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
2 answers
322 views

How would you design an American Civil War Era Napalm/incendiary munitions?

I am working on a Steampunk/Alt history novel of the American Civil war. I would like a plausible way/recipe to include napalm/incendiary munitions fired from the steam tank/mobile artillery that you ...
0 votes
1 answer
92 views

Atmosphere of a Carbon Planet. Are there flaws in my system?

My spec-bio project involves the idea of life evolving on a (Carbon?) Planet, rich with metals (Platinum, Chromium, Etc...) and pre-existing hydrocarbons. Basically life would have to evolve on an ...
1 vote
3 answers
290 views

How possible is it for someone to be born without a sex(physically)?

When I say "sexless", I mean that they are born without male or female phenotypic sex. Not identifying or being nonbinary, but Anatomically sexless. Note: This is not to offend anyone who ...
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2 votes
2 answers
82 views

Desert planet with high humidity percentage [closed]

I create a desert world, but I would like to give it slightly different properties, above all, to turn it from a dry environment into a humid one. Unfortunately, for some time I have been looking for ...
1 vote
2 answers
222 views

What carbon-based alternative biochemistries would work in high-temperature, high-pressure water?

For a while now, I've been wanting to design a world where the average temperature is very high (compared to Earth, but nowhere near as high as Venus) but the water does not boil because the ...
6 votes
2 answers
196 views

How plausible is my solar system?

I am currently working on a world orbiting around a red dwarf star (M0V to M2V, I haven't decided yet) and I need some help with designing the solar system. My original plan was having 4 planets ...
0 votes
4 answers
110 views

How does the pending climate catastrophe play out with a sudden population reduction? [closed]

In the real world, we are facing a dire situation with global warming becoming worse by the year and nothing being done about it. The projected models predict several degrees Celsius warming by mid-...
6 votes
2 answers
119 views

How would I make my Quintuple Star System Stable?

So I've been working on a star system that I want to have inhabitable planets, so by stable I mean stable on the timescale of the stars themselves; billions of years at least. So my initial plan was a ...
8 votes
8 answers
3k views

Make a tiny island robust to ecologic collapse

My world is to have a tiny island that will periodically be inhabited by a person or small group of people. By tiny I'm using a fuzzy yardstick: 1-50 hectares. When people are here, they will be ...
3 votes
6 answers
231 views

Obliterating the Earth, *without* throwing rocks? [closed]

In this case, I don't mean "make the Earth uninhabitable", I mean "make the Earth a debris field". This has been asked before, of course, but the answers always seem be be some ...
0 votes
1 answer
96 views

Can my cyborg idea work? [closed]

I'm writing a book where the main character is a cyborg, it's going to be a hard-science book and my idea is like a brain in a jar with the intact brain within a structure that pumps artificial blood ...
0 votes
2 answers
290 views

How to do dental surgery on a T-Rex tooth?

In my world, Dinohumania, dinosaurs and humans coexist. There are ways humans benefit from and utilize dinosaurs, mainly for industrial/laboral activities and heavy tasks. Humans try to maintain a ...
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13 votes
7 answers
3k views

What are the possible attributes of aluminum-based blood?

Situation: The vertebrate life of a distant planet uses biogenic silica for structural support. However, biogenic silica is soluble in water, but (according to this article) its solubility decreases ...
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5 votes
3 answers
965 views

What would realistically happen after a gravity magic spell is cast?

I have read dozens of books where gravity magic is a thing. It ocurred to me, while reading one of these stories, that every version of a gravity magic spell that I have heard of, is missing something,...
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

Could we create an artificial metamorphosis on humans with genetic engineering? [duplicate]

I'm writting a hard-science book where adult humans with the help of genetic engineering can undergo metamorphosis, could it be possible?
4 votes
4 answers
239 views

Structural design of shoulders for rigid suits and/or armour, what would be the best way to make these?

