Questions tagged [science-based]

For questions that require plausible (better than suspension-of-disbelief) answers based on Real World science that are not necessarily constrained to the known limits of Real World science. Contrast with the hard-science, science-fiction and internal-consistency tags. This tag may not be used alone. This tag may not be used with the science-fiction, hard-science, or internal-consistency tags.

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How would fire behave in an oxygenless atmosphere with a significant percentage of chlorine?

I’m mostly interested in chlorine since (as far as I understand) it’s the most viable, but I’m open to others as well (if it’s worth it). I’ve been working with a sort of “worldbuilding challenge” on-...
Octopodes's user avatar
  • 191
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

How many distinct colors would tetrachromatic birds have?

I'm creating a world where the primary conscious species are essentially just ravens. Birds, in general, have tetrachromatic sight (extending in the UV range), meaning they see 4 base colors. My ...
The Zip Creator's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
474 views

How could a speedster function in real life. Part 1:Acceleration

Super speed is an ability commonly seen in fiction often used by powerful characters and extremely fast characters like the flash. However, explaining all of super speed in a single post would be too ...
Coolcats112's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
136 views

Could these Tectonic Plates produce my map's landforms?

Using a Fractal Generator, I generated the attached map. I really like the shapes of the Continents & Islands, and want to preserve as much as possible. But, I also want realism, and realize I ...
James Baxter's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
339 views

Could black holes be used to warp a laser transmission back to the point of origin?

I had an idea, in which humanity sends signals out (via Laser Communication), in a search for extraterrestrial life. As a result of gravitational lensing, the laser signals are eventually turned back ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
136 views

What is the minimum level of technology needed to explore a large flood volcanism event?

The world in question has had this flood volcanism event going on for longer than humanity has been around. It is comparable in size to the one that created the Columbia River Basalt Group and is ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,192
15 votes
8 answers
2k views

Industrial applications of high gravity

I've just finished reading Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement, a reasonably hard-scifi novella set on a planet with exceptionally high gravity: 700g at the poles, offset by very rapid rotation to 3g at ...
Stephen's user avatar
  • 8,682
0 votes
0 answers
80 views

How do Mermaids Create Fire? [duplicate]

Fire is useful. It generates heat to warm your house or cook your food, or to lights the fuses of your bombs. It's also handy if you can start a fire underwater and take it to the surface, so you can ...
ArchduchessFerdinand's user avatar
6 votes
9 answers
2k views

Industrial Geothermal smelting power

A town in a mountain valley has access to geothermal energy due to the volcanic activity of the mountain range, somewhat like Yellowstone. This has already given them access to hot springs that they ...
Seraphim's user avatar
  • 4,865
10 votes
9 answers
4k views

What is the most logical way to have my dragon breathe lightning? [closed]

For my story I'm writing, I can't decide how I want my dragon to breathe, or, for lack of a better word, exude lightning. The dragon is rather large; I'd say Game of Thrones size when fully grown. The ...
Scout Paige's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
236 views

Acetylene Manufacture: How would Mermaids do it?

Acetylene is useful for making fire underwater. This might be used for cooking, or so you have a way to start a fire right after coming out of the water, or for some underwater welding. Or, maybe even ...
ArchduchessFerdinand's user avatar
8 votes
15 answers
3k views

Hiding a star cluster

I have a concept involving the colonisation of a star cluster by ideological outcasts who want to be left alone. Is it possible for them to either totally physically hide this cluster (presumably ...
Valitenci's user avatar
  • 408
2 votes
3 answers
212 views

Bronze Age phonograph

Basic question Armed with a special type of extremely responsive leather, and with giant civilizations willing to pour every resource they have into this problem, after discovering the concept of ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 913
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

F type and K type Star Binary

I'm designing a worldbuilding project and the first major hurdle I'm encountering is the star(s) I want to have. The primary star is an F9V - F8V star with a mass of 1.13 - 1.15 Solar Masses, a radius ...
Dono's user avatar
  • 181
6 votes
1 answer
362 views

Could you breed livestock with structurally colored wool?

Imagine you have low magic, low tech nomads with a magical equivalent of microscopes, and a rudimentary understanding of genetics and optics (blame magic). They are selectively breeding livestock for ...
Vakus Drake's user avatar
  • 2,528
0 votes
1 answer
84 views

Regular travel to planets with higher surface gravities

Say you are born on a planet with 1G surface gravity and are of a species adapted to this. Your society has well-established colonies on other planets in your system which have been extensively ...
10000zooids's user avatar
21 votes
9 answers
4k views

What can be used as a galaxy-wide time reference?

