48

Optical telegraphs would work. At the most primitive, signal flags, though these would not work at night. A more robust system would consist of shutters using light/dark colours to send something like morse code. At night, you might use something similar to a lighthouse, using shutters to block off/show light. Have towers with men stationed in it in shifts ...


48

Planet-sized cube will collapse under its own weight into a sphere. The comet you mentioned has too little mass for that (and it would become a sphere if it was liquid). Our Earth is essentially a bubble of lava, with thin solid crust. And it is the weight of the rock that turns lower levels into liquid lava. So I will assume your cube planet is made of ...


22

You can figure out whether or not your planetary body is cube-shaped by simply recording the rise/set times of celestial bodies, including ordinary sunrise/sunset, along a line of latitude. At Earth's equator, for example, the sun and moon and stars rise about one hour later as you move 1000 nautical miles westward. The change is gradual and consistent. On ...


16

I started my initial response with 'Barring magic...', but a planet that has Any dimensions you need to measure in light years needs to be magical so it doesn't collapse in on itself. 'Large' empires on earth kept in touch before electricity; indeed, large empires far predate electricity. For a maritime empire, you might try looking at the French and ...


11

The sensible option No food supplies, hostile natives, unable to progress with their explorations until further supplies arrive? It's time to go home. The Victorian option Since you have compared them to the Victorians, the other option is to do as the Victorians would have. Bribery. Since you have civilisations down there and civilisations run on money, ...


10

Think outside the box. electricity is required for human in real-world modern communication such as telephone, internet. However, electricity is never a hard condition for our communication. We can sent hand mail, send messenger (who remember the content of the email and will speak the content to the receiver). As we invent electricity, we adapt our ...


9

Is it a gravitational anomaly which caused the planet to form into a cube, or was it a cubical structure that is held by artificial means (such as alien design)? 1- Gravitational anomaly: The inhabitants of one "side" of the cube will think the Earth is flat, and all indications will seem to confirm that. they will be unaware of the cubical shape. When they ...


8

The Draken Harald Hårfagre, a reconstructed Viking longboat, made the crossing from Norway (not Denmark) to Newfoundland in a little over five weeks in the spring of 2016. From their website, here's a description of the voyage: On April 24th 2016, Draken Harald Hårfagre set sail across the icy north, beginning Expedition America 2016. Due to tough ...


8

Edit: i am assuming modern as in "available today" technology. Let us see. Let's estimate the parameters first. How long does the cruise take? A modern cargo ship (according to Wikipedia) goes 21-25 knots. That's roughly 21-28 miles per hour, let's go with 25, because i am lazy. Since i used to sail the oceans myself when i was younger, i do know that ...


7

The obvious comparison to make is with the actual earth of the 19th century. The first trans-oceanic cable was 1866, India was connected to England in 1870. So without long-distance electrical communication the British Empire seemed to communicate well enough to co-ordinate administration up to a point. As soon as electrical communication became a ...


7

I think the best model for this would be from the east. The Norse settled in Novgorod and the Kievan Rus and while their contribution was significant, they never made an effort to rule these lands from Scandinavia or to replace or "Norsify" the locals. Instead these native realms with tight connections to the Norse, Norse traders and rulers who either came ...


6

In the following I am not challenging the premise that the planet is shaped as a cube, just taking it for granted The Earth is a cube, and there is somebody navigating on the seas direction East, until they reach the edge and move to the next face of the cube. What will they see? Let's say they start from position A in the below picture: they see the sky ...


6

A planet with THAT radius would also mean you could potentially see VEEERY far, depending on how the atmosphere is. In that case, a signal flag system on a very high mountain might be visible in the whole empire... and the other way round. That would allow long distance communication. Edit: oh, i see, that answer was already there before. Damn, i didn't see ...


6

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of floppies, or in this case a boat full of books. Communication over this empire would vary based on urgency. A tall tower on a world of that size could be seen as far as atmospheric conditions allow and the brightness of the signal flame permits. So start with a set of towers. These towers have ...


6

Additional to Separatrix anser: Here are some more: The Researcher option Look around, what do you see? Any unintelligent sea animals like shells? see horses? .. Any plants? The Sci-Fi-Techie option There was the experimental 3D printer recipe for a food replicator / plankton-filter-protein-extractor ... The "Adventurers" option Steal it from The ...


