All Questions

5
votes
2answers
510 views

What if every animal as large as, or larger than, a horse, went extinct during the last Ice Age?

Inspired by this comment: What if every animal as large as, or larger than, a ice-age vintage horse, except for those that are acclimated to cold climates, went extinct during the last Ice Age? Ice ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What if two planets orbited each other and also a star?

Say another Earth orbited the Earth, instead of the Moon. What effects would that have? Would gravity change in relation to the planets slightly during their orbits? I am world building and am trying ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is my humanoid creature too far out there?

I am working on the development of a humanoid species. I figured they'd have split along the evolutionary chain around the same time as humans. They'd live in a warm climate, resulting in little hair ...
4
votes
3answers
228 views

How might AIs evolve? [closed]

So I've seen spending time with tabletop RPGs as of late, most notably Eclipse Phase. In that setting, you have different qualities of artificial intelligences that range from what is available today ...
58
votes
29answers
11k views

What are the conditions in which a creature would evolve more than one brain?

Would any creature ever need to evolve a second (or multiple) brain(s)? If so, under what conditions, why, and what implications would it have on the creature's intelligence? Note that while an ...
0
votes
1answer
170 views

Evolving a Creature with in-Built Projectiles [duplicate]

The creature was in sight now. Jokval eased through the bushes, making no noise in his approach. The beast was feasting on the carcass of a deer. Jokval raised his bow, the only sounds were that of ...
36
votes
17answers
12k views

Deadly, Heavier than Air Gas

In a given fantasy world, I need a deadly (yet not magical) gas that will naturally pool in low depressions and valleys. The level of magic is not high, so I'd like it to be an actual chemical that ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the minimum number of medieval troops required to conquer and hold a city?

For the sake of simplicity, we will use 1200's Medieval Paris as an example. The city has walls 40 feet high and the initial defending army (army A) is 1500 strong. The attacking army has to breach ...
3
votes
3answers
201 views

Evolution of a naturally invisible prey

I'd like to tip my hat to this week's fortnightly challenge with this question by revisiting an old one. I asked a question about the Science behind a naturally invisible creature a while ago. At the ...
3
votes
2answers
300 views

Evolution of a naturally invisible predator

I'd like to tip my hat to this week's fortnightly challenge with this question by revisiting an old one. I asked a question about the Science behind a naturally invisible creature a while ago. At the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Animal life on a planet orbiting a red dwarf

I am envisioning a world around a red dwarf star. The planet has violent and accelerated (due to higher geological activity) plate tectonics and has a magnetic field about 75% the strength of the ...
4
votes
4answers
520 views

Is someone travelling on a space elevator/escalator possible?

Let's assume that there is a way to travel into space that's not in a rocket, and a human can essentially just walk/be carried into the upper atmosphere and beyond. Would there be anything that, ...
3
votes
3answers
227 views

Earth where all of Equidae went extinct via Ice Age… - Effects

Assuming that all Equidae went extinct at around the same time as the American Equidae on OTL (Original TimeLine) Earth, 8000 BCE, and in the same way, via Ice Age... What would have changed for early ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Horses went extinct, people domesticated something else. - What is it and what would change?

Assuming that horses went extinct early in history, what would replace the horse, and how would the change in domesticated animal affect the development of the first civilizations? Info on horse ...
0
votes
1answer
199 views
30
votes
5answers
8k views

What would be the consequences for Earth if the moon disappeared?

Scenario: The Moon disappears slowly -- within 3 days. It is a result of natural causes and we don't have any control over this disaster. What will be the Major Effects On Earth and life on Earth?
3
votes
4answers
255 views

Can we determine if we are in a simluation using different variable precision

I'm posing it as more of a philosophical question. Assume our Universe is a simulated one. What features would I put in a Universe simulation (e.g. to reduce computational requirements) and how ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

To build a space elevator

One fine day, magical space aliens arrived and launched and harpooned an extremely long(100,000 km) and thick(100km radius) spear into somewhere in equatorial Africa, which buried and anchored itself ...
10
votes
6answers
8k views

How can people naturally become smaller?

Over the course of Homo-sapiens, we have become larger, because of diet & selection. Even in the last couple centuries. Today, we vary across geography and cultures, too, of course. Now it is ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

What would be the evolutionary adaptations of a subterranean fantasy race? [closed]

In typical fantasy novels, the dwarf civilization lives within mountains and is known for mining. But if a race of sentient people really did live largely underground in mountains, what ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How could animals evolve like they do in Pokémon?

In Pokemon, there are many different creatures. Nearly all of them will, at one point, reach a level of experience where they evolve into a more advanced creature. These evolutions are much more ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

How would advanced aliens protect themselves from idiots with FTL?

Faster than light travel is Dangerous with a capital D. The main reason for this is because by the time you see something, you've already smashed into it and vaporised yourself, the target and any ...
7
votes
8answers
2k views

Larger moon = Larger Tides = No oceanic ships?

In an Earth-like world with a moon as large as this: Would the larger tides discourage oceanic shipping?
4
votes
1answer
761 views

How would different kinds of eyes (polycoria, differently shaped pupils, etc.) work?

These questions are a sort of follow up of my question about white pupils. I'm designing some other creatures whose defining traits involve "weird" eyes: How would a creature with oddly shaped pupils ...
11
votes
6answers
915 views

What are the design considerations for my underwater settlement?

I have made my billions here in the present day, and I'd like to have a permanent underwater settlement. It is about as useless as the Mars One mission (yes, I went there), but some people may come ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

City in the wake of the Yggdrasil: Engineering Considerations

Following on from my previous question about how to consolidate my fantasy setting with science that was successful (thanks everyone!), things have been progressing well in my world design; and my ...
13
votes
5answers
869 views

Could a species evolve intellgence and technology without Love?

