Questions tagged [underground]

For questions dealing with things that happen beneath the surface of the planet or other celestial body, except for things that happen in water (use [underwater] for that).

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3 answers
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What location options are available for a large-scale underground mining city

In the late 18th century, a strange project was proposed by a Dutch engineer regarding a certain English expedition. The British Empire held a vast amount of territories at this time and had much to ...
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3 votes
2 answers
114 views

How would dwarves build a combined underground kiln, forge and bakery oven

These dwarves are making steel tools and weapons, bricks, plates and other ceramics, as well as (and most importantly for this world) bread all underground crucially from the same structure. Any ...
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8 votes
3 answers
3k views

What could cause a city to be buried underground but still remain relatively intact?

I am taking inspiration from games like Dark Souls (Dark Souls 1: Lost Izalith, Dark Souls 2: Shulva - Sanctum City, Dark Souls 3: Profaned Capital) and Elden Ring (Eternal Cities - yes it is ...
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3 votes
5 answers
249 views

Does an Undead Kingdom where the Lower Class live near the surface while the Upper Class lives underground below them make any sense?

I'm working on a story where all the characters are various Undead (we're talking typical D&D Ghosts, Wraiths, Zombies, and Skeletons, albeit with sentience) that all live together in the highly ...
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  • 1,177
12 votes
8 answers
2k views

How would an underground society measure time? [duplicate]

I have a very mind-boggling question about time reckoning. I have a race of Dwarves, that at the very beginning of their history lived only underground and were forbidden to reach the surface. They ...
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5 votes
5 answers
1k views

What ways could an underground society decompose bodies?

What methods could an underground society with no access to the surface help to speed the decomposition rate of bodies? Ideally, is there a method they could speed decomposition and still use the ...
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  • 125
1 vote
4 answers
129 views

How would a group with strong leadership skills create an initial government? [closed]

A group of 1000 political “dissenters” and their families have been captured and forced into an underground bunker. Because many of them have some sort of background in politics and/or leadership, it ...
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  • 125
3 votes
1 answer
98 views

What would the survival rate be for a group of people forced into an underground, bunker style community?

Suppose 1000 people were forced underground into a relatively well set up bunker style community. Assuming they have no official leadership or organization to begin with, they must rapidly learn their ...
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  • 125
11 votes
9 answers
763 views

What could feyfolk use for lighting?

In my setting diminutive races like fairies, gnomes, and gremlins exist and to handle of the cooler climates such as in Europe and protect themselves for their many predators many of them live ...
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  • 6,033
4 votes
3 answers
98 views

Around how advantageous is it to build underground

I apologize for the vagueness in the title, I will explain what I mean in here. In my world, I am thinking that in the future, the path of buildings started to go into building deeper underground, ...
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  • 734
2 votes
2 answers
245 views

How quickly will the oceans freeze if Earth becomes a rogue planet?

Assume Earth has been wrenched out of the Sun's orbit and has become a rogue planet (for the purposes of this question, assume that it happens near instantaneously, i.e. say the Sun just vanishes). ...
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  • 463
39 votes
10 answers
5k views

Could an underground civilisation deduce the size and shape of their planet?

Not sure if this still falls under worldbuilding. Let's assume a civilization living with the following restrictions: No access to the surface or ability to observe it (no sky, no atmospheric samples ...
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  • 775
3 votes
1 answer
73 views

How feasible/widespread would arcology/underground structures be on an highly tectonic world?

It is pretty much guaranteed that my world would have very intense tectonic activity, plus it would be about 23% smaller than the earth and I have been wondering how that would influence the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
103 views

What would the fossorial people's senses be like?

The fossorial people are described partly here. They are adapted for life underground. While they must go aboveground for wood and fruit, they prefer to stay underground, and have a diet of mostly ...
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5 votes
2 answers
623 views

Clothing for Fossorial People

The fossorial people are small humanoids. They have hair on their head, but it only grows to around shoulder length. They also have similar hair on their chest, hands, and feet. This hair can resist ...
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5 votes
5 answers
171 views

What sweet foods could be dug out of the ground?

What could exist buried in the earth that is sugary and can be used to sweeten food? It should be relatively common, and at a depth where it is only accessible to peoples specialized for digging (...
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  • 11.8k
2 votes
2 answers
220 views

Is this Subterranean Isolationist City Self-Sufficient

In the story I'm writing, there is a city located entirely underground in a complex network of artificial and nature tunnels and chambers under and inside of a mineral-rich mountain range. An ...
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5 votes
3 answers
454 views

What would these demons use in place of wood?

Demons live deep in the underworld. The underworld is a strange place: It is a cave system, composed mainly many extremely large caverns, with a few wide corridors connecting them. The ground of these ...
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  • 11.8k
4 votes
2 answers
216 views

Could these demons exist?

The demons are large subterranean humanoids. They are human-like in form and intelligence, and around 8ft tall when stood up. Their face is elongated, with a vaguely canine-appearing snout. They have ...
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  • 11.8k
2 votes
2 answers
186 views

Does this vegetable make sense?

This vegetable is a fungus grown by the people described in this question. It is egg-shaped with no stalk, and is around 1m tall and 70cm across at the widest point. They can be, and often are, ...
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  • 11.8k
2 votes
3 answers
261 views

Could this rock-badger exist?

Rock-badgers are large mustelids with a strange ability: They can burrow through stone. They achieve this with large, slightly mole-like forelimbs, with mineralized claws that can cut through stone. ...
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  • 11.8k
5 votes
3 answers
351 views

What weapons would fossorial people use?

The fossorial people are similar to humans. They are around 3ft tall as adults. Their limbs are far stronger, and their hands and feet are larger, with the fingers being shorter and more robust, and ...
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  • 11.8k
19 votes
10 answers
6k views

A huge asteroid is going to hit. How many people can the world put into (mostly) self-sufficient homes in 6 months time?

Background: The 20-km (or however large it needs to be to cause the below effects) asteroid appeared out of a dimensional rift close enough and going fast enough that it will reach Earth in just six ...
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  • 1,171
7 votes
3 answers
261 views

What is a plausible underground source of textile?

What could be found underground that would provide fibres that could be turned into textile? The source of the fibres should be found buried in soil, in temperate regions. It also should be something ...
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  • 11.8k
21 votes
8 answers
4k views

Surface is 500F (260 C), but we have thorium reactors, diggers and heat pumps so human life continues underground. Possible? Or slow-roast?

I'm working on the story of someone born in the tunnels after the earth has gone though a runaway greenhouse effect. I want these tunnels to be real, with real infrastructure to keep the inhabitants ...
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  • 344
6 votes
2 answers
312 views

Underground Cities

Assuming ancient levels of technology, perhaps 2500-1500 BC, how would one be able to make a underground city like that of Kaymaklı, while having it be able to be breathed in and, is possible, have a ...
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  • 734
25 votes
13 answers
9k views

Why don't adventurers (and monsters) suffocate in lower levels of dungeons?

Why don't adventurers (and monsters) suffocate in lower levels of dungeons? Gases in mines and dungeons can be unbreathable I asked a question about this on Physics to check my reasoning. Why does ...
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

What pressure, temperature and atmospheric challenges exist for human habitation 1 mile beneath the surface of the earth?

Would air pressure be demonstrably greater in a subterranean city at a depth of 1 mile? Lava tubes leading into a dormant magma chamber -- this would have challenging gasses that would need to be ...
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  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
166 views

Determining maximum cave depth

I am planning on making this planet of caves, and it has cave systems that dwarf Earth's. It's got carbon-based life, a chemical composition rich in copper, a good amount of water, and less gravity ...
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  • 2,210
10 votes
5 answers
329 views

Underground fight club realism

My story revolves around illegal fight club, one where opponents get serious and fights sometimes end in fatality. There is one problem though, I want to make more or less inclusive and appealing to ...
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7 votes
5 answers
353 views

How practical is a helical/spiral elevator? (Eg. Metro, Metro Exodus)

So I've finally found something that has brought me to this rabbit hole of worldbuilding. I've been doing some future planning for an expansive subterranean facility that would require heavy cargo ...
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  • 161
6 votes
3 answers
949 views

Jobs/tasks needed to maintain an underground society indefinitely?

When a nuclear firestorm engulfed the world in 2029, those who caused it, the politicians, military officials, along with some scientists and engineers, retreated deep into a large, underground bunker....
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  • 11k
22 votes
9 answers
4k views

How do you build an underground city that "cuts through" a mountain range?

Let's say I have a mountain range similar to the Andes but with no easy passes, hence forcing everyone to circle around it (for hundreds or even thousands of miles) in order to get to the other side. ...
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  • 4,617
6 votes
4 answers
614 views

What resources would underground creatures look for in the surface?

Surface-dwellers (like us) often went underground for resources e.g. mining. However, I find it hard to find a strong reason (resource or otherwise) for underground creatures to be on the surface. But ...
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4 votes
3 answers
286 views

How could an underground city hide its existence for potentially thousands of years?

After the fall of the lizard empire, most of the lizard people fled to Node to avoid genocide (This is in the Lovecraft universe, racism is mandatory). In short order, this former bomb shelter became ...
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25 votes
22 answers
7k views

How can I make the supporting pillars of an underground city less obstructive?

Node is the last active city of the lizard people. Node was built to be a self-sufficient city and a nexus of an interconnected bunker system. It was a vanity project from the peak of the lizard ...
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3 votes
1 answer
86 views

Finding water underground, Earth is 500f on the surface

If you had a tunneling machine and wanted to tunnel towards fresh water underground, how would you find the water? I'm imagining some sort of sonar, but would you need triangulation of some kind? ...
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  • 344
27 votes
12 answers
6k views

Without modern electronics, how could you determine your longitude, latitude, and altitude while lost deep underground?

Brief setting notes: it's a "basically earth" type situation, a spinning ball of rock in space with the same size and gravity and atmosphere and magnetic fields and everything else. The main ...
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9 votes
9 answers
4k views

Algorithm or tool to design a worldwide subway transit map?

As the question says, an impossible (not earth) futuristic world has a subway system spanning across the entire planet and I would like to design its transit map. The obvious problem with doing this ...
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  • 944
2 votes
1 answer
319 views

How deep underground could we truly go

At a point of overpopulation in the future say 2045 and given what resources the world has at it's disposal and all manpower possible, what extreme depths could we dig down into the earth to create ...
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2 votes
2 answers
306 views

Can this underground culture survive for 200 years

I have a underground culture that has been cut off from the surface for near on 200 years, and I am trying to understand what issues will I need to cover and am most likely to run into for there ...
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5 votes
4 answers
305 views

How advanced could an underground society get?

To briefly summarize: former slaves to a race of flying dragon-like humanoids (I've made some modifications to them based on feedback, but the gist is more or less the same) have escaped into the ...
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  • 1,649
4 votes
2 answers
311 views

Air Pressure in a Purely Underground Setting

I'm working on a completely flat, underground world, where "world" means "universe" rather than the equivalent of "planet". Here's what I have so far: The world is a flat, apparently infinite (in two ...
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9 votes
1 answer
407 views

Geothermal gradients if Earth becomes a rogue planet?

Assume Earth has been wrenched out of the Sun's orbit and has become a rogue planet, with its surface equilibrium temperature falling to ~-240C. At what depth will temperatures remain "comfortable" ...
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  • 463
2 votes
3 answers
861 views

Realistic look for subterranean humanoid race

So i have been playing around with the idea of a world that due to its orbit (it is both quite a bit away from it's parent star and due to its orbit permanently between two much bigger planets) has ...
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  • 1,441
6 votes
2 answers
270 views

How to safely construct deep underground harbors on a Snowball Earth?

A radical shift in the Earth's orbit has made the Earth much colder, with all the oceans freezing over, and the atmosphere liquifying and falling as rain. Humans live deep underground in areas of high ...
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  • 463
5 votes
4 answers
301 views

What are possible ways of underground humanoids developing eyes?

I'm thinking about underground humanoid cvilisation without knowledge about outside world and how could they have eyes? Known fact is that a lot of animal living in dark don't need eyes. (cave or ...
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  • 153
5 votes
2 answers
393 views

How long can 400 people survive in an underground facility if they had to seal off their heat vents?

Assume the surface of the planet is experiencing ice age conditions and the facility was designed to keep the occupants alive for 6 months. An emergency forces the permanent closure of all Heating, ...
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1 vote
3 answers
269 views

Underground Base

If I had a huge underground bunker powered by generators and the generators failed, would it be warm enough underground to keep people alive? How deep would it have to be for people to be comfortable ...
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4 votes
2 answers
207 views

Realistic nuclear land mine in megaton range

Situation: there is an are of likely attack, something in line of Fulda Gap which looks indefensible in case of serious war, so classical approach would be just a barrage of tactical nukes the value ...
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