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 because it describes how the question should be answered, not the topic.

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11 votes
2 answers
307 views

Ensuring consistency in a world

I want to be able to apply tools or methodologies to help ensure consistency in my world. For example: Burning world Imagine a planet with a land mass around the equator on which a great fire rages ...
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15 votes
5 answers
2k views

Could venoms evolve naturally in mammals?

Venoms have evolved in certain classes of animals on Earth (notably snakes and frogs, but also fish and maybe elsewhere that I can't think of right now), sometimes for defense and sometimes (...
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57 votes
3 answers
18k views

Is there a maximum size an ocean bound creature could grow to?

Assuming the ocean is deep enough and not overcrowded is there any upper limits to the size a "sea monster" can grow? On land creatures are limited by gravity, they have to be able to generate the ...
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74 votes
4 answers
8k views

Can you simply scale up animals?

There have been a number of questions focusing on mythical creatures where the logical approach to answering has been to scale up an existing animal. For example dragon's wings can be extrapolated ...
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  • 18.1k
194 votes
18 answers
79k views

How could dragons be explained without magic?

Dragons are a grand classic of fantasy. For this question, let's assume we're talking about the following stereotype: hatches from an ostrich-sized egg and can grow to mountain size if nothing limits ...
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  • 12.1k
21 votes
6 answers
2k views

How do I figure out how many people my domed city on a hostile planet can support?

I have a colony of humans on Mars, living in enclosed cities to maintain breathable air. (If they need to leave, they suit up.) Assuming modern-day technology, how do I figure out how many people a ...
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24 votes
2 answers
2k views

Settings formed by Uncontrolled Terraforming of Venus and Mars via Portals

If two circular portals of 2 meter (arbitrary) diameter were created allowing uninhibited flow between surface atmospheres of Venus and Mars, what would be the environmental effects on the two planets?...
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81 votes
21 answers
8k views

Is it physically possible for a planet to have seasons of different lengths?

Those of you who have read Game Of Thrones will know that in the GOT world seasons do not have a fixed duration, e.g., a winter might last three times longer than the previous one. I find most ...
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  • 2,177
17 votes
7 answers
2k views

What would be the next technological step for a civilization after it has depleted all resources that allow for conventional technologies?

Imagine a world that reaches the end of its resources in silicon, petrol, coal, metals... everything that allows for conventional technology — even before it has found a way over it (renewable energy ...
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  • 12.1k
26 votes
8 answers
3k views

What could cause rock formations (small stones, boulders, islands...) to levitate?

You see this in quite a bunch of movies / books (think avatar). What could be a reasoned physical explanation of such phenomenon? Would this explanation impact other things on a planet? Like most ...
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  • 12.1k
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

If technology allowed for instant brain to brain transmission of knowledge, how would society change? [closed]

The things I'm thinking of are for example relationships between people, military communications, and other technologies deriving from this one... Would that be very different from what we know now ...
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29 votes
6 answers
4k views

What is the smallest planet that a civilisation could develop on?

The size of a planet affects its gravity, its climate, and its likelihood of developing life. Earth is large enough for an advanced civilization to develop. A smaller body such as Europa, while able ...
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