There are lots of posts speculating about a planet (or whatever) where life evolves intelligence and goes on to produce technology, under different differences lacking something or another that is ...
7
votes
6answers
782 views

Can a planet hit by a meteor shatter into two pieces? Alternately, if not a meteor, an advanced interstellar weapon?

First, is it possible for a planet hit be a meteor to shatter into two pieces?. Then, can the two pieces remain in orbit? Especially, can they develop a sort of co-orbit around each other?
6
votes
3answers
448 views

What's the maximum mass and size of a giant alien monster which we could transport by land and/or by water?

An enormous alien monster lands on Earth and goes on a rampage. He gets knocked out by a nuclear bomb, and falls into a temporary coma. The U.S. government decides to transport his body in a secure ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

The Tricky Trouble with Two Time Travelers

tl;dr: What adjustments to a "rewind" power allow multiple equally powerful characters? Background There are many different models of time travel. Personally I find it easiest to tell stories using ...
5
votes
3answers
470 views

Can Earth become a micro Death Star?

Can we harvest the fission energy inside of Earth and produce a energy beam powerful enough to destroy Near Earth Object such as an asteroid? Is this technology probable in the next couple of ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Why can't we use magnets to levitate small objects like in Harry Potter or Star Wars? [closed]

In Harry Potter there is a spell which allows a person to levitate an object at will around a room. In Star Wars, Jedi mind control allows you to do the same thing. I'm surprised that no one has tried ...
6
votes
2answers
411 views

Would it be possible to locate the Milky Way from a distant galaxy?

Given Earth's current level of technology, space- and ground- based astronomical tools, etc., to what extent would it be possible to locate the Milky Way from a somewhat distant galaxy, say, in ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Behaviour of Roman army versus zombie horde

Consider the zombies to be human-like, with characteristic zombie gait, only differing in that they don't need to eat, they eat out of taste for human flesh, not out of a need for nutrition. Do not ...
8
votes
2answers
545 views

How would life be different in Medieval Europe if common people had Golems?

Setting: A version Medieval Europe where magic has always existed, but has evolved in a similar way to how technology changes, getting better with time. Eventually, someone figures out how to give a "...
2
votes
3answers
191 views

A Very Selective Tragedy

I need to find a way to explain away the simultaneous quiet deaths in the night of a couple of thousand people worldwide such that (were this the only thing to happen, of course) nobody would ever ...
6
votes
3answers
739 views

How can I prevent a backlash in the mountain fortresses?

My evil nature mage and his army of Felinus have conquered most of the human kingdoms. Upon breaching the forest pass and entering the human kingdoms his 1 million strong army of Felinus separate into ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to make the orcs meet these biological standards?

This is loosely linked to my nature Mage questions. In my fantasy world I want a race of Orcs. These are the characteristics they have to have: Stand between 6 and 7 feet tall Have crude weapons ...
32
votes
14answers
6k views

Just how unrealistic is a hovering city?

In my last question, we had some disagreement in the comments about the reality of a hovering city. However, that question wasn't about that. This one is. My civilization are building a giant ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How to indirectly kill someone?

The Scenario Earth everyone on earth learns that they are in a simulation, and your everyday Joe Shmo suddenly learns that he can control the flow of time. He can advance himself forward or backward ...
16
votes
9answers
3k views

Brutal, unsubtle brainwashing: how does it work?

The purpose of the machine was obvious from the elegant cruelty of its design: The seat restraints and the seat's solid, one-piece, gold-colored metal structure made it clear that whatever it did, ...
11
votes
12answers
3k views

What power generation method is the best to sustain a hovering city?

The Technology We're in the year 2250 on an Earth-like planet. All the space on the earth's surface has been used up by the population of 15 billion, so we're moving into the air. Cities, along with ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

How big a black hole is needed for this story?

The story begins in classic disaster film style. A small rogue black hole is approaching our Solar System. It isn’t going to get close enough to destroy everything, but it will agitate our Sun, ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Can you help me design humans that naturally grow green hair?

Is there any chemical that is biologically produced in humans, that when impregnated in hair follicles, produces green hair? If current keratin follicles cannot do that, pick another biochemical for ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Would white pupils/irises on an animal allow it to see properly?

I'm designing creatures with naturally occurring white or pale grey irises and pupils so that it looks like their eyes are all white. What effect could this have their vision (colorblindness, light ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How would cities be built on large ruins?

Basic background The cosmic entities that forged the world got a little more than they bargained for. Even the most powerful of them were but limited aspects of the underlying magic of the cosmos. ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

Can you actually have a Forest Kingdom?

Is there any way to set a kingdom in a forest so that it still is a forest instead of a clearing surrounded by forest? The kingdom must live on the ground, and somehow, if transplanted to Renaissance ...
7
votes
6answers
532 views

What more than sentience do you need from a species for its intelligence to be recognizable by humans?

It's becoming obvious from how could humans recognize another species as sentient / intelligent that recognizing another species' intelligence is very complicated. There are no universal tests, no ...
12
votes
3answers
800 views

How would the presence of dragons in an army influence the standards for manliness?

Imagine a medieval society in which dragons are domesticated for military use. When they are young and still able to fly, they're ridden into combat. Very few make it to an old age, but those who do ...
-2
votes
4answers
343 views

How to show the world your country [closed]

In my story, I need to make a country (don't need U.N. approval, just significant power related to a weak country) with 1,000 or less people, lead by a hypnotist (just accept this, I know it is ...

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