Questions tagged [science-based]

For questions that require answers based on hard science, not magic or pseudo-science, but do not require scientific citations. Contrast with the hard-science and reality-check tags. Do not use this tag as the only tag on a question.

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2
votes
1answer
30 views

Is the way I've spun up an asteroid structurally realistic?

In my world, I have an asteroid station that was spun up to produce artificial gravity. Characteristics: The asteroid is treated as cylindrical, with a radius of 1.5km and a length of 5km. Assuming a ...
2
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1answer
36 views

Can you modify Childrens DNA after they are born, and if so, up to what age?

My story is Dystopian placed after a nuclear fallout, in a small group of isolated cities with futuristic technology. The plotline is that the government is kidnapping children with disabilities, ...
3
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5answers
230 views

Can my civilization be totally isolated by deserts?

Is it possible for a dry planet similar to Earth* to be inhabited by an indigenous intelligent humanoid species that is restricted to a small area of the planet – perhaps 1000 miles x 1000 miles near ...
12
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16answers
4k views

How do I justify short-range engagements in space?

So, lately I have been developing a tabletop board-game, the subject of which is space battles. My intention for it is to be somewhat similar to Armada, but more realistic (e.g. tyranny of rocket ...
0
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1answer
41 views

What would the currents of an ocean world with no continents look like?

This is an earthlike planet in every respect (same 24 hour day, same orbital year, etc) except it is an ocean world. There are no continents, and the global ocean is significantly deeper (10 miles, or ...
14
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7answers
3k views

Anatomically Correct Sentient Skeletons

This is a submission for the Anatomically Correct Series Sentient Skeletons are a staple in works of fantasy and horror. Sentient Skeletons are commonly depicted as: resembling a human skeleton ...
3
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3answers
119 views

How close could a small spaceship (or group of ships) get to Earth before being noticed?

This is similar to other questions here (like this one or this one), but I couldn't find one that was identical to it. The scenario: a small spaceship (10-20 meters in size), or possibly a small fleet ...
3
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1answer
69 views

Can a plant base have taste buds?

The question is in the title. Is there an existing plant that do have taste buds? If they can have taste buds, what taste buds they can have? Just in case they has less or more taste buds than human, ...
4
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3answers
181 views

Scientifically Plausible Vashta Nerada?

So, I created MONSTERS, creatures that specialize in guerilla warfare, sabotage, and terror. I immediately knew which one to make first: Vashta Nerada - The Ravenous Shadows Terror level: 10/10 (...
1
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0answers
40 views

Alpha Centauri/Binary Star Planet Orbits

One of the physical constraints to planetary systems around Alpha Centauri A and B that many papers have pointed out is that the planets would need to orbit in the plane of the A-B Orbit, not the ...
2
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2answers
150 views

The Serina Series: Episode II: Crocodilians

In the first episode of this series, Cats, I asked if it's possible for all 600 million house cats to evolve different niches if they were the only amniotes in a terraformed world. Needless to say, ...
15
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12answers
7k views

Could 14th century Europe protect a knight from an M1911 pistol?

I am developing a world were modern firearms are introduced into a medieval setting (I realize that this has been done since Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court). I'm working on ...
6
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1answer
172 views

Is my fusion thermal drive theoretically possible?

I'm designing what I call a "fusion thermal drive" for my world. Characteristics The drive's purpose is brachistochrone-based intra-system travel. The maximum specific impulse of about 16 ...
3
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2answers
68 views

Decomposers produce acid and depend on (liquid) water to perform their function. Is this world coherent?

About my idea: The decomposers of this world perform the degradation by producing and diluting acid in liquid water molecules. In this world, most decomposers are present in the seas and oceans. ...
5
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4answers
97 views

Can facial Nerve damage cause all facial functions to shut down (temporarily)?

So I'm writing a character that cut his face very deep making a big x mark on his face at some point in the past to scare off a couple of thugs. He survived the ordeal, but now it so happens that ...
3
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3answers
267 views

Would dragons with automatic grenade launchers strapped to their backs be useful?

