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6 votes
5 answers
531 views

Can a separate but related community have the same language as the rest of my world?

Ok, so I have started the worldbuilding process by creating several different communities and giving them each their own personalities. I ran into a problem, though, when I created a desert dwelling ...
LovelyCactus's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
256 views

Nanobots by chance

Through billions of years of time, countless particles collide and arrange into different configurations. Sometime somewhere, by chance, a particular configuration is produced: a certain group of ...
what is sleep's user avatar
17 votes
12 answers
4k views

How to minimize the threat of guns in present day magic fantasy

I have an idea for a Young Adult fantasy, a small number of teens are visited by characters from 'fantasy' world, at which point they learn that most of our fantasy worlds exist and that magic works ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 33.5k
3 votes
2 answers
470 views

How can we influence our own future world by encouraging evolution of non-human intelligent species?

I'm getting bored waiting for monkeys or dolphins or crows or whatever to just evolve human-level intelligence. Is there anything practical we can do to create more favorable "natural selection" ...
Scott Stafford's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the smallest sentient being possible? [duplicate]

My question is quite simple and should be relatively easy (for a biologist maybe) to answer. How small can a creature evolve and become sentient? How likely is this and what environmental factors ...
Jax's user avatar
  • 11.9k
10 votes
12 answers
3k views

Magically knock someone down and pin them using Science

This question is going to take some set-up to understand the world it is operating in. This is a modern-day magic world that I've been building up. Magic exists, is hidden, and is quite powerful. ...
guildsbounty's user avatar
  • 10.9k
2 votes
2 answers
814 views

How Do I Draw the Elves into the War?

Background: My evil Nature Mage (named Erilius) resides in a tropical forest where he has abundant access to local life (of which all the flora and fauna except people can be controlled by him) and ...
Jax's user avatar
  • 11.9k
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to escape a horde of worms using magic with minimal injury? [closed]

Background An evil Nature Mage (named Erilius) resides in a tropical forest where he has abundant access to local life (of which all the flora and fauna except people can be controlled by him) and ...
Jax's user avatar
  • 11.9k
6 votes
12 answers
1k views

How can fae rescue one of their number from an iron cage?

In Fae mythology iron is very harmful to them. They cannot stand to be near it (in some versions it even harms them) and their magic does not work on iron or on anyone holding iron. If a Fairy was ...
Tim B's user avatar
  • 77k
8 votes
3 answers
647 views

Planetary Habitability at twelve to seven billion years ago

Following this question, I had additional question of habitability. Assuming that life could exist on planet formed roughly twelve billion years ago, allowing complex life to exist as of seven billion ...
Hendrik Lie's user avatar
  • 2,000
2 votes
2 answers
271 views

What would be life living in an underground magma bubble city?

Let's say, we've surpassed all tolerances of population. But, mega-corporations found a creative way to solve the problem. They dug into the Earth to build bubble cities in magma. They have access to (...
user931's user avatar
  • 207
6 votes
7 answers
1k views

What are the elegant and effective ways to establish one Earth government? [closed]

I dream of a world in which there's only one Earth government. Lots of sci-fi works present this scenario. If I have to make it happen (remove all countries and setup one Earth government), what ...
user931's user avatar
  • 207
23 votes
22 answers
4k views

In a highly charitable society, are there any ways to remain impoverished?

For the story I'm planning out, the setting is on one of the worlds of a technologically advanced extraterrestrial race well-known for their economic infrastructure, which includes incredibly ...
Aunvre's user avatar
  • 455
8 votes
5 answers
805 views

Magic that alters living cells - How to efficiently battle with it?

In my fantasy novel, magic is a natural part of the world. It is not some mystical force shrouded in mystery, but rather backed by science (though only I, the author, know it's true workings). In my ...
Thomas Reinstate Monica Myron's user avatar
4 votes
9 answers
1k views

Getting Rid of Fossil Fuels (?)

I was working on a relatively near future time-line (20-30 years), and there is a scene in which the POV character has to sabotage the local power supply. Now my initial guess was that it'd be a ...
Serban Tanasa's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
843 views

What portion of humanity could die of a plague before secondary death causes on a post-apocaliptic world threaten to wipe the species?

Related: How will survivors of a global plague find each other? The global plague struck fast and killed almost all of humanity. Only those that were immune to the plague survived (so basically the ...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
641 views

Non-logical Magic

Jaswinder lives in a world much like ours except that there is magic, and he has suddenly manifest it. He is able to at will draw on up to (at any one time) the equivalent of 8.9876e+19 joules of ...
John_H's user avatar
  • 2,819
7 votes
7 answers
2k views

What is the most efficient way for human beings to create electricity with manual labor?

