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
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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, ...
2
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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 ...
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 ...
3
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1answer
70 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, ...
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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 ...
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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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 ...
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 ...
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 (...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
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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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
-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 ...
10
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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 ...
5
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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. ...
10
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4answers
1k views

What is the nature of the interstellar message to be accepted by a civilization comparable to humanity at the end of the nineteenth century (19th)?

In a sense, humanity has long been capable of transmitting interstellar messages (METI (messages to extraterrestrial civilizations) - attempts to transmit interstellar messages from humanity to ...
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, ...
1
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2answers
119 views

Ability of frozen embryos to withstand many Gs, and the cosmological event horizon for a laser-powered sail ship?

I'm writing a book about a civilization started by humans who sent a laser-powered sail ship with AIs and frozen embryos to the edge of the cosmological event horizon (the furthest we can travel ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Sound Waves as an Organism’s Energy Source?

A while ago, I posted a question about musicians with weaponized instruments guarding a palace. I thought it would be interesting if they also had access to some sort of poison that they could use to ...
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 ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Would a giant atlatl be a viable siege engine?

I want to explore an advanced Native American civilisation; assume their general 'technology level' is 'equivalent' to 13th-century Europe. Biggest difference is that their metallurgy is lagging ...
3
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6answers
1k views

Can a person use plants instead of blood, and what would the consequences of this be? [duplicate]

I have been brainstorming an idea for a kind of human-plant symbiosis, in which a plant has either evolved or been modified to photosynthesize with heat instead of light. This plant may have evolved ...
2
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1answer
38 views

How To Approach a Range of Albedo in A Given Latitude Range When Estimating Temperature?

There's a lot of information about figuring in the average albedo of a planet when calculating the base temperature for a planet. What if you want to get more granular, down to each (let's say) 10 ...
14
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24answers
5k views

How can water magic destroy the world?

The question is self-explanatory. In my novel, there is an evil sea goddess that wants to destroy the world. I want to emphasize that she wants to destroy the world completely, in a way no plant, ...
16
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4answers
3k views

Could an EMP be generated from a server room with enough power to disable a bomb?

You are an individual with competence in electronics, whose family member has been abducted. She is trapped in an underground server room via dead man's trigger connected to a substantial explosive ...
12
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12answers
4k views

Interstellar combat without instant FTL

In this scenario there are two spacefaring empires, each with a handful of solar systems under their control. The two empires have been adversaries for millennia. In each solar system there are ...
0
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2answers
153 views

How Bright Would Super Saturn's Rings Be in Our Sky?

It's not that long ago that we have found the "exoplanet" J1407b, notable for having a ring system 200 times the size of Saturn's. I airquote that term because, at a mass ten to forty times ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Huge lasers firing into orbit and eye damage; how to prevent mass blindness?

There are a few uses for ground-to-space lasers in science fiction settings. One is the laser broom, used to shoot space debris until it deorbits and burns up. Another is beam propulsion, or sending ...
-1
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1answer
110 views

Could Giant Bats Fly with Giant Pterosaurs?

Last year, the Adult Swim program Primal treated us to perhaps the most Halloweenish episode yet, "Terror Under the Blood Moon", in which our two unspoken protagonists--the caveman "...
4
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3answers
127 views

How to minimise the size of temperate zones of an Earth like planet?

I want to create a planet similar to Earth but with narrow temperate bands between much wider tropical and polar bands. How can this be achieved? The planet must be similar to Earth and capable of ...
19
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4answers
1k views

Can Global Disasters caused by Bearers (People with Terrible Luck) be Properly Contained?

The Bearer: Background On Alternate Earth, studies and cases have shown that a small percentage of the population (10%) is responsible for 90% of the bad luck. These people are targeted by bad luck, ...
2
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1answer
55 views

Enhanced Brain Function Due In Utero Drug/Steroid Exposure

Would it be possible to enhance brain function by exposing a person in utero to a given set of drugs? Assumptions: Enhanced brain function: Increased intelligence, Increased memory, etc. At a minimum ...

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