5

Shipworms Your planet has a very effective species similar to Teredo. They destroy any wooden hulls in a few days or weeks. You can adjust the description of the species to prevent ocean travel but not river/lake travel by making it a saltwater species. An iron or steel hull would be immune. If there is river travel, you have to explain why simple ...


5

When building bridges, foundations are excavated by putting concrete walls, joining them and draining the water. This method could arguably be adapted for working in the sea, and probably will be less destructive than dropping a box of concrete over the area. A similar method was used to build the Hibernia platform, an offshore rig that is 80m tall... but ...


5

You can but you shouldn't. You will be destroying a lot of artifacts, many materials that can be preserved underwater will not take drying out well, underwater sites often have BETTER preservation than on land. Which is why modern archeologists often excavate underwater sites entirely underwater. your boxes will allow large areas to dry out before ...


4

Most of it should have been possible in the late 1800's. The hardest part would have been having a need and having someone with the vision to do it. The first bathysphere was invented in 1928. Spherical gondola, made of cast steel or forged steel, which is able to withstand a pressure of 1.25 metric tons per cm² and needs to have a diameter of two meters. ...


4

Routes As a standard example of sailing routes in UK waters, below is a map of the route taken by the Spanish Armada in 1588. Source Once they'd gone up the Channel the only way back was round the North of Scotland and down the West coast of Ireland. The winds and currents around the British Isles say that this is the only way to do this. Effectively you ...


4

For the trip from Denmark to Vinland I'm using AlexP's distance statistic for the Viking route heading north and east, roughly 2800 miles (approx. 5200km), because I can't find an estimate I'm confident of. Based on that and an estimated top speed of 15 knots (28kmh-1) the trip would be roughly 185 hours, call it 8 days. That's with a perfect and consistent ...


4

There are no trees suitable for shipbuilding Wood was pretty much the only game in town for seafaring until metal ships became practical. Without proper wood, there would be no sea travel until about the industrial age. This of course can cause problems in other areas where wood was crucial, but for most things there are suitable alternatives: buildings ...


4

Release the Kraken I believe this is self explanatory. To add some variety, look at the Carta Marina, a map of the nordic lands from 1519. It contains a plethora of other sea monsters, such as these: Because medieval waters were to sailors what current day Australia is to land dwellers.


3

Oke, imagine the earth is cube shaped and has normal gravity. There would be no water at the 12 edges, since it would be pulled inward, assuming a bulbed form. Maybe the moon/sun gravity could mess things up a bit. But I think the boats would be stranded before going over the edge.


3

Why does this world need to have a centralized administration system? Whether or not communication is effective, each city-state could have an appointed regent and operate as a sort of almost independent power of it's own, in a decentralized administration system. Now this could obviously lead to mutiny and 'almost independent' becoming just independent; ...


3

I'm going to take a different angle on this. First off: no physics. You're building a fantasy world - if you want an earth-like world that happens to be a cube, you've got it. To heck with traditional gravitation. Second: no obvious lunar eclipses. As people have pointed out, lunar eclipses could give the game away pretty easily. So we'll say that the ...


3

I do not think you can prevent boat use on rivers and lakes. People will see broken trees floating on them, then tie them into rafts, then start shaping them. You can limit coastal boating with severe seas (Iceland comes to mind). Or make water much more salty, making sea-food inedible. Also based on Iceland, minimize or eliminate tall trees. Just have ...


3

While azerafati's test is the one they should start with, it is likely to fail or be inconclusive. Manipulating objects or showing curiosity in new things may not manifest in the ways we expect. Your scientists must include experts in animal behavior, perhaps those who also have training in anthropology. Ideally they would set up a research station to ...


3

A major challenge would be the pressure and weight of water. At 100 meters deep, it is 110 tons per square meter (or 11 kg per square cm). If your contraption sits at the ocean floor, there will be a lot of pressure to force the silt into the air-filled room. You would need to dig the edges deep down into the bedrock at the bottom of the sea to avoid this. ...


3

If want to go fully Schliemann and destroy what you are researching, just build a ginormous ring of dykes around the Doggerbank ahum, now Doggerland. The land will fall dry, destroying much of what you want to research. But, at least you can do it without all those pesky robots and diving gear... *Reclaiming land this way is not as easy as this answer makes ...


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