Assuming... ...intelligent civilisations exist throughout the entirety of the Milkyway galaxy, and these civilisations wish for some kind of common time reference, a GTC — Galactic Time Coordinated — ...
MichaelK's user avatar
  • 43.4k
0 votes
1 answer
100 views

Characteristics of a moon harboring huge flying creatures?

I’ve been thinking for a while about an extraterrestrial species I had in mind that more or less resemble very large four-winged four-legged birds, and in the name of ensuring I don’t handwave an ...
controlgroup's user avatar
  • 2,026
7 votes
7 answers
2k views

Do (supermassive) black holes rotate? [closed]

Premise Trying to come up with a way to have a galactic unified time/date system, I turned my eye on the sidereal rotation period of, for example, the Sun, or, on the desired larger scale, Sagittarius ...
MarsMagnus's user avatar
10 votes
8 answers
4k views

Could Mermaids Tear a Warship's Planking?

I had an idea for a story, where mermaids sabotage a ship during the age of sail. I wanted to ask for advice on it, and if it makes sense. Perspective would be especially helpful, since someone told ...
ArchduchessFerdinand's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
128 views

(Do not try this at home!!) How to safely traverse High Voltage Power Lines? [closed]

So I am doing some creative writing. It's a trashy, urban demon hunter kind of vibe. Think "Shadow hunters", or "Blade", or pick your poison. So I find myself in a scene where my ...
Andrew Micallef's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
181 views

What can make a person who was not born mute go mute over a single night? [closed]

My character is a person who was not born mute. He could talk until the age of 26 until something happens and he loses his ability to talk itself. Can anything like an accident cause permanent ...
Rui's user avatar
  • 51
2 votes
3 answers
316 views

Can you calculate Atmospheric mass/density based on planetary mass?

Premise Tangential follow up to my earlier question about Chthonian planets. Question What I am wondering is if, given a planets mass and radius, you could calculate its likely atmospheric mass and ...
MarsMagnus's user avatar
12 votes
14 answers
4k views

How could jet fighter development be delayed by about 15-17 years without impacting the development of piston engined aircraft?

Though it may sound similar, this is not a duplicate of this. The core difference is that the question there is limiting the development of all aircraft, but this is about limiting development of ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,192
8 votes
10 answers
4k views

Most efficient way to covertly obtain antimatter for a weapon

Context Suppose that, sometime in the future, terrorists and conspicuously-evil nations and politicians are tired of using regular old nuclear bombs to destroy their rivals' cities - cities on the ...
controlgroup's user avatar
  • 2,026
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Feasibility of organic winged flight on 4g planet

Premise This is somewhat of a follow up to an earlier question of mine. Taking the premise of that very large, ~4g planet, and set the case that complex life does develop on it, there are some ...
MarsMagnus's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

How biologically plausible is my snake species? [closed]

How biologically plausible is my snake species? The young are about 25 meters long, and the adults average 90 meters. Their proportions are like an ordinary snake’s. What kinds of advantages and ...
Zona C's user avatar
  • 127
-4 votes
2 answers
199 views

Can a clone be of the same age as the original [closed]

If I clone a 50 year old what are the ways I can get a 50 year old clone ?
sutirtha soor's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
182 views

How would somebody who controls magnetic fields prevent being pulled towards the source of a magnetic material

As I have mentioned before I have a hero who controls magnetism. They control magnetism via a magnetic organ that can generate multi tesla fields. However I do not want this organ to be pulled out of ...
I like lightning 's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

What would be easily missed, but undeniable, proof of life from non-advanced detectors?

I need a way for a spacecraft to detect absolutely irrefutable proof of organic, but not intelligent, life on a planet, most likely through spectroscopy or another similar concept. The spacecraft is ...
FlightDeck0112's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
784 views

Could a Chthonian planet develop life?

Premise: Can a Chthonian planet develop life? The questions is much less if it could develop living organisms, but more if it can develop the building blocks necessary for organic life: An atmosphere, ...
MarsMagnus's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
44 views

How differently would ocean currents be affected by smaller, shallower abyssal plains?

On Earth, the abyssal plain is the planet's largest habitat, comprising of 70% of the oceans. Another important point is that plain can be found between 10,000 and 20,000 feet deep. In this alternate ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.6k
17 votes
20 answers
6k views

What is necessary for an "Apocalypse" to actually set a civilization (e.g., humankind) back to the stone age?

Premise The question is relatively simple (I think): How could an advanced, spacefaring civilization slip back into the stone age while also losing most or all of their cultural memory (i.e., people ...
MarsMagnus's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

How big should this starship's power system be?

I have a near future starship that weighs about 10,000 tons. I've determined that the ship needs a 500 megawatt fission reactor, but the problem is that even though nuclear fuel rods are obscenely ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 90.3k
-1 votes
0 answers
146 views

Could crocodilians evolve to have sex chromosomes?

