All Questions

19,849 questions
62 views

Feasability of a biological railgun? [duplicate]

Hypothetically speaking, could an organism evolve or be engineered to develop a railgun completely organically? The way I envision it this creature would create organic electromagnetic material in ...
2k views

Harvesting automated war machines

Let`s say there is a planet on which fully automated machines capable of self replication, once belonging to several factions of highly advanced aliens, now extinct, are waging war against each other. ...
2k views

What mechanisms need to be in place for an advanced, peaceful society to retain high testosterone levels?

While by no means a smoking gun, there is still a reasonable amount of empirical evidence on the notion that socialization and testosterone are negatively correlated. Archaeological Evidence From ...
469 views

How would raising boys and girls separately affect the social structure of the family unit?

This society traces its lineage through matrilineal lines, with witchcraft being exclusive to the female line. Ritual magic involves using the mana of the world and directing it in a way to suit you ....
67 views

What could a scientist in my Star Wars fan fic be working on? [on hold]

Im trying to write a story about a scientist who is working on something in the era of the New Republic. He does not believe in the Force. I just need something for him to be researching. It really ...
83 views

How realistic is it for civilization to regress to a pre-industrial era? [duplicate]

So here's a quick setup: One or two calamities hit as once. No one is spared and every nation on earth is effected by it. Soon the population dwindles to roughly the same number as the 1800's which is ...
279 views

Unprepared and Without a Homeworld

The Scenerio In the very near future a NASA probe returns to Earth with a soil sample from an asteroid containing a strange substance able to catalyze cold fusion reactions. The economic value of ...
3k views

First innovation for time traveler to low-tech society [on hold]

A time traveler goes back in time (one-way trip, and he does not get to choose the exact destination) to a low-tech society, similar to medieval Europe. His objective is to kickstart an industrial ...
136 views

Need help with details concerning non-conventional sci fi vampires

I would like to create a sci fi human faction that resemble vampires without many of the past tropes while reimagining some for a sci fi feel. I would like to avoid any magic and fantastical abilities....
2k views
+100

How could a plague that killed off the dinosaurs come back?

In my story, something pretty insane happens during the 3rd season. The common conception was that an asteroid strike contributed to the extinction to dinosaurs, but unbeknownst to all it was not a ...
74 views

Effects of long term exposure to a non-earth like rich atmosphere

Imagine that humanity found a rocky planet with earth like gravity, atmospheric pressure, and temperature, orbiting a sun-like star. The only problem is that the planets atmosphere is that it is ...
9k views

A road system with no traffic rules - what sort of vehicle is best?

In Britopia there were the Leftists who believed motorists should drive on the left and the Rightists who believed they should drive on the Right. The vote split exactly down the middle and it was ...
100 views

Could a Romanesque civilization develop chariots (carts, transportation etc) that could survive being ejected out of a magical tunnel at high speeds?

In the setting I am working on there is a sort of "subspace" torrent of energy (called Essence) that wraps around the world. Imagine magical, and definite, lines of latitude. This torrent of energy is ...
123 views

Protections when working with a dangerous supermaterial

In my world, there is a material called amaranthine. This material is effectively energy condensed into an unstable crystalline form (via a series of processes that aren't relevant to this question). ...
1k views

Is a sling a viable ranged weapon option for someone with poor eyesight?

I have a character who is, for lack of a better term, a Monster Hunter. She's physically fit, has a pretty high pain tolerance/is generally pretty durable, and is skilled in various forms of hand-to-...
2k views

Could 'robotic' prostheses be possible in the victorian era?

In my world I would like to have a cyborg-inspired veteran, but am not sure what kinds of prostheses would be possible, ideally without the use of electrics. My main concern is how the prostheses ...
124 views

Reasonable maximum iron age/medieval population for small rural area

Question From around 400 BCE to 1000 CE, what could what would a reasonable greatest achievable population be – under the best of all circumstances – in a rural area of about $\mathrm{900 km^2}$ (In ...
734 views

Parrots for tone-deaf people where magic is performed through song (followup)

In my previous question: Magic for tone-deaf people in a world where magic is performed through song it was suggested by Ynneadwraith (many thanks by the way) that animals that produce music would ...
195 views

How can I alter humans to allow them the ability to choose the sex of their child in the ancient world?

Research shows that some creatures in the animal kingdom manipulate the sex of their child in order to maximize the number of grandchildren. Parents in good condition, based on health, size, dominance ...
233 views

How can society advance as a civilization if it kills off its best people?

In our world, we consider human life to be precious and valuable. It is meant to be preserved, and a deliberate act of taking a life is considered deplorable by society. This is considered normal. The ...
7k views

In theory, could all mammals be wiped out by a single pathogen?

Pathogen Note: For the purpose of this question I define a pathogen to include viruses and/or bacteria. Edit: I don't exclude other biological agents such as fungi that might have the same effect. ...
136 views

Floating cities with a new superconductor

Inspired by this great answer. There is a planet with: Floatium, a superconductor that behaves as such at 0 ºC and is found in nature. A stronger magnetic field than Earth's. In really cold areas I ...
796 views

Possible biological adaptations to make current humans more suited to surviving on Earth-like primitive planets? [on hold]

Premise My alternate version of the human race has progressed just to the brink of the ability to explore and possibly colonize other earth like exo-planets. the story follows an expedition crew has ...
130 views

What 4D shape could best fit a looping world?

