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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3
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2answers
86 views

Genetic engineering for sea people (false merfolk)

What adaptations are needed for human-derived sea-dwellers? My people are not the classic half-fish, nor are they whale-tail-people - they wear ankle-length swimming skirts that bind their legs into ...
16
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6answers
2k views

Digestive system of the “Ultimate Omnivore”

I'm designing a creature that is supposed to be able to eat "basically anything", within the realm of plausibility for what is essentially an organic creature. Its digestive system can be as ...
7
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2answers
291 views

How soon does the Earth's surface re-solidify after the red-giant Sun is replaced with a different star?

(Note: This is a follow-up question to my previous one: Moved into further orbits to protect them, how much damage do Earth and Moon take when the Sun expands?) Thanks to clever stellar engineering ...
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1answer
155 views

Feasibility of a species based on Nyarlethotep (of HP Lovecraft lore)

Nyarlethotep (the crawling chaos, the evil with a thousand forms, the messenger of the outer gods) originates from the literature of HP Lovecraft and is by far one of the most evil, sadistic, and ...
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2answers
104 views

Creating a Hard and Feasible Molecular Disrupting Beam

A common weapon in science fiction is the Molecular Disrupting Beam, which disintegrates anything caught by the beam into basic atoms and molecules with no wound or gash, more as if a portion of the ...
5
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2answers
272 views

How to Make This Alternate Earth as Black as The Dark Knight

"The Dark Knight" is a nickname given by astronomers to the exoplanet TrES-2b, a gas giant with an albedo of one percent, blacker than paint, blacker than coal—in fact, blacker than anything on Earth! ...
6
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3answers
186 views

Could a species of marine mammal evolve from humans?

I want to write a science fantasy novel about humans evolving into five new species. The five races are: the Groses and Grosettes (they are my Ogres) (their name comes from the french word gros/grosse ...
6
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2answers
268 views

Primer (2004) - Does a time traveler's cell phone ring if both he and his other self exist at the same time?

In the movie Primer (2004), there are two main characters who travel back 24 hours in time using their time machine. When they arrive, both they and their past selves exist in this same town at the ...
3
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3answers
196 views

Scientific explanation for summoned creatures

Throughout the ages, The Summoners were a prominent family of mages (but technology is magic here), who possess the ability to call forth creatures from cards. Of course they can only summon creatures ...
4
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3answers
224 views

Would it be possible for neanderthals to not go extinct, and perhaps build their own nation?

Let's say that somehow, enough Neanderthals survived after the last ice age to be able to form a centralized government, economy, etc. Would this even be possible? What events could lead to this?
6
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5answers
138 views

Physiology of a heart hijacking parasite?

This is a question regarding my little critters that hijack of their victim. By doing so they get direct access to a steady flow of nutrients through the bloodstream and get shelter with optimal ...
19
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14answers
4k views

What could prevent a thriving civilization from exploring neighboring lands/continents?

first question here (but not last I think). I'm currently thinking about ideas I have to form the base of a book I'll then write, and I need some insights/knowledge about exploration. I'm looking for ...
7
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1answer
180 views

How long can the entire civilization be powered by converting all nuclear arsenal into commercial reactor fuel?

Imagine a miracle happened and all leaders decided to wind back the minute hand of the doomsday clock and passed a bill that can transform all kinds of nuclear weapons into fuel for power plants, ...
6
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1answer
202 views

Feasibility of a species based on Yog Sothoth (HP Lovecraft lore)

in the Cthulhu mythos, yog sothoth is depicted as a mass of splitting and fusing orbs, it is the past, present, and future and seemingly knows everything. but for the sake of trying to make it ...
27
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15answers
10k views

Must a sapient species be a true omnivore to exist?

My father (who is a biologist) thinks that a sapient species must be a true omnivore because if it were an obligate herbivore (like a koala or a sloth), it would not have enough nutrients to develop a ...
3
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2answers
213 views

The One Problem With Terraforming and Colonizing a Super-Earth

Many people are excited with the idea of super-Earths--rocky, habitable exoplanets greater in mass, density and diameter (because I'd prefer to go the whole way than stop at the halfway point) than ...
13
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1answer
320 views

Where do hydrothermal vents form inside icy ocean worlds?

