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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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3 votes
1 answer
84 views

Would the atmospheric circulation experienced on my world's high platforms seem to be reversed?

In this world, that rotates in the same direction and at the same rate as Earth, where the land platforms that cover around 10-20% of the world's surface is (magically) suspended at the 1 ATM level, ...
0 votes
1 answer
154 views

I’m trying to imagine an Earth-like planet around Barnard’s star

What I have established about this planet is that it is the size of Earth but it is located 2.2 AU from Barnard’s star, a red dwarf. I’m trying to figure out how much greenhouse gases are needed to ...
0 votes
0 answers
58 views

How would a 4-Helix DNA differ from our own [closed]

In what major ways would a 4-Helix DNA structure differ from our own? I primarily mean in ways such as, would it be able to store more information, would it require more complex systems in order to ...
1 vote
2 answers
178 views

Looking to shape a magic system based as much as possible in actual science [closed]

I am looking to create a magic system that is grounded in science. My initial thought was the ability to manipulate electrons on the atomic level. Since I do not want the magic users to be walking ...
11 votes
2 answers
388 views

Can a human-sized organism survive eating only textile fibers?

Since there are living beings (like moth larvae) which feed on textile fibers (wool, cotton, silk, et cetera), I was planning to introduce a human-sized creature with such feature, plus the ability to ...
6 votes
1 answer
256 views

How does one calculate the baseline color of a world's sky, clouds, snow, and water?

I'm working on a planet for a book I'm hoping to write. I want it to be scientifically accurate wherever possible. I know that suspended particles can completely change these colors, but it looks like ...
-1 votes
1 answer
34 views

Feasibility of an oxygen-rich; low-gravity; Mars-sized planet (and sapience therein) [closed]

I was tinkering with an experimental planet, and I wondered: is the combination of (A) around the size/mass of Mars; (B) with lower gravity; (C) with higher oxygen, a feasible one? I'd like this ...
4 votes
4 answers
632 views

Possible binding agent for Chlorine in blood?

It is as the title says, is there any good agent for binding to chlorine in blood, for fauna that respirate such a thing. Like iron bonds to oxygen in our own blood, in order to transport it? I tried ...
3 votes
7 answers
1k views

Maintaining an advantage in a world of reactionless drives [closed]

Suppose, because I can't be bothered explaining the exact setting, that someone showed up tomorrow and started handing out spaceships with reactionless drives to anyone who asked for them. These ships ...
8 votes
3 answers
343 views

Plausible evolutionary path from modern birds to "dragons"

I'm interested in how you could get a creature that is broadly "dragon-like" to evolve from modern-day birds. Considering that some extinct early birds or proto-birds looked pretty reptilian,...
3 votes
2 answers
199 views

How many miles/km of tunnels would be required to replace all airports in the world

Assume that we wanted to replace all air travel with underground, high speed tunnels like Hyperloop. How many miles/km of tunnels would be required? For example, according to wikipedia there are 1200 ...
-1 votes
0 answers
82 views

Abiogenesis as anaerobic chemolithoautotrophic life

Given the presence of geologic activity, hydrothermal vents, and extended time -- can/will life originate as entirely anaerobic and chemolithoautotrophic? I apologise if this question has already been ...
4 votes
1 answer
81 views

Could chromatophores function suspended in fluid?

just wondering if there's any way chromatophores could function while suspended in fluid (maybe something similar to hemolymph?) I'm basing this off of mollusk chromatophores in particular, which as ...
3 votes
2 answers
139 views

Evolution of classic giant mushroom forests [closed]

How would the classic fantasy trope of giant mushroom forests evolve? In an alternate, Earth-like reality, how would fungi grow into dense, lush 'forests'? Mushrooms decompose things, so to have ...
3 votes
4 answers
168 views

How would geometric leaves and flower petals evolve?

How would a plant grow leaves and flowers that are square and/or geometrically shaped? Outside of being restricted by external forces like growing in a tight space, how could my plant species grow ...
-1 votes
0 answers
39 views

What would happen if the force of diamagnetism became equal to the force of ferromagnetism [closed]

In my story there is a god who goes insane and due to going insane wants to cause mass destruction. They devise the idea to make the force of diamagnetism equal to the force of ferromagnetism. However ...
0 votes
0 answers
34 views

Can the hemoglobin be fed something besides iron to make blood a different color? [duplicate]

A bit of context here. A species of Fairies in my world have silver-colored blood, and while researching for that, I learned that hemoglobins essentially require blood to be red because they need iron ...
8 votes
1 answer
212 views

How much would raptor-like talons on the hands affect tool use?