Well, I don't know if I should post this question on Worldbuilding, Engineering or Game Design stackexchange, but it has been a matter that keeps hammering my brain. The context: In this story, armies ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
131 views

Would would an undiscovered element show up as on a light spectrum analysis? [closed]

All elements, when hit by light, reflect it at varying frequencies and by looking at the frequency of the reflected light it is possible to find out the elemental composition of an object, even from ...
2 votes
1 answer
104 views

Most ''Logical'' location for gills on a humanoid [duplicate]

Whenever people design aquatic humanoids (be they mermaids or other ''mer-folk'' type creatures) that do not breath water with lungs but through gills i often see those gills placed either on the neck ...
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0 votes
3 answers
58 views

Should cryo/hypersleep sections be placed in a rotating habitat/centrifuge? [closed]

So I have a lost colony ship that's been wandering space for "many many many" years. The entire crew of 500 is placed in hypersleep all those time. I'm designing a colony ship(unfinished) ...
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3 votes
2 answers
126 views

How large would a chunk of ice have to be to do lasting harm if it were 'thrown' at Earth?

I'm working on a story involving life on Europa being upturned dramatically by contact from a probe sent from Earth. I know the chances of life, let alone intelligent life, are pretty slim on Europa, ...
  • 261
3 votes
3 answers
170 views

Could a large chunk of Europa's ice crust be 'thrown' at Earth?

I'm working on a story involving life on Europa being upturned dramatically by contact from a probe sent from Earth. Found this community while researching, and have found a lot of great ideas. I know ...
  • 261
20 votes
9 answers
3k views

What's a reasonable environmental disaster that could be caused by a probe from Earth entering Europa's ocean?

I'm working on a story involving life on Europa (or at least a place just like it) being upturned dramatically by contact from a probe sent from Earth. Found this community while researching, and have ...
  • 261
9 votes
3 answers
191 views

What is the most plausible way for an organism to have (limited) shapeshifting abilities?

These shapeshifters - known as Doppels - aren't the stereotypical "blob of goo that becomes whatever it wants" shapeshifters. Instead, they're humanoids that can assume the physical ...
5 votes
2 answers
76 views

Channels of fluid heat interchange in the endless underground dimension

Note: I'm asking a science-based question yet I'm doing a lot of handwaving for certain counter-scientific aspects of the world. Please don't be snappy and remark that I should just handwave this ...
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4 votes
3 answers
136 views

Could a planet with lower atmospheric nitrogen be habitable?

I'm designing a lower gravity planet that I want to stay relatively warm despite having less atmosphere. My solution to this is to increase relative the amount of greenhouse gas, so this planet's ...
  • 785
3 votes
7 answers
1k views

Cooling body suit inside another insulated suit

So in my story the protagonist is a genetically enhanced vigilante that uses a full bulletproof jumpsuit in her activities. But because of her accelerated metabolism, dealing with the heat of getting ...
2 votes
3 answers
182 views

What would be better? Half a ton of ballistic armour or half a ton of sandbags?

Context: In this history, the army finds out a way of making reliable exosuits, but they can only help its user to carry more weight while walking and running, it can't throw cars, jump over buildings ...
  • 617
3 votes
0 answers
112 views

What If the Gibraltar Strait was shallow enough to close regularly, in every Ice Age

I'm writing a fantasy world that takes Earth's Prehistorical landforms as basis for it's geography, and adding a twist to it. I read about the Messinian Salinity Crisis and the Zanclean flood, and how ...
3 votes
3 answers
273 views

Is cultural development possible in a "hive-mind" species?

One of the main species in my world has human level intelligence and works as a "pseudo-unified consciousness", in that the creatures are capable of intra-species telepathic communication, ...
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4 votes
5 answers
643 views

Need a creature that produces a substances that can be used for illumination

In my story there are those creatures that produce this substance. The substance can be used for many things, e.g. as fuel, or source of excellent illumination, etc. This is a pre industrial ...
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5 votes
4 answers
219 views

How could creatures in a zero-G but otherwise Earthlike environment move around?

Humanity has just discovered a massive, derelict space ark containing its own ecosystem. Its artificial gravity has long since failed, and it's been drifting undisturbed for millennia. Assume that: ...
1 vote
2 answers
165 views

Can my optic nerve work?

I'm writing a cyberpunk book and I'm trying to make it as hard-science as possible, my cyborgs have artificial eyes and an artificial optic nerve made of cyanobacteria inside a cable that transmit the ...
53 votes
8 answers
11k views

The Earth is teleported into interstellar space for 5 minutes. What happens?

Humanity has just developed a star drive and begun sending their first probes, and have now discovered an unstoppable force of doom approaching to destroy the solar system. Their only option is to ...
3 votes
4 answers
471 views

Guam - Revenge of the Birds [closed]

To quickly recap how Guam became eerily devoid of chirping sounds, it is supposed that an invasive species of snake hitched its way to the island on a cargo ship and began multiplying and exploiting ...
2 votes
2 answers
99 views

Can my organism retain its memories?

