15

Yes. This happened on a small Pacific island with a population bottleneck after a typhoon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pingelap Complete achromatopsia is normally a very rare condition, and its prevalence on the island has been traced back to a population bottleneck in 1775 after a catastrophic typhoon swept through the island, leaving only about 20 ...


13

Twenty thousand people is an enormously large population to have a big Founder Effect. To produce this you would need: Some reason why this population is disproportionately color-blind, or if females carriers of it Some reason why it is selected for and not against. One possibility would be that for some reason, ability to see through camouflage is ...


10

Hoover Dam is a fine dam. Use it for that. Long before there was hydroelectric power, people dammed waterways to create reservoirs. That function of the Hoover Dam will work fine even as the hydroelectric machinery becomes nonfunctional. There is nearly a square mile of flat desert in the wash leading up to Boulder Beach - circled. You could irrigate ...


10

Make the advanced nuclear plant such that you can achieve what you want for your story. The advanced plant does not have to be Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. This is advanced tech! A fictional self sustaining power plant can be whatever works for you. You can make it what you want, retroactively creating the plant setup to accommodate the sorts of ...


6

Was the dam hit? It would have made the list as a counter-value target during the Cold War days, but there are fewer weapons for any attacker these days. (Call it Russia? The Chinese have fewer missiles, not enough for a nuclear holocaust) Does the machinery last without maintenance? The electrical generators need regular maintenance, and the article says ...


6

Some possibilities: The sensors were all near the bunker, which is in an area that was rendered uninhabitable. They had sensors further away, but those were all all too damaged to transmit. The sensors are transmitting faulty data owing to damage. The computer program set up to analyze and determine whether it's safe has bugs. Those who grew up underground ...


5

Your problem for limiting genetic diversity is that you have too many "breeding pairs" to get any significant genetic diversity. You need some way to limit that. The obvious way is to limit which men breed., or that you simply (for whatever reason) don't have that many men. 19,999 women, one man Your survivors were a girl guide jamboree. The vast ...


5

Service: These are great answers, and materially I can't compete with them. I see potential in labor as a marketable trade commodity. Humans have a long, complex relationship with the sea, and the labor of those who can move freely in it could be very valuable. My commercial ship sank? Hire a mer-crew to retrieve the goods. Want cold wine? I know a mer-guy ...


4

Po-Tay-Toes You can fry 'em, boil 'em, stick 'em in a stew! Depending on your WWIII scenario any of the places you specified can go from "yeah you COULD but potatoes aren't ideal" to "perfect potato weather" land. They're resilient, cheap labor-wise to grow, and have the added bonus of whatever mutant nasties/marauding bands are out ...


4

Those in power like the status quo. Down in the bunker, it is comfortable for those in charge. They have control of the necessary supplies. They have other things they like. If they leave things will change and it is hard for them to imagine they will change for the better. The elites like the status quo. They arrange for the sensors to show that the ...


4

I suggest going with the founder effect, as described in Willk's answer, combined with a political effect. At first the colour blindness is just present in the leader and their family. They tend to get more children than other people making the gene more common. Later anybody who claim to see these "colours" will be executed as this is an ...


4

Half life Nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants use very different material for their nuclear reactions. A nuke needs stable material that can be pushed over the edge, using as much of the material as possible for maximum efficiency. Power plants use a material that can be less stable for ease of starting a reaction, and needs to more slowly react for a ...


4

Interfaces Think of how many different modern devices now use Bluetooth connections and smartphone apps to control them. Extend that further, and the various controls and diagnostic displays in the plant all were built with the expectation that the maintenance techs will have their own Augmented Reality system that they can use to view the outputs and send ...


3

Bioweapons might be better for lasting trouble. Nuclear war is a good way to wreck everything fast. But radioactivity fades, and especially outside with wind and water and life working on the particles, environmental contamination will be gone in decades or if not gone, diluted to harmless imperceptibility. The Chernobyl experience has demonstrated how ...


3

Prehistoric Agriculture From The Region A lot of Native Americans in the region cultivated crops that were relatively drought-resistant. Here's a nice summary from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_the_prehistoric_Southwest but it's mostly centered around New Mexico and Arizona. These are mostly beans, squash and corn. They've fed ...


