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142

The ocean is a dynamic and very large place, so it's unlikely to have many large-scale effects unless humans overreact. I'll focus on the local, immediate effects of this saucer from a physical, biological, and chemical perspective. Some things to consider about the location of the saucer- it's suspended in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, almost directly ...


86

Exo-bacteria is more likely to be harmless than harmful There are a couple assumptions that you're making that really aren't the case. To start with, microorganisms that our immune systems have no defense against Our bodies are really good at recognizing anything foreign in them. In order to evade our immune system, bacteria (and viruses) need to have ...


63

Because it's a viable ecological niche, of course. The wasps are an evolutionary development of the Ichneumonoid wasps https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichneumonoidea which lay their eggs in living hosts, which the young then consume when they hatch. For the wasps to become a hive species is an obvious evolutionary step. The hive controls the host ("zombie") ...


39

Why is it that in questions like this about something blocking light, everyone seems to forget that the Earth rotates? To simplify the geometry, we'll use the following assumptions: the saucer has a flat bottom (it doesn't curve to follow the Earth), so the 2 km altitude is measured from the center of the saucer; the saucer is located on the equator, and it'...


39

What are these dinosaur's competitors? According to Wikipedia, a velociraptor is up to 2m long and 15 kg. A Deinonychus is up to 3.5m long and 75kg. I'm going to assume that those masses are the upper range for a large, healthy specimen, and compare to modern species accordingly. Deinonychus is in a weight class with only the Jaguar (100 kg) and Cougar (80 ...


35

Two of my favorites for this scenario. Dig. Fresno is pretty close to what you describe. This guy Forestiere bought land sight unseen thinking he would grow fruit and nut trees but on getting there realized it was worthless. So he dug. When he got low enough, he planted the trees. Take a tour off hwy 99 and visit fresno's best kept secret •A hand-...


34

I think the question is less, "Would we be able to survive alien bacteria?" and more, "Would alien bacteria be able to harm us?" Bacteria and viruses typically harm people because, to put it simply, they are eating us. This is a broad blanket statement, which isn't one hundred percent true one hundred percent of the time, but most microbe-based illnesses are ...


32

From the plant's point of view the herbivore is a predator. The only thing that matters as far as that goes is that more plants grow than the herbivores can eat, otherwise they will run out of food and die. You have the same problem in your case, with one additional problem: the cycle of energy. Basically, plants capture and use solar energy to grow. When ...


29

which species of flora and fauna are most likely to be capable of recovering? Though some seeds can still be vital after more than 10 years (see Pink Sweetener's answer), animal's seeds won't generally last that long. Except maybe some tardigrade and bacteria, you will not have much more animal life around. And that brings a huge problem: you will have ...


27

Earthly germs have a hard time infecting anything. They have specific tricks to get past the defenses of specific types of cells in specific species. Most bacteria is harmless as it is quickly rejected by the immune system. Germs from other species occasionally cross over due to mutation, as it may stumble on a trick that works for a different species. Even ...


24

Actually, there are multiple reasons it can't be done as you hoped Trying to make a single air-supported structure to cover the entire moon is a rather insane idea. For safety and other reasons, large areas would be necessarily be broken into a (possibly connected) series of pressurized areas. Losing pressure (planned or accidental) would limit the affected ...


22

Many plants produce seeds which would remain viable after 10 years. A few years ago, a group of students managed to produce a crop from 800 year old squash seeds. Online, you will find charts indicating that many common garden vegetable seeds are only good for 2-5 years. This is more an indication of "best-by" dates: the majority of a sample of seeds ...


21

I saw several answers here close to what I wanted to say, but none of them quite do. So: Plastic Wrap Not Needed If you supply the Moon with an atmosphere, that atmosphere will not be instantly lost to space. On human time scales the Moon holds most atmospheric gases quite well. However, it will slowly bleed water away to space. So the important ...


21

On the moon titan, beyond the initial ice layer, there is an entire ocean layer. If you continue further down you hit ice VI (which is always ice, just with a denser crystalline structure). This deeper ice layer is caused by sheer pressure. Presumably your ocean world will have a point deep enough that the pressure will be too great for water to remain ...


17

A tale of envy. Hippos. The Ishisonga remembers swimming as a cub: it loved swimming, it would dive beneath the water and feed on the lush and delicious water-weed, reveling in the cool splashy games with the hippo children; swimming was what it dreamt about, what made life worthwhile. Then time passed: it grew, its head heavy with horn, it became more ...


