Harthag
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How might kinetosynthesizing "plants" look?
Accepted answer
6 votes

I'm going to take a crack at this one, as 'non-earthlike-energy for native life forms on exoplanets' is something that has interested me ever since I found out about the life here on earth, around ...

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Best places to be on Earth when an all out nuclear World War III breaks out?
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5 votes

The Vasily Arkhipov scenario, with a twist. Many answers have hinted at just how important it would be to determine exactly how the specific scenario plays out, but I haven't seen any take this ...

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Anatomically Correct Modular Body Plan Animals
4 votes

I think the comments about Echinoderms are actually a good start to get on the right track. It is already the phylum most closely related to the phylum Chordata (which includes mammals), and many of ...

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How long would this eclipse last?
4 votes

Using a completely comparative approach, rather than a direct calculation approach, here's my best answer: Totality of an eclipse involving the actual Sun, Earth, and Moon can last up to 7 minutes ...

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Evolution in dragons
4 votes

Evolutionary pressure Evolution is driven, primarily, by external pressures on the groups of organisms, regardless of their breeding rates or starting population numbers. A large group, or a small ...

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What would the sky look like from the surface of a planet with rings?
4 votes

I had one major addition, related to seasons and tilt, that seems to have been (partially) overlooked: The rings (assuming equatorially bound rings and a planet with an axial tilt) can shadow ...

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Would a Oil platform-like battle-ship face too much water drag?
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3 votes

It depends on the shape of the "columns" If they're circular, or anything near it, you'll have trouble getting past about 5-7 knots (max towed speed of oil platforms is around 5 knots, I ...

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Anatomically Correct Whomping Willow
3 votes

I would combine aspects of two existing plants that are related to each other as closely as the Caryophyllales order. Carnegiea gigantea (saguaro cactus) + Drosera regia (king sundew) The Saguaro ...

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Terraformed Venus and Mars
3 votes

Neither are habitable, but there are more reasons than just radiation that was the main focus of Tim's answer. Another key factor would be temperature. Even assuming (unstated in the question) ...

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How do sapient birds/theropods build their seats?
3 votes

A Bowl (modified appropriately) What first came to my mind while reading this question's title was a nest many are bowl shaped). After reading the full details of the question, I realized that a ...

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Could dwarves do without wood?
3 votes

Less-than-'traditional' metals There are metals that don't need to be heated in order to be shaped, and are found in their "native" form (not in an ore mixed with other minerals). How abundant are ...

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Does my plot point centered around eclipses make sense?
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3 votes

The key to this whole thing is, in fact, the geometry of the funnel, the 'viewing' angle that it provides. Of particular importance is how much of the Earth can be 'seen' through it at any one time. ...

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Feasibility of a Crystal Ecosystem
3 votes

There are TONS of good examples in nature that could be used as a basis for this concept, and combined with each other. The most difficult aspect is "translucent" but even that isn't too hard to come ...

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Could a species with a lifespan of 20 years achieve enough technological progress to reach space?
3 votes

What kind of 'Intelligence' The question specifies that the aliens have "the same average intelligence level as humans", but there are many aspects to the concept of "intelligence". I doubt there is ...

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Build an impregnable fortress in the middle ages with modern technology
3 votes

projection of force I'm going take a very different approach from most other answers so far. I'll start by recapping, some key points, and then show some key differences: This fortress will have to ...

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How do I make a space battle both realistic, with physics in play such as no sound and weird motion, but also very epic and intense still?
3 votes

There IS sound Hear me out (pun intended). While it's true that pressure waves (what we traditionally refer to as 'sound') don't propagate through a vacuum ... BUT ... any matter (or even many forms ...

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What is the largest dragon that could take off without destroying the planet?
2 votes

Working backwards from your specified end results, a class 3 event First we'll assume this is not a man-made dragon, so it's a class 3b, not 3a. In the examples of a 3b event, as cited in your ...

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Controlling personal gravity – how would it affect a warrior's combat style?
2 votes

More armor (or more stamina in the same armor) I'm operating on a couple of assumptions here. 1. The assumption that the phrase "the ability to reduce the pull of gravity" is meant, literally, as the ...

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Can a troll hide withstand bullets?
2 votes

Sandbag penetration should be roughly equivalent to what you need. Your description of the hides, "a stone like material" and "turned to stone during the day" sounds to me like something made of "...

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Do mermaids lay eggs underwater or give birth to live young?
2 votes

Most of the previous answers make much harder assumptions than those actually found in nature. I know of no reproductive process in the animal kingdom that doesn't have an egg or egg-analogue at ...

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Magic: Reality check of effects of mass-altering magic
2 votes

When I originally read the question, I understood it differently than the first two answers. One answer seems to assume that the atomic particles (protons, neutrons, and electrons) stay the same size ...

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Does a planet's axial tilt and seasonal progression affect a planetary-ring system, as seen from the planet surface?
2 votes

I had one major addition, related to seasons and tilt, that seems to have been (partially) overlooked, or at least not directly described. The rings can shadow themselves. They have a 'top' and '...

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UBER-BAMBOOs: The Baobab Bamboo
1 votes

It's viable, yes. Nature has done weirder things than what you're describing. Boababs, as you mentioned, are absurdly thick for their height and canopy size. Bamboo grows very fast. And you want a ...

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Effectiveness of brass knuckles as a last ditch weapon
1 votes

"Harming"? probably not significantly "Incapacitating"? definitely ... but probably not in the way you'd expect. I've noticed most of the answers seem rather defeatist (not that ...

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Tides with 3 Largish Moons
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1 votes

Using the comment "The tides are the story-significant feature. The rest can be adjusted." I recommend a single massive moon (relatively massive compared to most natural moons that we know of) on a ...

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Gadget: Insect wings
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1 votes

I believe it's plenty plausible, yes. (Assuming a handwavium power source) The main problem of "personal flight" systems has always been the power source. Combustion (jet packs) require heavy fuel ...

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How to prevent a fantasy world response to repeated near extinction events?
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1 votes

Predictability. Regardless of exactly how close the cycle is to 1000 years, it is more important to know how exact the intervals actually are. A cycle that is "exactly 1174 years, 8 months, 19 days,...

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Nuclear magic: Surviving your own spells
1 votes

How about nuclear Fusion? It's still a "nuclear reaction", but it avoids the messy consequences that plague the Fission reactions that most other answers seem to favor. No radioactive waste of any ...

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Determining factor(s) for making creatures robust to square cubed law
1 votes

I can think of 3 elements that might affect it, but I think only the first one is actually the type of thing you were looking for: Geometric orientation of physical structural elements (the actual ...

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Dwarfism in a 9 foot tall humanoid race
1 votes

Unfortunately, the answer is probably no, unless you "hand-wave" the actual cause like you hand-wave the existence of the giants themselves. Hypopituitarism is "almost certainly" the only type of ...

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