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16 votes

Aliens with an extra-set of ears- any possible benefits?

The species live in the trees in a very dense jungle Four ears don't just give wider range of sensitivity, they also can act as a precise 3D locator, allowing their owner's brain to determine the ...
Vesper's user avatar
  • 7,932
15 votes

Universal Graphical Representation of a specific moment in time

Put a clock on it. You can do pretty well pretty easily if you put a lump of metal in a box and some pictograms to tell the aliens what isotope was in the box when you launched it. The aliens can ...
g s's user avatar
  • 7,257
13 votes

How do different species communicate casually in-person?

These species simply cannot "walk into the same room" - there is no atmosphere that could fill the room which would be amenable to all. As such, we require separate environments. This would ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
11 votes

How would humans on Earth detect a Shkadov thruster on other side of the Milky Way Galaxy?

My other inclination is that we'd be able to see a Shkadov thruster by monitoring these far away stars, given their immense size and the sheer amount of reflected light output. I assume they'd be ...
LSerni's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

The "Face" in Cydonia, Mars

An artificial construct could be either built up, like the pyramids in Egypt, or it could be cut from the rock. If it is the former, disguise will be all but impossible. Consider Stonehenge, nobody ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 116k
10 votes

Aliens with an extra-set of ears- any possible benefits?

The alien species spends or spent a lot of time with their body partially submerged in water. Therefore the upper ears are used to listen to sounds coming from the emerged air side, while the lower ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
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9 votes

Universal Graphical Representation of a specific moment in time

Pioneer already carries the information in its velocity. If the reader knows where it has come from using the pulsar map, then they can work out how long it took to get from there to here given the ...
Richard Kirk's user avatar
  • 9,519
8 votes

How would humans on Earth detect a Shkadov thruster on other side of the Milky Way Galaxy?

One of the biggest problems your astronomers have is establishing the velocity vector of the affected stars at all. The velocity component of your moving stars that is directly towards or away from ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
8 votes

How do different species communicate casually in-person?

They can't. You've put it right there in your question: some of these species cannot survive at the temperatures, pressures, and gravities that others require. That's the end of it. There's no way to ...
Cadence's user avatar
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6 votes

How do different species communicate casually in-person?

Dragon technology: forcefields. Handy thing technology. The forcefields can be modulated to prevent gas exchange or allow it, to reduce gas flow or prevent it altogether. They can also be made sound-...
Escaped dental patient.'s user avatar
6 votes

Aliens with an extra-set of ears- any possible benefits?

One reason that hasn't been mentioned yet is is the ears could be optimised for different frequency ranges: soft cartilage-based ears are good at detecting lower frequency sounds while rigid bone ears ...
Eduardo's user avatar
  • 61
5 votes

The "Face" in Cydonia, Mars

Consider similar phenomena on Earth. On the one hand we have Mount Rushmore, https://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm, which we know is an artificial construct, deliberately carved by human beings to look ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 15.1k
5 votes

Legitimacy of an army of neotenous amphibians

Their major combat advantage is their relative weakness. They realize that they are physically no match for the enemy combatants so they dedicate themselves to total mastery of their power armor, ...
Henry Taylor's user avatar
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4 votes

Legitimacy of an army of neotenous amphibians

Most settlements are built around water access. Water is important to any industrialized society. Most settlements are built near the coast or rivers and so an aquatic race is going to be very focused ...
Nepene Nep's user avatar
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4 votes

Universal Graphical Representation of a specific moment in time

This is a Frame Challenge The reason the pulsar map is so cool is because it's something that exists in three physical dimensions in space. The problem with time is that it only exists in a single ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 124k
4 votes

Legitimacy of an army of neotenous amphibians

All Major Logistics are conducted on the Sea, All Major power projection is done from the Sea Why is the United States the Global Super-power? 2 reasons: Biggest Blue water navy (in terms of Tonnage -...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
  • 27.1k
4 votes

Legitimacy of an army of neotenous amphibians

Self-repair. The have as the OP states, two phases in their life-cycle, and are frozen in their child form (albeit adult-sized). The child phrog, all the way from phadpole to adult sized with limbs ...
Escaped dental patient.'s user avatar
3 votes

Universal Graphical Representation of a specific moment in time

Universal decay of regions- the universe is a machine eating itself, hydrogen to helium to yada.. yada to iron. Short periods in between where the slag is radioactive. So why not define a point in ...
Pica's user avatar
  • 4,568
3 votes

How do different species communicate casually in-person?

The problem isn't the gravity, it's the temperature Firstly assuming that antigravity technology doesn't exist in your setting. The room of the encounter could be in a space station with 0g or 0.5g (...
Khorzin's user avatar
  • 184
3 votes

Could a biological organism power itself with electricity like a smartphone (or something similar)?

I believe the primary issue is that some form of non energy nutrient is still needed. A typical creature has physical structure, comprised of various cells, maintained and allowed to grow by nutrients ...
Nerd of games and books's user avatar
3 votes

How do different species communicate casually in-person?

Sounds like you've set up an impossible problem and then ask for a solution. If we start with the assumption that A can only survive at temperatures from -100 to -80, and B can only survive at ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 15.1k
3 votes

Aliens with an extra-set of ears- any possible benefits?

To add to L. Dutch's answer, there are fish with strange double eyes. The part of each eye which is usually above water seens well in air, while thepart of the eye which is usually below water sees ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
2 votes

Aliens with an extra-set of ears- any possible benefits?

This could give significantly improved directional hearing aka figuring out what direction a sound came from. Simple directional hearing works by measuring the difference in the time between when the ...
Richard Tingle's user avatar
1 vote

Universal Graphical Representation of a specific moment in time

Slightly different answer: do you want something like a Treasure Map? Something that is pure information, so it could be coded in a radio signal or DNA molecule? You could do this if the map also ...
Richard Kirk's user avatar
  • 9,519
1 vote

How would humans on Earth detect a Shkadov thruster on other side of the Milky Way Galaxy?

Parallax measurements are very difficult at great distances. But perhaps a large telescope could be sent out of the Solar System using some new form of propulsion (fusion drive perhaps) for just such ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 37.6k
1 vote

How would humans on Earth detect a Shkadov thruster on other side of the Milky Way Galaxy?

A note on timescales Other answers have given nice details about detecting the star movement, so I'll focus on a different part of your question: would it make sense for the humans to already know ...
Syndic's user avatar
  • 6,632
1 vote

How would humans on Earth detect a Shkadov thruster on other side of the Milky Way Galaxy?

I don't think this would be possible. 18000 light-years is really far away, and at that distance, the actual movement of the stars at the acceleration of a shadkov thruster would make such a tiny ...
Bubbles's user avatar
  • 869
1 vote

How would humans on Earth detect a Shkadov thruster on other side of the Milky Way Galaxy?

It's rare for activity of any kind on the other side of the galaxy to be detected due to the intervening dust lanes which block out light. Certainly you are safe from amateur instruments detecting ...
jrrk's user avatar
  • 131
1 vote

How would humans on Earth detect a Shkadov thruster on other side of the Milky Way Galaxy?

Any sufficiently large structure capable of harnessing solar energy by order of Yottawatt scale, would produce A highly detectable infrared signature. Theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson postulated ...
LazyReader's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

What would be left after 150,000 years

Without knowing exactly what makes their building materials and architecture more durable than ours, the answer is probably still "pretty much nothing". Our technology won't last even half ...
talrnu's user avatar
  • 1,791

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