New answers tagged

1

What would happen first is that when the Earth crust and mantle are broken up it would create a little ring around the rest of the planet. You also say that only the crust and mantle are broken up, and this would mean all the other pieces will come crashing down to Earth. This is because Earth's core and mantle are like 70 to 80 percent of Earth's mass so it ...


3

Depending on the situation there may be very little change. Evolution is a process mostly driven by struggle, in the situation you gave there is very little need for the people to adapt. This is compounded by the fact that humans can develop societal solutions to a problem much faster than an evolutionary solution. Most changes if any will likely be ...


4

It takes a lot of energy to change the altitude of an object's orbit (or to tilt the plane of its orbit). So, if the original explosion wasn't powerful enough to send the fragments flying into space immediately, then all the fragments will still be in pretty much the same orbit the Earth was, no matter how much later you return. That doesn't mean, however, ...


5

Yes, it would probably stay close by unless the explosion was very powerful. The gravitational binding energy of earth is pretty high. Some chunks might acquire enough energy to escape, but the planet in general would still be gravitationally bound, and the chunks would be a moon, a ring, or collide back into the Earth. If you want something really weird ...


0

Given the outline of the scenario, it sounds very feasible. Society still functions and is already heavily controlled and localized so performing census won't be an issue. On the technological side, there would need to be computers. If story is takes place in the modern day or after the current era, assuming that technology has developed the same as IRL, ...


0

I see nobody has mentioned fireflies/bioluminescence. A quick google search shows raising fireflies is a feasible feat, and raising them in enough numbers to release them as a defense may be doable (they can get extremely close to the monsters) Kill a monster, and selectively breed fireflies to a) be attracted to the monster's meat (fireflies are ...


3

Urban farms in the safe zone Hydroponics, aeroponics, warehousing, and vertical farming, there are tons of modern ways to farm in a small area. Entire skyscrapers could be converted to huge farms. More exotic solutions like farming mushrooms, seaweed, or algae could also be used. Even animals can be raised in buildings. There's nothing stopping them from ...


2

Since light does the damage lasers and flares seems like a good option to start with, but they have the drawback of needing power, being bulky and, quite frankly, too delicate to survive a real fight with the spawns of darkness, so you might have some success, but at a lot of risk. But don't worry, there's a simpler way, inspired by one of the world ...


1

Car Batteries, a set of jumper cables (or stick welding leads) and a sheet of metal grounded to the other lead. Car battery welding is an emergency type of welding you can do if you really need to stick some metal together... in an emergency; gotta stress that part. BUT I could see shock troopers geared out like so: Speed glass welding helmet Car battery ...


2

It depends on the location. Hydroponics can be used anywhere and have a good yield for relatively little space. More natural options can include securing a mountain valley (helps with natural defenses) such as those found in Swiss or Austria. Considering the nature of your apocalypse it mostly boils down to everything people do normally with the only ...


3

If temperature and daylight are no longer issues, you can grow anything anywhere, and grow multiple crops per year limited only by growing time. All the farmland you need can be enclosed within town and city walls. It's already 20-45F in some places, not sure where you have in mind or how much of a change.


7

Hydroponics. You don't even need to illuminate them anymore. Stack several layers in a garage somewhere and the food issue is solved 3 times over.


1

How about a somewhat different approach: Robot "guns". Build something that can discern the monsters (say, a light source coupled with a ranging system. Anything sufficiently dark but present is a monster) and it fires a pulse from a powerful laser at the target. That should do some serious damage to the monster if not kill it outright. Since these ...


1

Phosphorus allotropes are bioluminescent, could be used. They also burn or react with water to produce poisonous gases like phosphene and have the ability to cause explosions when mixed with some other chemicals. So stuff like amulets and blow drier powder guns etc and other imaginary weaponry can be fashioned. Imagine, luring a big monster in one their ...


1

If humanity is surviving darkness, these creatures cannot do anything to them. Here is what would happen: Scouts will be traced to their dens, then here comes the light show. This will keep their number in check. The more creatures there are, it will be easier to find their place. I don't believe any creature will be able to survive against a bunker buster ...


3

Ever seen "Dusk Till Dawn"? Quentin Tarantino move? It's a kidnap/roadtrip movie that takes a hard left turn near the end. Anyway, sunlight suddenly becomes really helpful... and when it strikes the spinning Mirrored Disco Ball just about everything in the room catches some rays. And you say light burns them? DISCO INFERNO baby! How about repurposing ...


17

This fits more with the "post-apocalypse" tag than the "magic" one, and assumes years to decades after the fall (your 20 years). You mention "some forms of UV". A photon (or the monster it hits), doesn't know what generated it, only what wavelength it is. Of course the sheer brightness of lightning may also be significant, but that's relatively easy to ...