Context: In a near-future version of our solar system, humans have established multiple underwater colonies on Jupiter's moon Europa. Many of these outposts are situated next to hydrothermal vents ...
9
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7answers
235 views

What tech would aliens use to harvest/alter our star and why?

I'm trying to create a scenario where the local star is "quickly" (suddenly up to thousands of years) removed, dimmed with reduced output, destroyed (maybe), or otherwise fundamentally changed as to ...
6
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2answers
187 views

What’s the difference between inter-dimensional, inter-universal, and extra dimensional beings? [closed]

Recently, I’ve grown curious other universes and dimensions, and while looking around and reading about said things, I’ve come across the terms inter/ extra dimensions and universes. This got me ...
-2
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1answer
73 views

What’s the energy required to traverse through dimensions

Say in the future, humanity has developed technology to the point that it allows them to traverse through other universe, each universe having something either drastically different or not so ...
3
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3answers
201 views

Feasibility of non lethal “x-ray” false-colour vision?

One of the powerful abilities of Superman is his ability to make several layers of opaque solid objects translucent to him and only him alone. What plausible future technology would allow us to see ...
1
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2answers
108 views

Ideal Materials for Laser / Energy Weapon Defense

In most future sci-fi settings, it is apparent that laser weapons (or as Star Wars likes to call it, blasters) and energy weapons in general would have replaced most standard ballistics for main ...
12
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2answers
215 views

Feasibility of flesh pillars

In the future, humanity has discovered countless worlds, some filled with life and others not. Likewise, they discover another world that is habitable, they study its various ecosystems, it’s ...
1
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2answers
83 views

Tier classification of techniques : Flight

I'm designing a magic system for my story in which the characters can passively or actively accumulate "magical energy" (haven't decided a name yet) and they can use the magic to perform various super ...
19
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6answers
1k views

How would a monster decay without leaving as much as a trace?

This question is supposed to explain the phenomenon in fiction that I affectionately call the "clean death", where a dead monster disintegrates after being slain. Normally this would be explained by ...
1
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1answer
72 views

Feasibility of space faring centipedes

In the distant future, humanity has encountered, made peace and wars with countless advanced civilizations, but one civilization that still baffles them, is the race of intelligent centipedes. The ...
3
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1answer
86 views

Proofing dragons against their acidic breath weapon 2/2: Preventative measures

Previous question: Proofing dragons against their acidic breath weapon 1/2: Smart Neutralizing Agent So, I decided to find an alternative breath weapon for my dragons, that maximizes destructive ...
5
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3answers
116 views

Sun-like sky objects in a flat world?

I'm positing a non-planetary world but within Euclidean space. This world has things that resemble mountains (but probably not plate tectonics). Elevation varies considerably, but on average it is ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

How extreme can a habitable tidaly locked world be?

I want to create a tidally locked world with a habitable (broadly Earth like atmosphere and biome that humans could breathe and live in) band stretching around the terminator pole to pole. There would ...
5
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2answers
129 views

Are Alpha and Beta-Voltaics the solution to the energy storage problem in Scifi?

In Scifi there is often the issue that all the fancy technology like Mechas and Lasguns need a lot of energy. Chemical sources are limited by volumetric and regular power density. Batteries and ...
3
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1answer
76 views

Can I use an active flood basalt province as a “biome” without messing my world up?

I want to use the an active large ignious province (LIP) as a "biome" on a continent in my world. This video about the Siberian Traps inspired me. A LIP modeled after the Siberian Traps gives you a ...
1
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2answers
110 views

Feasibility of The Culture's Effector

Currently, there are wave beams / lasers / rays that operate from the X-Ray region to the Radio Wave region. Patents to create Gamma Ray beams / lasers / rays are also underway. However, I have ...
1
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2answers
102 views

Feasibility of a creature that can affect biology

On a distant, habitable world, humanity has observed a biological marvel. A creature that is primarily carnivorous, roaming its planet jungles and deserts, has been observed to be capable of ...
0
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2answers
110 views

Feasibility of a creature that leaves behind crystal like formations

In a distant future, humanity has colonized and catalogued countless worlds in their home galaxy. However one day humanity has discovered a few habitable words in the Andromeda galaxy. After a while ...
2
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4answers
210 views

Would a creature with a ceaseless hunger feasibly exist

Say one day humanity has found a planet that supports life. It’s filled with luscious forest and barren deserts, and various ecosystems that resemble Earthly ones. After a single year of researching ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

How damaging would a dragon with an aqua regia breath weapon be?

