Questions tagged [survival]

For questions about the viability of life in certain conditions. For example, it could be used in questions asking about the possibility of life on a planet or other astronomical body.

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19
votes
6answers
37k views

What would happen if electricity stopped working?

Blackouts happen all the time locally, but what would the implications of a world-wide, indefinite blackout be? Here is a spark from the fire of what could happen: (obviously) lights go out no air ...
97
votes
26answers
31k views

How to survive the heat death of the universe?

The eventual heat death of the universe is an awful time to be alive considering you wouldn't have long left after the last star finally fades away. In this scenario there is a small group of about a ...
36
votes
25answers
9k views

What kind of land transportation can be used for plowing through hordes of zombies?

Set in a zombie apocalypse world somewhere in Chennai, India. News report shows an estimated 90% of the population here has turned into zombies overnight, soldiers setup a human chain perimeter ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Where to find shelter in a cold, dark world at war?

"From the rumours, it seems this world is cursed. I don't have trouble believing this, our sky is darkened by a permanent smoke. It is said that behind this smoke used to be the biggest fireball ...
3
votes
6answers
2k views

How long can New York City survive under a Dome?

A Little Background Detail The citizens of New York have woken up and realized that surrounding their entire city is surrounded by a clear dome. Even though it is the city that never sleeps, no one ...
3
votes
6answers
388 views

World Ending Asteroid

[Introduction] Set in present day Earth, several space agencies and military across the globe had been closely tracking many near earth objects for many years using deep space telescopes and also an ...
40
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14answers
6k views

You are a minor character in a fictional story. How do you get to be the hero? [closed]

Please see my re-open request below (the question is currently closed). Thanks You come to realise that you are a fictional character in a story. EDIT In the light of a couple of answers, I need ...
49
votes
11answers
13k views

How long could the sun be turned off without overly damaging planet Earth + humanity?

Background story: Current Earth, in the close future. Astronomers have found first signs of extraterrestrial life: huge sheet-like objects (with surfaces easily as large as the surface of the Earth) ...
14
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7answers
1k views

What would a society of carnivores be like?

Suppose a species of carnivores had evolved to the point of human-like sapience. How different would their society be in comparison to human society, in terms of agriculture (if any), food production,...
18
votes
11answers
5k views

How would vampires avoid contracting diseases?

In my fantasy world vampires exist, and most of the intelligent races can be turned into one. I try to make everything in this word kind of explainable by science, at least possible in our Earth. I'...
20
votes
8answers
1k views

Maximum Personal Time-field Speed?

One day, you suddenly get superpowers! Whoo-hoo, you can speed up or slow down the flow of time for yourself. This means you can run faster than a jet, right? So you decide to test it out. You go ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How long can humans survive in increased gravity?

One premise of my current planet-in-progress is that certain locations in the universe are inherently tied to my PIP. For example, all the people and things that have vanished in the Bermuda Triangle ...
10
votes
11answers
3k views

How to prepare for a huge asteroid strike?

The scenario is the following: a civilization with technology level similar to humanity's current, on a planet similar to Earth, shall be hit by a massive celestial body in approximately one year. ...
6
votes
3answers
519 views

What would the physical effects be to Elves if they began living underground?

Background: An Elven nation that once thrived for thousands of years as a predominantly agricultural race was forced underground because of unexplainable occurrences of extreme weather conditions (...
4
votes
6answers
666 views

Is there a way for a creature from earth to survive the vacuum of space for ten minutes?

I was wondering if there was a way for a creature to survive the vacuum of space for ten minutes with only a tank of oxygen and a mask to breathe the oxygen with. The creature comes from an Earth-like ...
4
votes
5answers
338 views

Is a 100% effective mass extinction possible without destroying the planet?

Say I want a 100% effective mass extinction to take place on a planet similar to Earth. It should kill everything, even bacteria. It doesn't need to happen overnight. I'm perfectly fine with some ...
9
votes
8answers
660 views

Would humanity survive an empty Earth suddenly populated with young children?

