All Questions

48
votes
25answers
7k views

The magical map - how to stop it being too powerful

In a Middle Earth type world, there exists a magical map. It has the property that anything that happens to the map also happens in the real world. The map can be 'zoomed' in or out to get the right ...
4
votes
7answers
197 views

Is broadcast power suitable for recharging robots?

The last time I checked ASIMO's battery pack only had enough juice for something like 30 minutes of continuous operation & then it has to plug in & recharge which isn't really that useful. I'...
7
votes
1answer
87 views

Could a Moon have its own “Rings”, like Saturn's, without the Host Planet having them?

I'm currently fleshing out a sci-fi universe and always looking for fun new locales to populate it with, and I saw this phenomenon in a video game I've been playing recently, and it made me curious... ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Need to check for screenplay (Aziroazide azide) [closed]

For a screenplay - I need to know if the following is possible; joining the components to make up Aziroazide azide from three separate lakes where the items exist pulled up to a mother ship where they ...
5
votes
2answers
100 views

Creating a gas/substance that prevents or inhibits aggression?

Deep within the labs of Nox (the company that brought Soma to the masses) a group of radicals lost in the company bureaucracy are trying to make a substance that either prevents or mitigates ...
3
votes
2answers
170 views

How large should my fortified medieval village be?

Backstory My poor medieval people are taken from our medieval Europe (Germany to be more specific) with an entire settlement to another world (think: cut a few square kilometeres of land and paste it ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How close could another solar system be without adversely affecting our own?

I would like to know how close two planetary systems could be without having an adverse effect on each other. My goal is to drastically improve the chances of having habitable planets near enough that ...
4
votes
5answers
180 views

How could the Ming Dynasty's armada have made China a colonial superpower?

The Ming Dynasty was the ruling dynasty in China from 1368 - 1644. Early in this period, the emperor commissioned a naval fleet numbering some 317 ships. This armada conducted a number of ocean ...
5
votes
4answers
131 views

Small eclipse on earth

Could one make a smaller eclipse kept stationary on the surface of the earth in order that one may be able to see the stars 24/7 from one site? How could this be achieved? Geostationary satellite ...
3
votes
2answers
87 views

Realistic Puppets: Depth of Emotion

In my story, there is a puppet master who uses disturbingly realistic marionettes in his theater. His goal is to create a marionette that is wholly indistinguishable from a real person, aside from the ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Is it possible for the Ancient Chinese to have used itching powder as a means of torture? [closed]

I was thinking about Chinese water drop torture, and other forms of torture that do not cause direct physical damage. I was wondering if a form of torture where the victim is made to feeling itchy was ...
2
votes
3answers
160 views

What kind of biological characteristic does a human being need to achieve great speeds?

In my book there is a tribe and one of the characteristics I describe is that they can achieve great speeds, something like 80km/h (50 mph) for 2 minutes approximately. How could it be?
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Sentient Cephalopods in Exoskeletons

On a distant planet covered mostly by water a species of highly intelligence cephalopods have evolved and even developed space travel. The problem? Most other species are land dwellers and the ...
7
votes
3answers
796 views

Can cellular replacement based on embryonic copies explain the longevity of elves?

In my research on how I could get elves to live the time spans I wanted them to live, I came up with this solution: Every elf generates while still developing inside the womb of the mother copies of ...
7
votes
2answers
131 views

What could be used as an alternative to ATP in boron based biochemistry?

I have created a life form that is based on the element boron. As a substitute for DNA it instead uses Diborane as a building block. I've come across a problem however that I can't seem to get around. ...
0
votes
3answers
127 views

how can I ensure that the amount of jing that a person has at birth is completely random?

Spiritual energy, or jing, is a powerful substance that forms the essence of who and what we are. It is the primal energy of our life. Jing is the deep foundational energy reserves of the body and it ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

How practical is a Scythe? [closed]

In the story I am creating, I want to have the MC gain a shape-shifting scythe that can change sizes from a keychain to a massive 8-foot scythe. The scythe takes shape into a weapon most ideal for the ...
8
votes
4answers
292 views

I'm going to have to redraw most of my rivers - what do I need to know to make them true to life?