2

Star shells, flares, LEDs, lasers, and mirrors. Star shells, launched from a cannon or mortar, will illuminate a large area, enough to make any of these critters pause, Flares are local defense. Shoot it anywhere near the critters. LED lights LED flashlights are VERY power-efficient, obviously. Lasers already mentioned by everybody... lots and lots ...


8

[] Fun premise! Any sort of creative, photonic assault that could be dreamed up .. could no doubt be turned into something all the nastier with a couple of hundred-thousand strategically placed makeup mirrors! In fact, with a couple of those IR lasers that @Willk probably mentioned, and a bag full of reflectors, I managed to set up a perimeter that the ...


7

You may find the following - an old US Army field manual concerning battlefield illumination - useful: https://www.bits.de/NRANEU/others/amd-us-archive/FM20-60%2870%29.pdf . Given it's from the 1970's it's somewhat dated, but the lower tech level may be beneficial to the survivors of your world - hopefully some or all of it is within reach of their ...


11

War as Usual The bullets may not hurt them, but the tracer rounds should do some damage. The usage of miniguns come mind. Oh, since the battle is in darkness, bright flares will be in use. Bombs still produce some bright light, even if for a few moment. Once humans figure out their weakness is light, phosphorous weapons become mandatory. Flame throwers ...


33

The creatures in question will also tend to avoid any areas where lightning or similar electrical discharges have gone off for a few hours, as for some reason, if they enter that area within the stated time, it burns their skin. Ozone generators. source The electromagnetic radiation is long gone. What remains so long after is the result of the energetic ...


8

The first step in protecting the towns is architecture. Human habitations would be built as concentrated as possible, and fortified. (Walls have to be of some use in delaying them so you can bring light to bear.) Furthermore, the buildings would be built to maximize light of sight. Medieval fortresses were build with round towers to make it harder to use ...


3

Spotlight traps and flash grenades seem like a good way to go. According to what you said, it'd seem like the light of the lightning does as much damage as the lightning itself. What you might want is a way to arm a trap using spotlights, flash grenades and Faraday cages. If you make a zone with many spotlights and activate them once the beasts are inside, ...


1

Perhaps look to the effects of islands on evolution as a model? You might not have the food pressures like a small island might have but Darwin noticed different islands had different species. Each bubble or dome has as slightly different gene pool to start with, and some recessive traits would be different. Sexual selection over the time period could ...


1

The immediate and direct effect would be cold. Even solar eclipses produce a noticeable decline in temperature. The eruption of Mount Tambora -- also known as Year Without a Summer and Eighteen Hundred and Froze To Death -- produced massive chilling, with snow in tropical eras, from a total of 0.4–0.7 degrees Celcius drop. Yet that allowed in ...


5

Extinction of most creatures. Most food webs in our world are sustainained by photosynthetic organisms, photo being the key here. Without light, plants can't make photosynthesis, new organic matter can't be created and food chains will collapse, most likely resulting into the extinction of most species who rely, directly or indirectly, on plants, algae, ...


1

So some chimpanzees and monkeys are already in the stone age. ( http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150818-chimps-living-in-the-stone-age ) Assuming that the loss of humanity didn't also wipe out the primates one of those is likely to step up to fill the niche, but that will likely take many millennia. IN the interim as others have suggested, large predators ...


1

If you're looking for a species to become the new humans, I think cats are really your best choice. They don't have many natural enemies, can adapt to a wide range of climates, and have other biological benefits that other answers have already explained. There's more to it than biology, though. You don't rise to the point of being a diverse planet's ...


1

Using protocols like PSK31 its possible to send low speed text communications around the globe with only a few watts of transmit power and some loose wire as an antenna. The transmitter and receiver are just an ordinary cheap ham radio plus some software that could run on a $0.50 cent micro controller. "PSK31 is distinguished from other digital modes in ...


2

Radio broadcasting and receiving is easy There are over 15,000 radio stations in the United States (15,330 according to Google), and millions of radio receivers in cars, houses and people's hands that can receive their signals. Then add in the ham radio community, the police and emergency services radio networks, CB (citizens band) radios/walkie talkies ...


3

In some ways radio's are a 1920's era technology. (Radio waves discovered in 1886, commercialized by 1900, widespread use by the 1920's, spark gap then AM radios first, followed by the FM radio being invented in 1933, then cellular radio's taking off for mobile communications in the 80's leading to the 2G,3G,4G, and now 5G, Satellite comms. etc.) What is ...


2

You'll need a few components to make it work effectively, but most importantly, you'll need a series of transmitters and receivers, so that they can send and receive messages and communicate (plus some way to power the equipment, of course, which might be the hardest part). You'll likely want to use AM frequencies to get a longer reach and thus requiring ...