My Dragons: Smaller and cuddlier than their original version (well, most writers copy Smaug to varying degrees). They have long lifespans and human intelligence. They can mimic just about any sound ...
2
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3answers
124 views

Time needed to travel to Proxima Centauri in 2050 and technology behind [closed]

Given: current (2020 year) knowledge and science status of human-kind and that human-kind and human science development will occur in exactly the same way as it did so far, how long will a ship ...
1
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4answers
202 views

What employment would there be in a simulated world? [closed]

Real life is rubbish and society has evolved so the majority of human interaction is done in a simulated world. Real world tasks such as maintenance, healthcare, and farming are usually done by robots ...
0
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3answers
74 views

The sea is acidic and infested with decomposers. How would this world work? [closed]

The sea is home to all the decomposers in the world, which produce acid to carry out their task. Because of this, acid rain is more than common. In this world scenario, how could plants, animals and ...
5
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3answers
146 views

A Rabid Black Death, Part I: How Virulent Would it Be?

Our first record of rabies, the infamous foaming madness disease, dated all the way back to 2000 BC. The foaming at the mouth and excessive aggression are among the most recognizable symptoms of ...
37
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24answers
8k views

If dinosaurs had a civilization, how primitive must it have been to leave no trace in the present?

I am thinking of, yes, a simple story with intelligent dinosaurs, but I am not interested (And I sincerely prefer) that they are not sufficiently advanced in my history to be comparable to modern ...
1
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6answers
675 views

How can I have gadget-using superheroes?

A reason why I dislike comic books: Superheroes/meta-humans/etc.. You see, superhero and supervillain powers need to be impossible (or extremely hard) to reproduce, in order for them to work as ...
2
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2answers
117 views

Would it be possible to have an O'Neil cylinder used as a water “world” nature preserve?

Would it be possible to have an O'Neil cylinder large enough to house actual oceans and creatures like whales? What might the energy requirements be to construct this?
5
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6answers
187 views

Invisibility versus transparency. What is possible with plausible advanced technology?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think science fiction often confuses invisibility with transparency. Even if somehow we could make a human being transparent, this wouldn't make them invisible, any more ...
2
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4answers
138 views

Do any of these magic powers have unintended consequences? [closed]

Earlier today I was mulling over the connection between magic and science. Specifically, the fact that many common magic powers or superpowers in TV and books often have interesting or unintended ...
30
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20answers
10k views

Could you run a CPU at a much higher speed, as a disposable item?

I have a magitech system where instantaneous processing power is much more important than long term processing power. In my world, magic is cast by using compute power to communicate with a ...
2
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0answers
53 views

How long would daytime and nightime be on a planet with a 26 hours rotational period? [duplicate]

The basics about the planet in question: As the second planet in the star system, it's somewhat warmer than Earth is. The rotational period is 26 hours and the orbital period is 312 days which ...
4
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1answer
314 views

What happens if I shot a blackhole pellet point blank at someone?

Imagine I had a sophisticated gun that is capable of producing a micro blackhole on contact with a target, that blackhole is designed to be completely evaporated as hawking radiation in exactly 1 ...
0
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1answer
65 views

What could/would change if plants absorbed #% of sunlight? [closed]

I am wondering what could/would happen if plants absorbed respectively 50%, 75%, and 90% of sunlight during the process of photosynthesis. That's all, Thank you in advance.
3
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3answers
172 views

How could a single dragon pose a threat to more modern human settlements?

Don't get me wrong, my dragons squarely fall into the player races, and definitely don't pose the same threat as real monsters. You see, using Lobotomy Corporation as an inspiration, I created several ...
5
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2answers
162 views

Importing Asian Technology and Political Support into Mesoamerica

This is the year 1400 CE. I am a prince in my early teens, belonging to the Zapotec civilization, Mexico. I always get recurring dream that in less than 4 generations, hostile people from far away ...
7
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2answers
235 views

A stronger replacement for calcium carbonate in super-strong scales?

So, the microstructure of abalone shells is 95% calcium carbonate, such as aragonite, tiles and 5% organic polymer that binds them together. This binding fails in a graceful manner, allowing the shell ...
0
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0answers
36 views

65 million years into the future, what evidence of our civilization would still exist? [duplicate]

Imagine our world 65 million years in the future. Fossils of humans have been found, but what evidence of our civilization would be found? 65 million years is a long, long time - and I am imagining ...
6
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4answers
196 views

Existence of elementary particles in an hysteretic space-time

I am toying for a while with the idea of an hysteretic space-time. Hysteresis is the dependence of the state of a system on its history. Though it could make for some interesting twists in the world,...
27
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7answers
8k views

If all natural sources of oxygen production stop, how long do we have?