Scenario: An Earth that is identical to our own (for the sake of being specific let's say the environment is the same as it was in 1 BCE) The planet is uninhabited by humans (and no there aren't ...
5
votes
2answers
181 views

Slow killing atmosphere

I have seen some questions asking whether some atmospheric compositions are survivable for humans. Most of them focus on long term survival, as in people being able to breathe indefinitely without the ...
3
votes
2answers
405 views

Calamity breaking a supercontinent in days - Would there be any survivors?

The title says it all. Imagine a superearthquake that would split a Pangaea-like supercontinent (with roughly the same size and land distribution) in half in just a few days / weeks, making them a few ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

Would a medieval Arcology be possible?

In a barren desert, 5 cities called the desert pearls are placed like pearls on a string. Travel between the cities are done with huge pack animals who looks like a breed between elephant (mammoth) ...
7
votes
2answers
650 views

How close is too close for a human habitation to be near an erupting volcano?

I am working on a survival suspense story, where a sizeable group of surivors is trapped in a tropical island (somewhere in the Ring of Fire) by a volcanic eruption. They find shelter from the ...
4
votes
4answers
377 views

Nomadic Tribe of Herders - Source of Carbs/Other Nutrients?

Where would a tribe of nomadic herders obtain their daily carbohydrates and other necessary nutrients? Naturally they have access to protein and fat through their livestock, but what about the other ...
1
vote
5answers
182 views

How would Elves survive underground without prior experience? [duplicate]

Background: An Elven nation that once thrived for thousands of years as a predominantly agricultural race was forced underground because of unexplainable occurrences of extreme weather conditions (...
32
votes
17answers
43k views

Best places to be on Earth when an all out nuclear World War III breaks out?

This is a world building question in a preventative context because those people or countries would be left fully functional while others gone and the safe areas is where the world building would ...
30
votes
10answers
7k views

Would humankind remain the dominant species in a world with twice as big animals?

So, a little bit of pseudo backstory first. Imagine mother nature would be some godly being, that actually exists. Somewhere. In spiritual form. Now imagine humankind would be a big thorn in her eye,...
18
votes
14answers
2k views

How to survive for a day if everyone is trying to kill you

I saw this a while ago, and it has bothered me ever since. Imagine a world where you know everyone is going to go crazy in exactly one day. The entire world's population will try to find and kill you,...
22
votes
10answers
6k views

Moving stealthy in an hostile enviroment

I'm in the middle of sketching out a new story, settled a post-apocalyptic version of our present. The main feature of this enviroment would be blind, mindless, aggressive and contagious versions of ...
10
votes
11answers
7k views

How would Vegan Vampires survive?

There is a planet called Vegavampira, and on this planet the only really intelligent animals are Vegan Vampires, but there is one problem, because they are Vegan, they will not kill, nor will they ...
6
votes
4answers
831 views

Where would water come from in an underground colony?

A large solar flare event ignites the atmosphere of Earth, but luckily, humans have been preparing for an event like this for some time. We have a fairly large shelter around 2.2 kilometers ...
10
votes
7answers
9k views

Can humans survive just by eating hairs and nails?

Can humans survive by eating only nails and hairs of their own? As they grow they consume their own hair and nails. Hair includes even body hair. What is the maximum number days a human can survive ...
9
votes
3answers
386 views

Flash-heating humans

I'm working on a version of wormhole-based FTL travel, and one of the side effects of passing through the wormhole is going to be instantaneous heating of every molecule of the thing passing through. ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

Can a person covered in mud survive an ordeal with fire breathing dragon?

In my upcoming novel, my protagonist decided to paint every part of his body in mud before engaging with the fire breathing dragon which dwells at the bottom of a dormant volcano. The flame from the ...
7
votes
5answers
577 views

How could a small fantasy world survive hundreds of years of darkness?

Setup: A small fantasy world -- with about three cities, five sizable towns, typical medieval technology, a low amount of magic, and some typical monsters living in the uncivilized parts -- is plunged ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Post-Apocalyptic Earth. Escape from Warehouse Moon

In its heyday Earth was a great interplanetary trading post on account of its low gravity moon which was used as a warehouse for all kinds of goods. The Moon was covered almost entirely in large ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How long per day does it take to forage/hunt for food?

