70 votes
Accepted

How could a natural road form across a sea?

Your bridge is an atoll like Kwajalein The Kwajalein Atoll is one of the largest in the world. Following the curve of the land, I estimate that the distance from the upper left to bottom right ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.4k
58 votes
Accepted

What would Earth's Land look like in the year 3000? would there be any significant changes at all in 1000 years?

A millennium is a blink of an eye on a geological scale. But interesting things can happen in a blink of an eye. Even disegarding the changes which may happen as a result of the present climatological ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 89k
51 votes

How could a natural road form across a sea?

As long as your local geography/geology permits sand deposition: a large sand bar/spit would fulfill all your requirements. Since I'm the most familiar with the geography of the Baltic, here are three ...
mikołak's user avatar
  • 661
42 votes

Suppose dragons spewed volcanic ash instead of fire. How much more deadly would they be?

I'm gonna go against the grain and suggest "less lethal" If I take a shovel full of ash from my fireplace, even if the fire is burning, and throw it into the room, what happens? There's a ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 122k
41 votes

Can a continent naturally split into two distant parts within a week?

Not within a week, but within a few weeks it is. It is true the movement of plates is very slow, but flooding can happen remarkably fast. Rift valleys are rarely impassible—that is, until they flood ...
John's user avatar
  • 81k
40 votes

How could a planet have zero surface caves?

Solid is a relative thing No caves in sand No caves in water No caves in magma No (permanent) caves in ice sheet No caves in soft soil No caves in peat bogs In short: No caves in anything ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
34 votes

How could a natural road form across a sea?

You could use a large mid-ocean ridge, like the Mid-Atlantic ridge, and then play around with sea levels. Mid-ocean ridges occur at (divergent) plate boundaries, and can be thousands of kilometers ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
33 votes

Reasons for a very small but very high mountain range in an area with no plate boundaries?

If it's even possible to begin with, how could high, small, isolated mountain ranges form in areas with no nearby plate boundaries? You asked for no nearby plate boundaries. This means that there ...
Gimelist's user avatar
  • 3,858
32 votes

How could a natural road form across a sea?

All the answers seem to be focusing on using geological methods. For a completely different natural methodology consider the possibility of long chains of floating colonial sea life forming your ...
Josh King's user avatar
  • 24.9k
22 votes

How could a natural road form across a sea?

Your bridge could have been caused by a pre-historic meteor impact like the Chicxulub crater. Meteors push earth up around the point of impact. Depending on the type of dirt involved in the impact, ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 122k
21 votes

How could a natural road form across a sea?

Try a subduction zone induced island arc combined with a coral reef They can create long thin islands and chains of islands. They can be massive and they solve several other problems. Just look at the ...
John's user avatar
  • 81k
20 votes

How could a natural road form across a sea?

Prehuman ruins. source One of my favorite things in the Lovecraft stories is when they come across prehuman ruins. Mountains of Madness is one of the best but it is a recurring theme: cyclopean, ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
19 votes

Can a continent naturally split into two distant parts within a week?

Yes, and it can happen extremely quickly! For example, there is the process of Rapid Non-Catastrophic Tectonic Shift. There are, as the geologers know, deep under this world, gigantic Beings whose ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 40k
14 votes

How could a planet have zero surface caves?

I expect the plains of Pluto doesn’t have any caves※ because the material is plastic on a time scale shorter than geologic time. The “minerals” (carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and chunks of water) flows ...
JDługosz's user avatar
  • 69.4k
14 votes
Accepted

Is an offset mountain range plausible?

It's not geologically impossible. If you want something that looks somewhat similar, there's the transverse faults located along seafloor spreading ridges that offset the ridges by sometimes long ...
Keith Morrison's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Given a planet map, can plate tectonics be determined?

On the real Earth, the boundaries between tectonic plates can be: In the middle of an ocean, e.g., the Mid-Atlantic Ridge; or In the ocean near the coast of a continent, e.g., all along the western ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 89k
13 votes
Accepted

If all the iron and nickel in the inner core was transmuted into gold over two weeks

CORRECTION: There won't be quick catastrophe. If the transmutation effect is limited to the inner core, gravitational and volumetric effects would be relatively modest. While most pictures of Earth's ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 42.2k
13 votes
Accepted

Can Someone Help Me Determine Plate Divisions?

You have a few problems Starting on the left, purple, you can't have a land mass between two places that were once joined,otherwise if you wind time back they can't join up because there is a land ...
John's user avatar
  • 81k
12 votes

How could a natural road form across a sea?

A natural road cannot form across a large sea. I admire the creativity of the other answers, but I'm going to answer that it won't work. Atolls form in shallow seas. Splits form in shallow seas ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 3,449
12 votes

Catastrophic geology

Chaos would happen. Here is a chronological order of events: The size of the earth does not allow for such a hole to exist for very long. Gravity would compact the crust down and push the magma up, ...
Bilbo Baggins's user avatar
11 votes

How much surface water do I need for plate-tectonics on a planet?

None The prevailing theory is that plate tectonics are made possible, in part, by the relative density of the ocean crust on oceanic plates. However, there is no requirement that the denser oceanic ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.4k
10 votes

Reasons for a very small but very high mountain range in an area with no plate boundaries?

The high mountain range is the result of a violent impact on the opposite side of the planet. As a result of the shock wave propagation summing up with the ejecta from the impact landing on site, the ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
9 votes

How could a natural road form across a sea?

Just off the coast of North Carolina (USA) is an island that has a lot in common with what you're asking for. This is Hatteras Island, a gigantic pile of sand that is about 50 miles long, but only a ...
Cody's user avatar
  • 3,407
9 votes

What would Earth's Land look like in the year 3000? would there be any significant changes at all in 1000 years?

Would there be any noteworthy changes at all, just assume humanity suddenly stopped existing today for the purposes of the question Global Warming would continue for a while, if for no other reason ...
RonJohn's user avatar
  • 17.6k
9 votes

Thousand Plate World: Formation

As a geologist I found this an interesting question so I started theorizing on it. Plate tectonics is a complex system with multiple variables affecting the system, but in order to have many plates ...
JMH's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes

Can a continent naturally split into two distant parts within a week?

A meteor strike. Meteor Crater formed in a fraction of a second as 175 million tons of limestone and bedrock were uplifted, forming the mile-wide crater rim in the formerly flat terrain. The ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 20.4k
9 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to have a several hundred mile long sea joining two oceans that's similar in width to the English Channel?

Two tectonic plates slowly moving away from each other will create a channel between them. The slower and more regularly they're moving, the more stable the geology will be. For example, look at the ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
9 votes

Reasons for a very small but very high mountain range in an area with no plate boundaries?

Here is a diagram of the Pacific tectonic plate on Earth: If you look in the upper-middle area, you can juuust about see the islands of Hawai'i, a looong way from those plate boundaries. Here's a ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
9 votes

Reasons for a very small but very high mountain range in an area with no plate boundaries?

They are constructs. https://www.deviantart.com/corwin-cross/art/Mountain-of-madness-432428687 At the Mountains of Madness H.P. Lovecraft “Moulton’s plane forced down on plateau in foothills, but ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
9 votes

How could an iron planet be geologically active?

Short answer: Any amount of heat is possible with enough radioactivity. Geological activity is driven by heat which is mostly produced through radioactive isotopes. Uranium, thorium and radioactive ...
Matthias's user avatar
  • 1,926

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible