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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14 votes
7 answers
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What effect do caves have on music played in them?

Fantasy beings such as dwarves and goblins are often shown playing music underground. However, reading the Planet Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder, he claims that the only sounds that carry well ...
user8600's user avatar
  • 241
-1 votes
2 answers
128 views

What effects to expect from 100+ generations living subterranean with constant low doses of radiation

Back story is that humans settled a foreign planet and the star began to die so humans went subterranean until the worst of the star death cycle passed (yes I know this process theoretically takes ...
Cetus Koi's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
113 views

What could be the base source of sustenance in the underworld?

On the surface of the world the sun is the source of energy for plants and the foo chain goes up from that. How could a similar base for a food chain be established in the large world below? I am ...
gruszczy's user avatar
  • 857
1 vote
3 answers
286 views

How would humans evolve if they began living underground? [closed]

So I am creating a world where some humans begin to live underground and in caves under mountains but I am struggling a bit with how they might evolve. My problem is that I don't want them to just be ...
LaserChild9's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
68 views

Flooding space tunnels to trap some characters! [closed]

Humans have terraformed another planet; part of how they have done so involves utilizing (and building new) caves and tunnels (could be lava tubes, or could be another planet which has something ...
E. Delaney's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is it possible for an artesian basin to go underneath a shallow sea while still being freswater?

An artesian basin is an aquifer in which water within permeable rock is kept under pressure between 2 layers of impermeable rock. I don't know if any artesian basin exists like this in real life, but ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,192
5 votes
4 answers
262 views

Underground civilization vs. a blowout

How could an underground civilization (think prototypical fantasy dwarves) deal with the situation of inadvertently mining into an oil-and-gas bearing, pressurized stratum (i.e. creating themselves a ...
Shalvenay's user avatar
  • 11.3k
2 votes
1 answer
344 views

Geology and tidal forces on moon with Earth-life surface, but very unstable underground

I am writing a story set on a mining colony moon with some very odd geological conditions, and while this idea is admittedly likely impossible to fully make geologically plausible but I wanted to see ...
TheyMightBeGiantSquids's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Could a subterranean river or aquifer generate enough continuous momentum to power a waterwheel for the purpose of producing electricity?

The imagined scenario is of a small city built inside of a chasm that draws most of its water from an aquifer or underground river. The place and time in which the scenario takes place is Earth and ...
Sky Dixon's user avatar
  • 101
4 votes
6 answers
459 views

Is there reason for a large subterranean area to be cold?

There is a roughy 2500x2500x500-1000ft / 750x750x150-300m enclosed subterranean area. The roof is ~250 feet / 75 meters (at most) from the surface. I understand that the thermal gradient will largely ...
Sebastian's user avatar
19 votes
6 answers
6k views

How deep underground could a city plausably be?

So I'm working on a planet for a Sci-fi RPG setting. The basic idea is 'an earth-sized planet, far from the sun, too cold to live on, but with very earth-like gravity, so people live in underground ...
Atlan's user avatar
  • 483
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Houses in an underground city

The city I’m making is in a large underground cavern, very wide and open and I want to know what the housing would be like. This city is not exactly futuristic but definitely industrial. Late 1800’s ...
Spider's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
1 answer
168 views

Underground cities

The ancient underground cities of Turkey are dug into soft, dry ash above deep streams. Are there similar locations in North America that such structures could be dug/constructed?
Jeffery_Harris's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
140 views

Would stalked hair help a tunneling humanoid?

Many mammals that dig and live in underground tunnels have short/no hair, so as to avoid the hair being bent backwards if they need to reverse out of their tunnel. However, I'd like my tunneling ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 15.9k
4 votes
4 answers
382 views

Could underground bushes feasibly develop to have this?

In my Dungeons and Dragons setting, the deep gnomes (svirfneblin) and dark elves (drow) have been fighting an underground war for several decades. The drow have managed to subjugate the svirfneblin ...
Jobah_HigherMind's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
202 views

Can Nanorobots make oxygen to terraform Mars?

I have devised a way of colonising Mars by pantropy, (that is, by adapting life to the environment rather than terraforming it, which is exorbitantly expensive and time-consuming). The process ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,531
4 votes
1 answer
211 views

How much do tunnels extend blast waves from explosives?

Someone recommended this SE for this question, since I'm asking it to help a friend's setting, where dwarves and goblins fight underground with explosives. After asking if it was OK, I cross-posted ...
user343708's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
142 views

Major underground caverns on a world with considerable geologic activity?

The world I designed, while habitable and capable of hosting carbon based life is characterized by a considerable volcanic and seismic activity caused by the tidal heating of the gas giant it orbits. ...
JuimyTheHyena's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
168 views

Where does the hero go in Central London in a Nuclear strike?

Let me set the scene. It’s 1994, the cold war is nearing it’s end. Regardless of the fact that the Soviet union is breaking up, a high-ranking general in the Red Army decides this is the perfect ...
Boolean's user avatar
  • 1,829
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

What's a viable reason for why underground societies are more accepting of slavery?

In fantasy, a relatively common trope in fantasy settings, particularly D&D, is underground societies that are more willing to endorse slavery than surface-dwelling societies. We see it in the ...
Brinstar77's user avatar
  • 1,487
2 votes
3 answers
201 views

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 ...
In the Shadows's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
275 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 ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
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 ...
Lae's user avatar
  • 411
3 votes
5 answers
313 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 ...
Brinstar77's user avatar
  • 1,487
12 votes
8 answers
3k 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 ...
Faegir Dariusson's user avatar
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 ...
Willough's user avatar
  • 125
1 vote
4 answers
144 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 ...
Willough's user avatar
  • 125
3 votes
1 answer
134 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 ...
Willough's user avatar
  • 125
11 votes
9 answers
823 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 ...
icewar1908's user avatar
  • 6,855
4 votes
3 answers
132 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, ...
Zoey's user avatar
  • 766
2 votes
2 answers
1k 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). ...
ak7's user avatar
  • 473
40 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 ...
Katai's user avatar
  • 957
3 votes
1 answer
143 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 ...
JuimyTheHyena's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
147 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 ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 15.9k
5 votes
2 answers
703 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 ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 15.9k
5 votes
5 answers
207 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 (...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 15.9k
2 votes
2 answers
280 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 ...
Flying Russians's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
538 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 ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 15.9k
5 votes
2 answers
288 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 ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 15.9k
2 votes
2 answers
204 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, ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 15.9k
2 votes
3 answers
408 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. ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 15.9k
5 votes
3 answers
400 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 ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 15.9k
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 ...
Henry Shao's user avatar
  • 1,181
7 votes
3 answers
367 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 ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 15.9k
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 ...
Josiah's user avatar
  • 344
6 votes
2 answers
703 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 ...
Zoey's user avatar
  • 766
26 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 ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
Ceci B's user avatar
  • 111
2 votes
1 answer
290 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 ...
TysonDennis's user avatar
  • 2,380
10 votes
5 answers
397 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 ...
Антон's user avatar