I'm new here but I've been a worldbuilder for the last decade or so. I'm pretty late to the 'mapping out your country' party and I've only been at it for about 8 months, but I'm starting to see some ...
5
votes
5answers
646 views

A Roman-technology clock run by slaves - how to make it accurate

In a land similar to the Roman Empire, slaves are used to drive machinery. Mostly this is a matter of getting them to pull carts or wind handles. The Emperor wants a clock that is accurate to the ...
24
votes
12answers
9k views

Why Laser “Guns”? [closed]

We all love laser guns (which are usually plasma weaponry) but why guns? It's not like we need the long barrel for making it more accurate or the stock to control recoil. So why guns and why not ...
3
votes
3answers
118 views

What are the different areas or compartment would a colony-ship have? [closed]

So I'm trying to create a sci-fi colony ship for a science discussion that we have in class. So as a sci-fi fan (Hard sci-fi to be exact), I want to portray a realistic ship and not those cliche ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

Could natural nuclear fission reactors be used to energetically sustain and catalyze the progress of an alien civilization?

According to Natural nuclear explosions natural nuclear fission reactors could occur. Could it happen that a primitive alien civilization has its social, economical and technology evolution ...
40
votes
32answers
9k views

Why would a previously spacefaring civilization become unable to build another interstellar ship?

I'm writing a story in which a civilization previously capable of (firmly technobabble-based) FTL travel has become stranded, orbiting an isolated star with no rocky planets. (There was a planet, but ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it possible to prevent a gun from firing by blocking the mechanism with your hand? [closed]

Suppose that someone is pointing a gun right at you. He's not really convinced about shooting, so you talk and manage to get very close. You keep talking and you can actually put a hand on the gun, ...
6
votes
1answer
184 views

What would be the atmospheric pressure gradient in an open pit reaching to the centre of the moon?

Inspired by this question, what would the pressure stabilize at over tens of thousands of years (at the moon's centre, surface, and any other interesting points) if you created a structurally stable ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Artificial satellite in a Binary Star System

Is it possible for an artificial satellite (in this case, an unmanned communications platform) to maintain a stable orbit directly around the barycenter of a Binary Star system, as in well inside the ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Travel times of horse riders vs. armoured carriage? [duplicate]

In my manuscript, the king and queen are on a diplomatic mission in the northernmost province of their country and the king suddenly goes missing. The queen sends a message back to the castle and the ...
3
votes
2answers
821 views

Humans without fire?

Suppose anatomically modern, but technologically primitive, humans (say, early Paleolithic) were magically transported to a world broadly similar to our own, but where open flames are impossible. (I ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

Vibrations weakening spaceship

I have a scenario where a spaceship has been badly damaged and now the normal vibrations of the power supply are becoming amplified through the damaged hull, and threatening to tear the ship apart. ...
1
vote
3answers
226 views

What would an earth-sized world be like if shaped like Ultima Thule?

Recently, pictures taken by the New Horizons space probe were released depicting the unusually-shaped object Ultima Thule. Now, suppose there was an world the size of the Earth, but in the shape of ...
59
votes
24answers
12k views

How could a planet have a sky without stars at night?

Is it possible for a planet in our part of the galaxy to have a night without stars? I'm looking for some kind of natural phenomena that would hide the stars, but allow the sun to rise and fall as ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Would this design be useful for surviving relativistic impacts?