I've devised a world where artificial intelligence (AI) have taken over as middle-class (America), leading to the further division of human classes: a superior upper-class and a now much lower-class (...
The Onion's user avatar
20 votes
10 answers
4k views

How large can a volcano be?

A key part of the plot in a story I'm working on revolves around the main region being on top of volcano that is set to erupt. The trouble is that the region in question in my setting is roughly the ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
11 votes
5 answers
1k views

Will the universe reset, or self destruct?

For this question think of the times of past, present, and future as $T_{-1}$,$T_0$, and $T_1$, respectively. There is a man named Jim, currently in $T_0$, so lets refer to him as $J_0$. $J_0$ is a ...
GamrCorps's user avatar
  • 213
12 votes
5 answers
2k views

Zombie perpetual machines - logistics

Linked to Zombie perpetual machines This carriage was devised by Vitrivius as a way to make good use of the Zombies discovered in Roman territory. Question: How many zombies would be needed to ...
Jorge Aldo's user avatar
  • 5,852
29 votes
4 answers
4k views

Zombie perpetual motion machines

Lo and behold! A zombie apocalypse broke out inside Roman territory. In the Iberia peninsula. Being smart as vitruvius is, he devised a plan on how to deal with the zombies. Use them as power sources! ...
Jorge Aldo's user avatar
  • 5,852
9 votes
9 answers
3k views

How to defeat a nature Mage?

I have a Mage who wields more power than any other (think a hundred thousand normal Mages). He gathered an army of cat warriors from the Guderian forest to his banner and attacked the Kingdom. The cat ...
Jax's user avatar
  • 11.9k
4 votes
3 answers
438 views

Adding Patent Law to Ancient Rome

This question stems from those that Jorge Aldo is asking. Changing the social order of Rome was tried by many people and those people were pretty much all killed, regardless of who they were. ...
John_H's user avatar
  • 2,819
14 votes
5 answers
3k views

How could nanobots in the body be discovered via a routine blood/medical test?

I have a scenario where a person has nanorobots unknowingly injected into his bloodstream. I'd like his doctor to discover them through some kind of medical test, preferably a blood test. Of course ...
nanoguy's user avatar
  • 1,279
0 votes
1 answer
339 views

Magical April Fools prank [closed]

Two days ago, I woke up and I realised that I have these two possibilities: Telekinesis (ability to move objects and objects only using my will) Invisibility castable on objects only Both are bound ...
Pavel Janicek's user avatar
8 votes
12 answers
4k views

How do I build a wall to repel World War Z's fast zombies?

What would be the best wall profile and size for a prepared anti-zombie fortification? I am trying to protect against fast zombies like the ones in the movie adaptation of World War Z, who can climb ...
Jorge Aldo's user avatar
  • 5,852
5 votes
4 answers
463 views

Uses for Limited Human Flight in Medieval Setting

Probably because of the way airplanes work, it's often the case that magical flight in medieval times was faster than traveling by horse, making it incredibly useful as a form of transportation. Also, ...
DaaaahWhoosh's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
653 views

How would medieval civilizations be changed if lands were seas and seas were lands? [closed]

If we lived on Earth, but with land and sea swapped, how would this affect civilizations on Earth? This would include a total topographic inversion of Earth, so The Mariana Trench would become the ...
Flotolk's user avatar
  • 310
16 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is a condition leading to a cold-blooded human possible?

Well, today I have a fairly simple question. Is it possible for a human to have some sort of birth defect, mutation, disease or something that causes the human body to be unable to produce body heat?
grimmsdottir's user avatar
  • 6,247
4 votes
3 answers
609 views

Realistic isolated town

I would like to imagine an isolated town. In my mind the town has large buildings, but has a small geographical footprint. I'd like the town to be isolated in the sense that to reach it from other '...
Ken - Enough about Monica's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
10k views

What would today's world be like if dinosaurs had not gone extinct? [closed]

What would today's world be like if dinosaurs had somehow survived? To give you a better grasp, if human society had grown up among dinosaurs what might be the effects on our scientific and religious ...
Abhishek's user avatar
  • 386
7 votes
2 answers
603 views

Earlier Greek fire

No one knows for sure the composition of Greek fire, but there is almost certainty that it truly existed. Question: What would be the effects of earlier Greek fire during the time of the Western ...
Jorge Aldo's user avatar
  • 5,852
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Roman ancient balloons

Frontinius, while dreaming, was visited by Vulcan. The god showed him a big ball of cloth, flying above Rome, fueled by a fire. Once he woke up, he understood. He built a large bag of cloth, ...
Jorge Aldo's user avatar
  • 5,852
25 votes
10 answers
11k views

What are the advantages of four wings over two wings?