I have an idea for a world such that the world itself is like a large loop. The best way I can think to describe it is going step by step through the "loop". Imagine a planet-like object; a sphere ...
346 views

A possible solution to stealth in space

I'm sure most worldbuilders will have heard the aphorism that in space "Everyone sees Everything", or that "There Ain't No Stealth In Space". I'd like to propose a possible solution to this. The ...
8k views

Is an hour-long weekly driving ban feasible in modern America?

So here's the deal: my story takes place in modern America in the aftermath of an unexplained event where a runic magic system was introduced to humanity by an unknown entity. Every week a new rune is ...
204 views

A planet that cannot be orbited [duplicate]

I'm wondering if it is possible for a planet to be impossible to orbit stably over a significant length of time. The shorter the length of time the planet can be orbited for, the better. It should ...
10k views

Is it harder for an intelligent octopus to live on land, or a human to live in space?

I have a race of octopodes with the same intelligence distribution as humans. I want them to “colonise” land to a similar extent as we have “colonised” space; have regular transport between the ocean ...
251 views

The Galaxy has been colonised but why the big feet?

Far, far into the future, pretty much the entire Milky Way has been colonised by humans. The thing is that now the Empire has fallen, the technology of FTL travel has been lost in most places. Those ...
132 views

Would showing that your magic greatly differs from mortal prove that you're a god? [closed]

In the book I'm writing, one of the subplots is the protagonists, that happens to be gods, claimed their divine ascendency in front of the whole world and made the supernaturals come out. Now, some ...
116 views

How to make non-tradable sector unattractive for ambitious entrepreneurs?

I'm writing a story about a government of a former colony who wants to industrialize the country and build its manufacturing base. However too many entrepreneurs prefer to invest into non-tradable ...
88 views

In an electricity loss situation why would you lose oxygen in the air and not be able to breath? [closed]

I went to your web site and found under electricity loss that I would not be able to breath and I'm wondering why?
122 views

Destroying one of the Great Pyramids without killing the protagonist [closed]

A woman finds herself inside the Great Pyramid of Kheops when a bunch of terrorists starts blowing it down from outside. The woman manages to find a way out but before being able to leave the Pyramid,...
114 views

Break into Kennedy Space Center and enter the rocket [closed]

In my story, some kind of vigilenties are chasing a hitman in Florida after she tried to kill them. They are in Titusville just before the first manned flight for Mars takes off from Kennedy Space ...
159 views

How can I prevent wizards from “spreading their royal oats”? [closed]

Granny Weatherwax has broken up with her husband, who she discovered had been cheating on her with various women all through their 40 years of marriage. After killing him, she drowns her sorrows in ...
185 views

How could written materials be preserved after 3000 years of history? [closed]

Premise Grandmaster Fredrietch Kalven, a researcher of lost arts, was tasked by the king to find and record all written histories of their world since the earliest writings. After many years of ...
134 views

What's a modern era armor that would be best for a late medieval-style fantasy world?

Armor has changed to meet the needs and demands of a particular time period's training, technology, and combat styles. If you were sent to a medieval fantasy world- full of monsters, mounted knights,...
182 views

How does having 3 moons change a planet?

I'm working on a story that takes place on a world that has 3 moons. At least 2 of the moons are the same size. They align extremely rarely. Otherwise, it's an earth-like planet. There is one ...
4k views

Using light as a barrier to block people without grilling them

We know that light exerts pressure upon matter. I'm imagining a hallway where an intense light source on one end shines towards the other end. The goal is to have the beam of light exert so much ...
255 views

What could have prevented the decline of the Western Roman Empire, and its fall in AD 476?

By "decline" I am referring specifically to the loss of political control over territory (shrinking empire). I'm writing a story, and I wonder what are some examples of things that the Roman Empire ...
314 views

Magic for tone-deaf people in a world where magic is performed through song

In a world of magic, spells are songs. They aren't easy to sing and becoming truly proficient requires a similar amount of time and effort as it does to become an opera singer on Earth. Of course some ...
125 views

Mechanism to slow down the light emitted by an object such that it will result in inaccurate position of the object to the observer?

Let's say that there are two people named S and C. They are not far apart; less than 10 meters. Let's also assume the scenario takes place in late evening or in the night, for simplicity. Normally ...
54 views

How would fierce competition affect the adoption of alternative energy sources? [closed]

This is a continuation of the question asked here: How long would it take for nuclear energy to become adopted in a world on the brink of collapse? So, with my current timeline, nuclear energy (and ...
86 views

(Mostly) Legal reason to seize an in-danger minor [closed]

I figure this question belongs here though it definitely has a legal counterpart to it. But since it's fiction and supernatural no less, I didn't think it would make sense to put it in a more legal-...
4k views

Could crystals grow on living things?

A friend and I are creating a magical bird that eats gemstones then uses them to form a thin coat of crystal armor over its body. Is there any way for this bird (or any living thing) to actually have ...
28 views

Would aliens have similar entertainment as we do? [duplicate]

What would alien entertainment be like? This is something that has been bugging me for some time now. The reason it troubles me so much is the different nature or phycology aliens might have. For ...
202 views

Can a religious order keep the peace between nations with sacrificial games? [duplicate]

This world takes place in a continent with advanced 20th century technology. The one key difference from our reality is that war does not exist in the way we would think of it. Disputes between states ...
143 views

Building a Realistic Food Web

So far, I've begun developing a food web for a swampy biome. Currently, the result of this free building is shown in the mess below (built = orange, aquatic = blue, producer = green, not built yet = ...