All Questions

5
votes
4answers
336 views

What would humans look like if they lived 50-100,000 years 6 to 9 km above sea level?

What would humans look like if they lived 50-100,000 years 20,000-30,000 feet / 6 to 9 km above sea level? Or 500,000 years? Would we have bigger lungs / chests? Bigger wider noses? Thicker skin and ...
1
vote
1answer
15 views

How to keep the brain alive?

So, let’s say Bill wants to gain immortality. Bill is a billionaire, and so invests a large portion of his estate to Brain Transplant research. After a bit, the doctors vivisect him, and encase his ...
2
votes
2answers
40 views

A world without fire - what will the military use as their main solider level weapon?

Assume that modern day Earth discovers a way to create portals to another planet. Travel between the two planets is fast, safe, and easy. The way this works is that there are fixed points on earth ...
0
votes
1answer
11 views

What is the number of square kilometers of crops necessary to feed a population of 100,000?

Yo. I have a city. Pop. 100,000. They need to eat. Due to pantheism as their government-enforced religion, they do not eat meat. I need to know how much space in square kilometers would be needed in ...
3
votes
3answers
80 views

Military academy in geostationary orbit

Say a novel is set 100 years from now, when a confederation of nations establishes a unified military force. (Yes, I know, but this is fiction after all) Would a military academy, training astronaut ...
2
votes
5answers
194 views

Minimum speed required for a galaxy spanning empire

The dawn of the Galactic Empire! Assume that FTL travel and communication is possible, for simplicity we say c is the speed of light. Assume any speed of travel and communication < c*2^100 is ...
8
votes
5answers
622 views
+50

How can a coven of witches operate as a pyramid scheme?

A crone is a witch on the path to achieving godhood by stealing the life force of others through a dark ritual. The second stage on this path is the baba yaga, a point where the crone loses all traces ...
11
votes
3answers
81 views

If a person had control of every single cell of their body, would they be able to transform into another creature?

If a person had control over each and every single cell in his body, I.e: Cell growth Cell multiplication Shape and form of cells How cells bond/bind with each other Cell Function Would they be able ...
9
votes
14answers
3k views

Natural Armour and Weapons

In my fantasy world, the magic system pretty much makes metal armour and weapons obsolete. The magic system's specifics aren't important, just note that the magic system allows the users to 'penetrate'...
4
votes
3answers
82 views

Salem witch trials safe haven

With the story I'm writing I really want to find an accurate place to set up a school (preferably in New York) that was originally a safe place to go to during the Salem Witch Trials. I'm hoping to ...
17
votes
14answers
6k views

A steel cutting sword?

So within my world there exists a faction of monks on a secluded mountain whose scientific and philosophical knowledge outstrips the outside medieval world. And with these monks being famous more for ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you conduct xenoanthropology after first contact?

In the very near future, humans (somehow) travel to a distant planet - and discover aliens who turn out to be uncannily like us. Their appearance is, to put it bluntly, freakish, but they are humanoid ...
34
votes
17answers
10k views

An underwater creature that could take down a boat

Imagine that when Christopher Columbus sailed West in his Carrack to travel around the world to reach India, he had never made it to land, because halfway across the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and ...
8
votes
7answers
364 views

In an interstellar/interplanetary civilization, which would be most common/cheapest in the market: Plastic or metals?

Considering that oil is only really prevalent on earth (where dead biomatter can be compressed over millions of years into long hydrocarbons) I began to think that plastic might be just as rare as ...
8
votes
5answers
124 views

Light spectrum from a red dwarf star on a planet with an ozone and cloudy atmosphere

What light spectrum would hit the surface of a planet orbiting a red dwarf star? The planet has a humid, greenhouse, & cloudy atmosphere, and a strong ozone, 80%+ surface water. Planet is ...
18
votes
10answers
5k views

What does the view outside my ship traveling at light speed look like?

World Rules: Travelers are able to move at the speed of light without disruption of their lives. Time passes "normally" for them. They think, breathe, love, cry, and steer the ship as if they were ...
6
votes
2answers
79 views

Could Xenarthrans Be Ferried Outside South America?