On a certain planet, there is a large population of falcon-like birds. They dominate the avian ecosystem. However, a population of nearly-identical birds soon finds its way in. The only difference ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
6 votes
3 answers
5k views

Ancient Roman telegraph

Communicating using the sun: Frontinus, while studying the Greek classics, invented a system of communication based on towers, mirrors, and shutting aparatuses that could communicate along Roman ...
Jorge Aldo's user avatar
  • 5,852
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Ancient divers of Rome

Ancient divers: Vitruvius connected a long tube of cloth, impregnated with special waxes, with bronze rings every 10 cm to hold the tube open, to a pair of bellows connected to crude cheek valves. ...
Jorge Aldo's user avatar
  • 5,852
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Steam boats of ancient Rome

Ancient steam boats: Vitruvius managed to tame the power of the aeolipyle by connecting its rotation axis to a clock like mechanism. Soon, larger models were created, reaching 10kW sizes. Those were ...
Jorge Aldo's user avatar
  • 5,852
2 votes
2 answers
663 views

Celestial bodies and gravitational effects on the Earth

I am doing some research for a science fiction novel. I need to have a planetary body around 10,000 km in diameter appear in the Solar System near the Earth and proceed to orbit it artificially. I ...
Patrick Gallant's user avatar
10 votes
11 answers
923 views

Clark Kent's Profession

You are an 18-year-old Clark Kent, and you have made the decision that to spend four years in college would be too big of a waste of time; you are ready to start saving the world now. Developing your ...
Señor O's user avatar
  • 203
3 votes
1 answer
281 views

Is there a mechanism to strongly heat up the Earth from the inside?

Sorry for any errors; I'm Italian. I'm working on a story where the Earth is devastated by a great geological cataclysm (strong earthquakes worldwide, volcanism bursting everywhere, large tsunami on ...
Gippalippa's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
938 views

Ancient tanks of war - Steam powered

Send in the tanks ! Ok, this time the Carthaginians hired Hero of Alexandria. He, in a moment of ingeniousness, achieved a way to transfer power from his steam engine to a wheel. (Hero was first ...
Jorge Aldo's user avatar
  • 5,852
68 votes
31 answers
18k views

How can I imprison a wizard who can walk through walls?

There are reasons why we can't walk through walls. Using magic, though, those difficulties fall away. In fact, for a wizard in an otherwise-almost-magic-free world, walking through walls or falling ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
10 votes
6 answers
4k views

Ancient tanks of war

I plan to go back in time and help Asterix and Obelix to turn the tide of Gallic wars against the romans. To achive this i will build ancient versions of our most dreaded land weapon: Tanks ! The ...
Jorge Aldo's user avatar
  • 5,852
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

In a post-apocalyptic world, would plastic be more useful than metal as currency?

What would be more valuable in a post-apocalyptic world and/or more suitable to be used as currency: plastic or metal bottlecaps? The Fallout video game series popularized the use of metal bottlecaps ...
GOG's user avatar
  • 293
4 votes
4 answers
579 views

Could a Snowball Earth drive us to extinction?

Could a Snowball Earth drive our species into total extinction? The most obvious problem is: How would we grow food to sustain any grouping of people?
Jax's user avatar
  • 11.9k
38 votes
29 answers
8k views

How can I explain that a time travelling apparatus moves itself through time but appears in the same location?

For the purposes of this question, let's ignore the causality issues of time travel itself. Suppose our hero, or an accomplice of our hero, has invented a time travelling apparatus. It works like ...
user's user avatar
  • 28.9k
0 votes
1 answer
120 views

Billionaire wants to leave behind a legacy iconic structure to be remembered [closed]

Imagine you are a billionaire today and you want to leave behind some kind of monument/structure as a long term legacy. Something to flatter your ego and ensure you are remembered on a regular basis ...
Phil Wright's user avatar
7 votes
16 answers
885 views

How can I justify the absence of weapons? [duplicate]

Think of a post-apocalyptic world: 2% of the population survived, the world is in utter disarray - the works. The entire populace is controlled by a special group of advanced people, who control all ...
user96551's user avatar
  • 1,088
14 votes
7 answers
3k views

Gods or Sufficiently Advanced Aliens?

In the Holy Books of a number of religions, we see the prophets of what is depicted as the true god always struggling against priests of false gods, who are often able to accomplish amazing feats. But ...
Serban Tanasa's user avatar

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