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

What kind of atmosphere is needed for large floating organisms?

Assume you have an identical Earth-clone planet, what kind of atmosphere is required to have floating organisms? What I define as a large floating organism is something about the size of a bat, but ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Can we live off hydrothermal vents?

I'm sketching a story about a rogue Earth (that is, Earth got flung out of the solar system) and how humanity could survive. One of the main problems is food. Hydroponic farms with grow lights are one ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

Can we make “grav lifts”?

So in many sci-fi franchises, there are these things called "grav-lifts" that supposedly cancel the pull of gravity of whatever they are placed on the bottom of. So is this possible? I ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Civilized aliens coming from Mars in spaceships to build the pyramids [closed]

I'm writing a classic Mars-pyramid story in which some Martian aliens ride in a spaceship and come to Earth and build the Egyptian pyramids. Their environment on Mars is very dry, there are no rivers--...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

Red Sun Plus Blue Sun Equals Magenta Sky?

Okay, my second cousin is working on a story that takes place on a planet named Odroia. It is an Earthlike planet with a supercontinent similar to Pangea, that has scattered rivers and lakes, with its ...
4
votes
2answers
815 views

Possibility of a seafloor vent used to sink ships

Okay, here's the idea. There's a weapon that an nation built a hundred or so kilometers from its coast(s), installed into the seafloor, what works by absorbing dissolved gases from the water. When the ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Perfect age for brainwashing children without it being too early to show intelligence and/or athletic ability?

The evil empire has this organization called the IG. They are a state within the state and represent the emperor's will. They serve as more than mere bodyguards. Protecting the imperial household is ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

What if Ukraine joined EU and NATO before 2004? [closed]

I wonder what would Ukraine look like today if their development took a different shape after 1990. Wikipedia: "Ukraine was initially viewed as having favourable economic conditions in comparison ...
6
votes
1answer
94 views

Are possible funtional limbs from the cobra hood ribs?

Probably this is question is related with things like snakes recovering their limbs or an anatomically correct naga or lamia or medusa. But now I am thinking other possible form of "snake limbs&...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Planet covered in non-Newtonian fluid

Basically, I watched that horrible holiday special. The animated short that introduced our friend Boba Fett, and there’s a planet that’s apparently covered completely by a non-Newtonian fluid. What ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

A black hole prison?

In the past a war between an entity and a race that controlled the galaxy ended when the elders of that race sacrificed themselves to imprison that entity. They trapped the entity in a 100X50 square ...
1
vote
3answers
120 views

Perpetual Day Planet

I’d like to know if this is plausible: A habitable planet that’s always day. It kinda works like this: The planet orbits its largest sun, which is also orbited by three smaller suns that share the ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

A Plague that Causes Death in All Post-Plague Children

The backstory of the world in the story I am writing tells of a deadly plague that significantly depopulated all of humanity. Years later, as the survivors began to recover post-plague they noticed ...
4
votes
1answer
243 views

Is it realistic to depict a gradual growth from group of huts into a village and town? Or is it more realistic to depict it as series of big jumps?

Is it typical or at least sometimes happening to have a town that started as a group of huts? And have gradually and organically grown into a village and later into a town? To be more specific, it ...
2
votes
2answers
150 views

How would a “flaming collar” work in an animal and how could it be useful?

So, this a concept which personally I see with a lot of visual style an epic to descriptions to be implemented for a creature in a fictional world. Probably you can call this "burning head" ...
6
votes
3answers
238 views

How to explain a “camouflage/chameleon” cloak that can change color to match its surroundings?

In my world there exists a sort of "chameleon" like cloak that has the ability to change its color to blend in with its surroundings, the fabric is thus highly sought after for its ...