In my world there is an organism that goes through a phase where its brain melts like goo and re-forms but not within the same structure, could my organism remember its past memories?
2 votes
3 answers
150 views

Does shoving matter between two portals generate thrust?

My sci-fi has alien ships coming carrying warp gates. I figured that this technology would have steppingstones and other possible applications. One of which was propulsion without losing mass. To ...
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0 votes
2 answers
207 views

Where could spirits like ghosts and demons be visible in the electromagnetic spectrum? And how would they be able to do this? [closed]

Heiiii my first question here! Right so I'm writing my story and I was going to make the spirit beings just turn invisible (just classic spirit stuff you know) But after reading in this website a fair ...
3 votes
2 answers
689 views

The "Exciting" Drilling company dug an underground canal connecting Death Valley to the Pacific. How much electricity can it generate on tidal forces?

Badwater Basin, part of Death Valley, is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level at its lowest point. The "Exciting" drilling company, based in Nevada (they are exciting and not at all like their b**...
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0 votes
2 answers
82 views

Biology — A group of humans that magically became aquatic [closed]

In my setting, some humans hundreds of years ago became aquatic due to magic (the same setting has vampires pretty much like in the original Dracula novel, who descend from one guy who became a ...
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4 votes
6 answers
1k views

What is a reasonable timeframe to build a funeral pyre with a hundred corpses, with five apocalypse survivors

Survivors reaching a post-apocalyptic urban area in the north-western quadrant (North America or Europe) need to remove and dispose of all corpses in the building they intend to live in. They have ...
  • 13.8k
4 votes
5 answers
1k views

How much gasoline does there need to be to ignite and cause a fire in a small shed? [closed]

I'm trying to write a story where a gas leak causes an explosion. How much minimum gas would there need to be for a small shed/small room to ignite when a match is lit in there? The doors and windows ...
2 votes
3 answers
119 views

Balancing a flying creature: tail lift

Essentially, I am making a species of flying creature with pterosaur-like membranous wings. Problem: the creature is insectoid in many ways, and so I also wanted it to have a long, but still ...
  • 13.9k
8 votes
3 answers
137 views

How would increasing or decreasing atmospheric pressure affect the amount of precipitation over a planet?

I'm designing planets of varying atmospheric pressures. How would increasing (or decreasing) global atmospheric pressure affect the amount/frequency of precipitation over a planet?
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1 vote
1 answer
100 views

Which Sci-fi projectile weapons do not need a long barrel type shape? [closed]

As I am not well versed in science fiction or knowledge of guns, I have done some research recently into alien sci-fi guns as that is what I am currently designing and I find that many resemble human ...
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is there a way to generate energy using a planet's angular momentum?

The most common answer is "tidal forces" "wind" since all of these are by-products of the planet's Coriolis force. Or there are rnd into generating energy from the earth's magnetic ...
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4 votes
2 answers
123 views

How would the human brain aid a human computer interface/implant in solving complex problems in realtime/dynamic uses [closed]

Hooking up a computer to the human brain or somehow connecting the brain to a computer is nothing new in the realm of sci fi literature. But say you want to merge the human brain and a computer ...
  • 2,075
4 votes
1 answer
306 views

Anatomically Correct Mi-Go

This is part of the Anatomically Correct Series and has observed all updated rules for that series. Since I have already created a Hell designed by creatures who are inspired by the Lovecraftian Mi-Go ...
  • 6,910
6 votes
2 answers
116 views

How large can the main disk of spiral galaxies get? [closed]

I'm asking how large (by which specifically I mean diameter in light-years, though a rough estimate of the number of stars would be appreciated) can the main body of the spiral galaxy get. I'm ...
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can a human colony be self-sustaining without sunlight using mushrooms?

Fungi do not need light to grow. They also can and do grow in feces. Is it possible for a human colony to provide their caloric needs by growing mushrooms using their own poop? If so, what's the ...
  • 750
13 votes
8 answers
5k views

Scientifically plausible way to sink a landmass

I'm writing a novel with real-world-style settings and minimal magic. Minimal magic... how can I explain this? The magic in the world is only as good as epoxy to a leaking pipe. The magic can't just ...
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