In real life, all crocodilians use the temperature-based sex determination system. However, their closest living relatives, dinosaurs (birds are the only surviving dinosaurs), exclusively use the ZW ...
mammifereviolet4694's user avatar
12 votes
8 answers
2k views

Best electricity generation from a magical conveyor

The setup I have a conveyor that is 10m long and 2m wide. The belt moves at 15,6m/s (56,16km/h).this is a magical belt that when placed, will never move from it's spot. If you remove the foundations, ...
Trioxidane's user avatar
  • 35.9k
8 votes
2 answers
812 views

Anatomical requirements for human speech

I am writing a species of humanoid whose skull shape more resembles that of young baboons, with somewhat large canine teeth. They are fellow primates and have a similar upright posture to humans, ...
10000zooids's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

How much mining can we get out of Pasiphae?

Pasiphae is an irregular moon of Jupiter in a retrograde orbit. It's probably an asteroid capture and is only about 60 kilometers across (compare to Europa's 3121.6 km diameter). Suppose that I set up ...
controlgroup's user avatar
  • 2,026
11 votes
7 answers
3k views

Will changing the range of EM that my aliens can see affect how they can relate colors to humans?

We have humans, who can see in the spectrum of 380-740 nm. Let’s take the aliens, who can see in the spectrum of 500-860 nm. This gives them vision into the infrared. They also cannot see purple as ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
323 views

Could a cold-cored planet be protected by a hot-cored moon?

This is an earth-sized planet, unable to produce an adequately protective magnetic field. Could a moon with a hot, iron/nickel core produce a magnetosphere large enough to encompass the planet and ...
Valitenci's user avatar
  • 408
2 votes
0 answers
89 views

How differently would Earth's wind and ocean currents look if it were a shellworld the size of Neptune?

Earth is a quaint little green-and-blue marble 7,917.5 miles wide and 196,941,385 square miles in area. It's just small enough to create a busy, dynamic network of wind and ocean currents. These two ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.6k
0 votes
1 answer
107 views

What happens if everything is magnetic? [closed]

What would happen if everything in the Earth suddenly gained the magnetism of a standard fridge magnet? (Ignoring the fact that this would change atomic structures.) Things that were already magnetic ...
Zautech's user avatar
  • 75
2 votes
4 answers
369 views

How viable are Airborne Aircraft Carriers on my alien world?

I have made a world that is a massive flat plane, with the surface gravity and atmospheric pressure of Titan, but a composition similar to Earth. There is one race, humans. Humans have a problem ...
Zautech's user avatar
  • 75
2 votes
1 answer
109 views

At what approximate distance and what size should binary planets be for a day to be no more than 30-32 hours long?

For the story I'm trying to find a more or less plausible description of the planet. Initially I was considering planet size like Mars or mid-size between Earth and Mars. Аnd this planet is in tidal ...
Tanya's user avatar
  • 23
2 votes
1 answer
137 views

Could one moon appear to always follow/lead another in the sky?

Is there any way a second moon would appear to hang out near the closer one in the sky? For example always appearing either ahead of or behind throughout the year, or even alternating between those ...
Syntal's user avatar
  • 53
3 votes
2 answers
123 views

Is it possible to melt regolith from lunar orbit with an energy beam?

Is it possible to melt regolith from lunar orbit with an energy beam? Suppose we wanted to create landing pads, building foundations, and roads on the moon that were relatively free of lunar regolith. ...
user4574's user avatar
  • 3,693
3 votes
1 answer
438 views

Planet orbiting a star orbiting a black hole - can there be life?

Sagittarius A* is a black hole at the center of the Milky Way with at least 45 stars orbiting it. It weighs in at over 4.2 million solar masses and is likely rotating, which has interesting effects on ...
controlgroup's user avatar
  • 2,026
1 vote
1 answer
78 views

How would hydrostatic skeletons respond to different atmospheric pressures?

I'm wondering whether atmospheric pressure (high or low) would have any impact on the favorability of hydrostatic skeletons. Obviously hydrostatic skeletons work well in water, but I'm not sure if a ...
Elhammo's user avatar
  • 975
3 votes
6 answers
308 views

Could a bird evolve into something like a Gryphon?

Gryphons are a staple fantasy creature. But for my world I prefer creatures to have some grounding in realism. Is it possible for a bird to evolve into an effective Gryphon? Increasing number of limbs ...
Spoon's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
1 answer
136 views

What would the effects of drinking reverse gravity water be? [closed]

If you drank a special type of water that falls in the opposite direction of gravity, what would happen? Since you can drink water while upside-down, it might just be the same, but I wanted to make ...
value1's user avatar
  • 111

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