Right from the beginning, the xenarthrans--armadillos, sloths and anteaters--have been at a disadvantage. For the longest time, their home was an island continent, which made them extremely ...
5
votes
2answers
109 views

Seasonal Shade-Plant

There is a forest in my world with a special property: All the trees are optimised to shade as much as possible during summer and give as little shadow as possible during winter, to regulate the ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

If Earth was one third it's size, and had 1/3rd it's current gravitational pull, how would life look? [on hold]

So, to start off, I am not even sure if life would develop, because I am not clear on how the mass of the planet or gravitational pull affects chemical evolution, but assuming that life did start in ...
10
votes
5answers
639 views

What material should be used for a spaceship that doesn't need to re-enter?

What is the best material to use for a near future spaceship. Assume that most materials in the solar system can be mined and used. The spaceship is 700m long, 500m wide and 500m high. It travels at ...
15
votes
9answers
3k views

Looking for a soft substance that doesn't dissolve underwater

I'm writing a story that takes place entirely underwater, mostly in a deep sea town and shallower city. Both are underwater and populated by beings who can survive underwater. My thinking is that ...
-1
votes
0answers
37 views

If the Roman Empire had lasted 200 years later, how would history be changed? [on hold]

If the Roman Empire had lasted two hundred years later, not collapsing until the 7th century, how would history have gone differently?
28
votes
7answers
5k views

Is my plasma cannon concept viable?

I’ve developed a concept for a plasma cannon, and I need it reality-checked. The cannon would gather ammunition by pumping air into the gun through an external fan. The air would gather inside a ...
7
votes
5answers
580 views

At what point in European history could a government build a printing press given a basic description?

Say a time traveler ends up back in time and has earned the good graces of one of the nations' kings by sharing some of his future knowledge. Knowing that the printing press was an important ...
9
votes
3answers
869 views

Would a shallow ocean planet be possible?

For a story I am writing, I need a planet covered in a shallow ocean. What I mean is that I want the majority of the planet's surface (=> 60%) to be in the photic zone of the ocean. This planet must ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

Would this “self driving” car work?

The great venture capitalist Elian Minsk has decided to start an "autonomous" car driving service. But who needs complicated AI based systems when he can hire tech support workers in India to drive ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Terraforming the Nine Earths, Episode I: Could Cyanobacteria Thrive in Muspellheim?

Long ago, I asked a question on how to make the Nine Realms of Norse mythology--Niflheim, Muspelheim, Asgard, Midgard, Jotunheim, Vanaheim, Alfhiem, Svartalfheim and Helheim--a reality in regards to ...
7
votes
3answers
217 views

Which moon is most favourable as a refuelling station?

My hypothetical gas giant has five major moons. Three of those moons are icy bodies with abundant water ice and volatiles. Any of these could provide fuel for translunar spacecraft, or for spacecraft ...
3
votes
2answers
105 views

What would be the best way for a supernatural entity to fit into a physical body smaller in mass and volume?

Angels are advanced technological beings who are messengers of the gods. These extra-dimensional beings are large, upwards of 30ft tall, and resemble eldritch abominations in their true form, such as ...
2
votes
4answers
201 views

Crete-sized floating island plausibility

Biggest icebergs have areas roughly similar to Crete and 500 meters thick, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceberg_B-15) I assume most of that thickness is hidden underwater, sadly I could not find ...
13
votes
22answers
4k views

A sufficient justification for the infantry using lethal, directed energy weapons

It is really really hard to beat kinetic energy as a way to transfer energy to a target. I'd expect handheld railguns before lasers. – John Meacham 20 mins ago It's just simply hard to find a ...
19
votes
2answers
852 views

A list of worldbuilding resources

We are occasionally asked for advice about the worldbuilding process. By its creative and imaginative nature, the process of worldbuilding doesn't have a single obvious starting point or a step-by-...
62
votes
12answers
6k views

Is there a more effective way to build a language than a word frequency list?