Imagine you had a race of "fantasy bird folk": Humanoid head, torso and limbs down to the ankles/fingertips wings from the back (implausible for flight, but irrelevant here) bird-like (...
5 votes
6 answers
181 views

Can an amphibian grow fur?

Can an amphibian, such as an axolotl, grow otter-like fur? This fur would need to be hydrophobic and hydrodynamic to enable streamlined movement through the water. Additionally, it would trap heat -- ...
2 votes
0 answers
24 views

Why are the flux limits larger for low-temperature stars? [migrated]

When calculating the habitable zone of a star, the minimum and maximum stellar flux limits compared to Earth seem to be larger for stars with lower temperatures. Why is that?
11 votes
6 answers
3k views

Flying or swimming in supercritical CO2?

Suppose you have a planet covered in a deep layer of supercritical CO2, and animals evolved to live in it. Discounting the ones who crawl along the bottom, would their method of locomotion be more ...
11 votes
6 answers
2k views

What species would make good flying livestock?

Domesticated magpies will carefully watch over these flying livestock like smarter, louder, sheepdogs, driving away would be predators (along with the help of a much smaller number of domesticated ...
0 votes
0 answers
47 views

How do I find the correct planetary spacing for my red dwarf system?

I have a system with a K6.7V star at 0.585 M☉. The planetary system has 7 orbits -- A tiny, rocky planet at 0.043 AU with a mass of 0.0465 M⊕. A tidally locked, habitable, water world planet at 0.34 ...
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

Negative pressure projectile propellants (Alternatives to gunpowder)

While I was looking into alternatives to gunpowder I stumbled onto a comment talking about an ignited chemical propellant that could be placed in front of a bullet and effectively suck it forwards out ...
-4 votes
4 answers
153 views

Is wood porous? [closed]

Steps to make a bomb in a fantasy world. Take a piece of wood. Wood is porous. Saturate these pores with oxygen. Saturate the wood itself with Pyro Mana(Mana that provides heat when released). ...
35 votes
2 answers
17k views

What would skies look like on Worlds inside Nebulae?

I am building a habitable Earth like planet, but instead of it being in a solar system it is inside a Nebula. The actual composition of the Nebula is uncertain at this point. I am thinking the ...
2 votes
1 answer
73 views

UV radiation from conventional blasts? [closed]

Continuing from this question Blast will produce shockwaves at a close distance, so earplugs are a given. But what about the UV glasses? Temperatures exceeding 2500K are required to produce UV ...
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is it possible to melt icebergs for water at below the cost of desalination with 1960s/1970s technology?

(i'm going to use dollars for cost because i don't really want to figure out currency conversions for the in world currencies) In this world people need water, a lot of water. But in areas that don't ...
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

Evolution of predatory elves

One concept I've toying with for a while is the idea that elves are a species of Homo that have adapted to a more predatory life style. With the idea that their agility and strength is derived from ...
-4 votes
3 answers
571 views

A lightning bolt strikes the White House. How much power would it require so that its exuded energy can ignite the entire landmass of the USA? [closed]

I have a Lightning Deity in the Gulf of Mexico that wants to intimidate modern Earth and decides to throw a lightning bolt at the White House. As the lightning strikes the White House, the heat, light,...
5 votes
11 answers
5k views

Fully electric flamethrower

Flamethrower and other incendiary weapons often use several liters of fuel and due to this they are easy targets and dead weight in an army. Additionally flamethrowers that use fuel have limited uses. ...
8 votes
8 answers
4k views

If the Earth stopped spinning, what's the ideal point for it to stop to ensure the most people survive?

Say the Earth were to stop spinning, and became tidally locked (or rather, stop spinning 366.25 times a year, and only once a year), through the machinations of a superpowered alien visiting down on ...
21 votes
7 answers
4k views

Could you actually do orbital deployment?

At this point the idea of soldiers, equipment, weapons, etc. being deployed straight from close orbit is fairly popular (for some reason). The idea is pretty much that you have a ship in orbit in the ...
5 votes
2 answers
155 views

How would be a Lunisolar Calendar with 2 Moons?

