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180 votes
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What would an immortal-run American bank have to do to secretly maintain bank accounts for immortal customers?

Maintain a Bank Account for Above-Board Immortals American law already grants personhood to immortal, soulless entities bent on twisting the minds of innocents to their will and consuming everything ...
jdunlop's user avatar
  • 32k
132 votes
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My characters have been killing the same demons over and over again. How come the demons never adapt to them?

Why would they? They're just here to punch the clock. Invading planets nine to five, then check out and relax. And you know what? If you get killed, you get a vacation. Of course, it must not be ...
Luaan's user avatar
  • 4,035
116 votes
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What skills would an early-1500s era ship captain need to learn to become a modern-day sailor (and eventually a captain again)?

My qualifications I was a qualified Officer of the Deck in the US Navy. I have around 2000 hours watchstanding time and about 50 port and anchorage transits. Navigation skills A (competent) 1500s ...
kingledion's user avatar
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112 votes

Great Old Ones Limited, or Why does Cthulhu need a Company?

It IS a front because if you openly state as the firm's mission and vision to summon a destroyer of worlds your business isn't going very far. Aside from that, there are some things that dark cults ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
107 votes
Accepted

Reasons why healthy people would intentionally want to get infected?

Natural Vaccination. Read about how Cowpox was used to vaccinate against Smallpox, this is our IRL first instance of vaccination against a disease. The word “vaccination,” coined by Jenner in 1796,...
Amadeus's user avatar
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93 votes
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Great Old Ones Limited, or Why does Cthulhu need a Company?

Have YOU ever tried setting up classic rituals? Everything's going well with everyone in their matching robes and masks, and just as the Grand Priest is finishing the ritual to summon a Great Old One ...
Giter's user avatar
  • 17.3k
90 votes

Are there any mathematics that could only be learned by very few people?

Main Answer I have a PhD in Mathematics and came across this question. To be honest, I dislike almost every single answer, except maybe L.Dutch's answer concerning Wile's proof of Fermat's last ...
Jesko Hüttenhain's user avatar
82 votes

Where on Earth is it easiest to survive in the wilderness?

As a native I'm definitely biased here, but Ireland is actually a pretty good bet. Especially towards the West, Ireland has actually seen a decline in rural population. You can genuinely walk for ...
mcRobusta's user avatar
  • 1,553
80 votes

Reasons why healthy people would intentionally want to get infected?

Because some self-proclaimed health guru claims that it's good for you to have that disease. The miracle-virus causes your body to absorb free cosmic energies. Your constantly raising body ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 48.8k
74 votes

Fallout from aliens destabilizing economy by counterfeiting all global currencies?

what policies would the world's various administrations put in place? Switch to digital currencies and eliminate paper money. Explain to the nice aliens that we were just settling on paper money. ...
Brythan's user avatar
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71 votes
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Why would people let a super tree grow?

The tree was never supposed to be a tree, it was supposed to be a natural boost to the air quality and be a feature of the building. The architect had a great idea for a natural air circulation and ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
71 votes
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How would modern naval warfare have to have developed differently for battleships to still be relevant in the 21st century?

TLDR: All you need is better Anti-Aircraft Guns There's a lot of good information here, but I think @Karl actually has the best and simplest answer to the question. Imagine a scenario where instead ...
Morris The Cat's user avatar
66 votes
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How fast can I flood the Netherlands entirely and permanently?

Can't realistically be done. As you pointed out, there is not enough water on the Earth. You could get away with a Grote Mandrenke, but no more (and you want "permanent"). Adding that much water ...
LSerni's user avatar
  • 55.4k
66 votes

How can medieval knights protect themselves against modern guns?

This is basic asymmetric warfare. It can work. Ask the Viet Cong how they held off the most powerful superpower in the world... What you don't do is take on the modern army on their terms, or even ...
Adrian K-B.'s user avatar
  • 3,113
63 votes
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How can my town be public knowledge while still keeping outsiders out?

