54 votes
Accepted

Value of ice during the Renaissance

There really wasn't an Industry for ice until 1805 when the first guy named Frederic Tudor tried to sell ice from new England in the Caribbean. Literally nobody wanted to buy it, and he spent 13 years ...
TCAT117's user avatar
  • 21.1k
47 votes

How to make ice magic work from a scientific point of view?

The measure of a cold magician is not really how low they can bring the temperature. As you say there's a hard limit. They call it "absolute" zero for a reason. The real measure of a cold magician ...
David Johnston's user avatar
40 votes
Accepted

Dropping ice in the ocean to stop global warming

This will not work at all The short version If you drop an ice cube into a room temperature drink, the drink will be slightly colder for a little while. But what happens then? Answer: the drink ...
MichaelK's user avatar
  • 43.8k
38 votes

An Anvil made of never melting ice

At 0°C, your 'ice' anvil is about 1000°C below hot metal rather than 980°C below it, which is probably not significant. However real ice is 35 times less thermally conductive than iron, so if your ...
Pete Kirkham's user avatar
  • 2,234
35 votes

Would glacier 'trees' be plausible?

Maybe, nature is incredibly inventive, but there are a couple of problems with the basic premise; Glaciers "bulldoze" soil out of the way when they move down valley. If there is any major volume of ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.8k
32 votes
Accepted

Can snow dunes form naturally?

Snow dunes already form on Earth, like one can see in all regions where snow and wind are plenty. However they do not reach the sheer dimension of sand dunes because of the difference in the ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
30 votes

Would glacier 'trees' be plausible?

Maybe seeds isn't the way to go. A seed would be hard-pressed to contain all the nutrients to build deep enough roots. Instead, how about one of the many forms of asexual reproduction common in ...
Thanos Maravel's user avatar
29 votes

Dropping ice in the ocean to stop global warming

Comets are tiny Halley's mass is 2.2×1015 kg. A cubic kilometer of water has a mass※1 of 1 × 1012 kg Oceans hold 1.35 × 10 9 cubic kilometers, which gives us 1.35 21 kg of water. So, the mass of the ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 13.7k
29 votes

How can I turn ice into gold?

Molecules are formed by atoms. Each atom is of a type (element). Gold is an element. Water is formed by the elements hydrogen and oxygen. You cannot combine oxygen and hydrogen in molecules to ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 13.7k
29 votes

An Anvil made of never melting ice

When you forge something on the anvil you want it to stay hot as long as you need for working it, so that it keeps its plasticity. Cooling or quenching is done only after the forging is finished. ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
28 votes

Would glacier 'trees' be plausible?

Up from below. https://morgan-outdoors.com/?p=1443 Your glacier trees can take some pages from the playbook of the invasive Japanese knotweed, famous for its ability to break its way up through ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
27 votes
Accepted

Cooling Question: How can I integrate a low tech freezing system into my world?

Desert cultures made and stored ice centuries before the Romans harvested snow from the mountains for their feasts. The key is that the desert environment loses heat rapidly to the sky after dark; ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 45.9k
25 votes

What would happen if a huge solid ball (temperature zero kelvin) of helium appeared suddenly in a deep sea?

The ball would shoot upwards through the water. Helium at 0 K will be solid. The projected density for solid helium is 0.187 g/cm3. . The density of water is 1 g/cm3. Maybe 100 km deep it is a ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
24 votes
Accepted

Would a freeze ray be effective against modern military vehicles?

It would immobilize or destroy just about anything other than nuclear powered ships. The big issue I see it causing is simply engine air intake and exhaust. Even tanks need this, so covering a tank in ...
JamieB's user avatar
  • 7,652
23 votes

Value of ice during the Renaissance

Would this method be able to generate signficant income for the mages? Yes, it would. In a time when electric power was unknown, this would be the only viable way to have ice made easily available ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

How to ensure the safety of a surface base on Europa?

Avoidance; or, don't build your house on a thermal vent The Earth has tectonic activity: both earthquakes and "thermal vents" that spew fiery rocks out (i.e. volcanos). How do you know you aren't in ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.5k
22 votes

Would a freeze ray be effective against modern military vehicles?

Yes, Extremely Effective There are 2 things (and a bunch of secondary things) that would make a Freeze Ray against vehicles terrifying. Shrinkage No, I'm not talking about that kind of Shrinkage, I'm ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
  • 24.9k
21 votes
Accepted

How would a microscopic organism create kilometre long fibre optic cables from ice

First issue with natural ice is that it is hardly transparent, because it contains microscopic bubbles of entrapped gas which give it it's white appearance. But this can be overcome by having ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
20 votes

Dropping ice in the ocean to stop global warming

To me, it's the same as if you'd said: Stopping global warming by leaving the fridge open. Ice needs to be produced. This requires large quantities of energy for freezing water, which requires more ...
Alexander von Wernherr's user avatar
20 votes

An Anvil made of never melting ice

Frame challenge You have redefined ice and changed its properties so much that is no longer ice. If you're going to do all that, why not just redefine the melting point of ice as well and say that it ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
20 votes

Would salt mines, lakes or flats be reasonably found in high, snowy elevations?

They mine a lot of pink salt in the Himalaya mountain range on Earth. This is the result of plate tectonics and many, many tens of millions of years of uplift. While not quite as high, the salt flats ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 11.5k
19 votes

Heavy water icebergs

Assuming a spherical cow in a vacuum. I mean a planet with 50/50 D/H instead of almost entirely H. Any given D or H atom is going to have a 50/50 chance of binding with either a D or an H atom. What ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
19 votes
Accepted

Could the Missouri River be running while Lake Michigan was frozen several meters deep?

Sure, and it did. While there was no Lake Michigan during the Last Glacial Maximum, the Laurentide Ice Sheet was up to a 1500 meters or more thick around the Chicago area, while it never reached as ...
Keith Morrison's user avatar
18 votes

Value of ice during the Renaissance

TL;DR The magician can earn a living quite well by producing ice, but don't expect him to get very rich. We don't need to speculate. Natural ice trade is widespread and very well documented in ...
Pere's user avatar
  • 4,151
17 votes

Does ice have to be on both poles?

All other factors being even? It might be possible if one pole was entirely oceanic and the other was either landlocked (like the North Pole) or covered by a continental land mass (like the South Pole)...
Mon's user avatar
  • 17.2k
17 votes

Can snow dunes form naturally?

I've lived (and currently live) in areas where blowing snow is common. Of course dunes form, though we call them drifts, and they can form thicknesses of a dozen feet where other surfaces have but ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 123k
16 votes

How can I turn ice into gold?

According to the National Ocean Service, our oceans hold some 20 million pounds of gold, suspended in normal seawater. But this gold is spread throughout the normal mineral content of seawater to the ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Could water be separated from a mixture by natural condensing/freezing?

Yes If you assume that there is a temperature gradient around the crater walls then yes this should actually happen, the exact formation being dependant on the compounds present, the temperature ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 37.3k
15 votes
Accepted

Building my Flat Earth, how to make my Ice walls last for eternity

Nightsky cooling will be important. The sky is cold. Even with a full atmosphere in the way, it can act as though it is -50F. With no atmosphere, it can get down to almost 0K. That lets you ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 132k

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