New answers tagged

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I see 4 issues Packing problem (why tails are a problem in close order combat) Human formations can be very dense. In a phalanx, troops can be placed less than a foot behind the line in front of them. They can still effectively use their spears to strike. They can support each other and bring a large number of weapons to bear. Raptors have these long ...


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It looks internally consistent but you may simply get a large bang, stars are, complicated. In theory if you have energy-matter conversion you can pump hydrogen into a star to sustain fusion beyond the normal life of the star. But stars are always a balance between the outward force created by photon pressure and the gravity from the mass of the star, adding ...


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How about a Momentum nullifying shield instead? For the first object to hit the shield its effective directional momentum becomes 0. A bullet (consisting of all one piece) would be completely stopped. An arrow (made of a head, shaft, and fletching) would have the head's momentum reduced to zero but then it would be pushed through by the momentum of the ...


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I just got a crazy idea reading at people answers. What if a meteorite or comet is about to pass really close to the Earth (and thus, the Moon), and, as so many people are looking at it, they detect the shadow of the alien starship when it goes between the Sun and the meteorite? I know is pretty impossible that it just happen to align for the shadow to hit ...


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I think the sudden gravitational influence of a very large ship would impact the stability of every geostationary satellite orbiting the Earth. Since these satellites have limited maneuvering fuel for correcting minor perturbations to their orbit, the corrections are applied very judiciously. So, a sudden perturbation to every satellite would cause people ...


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I'm offering a frame challenge to your question. I think that making the universe constrain motion or momentum in mass-dependent ways is problematic for all the reasons cited in the other answers. But, since everyone is now magical, they could individually generate a personal shield that is always active against attack. It can be consciously made more ...


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The effectiveness of our dinos directly correlates with a tactical acumen. But before we look at the best tactics we should look at how to arm them. Because of their physiological make-up, they are pretty much cavalry without any further need for anything but a lance. Due to being armed with natural claws, additional hand to hand weapons are not needed, ...


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All the fossil evidence we have indicates that dinosaurs were the precursor species to modern birds, which are most certainly homeothermic. So, we can presume that this mesothermy is such that the dinos need not bask in the sun to maintain body temperature. Mesothermy has nothing to do with endurance. In fact, the relationship may actually be inverted: ...


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Easily, by working together more effectively. An army of 100,000 D-men will slaughter 5,000 humans. By having superior organisation and, crucially, not always fighting among themselves while sowing discord among their human foes, the D-men can overcome any minor physiological disadvantage they might have. Nobody says the Romans won because they were bigger ...


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As has been stated already, these creatures weapons and strategies would build upon their physiology. Those tails could power slings, while accuracy is hard to judge since its a matter of eye-tail coordination, in mass they could be quite dangerous. Their basic shape would engender the use of the atlatl-like tools, held in their jaws. They could then ...


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Your preference is for initial observation by Mr. Average Joe. We can see how plausible this is by creating some categories of how likely Average Joe is to have access to certain vantage points. From most plausible to least plausible (list is not exhaustive): Surface of Earth - very easy, just walk outside Low Earth Orbit (hudreds of km up) - not as easy ...


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In open battle, yes And the answer takes two vital components - speed and strength. Your idea of weapons for these deinos revolve around human ones. But that's not the correct approach, it's talons. Large, wicked sharp talons that the deinos have on their feet which gives them better reach. They would attack humans by leaping in the air and landing on them, ...


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On an open field they'd likely get beaten no matter what. Their bones aren't as dense as ours. Best chance of success attacking even a small human military unit would be in forest or alpine terrain, using hit-and-run tactics to either shield themselves or knock humans to their deaths


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We do have a telescope observing the Earth from beyond the Moon, the Deep Space Climate Observatory. It orbits itself at Earth-Sun L1 point. When moon aligned right it already captured the moon's far side, potentially revealing any objects above it or at Earth-Moon L2. However, 10000 square metres means diameter of about 100 metres. This is roughly 0,00005 ...


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Many other answers already state the parts where this would screw up physics and not actually prevent firearms by just making them use bigger bullets; so, I'll skip the reasons why this does not work, and just try to focus on fixing the idea in a way that it could work. Instead of reinventing the universal laws physics to make bullets not work, this kind ...


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I don't think this works, because it would effect the gun as much as the bullets. You would feel no recoil because the gun can't gain more momentum than the bullet does. So there isn't much preventing you from using a gun with large bullets. If you needed 10x as much mass as a normal bullet to be lethal, but also felt 1/10th the recoil, every soldier ...


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TLDR: Your hunch is correct. Shorter wings. You ask, "does such aircraft actually need normal wings at all?" The answer is an emphatic no. In fact, aircraft on Earth don't even need traditional wings. Check out the X-24. You still need control surfaces, but in a high pressure environment you don't necessarily need wings. It would be helpful to find a ...


