121 votes
Accepted

How long would it take to create a Windows 1.0 capable machine from complete scratch?

This demands a full chemical industry developed. (Let's guess they can get at iron ore and coal somehow, and suitable material to make ovens, and you swiped a few axes, saws and shovels to start with. ...
Karl's user avatar
  • 3,528
95 votes
Accepted

Is it possible for a mine to contain both gemstones and precious metals?

Sure. Gems such as diamonds, corundums (ruby and sapphire) come from igneous sources. It's possible that one could have a diamondiferous kimberlite blast through a gold or silver ore-bearing ...
Keith Morrison's user avatar
64 votes

What kind of Alien artifacts or minerals could advance the human race?

If We are talking Strictly Materials There are a ton of options, it just depends on what you are trying to do: Of the kinds of advanced fuels humans could figure out how to exploit today, anti-matter ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
62 votes

What would America lack if cut off from World trade for years?

So international trade with the USA is just wacky; eg 6 Of Top 10 U.S. Imports Are Also Top 10 Exports Many things we worry about day to day will be fine - USA is essentially self sufficient for many ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
61 votes

Is there a way to "poison" oil fields permanently without releasing $CO_{2}$ from them?

One way I can think of: Just look at Fukushima and how hard it is to filter radioactive elements out of water - I bet filtering them out of oil would not be any easier. Rather the opposite, I'd expect....
Syndic's user avatar
  • 6,582
60 votes

Why would male organs make better ingredients for a spell?

witchcraft in this world is practiced openly by witches is exclusively female & Mana is continuously produced by the body in order to keep a person alive and functional. Males can't use magic ...
workoverflow's user avatar
60 votes

How to not starve gigantic beasts

The creatures eat rocks. The excreta from this is fertile loam that is ideally suited to farming. They can be trained to eat from rock formations in such a way as to create walls and fortification. ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
51 votes
Accepted

Closest Proximity of Oceans to Freshwater Springs

What is the closest I can realistically have my spring to the ocean? 0 meters When, as a kid, I went to the sea during summer, it was common knowledge that, in some places along the coast, there ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
45 votes
Accepted

How to not starve gigantic beasts

We have a historical precedent for a world with monsters the size of houses. The difference was arguably higher carbon dioxide, and tropical temperatures, leading to richer and more vibrant plant ...
Jedediah's user avatar
  • 10.8k
45 votes
Accepted

How Do You Get Wood in a World Where Monsters Defend The Forests?

By farming it. Leave the natural forests alone, and plant your own tree farms, just like we do for Christmas trees and paper. For firewood, staves, bows, wicker, and small beams, use coppicing to ...
Logan R. Kearsley's user avatar
44 votes

Living in a Giant Swamp - Construction

Such a city has been already built in reality, and it was even the capital of an empire: Venice The buildings of Venice are constructed on closely spaced wooden piles. Most of these piles are still ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
43 votes
Accepted

How would books exist if there would be no wood available?

Throughout history and before the wide use of wood pulp in paper people have used many different types of materials for writing. This varies from parchment / vellum (made from animal skins, ...
Jim2B's user avatar
  • 28.7k
39 votes
Accepted

What's the ideal era for harvesting resources by an advanced society?

The thing is the massive amount of energy. Sure you could go back and collect iron, coal, oil, etc but is it worth the expense? Raw materials can be collected from space by asteroid harvesting and ...
Thorne's user avatar
  • 46.8k
38 votes

What sort of materials could be used to make clothing in a swamp?

Jute. (Source) Jute is an ancient and versatile fiber crop, and according to wikipedia is still second only to cotton in amount produced. It requires standing water and so is perfect for your ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
37 votes

How can a mortal woman successfully carry a demigod to term?

Do not make a problem where you do not have one Demi-gods have been born by fully human mothers in hundreds of myths all around the world for thousands of years without anyone ever making an issue out ...
MichaelK's user avatar
  • 43.8k
37 votes

How to not starve gigantic beasts

Usually such creatures are at least partly based in magic and therefore don't need the usual degree of physical sustenance that would be expected. If you want to ignore this and go for purely ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.8k
37 votes

Why are there still resources in space?

Few reasons: Supernovas keep seeding new elements Every few thousand years another supernova goes off, seeding the nearby area with fresh elements. Alien megastructures collapse into gravity wells. ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
34 votes

How can various tiers of worlds be beneficial for God's portfolio?

You Get What You Pay For: Each kind of world is like a different type of stock. Each has it's own investment and risks. A mixed portfolio gives the most reliable returns. Heaven is a high-investment ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 63.6k
34 votes

Robbing the past to pay the future: Where do the resources go? How to balance the books?

The future is impoverished because the past has been raided. Let us say I was well stocked with cheese crackers Wednesday night but Thursday morning I am not at all. I wake up and the crackers are ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
32 votes

Is there a way to "poison" oil fields permanently without releasing $CO_{2}$ from them?

I imagine that the cheapest and most likely option would the use of phase-selective organogelators which are already used to clean up oil spills in some cases. They're cheap, being based on sugars ...
HopelessN00b's user avatar
  • 4,752
31 votes
Accepted

What would be a source of iron to ward off faeries in todays world

A Victorian wrought iron gate. https://www.lassco.co.uk/a-victorian-wrought-iron-garden-gate-48543 Wrought iron ..is a highly refined iron with a small amount of slag forged out into fibres. ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
30 votes
Accepted

How to decide if a Planet is better off to be Terraformed or Stripmined?

Terraforming is going to be a far greater investment than strip-mining. However, the cost will still vary wildly based on what the planet is like. Planets which are close to the target for ...
Dan W's user avatar
  • 3,994
30 votes
Accepted

Why are Orcs always at war for seemingly no reason?

Cultural Misunderstanding. Orc clans raid each other several times a year. Usually during the Summer after the harvest, when there is plenty to eat and steal, but sometimes during the Winter when the ...
Daron's user avatar
  • 66.2k
29 votes

Alternative source of fuel instead of wood

Fish and whale oils They have been commonly used by many cultures across history for many purposes. If your people live on an island, I would be inclined to think that they would have access to fish ...
Qami's user avatar
  • 7,001
29 votes

How would an unethical corporation go about extracting resources from a nation unwilling to co-operate?

Multinational corporations have been in the business of bending unwilling nations to their corporate will to allow for the extraction of resources, for a very long time now. They have a considerable ...
a4android's user avatar
  • 38.4k
29 votes

What resources (especially mineral) can you find on terrestrial planets but not asteroids?

Minerals of biological origin. Chalk, various types of limestone, marble, coal, fossils, petrified wood, amber, guano. It is surprisingly hard to find examples of non-biological minerals that are ...
John's user avatar
  • 81.1k
28 votes
Accepted

Could Spore's Spice Geysers Exist?

My first thought, probably triggered by "spore", is to make them the vents of underground possibly burrowing fungal life forms. Something like the puffball mushroom family but giant sized. They ...
Josh King's user avatar
  • 24.9k
28 votes

What aspect of planet Earth must be changed to prevent the industrial revolution?

Limit the availability of raw materials, in particular fossil fuels and iron. Without fossil fuels you are limited to wood burning as a power source which is far less energy dense and a much more ...
Tim B's user avatar
  • 77.1k
28 votes

How Do You Get Wood in a World Where Monsters Defend The Forests?

In a broader sense, defending the forest is not just "prevent any tree to be cut", it's "ensure that the trees are healthy". Therefore they get wood by practicing sustainable ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k

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