Let's say that I've developed a new engine that can accelerate at 1G continuously. Within about a year, I'm nearing the speed of light. Naturally, I recognize the danger of collisions with gas and ...
29
votes
5answers
5k views

How deep must be a pit on the moon to hold atmosphere at 1ATM on the bottom

In my world I would like to create a pit on the Moon filled with air. How deep would the pit need to be to get 1 ATM of pressure Could the pit maintain the air or would it be lost to space? If it ...
7
votes
4answers
555 views

Putting oxygen on the Moon - the easy way

It would be nice if there were an atmosphere on the Moon with oxygen; in fact it could be just oxygen at 1/5 the Earth's pressure. People could live there. Now of course given the Moon's lower gravity ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

How to create naming conventions for a fantasy society with its own language? [closed]

I'm not a proper linguist or anything, but over the years I've created a fairly basic language for a magic people that I use in my D&D games. So far I've got by with them being ancient and long ...
3
votes
3answers
635 views

What kind of food would be common on a tropical rainforest/ocean planet? [closed]

I have an alien planet with the entire world landmass arranged in two giant rings roughly 10 degrees north and south of the equator. Everything above sea level is beach or tropical rainforest. The ...
12
votes
8answers
3k views

How can an abortion cause infertility in a witch?

Orgone is the natural life energy of the cosmos and the lifeforce which allows the body to function. It is used to perform spells, and constantly regenerates after use at different rates for an ...
8
votes
2answers
238 views

What would humans need to sacrifice for a better sense of smell?

Humans have some genes that allow for a precise sense of smell, but they were turned off millions of years back, just like in many other primates. To name an exeption, lemurs are primates with a ...
6
votes
3answers
242 views

Effects and feasability of a modern-day Olympus and Hephestus

The time... a few years from now. On the laser-launch pad of one of the spacefaring nations of Earth, a spacecraft stands, the time until its launch counting down steadily. The launch vehicle weighs ...
11
votes
12answers
3k views

Why would life energy be poisonous for the environment?

Mana is the life energy of the soul that is bestowed by nature. Everything is born with a certain amount, with humans containing the most. When something dies, it's body naturally decays and supplies ...
7
votes
3answers
293 views

Let's plot a course between Earth and Gor

We know that Gor, or Counter-Earth, is not stable in a long-term sense. Let's handwave that away, or assume that we are dealing with a temporary span of time in which the instability is immaterial. ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

What roles would a six-man reconnaisance team need? [closed]

My current piece requires the main characters to travel towards an observation post that's manned by an XCOM/F.E.A.R.-style organisation on the edge of a S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-style disaster zone. The OP is ...
8
votes
4answers
681 views

Can planets collide and not melt together?

Ok so I've been going around on the internet trying to figure out whether or not when 2 earth like planets of similar densities and makeup collide is it possible for them to bounce off of each other ...
10
votes
3answers
106 views

Chemical process for a radiosynthetic Ganymedian organism?

I'm trying to build an underwater ecosystem under the ice crust of Ganymede. I know Jupiter emits a large amount of ionizing radiation and synchotrons and thought that would maybe be able to replace ...
3
votes
4answers
167 views

Defence against volcano?

Say I have a group of people who live next to a volcano for religious reasons. They will not move. This volcano erupts very regularly - almost once a week. What kind of defence or adaptability ...
27
votes
18answers
7k views

Why would a civilization that has invented teleportation use other means of transportation?

I'm designing an alien civilization that has achieved wormhole travel. Their devices are used by every member of their society and are usually located on their wrist. They type the coordinates of ...
5
votes
10answers
211 views

Why would an advanced civilization consist of clones, even if it's not necessary?

I'm currently designing an advanced peaceful alien civilization. In this civilization almost every individual has approximately a few hundred clones of themselves across their planet or even the ...
1
vote
7answers
325 views

Would it be realistic to have a world with no currency, just trade?

In the world I’m creating, there’s no specific form of currency. People trade for goods- you could buy clothes from a merchant and in return, they could get food, valuable items, things that could be ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Are Planets with mainly one climate Biome Plausible? [duplicate]

So i'll start by saying it feels like a somewhat stupid question in the sense that the answer is no, but im wondering if (for back story of races in a story) its realistically possible for a planet to ...
9
votes
2answers
154 views

What are the uses of colour in a world where nothing can see?

In a previous question - How might kinetosynthesizing "plants" look? - I introduced a worldbuilding thought experiment of mine centered around a habitable moon, heated by tidal forces, which ...

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