The world I'm building it's a Super-Earth named Tempus, and it has 2 moons in an orbital resonance. One of the moons, named Tidra Moon, is closest to the planet and basically has the same influence on ...
3 votes
1 answer
73 views

Water distribution on tidally locked planet with small northern ocean

Possible repeat of this, but the northern ocean wasn't really addressed. Picture a mars-like planet, with a rocky, mountainous southern hemisphere, and a flatter, low-elevation northern hemisphere. ...
28 votes
12 answers
12k views

Why haven't we built city-grade domes to protect and control the environment?

I'm not sure if you guys are familiar with Michio Kaku, but he's a renowned physicist who has often talked about humanity's role in the future. He mentions some valuable words about how we are still a ...
2 votes
1 answer
82 views

Practicallity Check of Floating Fish Enclosure

Introduction I would like to start off by saying these are normal fish. The fish are just fish. The fish are not genetically engineered with the exception of say a GloTetra. The fish can be fresh or ...
1 vote
3 answers
190 views

How can decades-long ageless sleep work without either warping time or allowing biological immortality?

I am working on a setting with interstellar travel but no faster-than-light travel; since generation ships require almost perfect recycling technology and are unlikely to be socially and culturally ...
5 votes
9 answers
388 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 ...
9 votes
8 answers
3k views

What animal would make the best centaur

Imagine a centaur. Humanoid torso attached to where the neck should be on, say, a horse. Is this the best/most realistic animal to use? Would an "anatomically correct" centaur be more ...
11 votes
6 answers
596 views

What required secondary powers does my speedster need in order to be able to accelerate at 2,250 ft/s^2 without harmful effects?

This question was originally posted in the Sandbox. It's set in the same world as this question, but is not related to it. I have a speedster character whose top speed is Mach 2. She holds back a lot ...
-2 votes
1 answer
80 views

Maximizing the wind speed of an ionic thruster in atmosphere [closed]

In real life ion thrusters in atmosphere have extremely low thrust with thrusts of 290 millinewtons. This is detrimental to real life ion drives in atmosphere. This problem got me thinking about how ...
16 votes
5 answers
2k views

With modern technology would it be possible to build an HG Wells style Martian tripod?

With modern technology would it be possible to build an HG Wells style Martian tripod? It should approximate to one of the HG Wells war of the worlds style tripods at roughly 30m high and have a “heat ...
3 votes
1 answer
341 views

How much mass could be added around the Earth before the Earth's orbit around the sun changed?

In the not too distant future Earth will enter its golden age of industrialization and construction. Pulling raw materials from other planets (not from Earth), humans begin building mega structures ...
8 votes
2 answers
331 views

Can Seals Eat Sushi?

In a story I'm writing at one point a kid's sitting on the docks and feeding the Seals sushi, and I'm wandering if that's actually possible, and what kinds of sushi they can actually eat or if it ...
5 votes
5 answers
1k views

Efficient method of storing energy in a near-future, semi-hard sci-fi game

I am creating a relatively hard sci-fi video game that takes place in the year 2147, and am trying to make it represent a future that might be completely realistic. There have not been that many ...
3 votes
1 answer
882 views

What would be the color of this ammonia ocean?

The ocean in question is mostly made ammonia, with some traces of ices (mostly water ice) at the bottom of the ocean. It also does have dissolved alcohols and salts though but these can be ignored if ...
4 votes
2 answers
378 views

How might a civilization that comes after us be aided by the fact someone has been here and done it before?

Suppose a hypothetical apocalypse scenario that wipes out all human beings, but leaves infrastructure and the like behind. In particular, digital technologies are mostly unaffected. Consider then, ...
5 votes
3 answers
764 views

How do these trees not collapse? [closed]

I'm currently building a planet, an ammonia world with an average temperature of 225ºK and has a mass of 2 earth masses and a radius of 1.25 earth radii. The average pressure at sea level is 4 ...
0 votes
0 answers
20 views

Regarding silicon-based life, how would using silane instead of silicone in chemical compounds change how the lifeform works? [duplicate]

All I currently know is that they require cryogenic solvents, cold temperatures, hydrogen to breathe, and only inhale. What else should I know for using silane in silicon lifeforms?

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