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Pay a visit to any semiconductor manufacturer and the answer will slap you right in the face: cleanliness. There's a darn good reason why all the fab workers wear moon suits, and they won't let you anywhere near the shop floor without one. So what if you contrive a situation whereby creating a sufficiently clean environment is impossible? Or the required ...


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There are space telescopes sensitive to various frequencies in various orbits. Even a telescope in low Earth orbit would be at a right angle to the direction between Earth and the Moon twice in each 90 minute orbit. And at that angle a low orbit telescope (and one on the ground below it) should almost be able to see the L2 position. According to a rough ...


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The Queqiao satellite parked at the Earth-Moon L2 point may detect the appearance of the object if there is an accompanying radiation spike in the 80 kilohertz to 80 megahertz range as the satellite hosts the Netherlands-China Low-Frequency Explorer which is running astrophysical studies focused on that frequency range. It's also possible that the ship may ...


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Couldn't find what I believe to be true, so answering despite being late to the party: A Dyson sphere is instable, requires a lot of material which could be used elsewhere, and is easy to destroy (for a civilisation advanced enough to build one). On the other hand, a swarm of satellites with solar panels, covering the whole sun, is stable, requires ...


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There are organisms which can essentially "eat" minerals, chiefly lithotrophic bacteria. These microbes may get their energy from: Ferrous iron Sulfur Hydrogen Nitrite Ammonia Ammonium Sulfide Phosphite Carbon monoxide Potassium Hydrogen sulfide To name a few. However, there are no complex multicellular organisms which are themselves lithotrophs. There are ...


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If your more massive protons and neutrons have the same quantum numbers (baryon number, isospin, charge, etc.) as their normal counterparts, then it is likely that they will quickly decay to those normal particles plus energy in the form of photons. If they have different quantum numbers, then they’re not protons and neutrons at all, but new particles of ...


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On the chemical level, electron orbitals are determined by the electric potential of an atom's nucleus. The electric potential of an atom's nucleus comes from the atom's protons. Different isotopes of an element have virtually identical chemical properties because the electric potential of an atom comes from the number of protons. If increasing the mass of ...


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There's no known way to dissipate the shock cone after it's left the vehicle. That's due to the locality of physics... effects happen proximal to the things causing those effects. However, there is some prior art. Busemann's Biplane is a great example. Basically the design captures the shock wave internally. Busemann's Biplane is a conceptual airframe ...


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Wild take: Humans are actually (distantly) related to the sandworms. Melange doesn't need to be a very complex compound that just so happens to be compatible with the human organism in a way that enhances it. Because the set of sophisticated instructions for all those cool things melange allows for is actually stored in the genetic code of the one consuming ...


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The process to produce complex organic chemicals are endless, you will have to decide what makes it in your story. Your only real constraint is it is produced by an organism. For examples you can use most real world drugs and spices. Penicillin is produced by a fungus, cinnamon and aspirin are tree bark, There is a whole slew of drugs made from hamster ...


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One example of the formation of chemical compounds by terrestrial entities that results in an eruption are bacteria in a swamp. The bubbling of swamp gas to the surface is the result of the accumulation of methane and or CO2, excreted by bacteria as they digest their food. These processes under very certain conditions can result in Limnic eruptions when ...


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Lets begin with the armor itself. Not only is front-only infantry armor effective, but it is ideal. Many ancient civilizations preferred this style of armor, even when cost was not an issue. A soldier can only be combat effective if they are not overburdened. By eliminating back-armor, you cut out half of the armor's weight. This allows you to armor ...


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No. As stated, the bodyguards' first priority is getting her charge to safety, thus any weaponry they have should be useful toward that objective. Daggers, as so many have mentioned, are offensive weapons, so even a duo of assailants would be too many for one bodyguard as one of the assailants could fairly likely reach the target. Instead, a bodyguard should ...


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There are birds on Earth with long takeoff ratios. Examples include the bufflehead and the coot, who paddle and then run on the water to assist their wings. On land, turkeys run a few steps; many large predators jump from a treetop or a cliff to get going. Remember - regardless of size, if a bird can fly it will have very low body density.


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That jet takeoff is going to be difficult to sustain. I think somebody else mentioned it can't be nitrogen. Maybe digestive gasses including hydrogen and methane? I'm not sure how efficient such a jet can be made. There will be refinements in the "nozzle" as it were. Jet engines are far more complicated than just burning stuff through a small hole. You ...


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Thematically, the best defence against a dirty fighting assassin is another dirty fighting assassin, so concealed daggers would be a good option. Who better to anticipate where attacks will come from than one trained in making those attacks. Who better to guide the Princess out of harms way than one who can out think their adversaries and leverage intimate ...