16

The assumptions are reasonable, but I might change a few The creatures would all be very complacent and would feed and live in very vulnerable positions, because they have never learned otherwise. They would not feed and live in very vulnerable positions. Rather the definition of vulnerable shifts with the environment. Think about how you ...


16

Microbes and virii evolved in parallel with their hosts and are highly tailored to the environment they live and breed in. Even on Earth, there are huge classes of microorganisms which cannot affect human beings at all. To put it in its simplest form, humans don't get Dutch elm disease and trees don't catch colds. Even with a very similar environment (Earth ...


16

Life would exist very briefly, before exhausting every resource The recycling of elements is vital to how our ecosystem evolved into existence. Whenever an organism dies, detritovores return the nitrogen in the organism back to the soil. But if this nitrogen simply disappears with every death, it goes nowhere. It doesn't get returned back into the soil, ...


14

To a certain extent, this is already the way things work in the real world. The reasons why not all animals eat plants are not the same as the reasons why not all animals eat meat. Not all animals eat plants because digesting plants is difficult. Plant cells have thick cell walls which call for specialized biological machinery to break them apart into ...


14

In Medival England common folk had the right to use commonly held woods and forests in certain ways. Pannage-pigs could be turned out into the forest to eat acorns and other wild produce in the autumn. Estovers-they were allowed to collect wood for fuel and to build and repair homes. Turbary-cut turf to use a fuel. Marl- collect clay to use as a soil ...


14

A wolf has fallen into a beartrap. He's trying his damnedest to set himself free, he's agonizing in the snare of the iron biting into his flesh. A poacher arrivers. He's satisfied, a trophy to adorn his house, a pelt to sell for hefty money. He's moving with prudence toward his prey, ready to inflict the coupe de grace... SWAP The poacher's vision turns ...


14

Make us become less fertile as conditions change...except we already do that. Slowing down the human reproduction rate overall will not work - The cause of the human reproductive boom is not our high reproductive rate (we have one of the lowest reproductive rates of any species in the world) but our reduced death rate. Population growth without limitation ...


13

Could the snakes on this hypothetical island survive entirely on the fruit that the trees produce? The simple answer is "no." A very emphatic "no." Snakes are obligate carnivores. There is no such thing as a vegetarian snake. Snakes recognize fruit as "not meat" and won't consider eating it.


13

Bugs are replaceable but their roles must be preserved You must have some species to do their jobs if they are not present. These may include Pollination. While plants may develop mechanisms that don't rely on animal life, or rely on mammals, birds, etc. bugs make up an extremely significant percent of all pollinators. It's not impossible to live without ...


13

So, let’s be clear about the ocean acidification problem here: it’s happening really fast. As in, we’ve dropped the ocean’s pH by ~.1 pH units in the last 200 years, which is about a 30% increase in H+ ions because logarithms. That’s incredibly fast on both geologic and evolutionary timescales. Corals are dying because they’re having a hard time making ...


12

Yes, it is much harder to get Earth-like conditions than desert or ice Desert planets have a much larger Goldilocks zone since, without so much water, they don't have the problem of icing up or a run away green house effect. This means desert planets could be much more likely homes for life. You would get some variation in temperature but there is no reason ...


12

Yes this is relatively easy, you just need a mass extinction. Right after a mass extinction there are very few large organisms left, survivors tend to be small generalists, species diversity drops like a stone (no pun intended) their populations become huge but there has not been enough time for them to really diversify. Note this does hinge on your ...


11

If it's ice down to the equator, it's going to be awfully solid from around 35 degrees poleward. You can have an entire ecology that is dependent on the sea, but it will require that the seas be open for a reasonable part of the year. See the upwellings in the northern oceans, and around antarctica. So now, you need to get ice on land, but open oceans. ...


10

Sound of whatever wavelength transports energy, so in principle it should be possible to collect it and store it. There's been some work on that recently. For example, in 2014 "researchers in London… developed a device that uses sound to help generate an electrical charge… [using] the piezoelectric properties of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorods to harvest energy ...


10

Imagine that the Ichisonga was a real creature, a species of rhinoceros inhabiting Africa. Rhinos already behave like this and they are herbivores. They'll attack most things. Of course they lose against elephants but that doesn't stop them trying. Why? Nobody knows! Rhino versus elephant. https://youtu.be/4sRlnNllql0?t=155 Rhino against just ...


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