I'm in the process of creating my own language, and so far, I've built a basic vocabulary set of about ~200 words. From here, however, I'm somewhat unsure as to what vocabulary I should work on adding ...
6
votes
6answers
370 views

Externally monitoring CPU/SSD activity without software access

A secret government organization created the largest and most advanced computer cluster ever. Ridiculous amounts of money went into it, and it is decades ahead of the competition. The goal of this ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

A Dozen Cubic Miles of Volcanic Ash--How Big Would the Cloud Be?

On May 18, 1980, Mount Saint Helens made American history with an eruption that took 57 human lives and killed thousands of animals. It has released only a quarter of a cubic mile of ash, but it is ...
51
votes
20answers
11k views

What could a self-sustaining lunar colony slowly lose that would ultimately prove fatal?

I've got a lunar colony that was set up to be self-sustaining before a collapse of life on Earth. The colony has survived on its own for several thousand years through a period of technological ...
7
votes
7answers
204 views

Would intelligence affect the evolution of colorful display patters for attracting mates?

On another planet there is a group of organisms that have colorful display patterns allowing them to attract mates. Eventually a branch of this type of organism evolves the intelligence of early ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Plausible magic systems? [on hold]

I’m currently world building a high fantasy story. Within this story there are a species(most of the characters are a part of this species) that have abilities. These abilities are determined by how ...
30
votes
8answers
5k views

Of strange atmospheres - the survivable but unbreathable

Most gases that are toxic to breathe also do nasty things to the skin when they're in the atmosphere at dangerous concentrations - and one is walking around without sealed protective clothing; sulfur ...
4
votes
3answers
132 views

Could six-limbed creatures evolve from griffin or dragon to centaur?

In my setting, centaurs are related to other six-limbed creatures such as dragons and griffins (the "fur" is actually made up of tiny feathers). Assuming they were originally creatures similar to six-...
25
votes
6answers
6k views

Could a 19.25mm revolver actually exist?

I'm working on writing a story wherein there is a revolver inspired by Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy's samaritan. My question is; can such a gun, as described below, work? Or would it be a bone breaker ...
7
votes
3answers
123 views

Rotation, weight and planet size

Wouldn't it be cool if giant monsters were on giant planets? Of course it would be, but unfortunately physics doesn't really like that idea. Big planets make things on them need more support, so being ...
5
votes
5answers
510 views

What is the lower bound for lightspeed?

I am investigating the possibility of modifying the speed of light in my world. Assuming that the speed of light in a vacuum can (and in my world, is) modified, what lower bound exists that would ...
1
vote
2answers
159 views

Would dumping vast amounts of electric charge into a traversable wormhole be a viable way to keep the wormhole open?

It's possible to have lots of electric charge while having only a small amount of mass, and a black hole with a significant electric charge has properties that are different from one with no electric ...
1
vote
4answers
170 views

How would the terrain of a snow-covered mountain deter a mechanized army?

My story is set in a fortress town built below a mountain, and revolves around the struggle between the witch who protects the mountain and the tyrant who seeks to plunder it for resources (think ...
2
votes
4answers
163 views

Solar panels on rotating wheel space stations

What would be the best configuration of solar panels on a rotating wheel space station? I am thinking about Space Station V design and dimensions. Space Station V comes from 2001: A Space Odyssey. ...
1
vote
3answers
199 views

Biggest possible Steampunk Airship? [duplicate]

I have noticed that one thing that is very common among steampunk airship art is that the size of the decks beneath the gas chamber is outrageously larger than that of the real world. Example: ...
2
votes
7answers
211 views

Alternatives to War [on hold]

In this world, violence has developed to be perhaps most definitive, means of action. Not just humans, but many other species face the harshness of battle, be it to defend their young or gain ...
19
votes
7answers
4k views

Is it possible to remotely hack the GPS system and disable GPS service worldwide?

The title pretty much says it all. I'm wondering if it is possible through "digital" means only (aka any physical disruption of satellites is not allowed) to disable the US GPS satellite ...
6
votes
1answer
174 views

What would be the effects on a planet orbiting a shedding red giant?

In a sci-fi RPG I eventually intend to run for a couple of friends, I had the idea of them visiting ancient ruins on a planet orbiting a shedding red giant. Now, ignoring the problem of intelligent ...

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