2

I don't know about transmitters, so I'll skip those. Receivers are easy Soldiers during WW2 would commonly make their own radios using whatever they had lying around in their foxholes. Interference keeps transmissions local We use radio because radio wave frequencies aren't readily absorbed or interfered with by the atmosphere. So change the composition ...


1

It will depend a lot on the world itself and it's problems. Let's say, for example, that the monsters come out mostly at night. In this case "I'll be back before dawn" is an effective way to say bye while also signaling "I'll return". Defining how your monsters work and the state of the world is important, as these things will be important in how culture ...


1

Because of mankind's huge impact on the planet and the environment, generally speaking I think the species that would benefit most from mankind's departure are those that are close to the fringes, such as the endangered species in the fragile parts of the polar ice caps, rain forests, wetlands, etc. For example polar bears might be one of the largest ...


5

Intelligence is nothing more than an evolutionary tool. Because it is our main tool, we are biased in saying that it is different and we overvalue, after all, we cannot run very well, we have no claws, inoculate poison, keep alive in very adverse situations, etc. Our intelligence is the product of the 16 billion neurons in the prefrontal cortex, which added ...


1

In terms of mankind's presence passively helping another species achieve sapience, there probably wouldn't be any species that fit your criteria. Humans haven't been creating strong selection pressures for higher intelligence, and the only way our presence would help another species achieve sapience is if we outright uplifted them. There have been ...


2

Another answer from me, from a different perspective. I just re-read your criteria: how much what we would leave behind might shorten the species's evolutionary journey to sentience. So, that's actually pretty specific. What in all our stuff would push a species to evolve higher intelligence? This immediately lays down some groundwork: first, there has ...


1

As John O said, ready-to-use ammunition will quickly become rare. But it's not hard to refill your own cartridges. Plenty of people do it now, sometimes it's cheaper than buying new ammo. I would check outdoor shooting ranges. The firing line will probably have some empty brass lying around, and the backstop, if it's dirt or sand, will probably have tens ...


10

Robots Maybe it is a stretch to call robots a "species", but when it comes to owing their rise to humans, they fit the bill perfectly. In your future world, humans may have achieved a state where robotic automation becomes so good that robots can reproduce and adapt on thier own. Some robots mine, some run the factories, some distribute goods, etc. They ...


9

All current answers are too mammal-centric. My nomination would be the birds. If you want to breed for intelligence, tool use and problem-solving, you don't want dogs or even cats - you want crows. They are the first animal ever seen to construct complex tools (defined as a tool with more than one element). Crows are fully omnivorous, and will eat ...


6

I kinda feel like the various monkeys/apes are the best candidate - albeit a pretty boring one. Some scientists already consider that they have entered Stone Age and that's the furthest any species has got so far. With humans out of the picture - well, it's just a matter of time. Mind you, I don't know how much of human presence would still remain by the ...


15

We need an animal that is pretty intelligent already, and who can pick up and use the tools left behind by humanity. Having a flexible diet wouldn't hurt. I present to you: The Raccoon!


26

Large mammals and fish will benefit most. Any species which relies on humans: rats, seagulls, pidgeons, roaches; these will all quickly die off outside their natural habitat as their source of food and shelter disappears. On the evolutionary time scale of hundreds to millions of years necessary to evolve intelligence, assuming natural selection goes that ...


20

Some variables need to be established in order to come up with a sensible answer. The first question is geography. In some parts of the United States, local governments have imposed various restrictions on ownership of firearms. Other localities might favour shotguns, or large calibre hunting rifles (for deer, moose etc.), AR-15's (shooting small game or "...


27

Okay, so I had a long talk with my cat (ginger, of course) about this and came up with a plot. Humans advance to the point where robots and AI pretty much do everything for us. Some benevolent human owner trains his AI Alexia to understand meows and operate under meow control. So cats learn how to operate this AI voice command system and use touch ...


15

Some kind of invasive species What we call "invasive" species, are really species that we humans have moved to new habitats where they thrive. They may thrive because they have no natural predators in the new habitat, or because we've eliminated their predators, or because we've made their prey unnaturally abundant. In other words, we've given them an ...


2

It would be a toss-up between cats or dogs, but I would bet on cats. Both have been bred by humans for intelligence, so they have a head start on evolution. Both have gone well passed the critical threshold of population numbers for independent survival. Both are very familiar with human habitats, living conditions, and culture, and have adapted to ...


4

On thinking about the other answers, I'm not sure this is possible without a little "something extra"... If humans suddenly die out, nature is likely going to reclaim most of our stuff more quickly than something else can grow to the point of being able to care about it consciously and preserve it. That "something" is uplift. There are several species that ...


Top 50 recent answers are included