3

Lots of evolution to eat bugs First off, I'm assuming that all plant life continues. There are some complicated relationships between plants and animals that would be disrupted, so you'd expect to see a lot of plants going extinct pretty quickly. (I sincerely hope that you plan to keep bees around or else it'll be a massacre.) Rodolfo Penteado's answer is ...


3

Valuable dyes. In particular I am thinking of Tyrian purple sometimes called Phoenician purple. This was a dye made from a particular sort of sea snail. They were gathered, mashed up, and the concoction was supposed to be the most foul-smelling thing imaginable in the ancient world (which is saying something, they weren't necessarily known for their hygiene)....


3

Relics of the sunken world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCQ6ADnxStI The screenshot is from the movie Waterworld, where the merperson hero can visit the sunken cities and retrieve items. Mostly dirt, if I recall. But in your post apocalyptic world, maybe the merpeople have access to sunken relics of the world that was. Their remoteness means they ...


3

As with most modern zombie franchises, the answer is ultimately illness Radiation doesn't mutate the way Hollywood and the golden years of science fiction would suggest. But science has figured out what it can do: it can compromise the immune system. The cells of the immune system are among the most highly radiosensitive cells in the body. There are ...


2

the skinless are people who survived the radiation and lived out side for generations, but became inbred, only small populations suried, as such they are insane and prone to leprosy. This is only increased and worsened by the radiation. so it is a mix of incest and radiation.


2

So, what sort of post-apocalytic wasteland are we looking at here? Is this a frozen wasteland, only just starting to emerge from the nuclear winter? Or a burning hot desertified wasteland, with little to no rainfall, a depleted ozone layer and global warming pushed over the edge? Because if it's the former, then might I suggest Durvillaea antarctica, or ...


2

I'm sorry, but... It still needs to occupy some ecological niches there. Without their usual predators, insects increase their numbers on an absurd scale and form clouds of insects that make the now-feared locust clouds look like a gentle breeze. The imbalance caused by how much they are able to help reproduce with pollination is quickly lost by starving ...


2

No, unless you can justify why no nukes fell anywhere near Las Vegas Hoover Dam, like all hydroelectric dams, uses turbines—big copper-wire-wound generators. Which makes them horrifically (and catastrophically) susceptible to the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear detonation. It wouldn't even have to be close, but it will be close nonetheless due to Nellis ...


2

Color vision is so vital to human survival that it would be difficult to explain this with only genetics. Red-green colorblindness is sex linked so it may be possible to explain a prevalence of red-green colorblindness after a war by explaining that men with good color vision went off to war and died, leaving noncombat military and those unfit for service ...


2

If a nuclear holocaust has taken place in your world, lots of particulate matter will be ejected into the atmosphere. You’ve probably read before about how volcanos have a huge impact on the environment, to the extent that some have speculated that volcanic eruptions have been responsible for various major famines and cold periods over the course of human ...


1

When the war kicked off someone was aware of the bunker and didn't like the situation. They didn't have the ability to actually strike the bunker but instead arranged the mother of all dirty bomb attacks on the area the bunker is in. The people in the bunker see the ground is still too hot, they are staying inside. They don't know it's because someone blew ...


1

A different kind of founder effect - disease: There are a multitude of diseases in the world, and viruses can cause some pretty unique ones. In conditions with poor healthcare, a minor virus no one ever noticed can become a huge public health problem. Polio was a significant virus mostly because changes in health standards meant people started catching it ...


1

Plastic is hot. Fabric is not. Yeah milk jugs are light, but after a few days your enemies will smell you when you get near. Milk jugs don't breathe! Also if you have companions they may get to calling you "milk jugs" and I think you know from hard experience that nickname will be for life. Your warrior obtains a high end summer weight silk coat ...


1

You could use gentle heat (from an old-style iron, or just a lump of metal with a handle) to melt plastic chips (like HDPE from milk jugs, etc) into the mesh. For an idea of how much work it would take, see this article where the author was making plastic plates out of shredded milk bottles for a boat. The important part seems to be letting the plastic &...


1

Screamers could be the result of a project by ethically dubious genomists, freed from oversight/regulations, trying to "improve" humans, then losing control of the project. The "improved" humans would naturally be better-adapted, with the traits you mentioned engineered in, and would thus survive. Skinless is trickier, as the traits you ...


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