Alice and Bob are lost in the wilderness with no supplies! Luckily, they're trained for this kind of thing; they decide to forage and hunt for food. About how many hours per day will they be spending ...
6
votes
7answers
455 views

What factors could delay the rescue of a small group of survivors on a Pacific volcanic eruption?

The rag-tag group of natives and tourists somehow survived for a week on the manor by the cliff, while the volcano still spits lava and pyroclastic clouds all around. Just before the last cell tower ...
3
votes
2answers
209 views

What size of near-earth asteroid could break up in the atmosphere to do sufficient damage to a city without destroying it?

I need a meteor to deliver an extraterrestrial algae-like cellular life form to an urban environment/city. The meteor needs to be far enough that it will not impact the Earth and will not cause ...
10
votes
4answers
683 views

What benefits, if any, would animals have on an island given that they all have black fur or skin?

This actually occurred in a dream last night, but I'm interested in what could come out of this. I'm not experienced with writing stories and have only read some Worldbuilding posts, so excuse me if ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Could an astronaut in a near-future space ship survive transit through our asteroid belt?

In the near future we may find cargo ships fleeing space pirates! Given that... It's a small cargo ship carrying 10 metric tons of wheat (cargo volume, approximately 13 m3). Total volume: 100 m3. ...
8
votes
4answers
268 views

Safety equipment to survive decompression

In the future, space travel is common, so common, in fact, that commercial transport is available to most people, like air travel is to us. As a passenger on a vessel of Galactic Spacelines, half way ...
7
votes
4answers
259 views

How long could an alien species survive at sea?

The species in question are Herbivores, bipedal in nature, around 50 to 80 pounds on average, and require around 2250 calories per day to stay healthy. The ships these populations would live on are ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How small can a population be with regard to genetic diversity?

I'm working on creating a species that favours small families for a number of reasons, and have no interest in 'breeding as much as possible'. As a consequence, their population size is small. But how ...
6
votes
3answers
279 views

What problems would one have to face if one is the only person left alive? [closed]

Suppose that due to unobtanium instability one wakes up tomorrow to realise that one is the only person left alive. Every other life form except for humans is left intact. Let's assume that all ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Most effective strategy for surviving the zombie apocalypse? [closed]

It's happened! The undead have risen and as more of us die, more of them appear. That crazy neighbour with the doomsday shelter doesn't seem so crazy now does he? Bet you wish you went to his meetings....
3
votes
1answer
134 views

What would a life be like if humans had to keep moving around a constant path, at a constant rate around the planet? [duplicate]

I have an idea for my world, which involves a population of 200K to 500K people moving around the world all the time, in order to escape a climatic/geographical condition that chases them. There is a ...
3
votes
2answers
205 views

Mix most underground water sources with a substance

TL;DR We're set in a fantastic medieval world. The underground water sources have some special properties because they are exposed to something. How would these sources be mixed with the substance if ...
3
votes
6answers
366 views

Survival of an Industrial Revolution city after being transported to a fantasy world

Background: The story was located in a stereotypical fantasy world until now. The heroes had to save their land from an evil warlord/sorcerer that got his hands on a magical artifact that granted him ...
2
votes
3answers
169 views

Lonely gods and their planets [closed]

I would like to make a world that follows all of our laws of physics except that every star has a habitable, earth-like planet in its Goldilocks Zone (I love that term). Each planet has a collection ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

How to tour Cretaceous Period on economic class?

Supposedly I found a phone booth that can transport user 65 millions years into the past (location fixed at Chixulub just 30 minutes before the announcement of the arrival of the impactor. Points to ...
2
votes
2answers
385 views

What could microscopic people use for fire? ( series )

Since fire is a staple of civilization and intelligent life , I though that my microscopic people ( 200 μm - 220 μm ) ought to have it too , but upon researching , I realized that fire can not exist ...