One day on planet Earth, for reasons that are not immediately apparent to the population, all natural sources of oxygen production stop producing oxygen. No new oxygen is output from any natural ...
3
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2answers
173 views

Is there any way to create a world the size of the Moon or of Arrakis with a breathable atmosphere? [closed]

Part One: Introduction Stephen H. Dole, in Habitable Planets for Man, 1964 calcualted an approximate lower limit for the escape velocity of a planet that could retain oxygen for billions of years. ...
17
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3answers
40k views

How long after a global nuclear disaster would the world become habitable by humans again?

So at some point in the future, humans have small colonies on the Moon, on Mars and many space stations in orbit of all the planets in the solar system. Everything is going great until one day ...
22
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15answers
4k views

Can People Fool Benevolent Brother's 'Alibi Trackers' and Escape?

Alibi Tracker Improvement Program Announcement Today, October 1st, 2074AD, marks the 50th year since 2034, when Benevolent Brother freed all of humanity on the only 2 continents of Earth. Since then, ...
6
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4answers
230 views

Using pre-steam technology how can a large bore tunnel be used to drain a lake from below?

General scenario A planet similar to Earth but with only 1% of Earth’s water supports a civilization with pre-steam levels of technology that live near a river on the south side of a mountain range. ...
6
votes
2answers
236 views

The best role for a dragon in protecting a settlement?

One of the plotlines, I'm currently working on, is about a dragon who is forced to serve a settlement to "pay" for some of his past "crimes". For clarity's sake, we call the dragon ...
5
votes
3answers
277 views

What issues would arise with full body prosthetics?

PREMISE I'm working on a story where cryogenic technology was made viable in the early 21st century (2026 or thereabouts) and became widespread due to an ageing elite seeking to put off their death, ...
4
votes
5answers
284 views

Multiple “brain-backups” in the spine, how would it work?

Have you Watched Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2? Then you can maybe look at this. The guy has so far been blown up, stabbed in the neck with a sword, and blown up again. So, why didn't he die? Well, ...
33
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17answers
5k views

How far could civilisation develop within one lifetime - starting from nothing?

This question here asked if it would be possible to reach the moon within a lifetime for a civilisation starting with "nothing". The answer to that question, quite clearly, is: no way. But ...
-1
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1answer
108 views

On what timeline could modern know-how turn a late medieval kingdom into an industrial war machine? [closed]

Portal fantasy. A small team of modern-day experts is brought to a low-magic fantasy world, tech roughly that of mid-15th century France. They must help a sympathetic feudal kingdom defend itself ...
7
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6answers
1k views

Electroreception for human beings

Having been looking into scientifically plausible forms of telepathy, I stumbled across the electroreception senses that exist in some electric fish (and in a few land-dwelling marsupials). My ...
2
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4answers
575 views

Roughly how much water would my desert civilization need every year?

In my desert canal world all water is supplied from the poles to the temperate zones via a canal network. I want to work out the amount of water that that is needed, so that I can work out the ...
4
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13answers
3k views

Advantages of Ball bearing projectiles over Bullets?

I was wondering if one of those metal ball bearings would be useful for some reason as a projectile fired by a gun. Obviously, in terms of killing power they would lose out to bullets as bullets are ...
10
votes
1answer
229 views

How to Give An Ordinary Man Vampire Strength

One of the most overlooked traits of vampire biology is superhuman strength. In fact, Dracula himself was described as having the strength of twenty men. Now, this description posed a physical ...
8
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6answers
629 views

Is it possible for a terrestrial creature to generate lightning?

Question Context: I've been developing insect-looking bipeds that have evolved on a mostly jungle/ocean planet in addition to small, scattered grasslands. This is justified (from what I've read) by a ...
5
votes
3answers
136 views

Biological EMPs, are they possible?

It could be argued that we already have biological EMPs in the form of solar flares. But what I'm looking for is a sort of a half baked idea for a planet the had life forms that produce natural EMPs. ...

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