The answer to this is very simple: make the entire town into a gated community. Encircle the whole place with a fence and have guards on the gates who are or can pass for human. The guards would ask ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 61.9k
63 votes

Could a natural disaster completely isolate a large city in the modern world without destroying it?

Totally possible. 2 million Australian's came very close in "20 bloody 20" About 80% of your requirements were met in 2020. 12 days of total isolation is a little shy of your requirements. A ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
62 votes

How would a society be structured so everyone can die in combat?

Gladiatorial combat When someone approaches retirement age but is still healthy enough to carry a weapon, they go to a coliseum and fight other senior citizens to the death. And if they win, they ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 48.8k
59 votes
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What do fairies wear and how can they evade detection by our cameras?

They paint their wings like giant butterflies Rainforests house many colorful butteflies, some with wingspans of 4-5 inches. With painted wings and carefully chosen clothes and a bit of bodypaint, ...
Klaus Æ. Mogensen's user avatar
58 votes

How much smarter would bred humans become?

Intelligence is not a singular trait There are many facets to intelligence. Let's start with some animal examples: Dogs. Everybody loves dogs and dogs love everybody. They have incredible social ...
ArtificialSoul's user avatar
54 votes

My characters have been killing the same demons over and over again. How come the demons never adapt to them?

They do not know what the tactics were Combat is a horribly confusing environment to be in. No one has the full picture of exactly what happened afterwards - recollections of individuals are ...
KerrAvon2055's user avatar
  • 27.8k
52 votes

How to prevent criminal gangs from making/buying guns?

Real life solution - make guns scarce in your society In a country like US, where there are plenty of guns among the citizens, it's a no-brainer for criminals to use guns too. If they choose melee ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 42.3k
52 votes

Famous conjecture or unsolved problem that could be plausibly proven/solved by freshman mathematician?

Since you're interested in something currently unsolved, you don't really care about how protagonist will solve it, only that he does so, let's go for something extremely simple, simple enough that ...
Failus Maximus's user avatar
51 votes
Accepted

How to prevent criminal gangs from making/buying guns?

My home country (China) has very strict gun control laws. Basically, normal citizen will not be allowed to buy, sell guns, or make it themselves. If guns are involved in a crime case (say, robbery), ...
Chenxi GE's user avatar
  • 1,373
48 votes

Modern soldiers carry axes instead of combat knives. Why?

Combat knives as side arms are falling out of favor across modern militaries. Why? Getting into a situation in which your main rifle and sidearm both are no longer viable and effective yet the knife ...
Ranger's user avatar
  • 17.5k
48 votes

Fallout from aliens destabilizing economy by counterfeiting all global currencies?

If the governments of the world are in any way intelligent (which is a stretch), they would quickly switch to using a combination of highly nutritious, pre packaged food bars, and fully charged high ...
Xavon_Wrentaile's user avatar
48 votes

How can medieval knights protect themselves against modern guns?

Historically, knights were protected from firearms. Armour from the late 1400's on was "proofed" by firing a shot from a handheld firearm into it, allowing the purchaser to have a visible sign that ...
Thucydides's user avatar
  • 97.7k
47 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to have a wealthy country without a middle class?

Gated Nation One scenario that comes to mind is Monaco. One in three is a [multi-] millionaire. Most of the working-class do not live in Monaco, but commute from France. The "country" is full of rich ...
Xplodotron's user avatar
  • 2,201
47 votes

Are there any mathematics that could only be learned by very few people?

No such thing exists. All mathematics is a type of language. Like language, it looks mysterious to people who don't speak it. But if you study it enough, you will understand it. There are no ...
Priska's user avatar
  • 5,605
46 votes

Great Old Ones Limited, or Why does Cthulhu need a Company?

What a legitimate company with innocent employees is good for is what all legitimate companies do anyways : running a business, gathering property, gaining licenses, managing property... While most ...
Ville Niemi's user avatar
  • 43.2k
46 votes

Is it possible to have battery technology that can't be duplicated?

First of all, the chemistry, structure and principle of operation of the batteries cannot possibly be secret. Most countries have regulatory authorities which need to approve the use of vehicles on ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 90.6k

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