Assume a dragon, roughly the size of a shire horse. This dragon has a unique breath weapon, that technically "burns" (oxidizes) the target. Still, I have a hard time imagining how dangerous and ...
4
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2answers
109 views

How does composition change if you extend an Earthlike atmosphere 50km below sea level?

I'm working to design the atmosphere of a fictional planet inspired by Venus (let's call it Cael). Cael's atmosphere at an altitude of 50 km is essentially identical to Earth's atmosphere at sea ...
1
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2answers
81 views

Feasibility of Laundry Files' Scorpion Stare

So, people have been accustomed to mythical beings such as the Basilisk and Medusa, turning people to stone and such. This concept, however, has rarely appeared in sci-fi. Until I came across the ...
2
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2answers
123 views

Making 4D Radiators Good Enough for Stealth, Unremarkable for Power

I am trying to find a solution for a specific subset of the Stealth in Space Problem: dealing with waste heat without tipping off properly positioned observers. This question is scoped specifically ...
4
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3answers
124 views

What kind of material can act as storage, float and withstand firepower?

I actually rediscovered an old story I wrote five years ago and there was this supposedly synthetic material that can float, be programmed to be directed where to be delivered and can carry luggage (I'...
0
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6answers
179 views

A good reason for why aliens want to take over Mars?

In a future where Mars has been abandoned for several thousand years, and Earth has reverted to a somewhat-habitable state, why would aliens choose to live on Mars, rather than more habitable Earth? ...
3
votes
2answers
165 views

Xenomorph-like creature but with a Base instead of Acid as blood

I'm looking to build a horror type sci-fi game based on the Alien franchise. My question comes in trying to differentiate my alien from the Xenomorphs. I want hurting it with a melee weapon to be ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Proofing dragons against their acidic breath weapon 1/2: Smart Neutralizing Agent

So, dragons here use aqua regia (an acid that dissolves even gold) as their breath weapon. This acid is made up of the dragon's stomach acid and some nitric acid, stored in a separate organ. On top ...
7
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5answers
320 views

How long to rebuild the world if you could still travel to the current one?

Premise: Modern society discovers a magic portal that leads to a parallel universe that is almost identical to our own but the earth on the other side never had humans (or any other technology ...
4
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2answers
115 views

How to minimize the required energy for this level of monster activity?

Conventional monsters won't cut it. They whine and cry too much when fighting, they give up and go down too easily, mostly because of malnutrition since Jimmy, The Dark Lord, forgot he can't grow ...
4
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2answers
462 views

Dyson Sphere only ever possible theoretically

Assume technology more advanced than current levels, let us theorise for this question that we are capable of reaching and if needed extracting material from any planet or moon / body in our solar ...
16
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20answers
8k views

Reasons a fictitious metal is really hard to refine?

For my story there exists a fictitious element with special properties. In its pure form is most closely resembles metal (for its physical properties) This material is quite abundant in salt and ...
5
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4answers
134 views

How much tribute can a dragon get away with?

Okay, here's a classic situation: The countryside is plagued by a dragon, who demands tribute from the local city on the basis of them being in his territory. Now, the dragon here doesn't actually ...
5
votes
3answers
134 views

Generating breathable air on Europa?

Humans have colonized the subsurface oceans of Europa - building large cities embedded in the icy crust, hanging beneath it, and resting on the rocky seafloor. These colonists mine metals for ...
4
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2answers
262 views

What modification would make literal fire trees be able to grow?

To help imagine it and my inspiration, it's basically similar to pictures from Abrahamic religions with burning trees like this one. They can't speak though, they are just trees or plants that are ...