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Long, long ago, there was a creature now known as quetzalcoatlis Northropii. It wasn't the largest of the pterosaurs, but it's the most complete large pterosaur (at least as of the last time I checked in detail). It was primarily a soaring creature, as are all very large birds, but paleontologists believe it could launch itself from level ground by using a ...


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I'm a neighbouring city lacking manpower. My enemy has just thrown thousands of unwilling soldier slaves at my city. I welcome them with open arms, promise them their own house or even repatriation to their homeland where possible in exchange for their services. I watch as my new army with higher morale than they had when they attacked us and better armed ...


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Wouldn't it make more sense if they just migrated to a tunnel network that was underground but had sea access. As in tunnels that terminate at caves and those caves have pools in them with flooded tunnels leading out to the sea. Then perhaps your people could develop something like a breathing helmet made of leather sealed with pitch or resin or similar ...


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Design: The bigger and heavier the roc is, the larger the ratio of wings to body will be. If you want it to be huge, it might look like a small body suspended in between two massive sail-like wings made of an extremely thin, likely translucent membrane of flesh. Takeoff: For take-off purposes, these giant wings could be collapsible, folding in multiple ...


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The Roc would be able to fly at high altitudes, up to 15,000 feet Many birds do this already. I remember reading that a flock of I think geese was seen by the crew of a commercial flight at cruise height, and they go 24000 feet and above. The Roc would be able to maintain altitude for long periods of time, rarely returning to the Earth to land. ...


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Nope... Air is the biggest issue along with water tight buildings. Believe it or not, but water is very good at eroding away at materials and there would be no way to manually transfer enough air down underwater (its like trying to scuba dive but you have to go up and get air each time). You would also have issues with the sand, as overtime salt will ...


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Given the large amounts of heat-transporting surface water and an atmosphere, your assumption of significant nightside ocean freezing and a permanent hemispheric ice age may be wrong: Surface liquid water is essential for standard planetary habitability. Calculations of atmospheric circulation on tidally locked planets around M stars suggest that this ...


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Would this underwater civilization be possible during the Bronze Age? No. First thing off: They use sand to desalinate the water to drink. Sand might be good at filtering out particles suspended in water. But salt is present in water as a solution, sand does nothing to it. Else every beach would be as good as a fresh water lake. They build ...


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As noted in this answer, a shield wall will be more effective and cheaper. In undergrouond caves you might need to modify both the formation and the shield size, but you don't need to provide 100% protection in the scenario you're describing. Your commander doesn't mind if some slaves get injured or killed so long as the wall holds. Long spears are ...


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First things first.   We learned to fear them.   That was too easy.   We simply fled, and scattered like sand before the winds. Second things second.   We learned to find them.   We looked for the signs of their coming, all the better to hide from them. Third things third.   We learned to fight them.   When we could not ...


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If I assume this nightmare world for primitive humans has Kaiju, Minotaurs, Harpies, and Others appearing out of nowhere and eating people and animals, then I would expect the rise of civilization to be greatly slowed since large groups of people without means to protect themselves from KMH+ would invite being eaten. But, humans, being what we are, would ...


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We live in that world. Imagine this: a world full of animals and plants, with a ecosystem like ours. And natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, mudslides, tornadoes, and wildfires. Disasters just appear, destroy things, and continue until the moment when some other kind of natural phenomenon ends them, so they disappear. Humans and ...


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The following is a likely timeline of government's response. Assuming the city in question is moderately sized (under 100,000 population), without a busy commercial airport or industrial facilities that may be a cause of a significant accident. The city is located in American backcountry, with a number of smaller towns around, but no significant metropolis ...


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If the city is Nordunwich in the wilds of western Maine, Population 30, then people might not notice. If it happened to Manhattan, it would be noticed immediately. It might take the government (NYC, State, Federal, County, UN) a few hours to understand what was happening. First responders sent into the city and falling under the spell might take a few ...


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You would think a shield wall would be more practical. The guy in front of you dies, pick up his section of the shield and keep pushing the wall. The real soldiers stand farther back and stab the enemy with spears, if any slaves refuse to push the wall, they get the same treatment with the spears. Corpses are removed, and since they have no armor it is ...


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There is only one vulnerability that I can think of: whips. A bull-whip, thrown in such a way that it will wrap around the body and strike the side facing away from the thrower, can be a serious weapon. When a whip wraps, all the linear momentum (mass x velocity) is transferred into angular momentum (mass x velocity x radius) and the resulting hit has much ...


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Very plausible. One example is the Feather River of California. The West Branch and Middle Fork combine at the top of Lake Oroville, which is a long skinny lake running north/south. At the bottom of the lake, the Middle Fork and South Fork also converge. The American River, just south of Feather in California, has multiple branches that converge in ...


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