Arcanist Lupus
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Is it harder for an intelligent octopus to live on land, or a human to live in space?
76 votes

Octopodes are not going to colonize land the same way we've colonized space - they're going to colonize the land the way we've colonized the sea. Penguino has done a pretty good of addressing how ...

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How durable would a person need to be to survive impact at terminal velocity?
Accepted answer
70 votes

Normal human durability, and a lot of luck People have survived terminal velocity falls. In 1972, Vesna Vulović fell over 33,330 ft without a parachute after the plane she was in exploded. She didn'...

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How do I scientifically explain a specific type of wood piercing through armor when not even bullets can?
Accepted answer
60 votes

The monster doesn't have armor - it has blubber. Bullets don't bounce of the monster - instead they penetrate, but not deep enough to pass through the protective layer of blubber. The blubber ...

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Is it possible for a planet’s climate to block, or at least make wireless communication irrelevant?
Accepted answer
47 votes

They can use radio communication. It's just a bad idea. The planet is a hellhole, but life finds a way, and it still has native life. Including a super predator that likes the taste of humans. But ...

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The Red-Headed Whale. Why Would the Head be Red?
40 votes

To hide in red water Now, water is not usually red. But one of Raudkembingur's primary prey creatures is another whale, but this whale is a filter feeder whose primary diet is red tide algea blooms. ...

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How to build a trap to last the ages?
33 votes

Tar pits Why invent a new trap when nature has one that it's been using for thousands of years? And they're self concealing! A few years of dust and no one will ever suspect that the bones of a few ...

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Why is long-term living in Almost-Earth causing severe health problems?
30 votes

It's not the length of time that matters, it's the date Snodgroo flowers only bloom once every 13 years. But they're everywhere, and the all bloom all at once. For Almost-Earth residents, this ...

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Logical reason why my dystopian government exiles rebels instead of killing them?
26 votes

Exiles are useful to the government In war, an injured soldier is significantly more expensive than a dead one. (An injured soldier has to be rescued, treated, protected, fed... A dead soldier ...

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The magical map - how to stop it being too powerful
23 votes

The map has its own goals, and will reject any changes that conflict with them Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like you was ever put in charge of this map. This ...

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Why do every future relativistic spaceships have an atomic clock?
Accepted answer
22 votes

Atomic clocks do not use radioactive isotopes Atomic clocks are not radioactive. They do not rely on atomic decay. Rather, they have an oscillating mass and a spring, just like ordinary clocks. ...

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Is there any material today that could withstand the impact of a baseball at 0.05c?
21 votes

Unlikely, but it doesn't necessarily need to Existing spacecraft don't need to deal with relativistic speeds, but they still move incredibly fast. And while satellite-destroying meteors are rare, ...

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What Purpose Would a Unicorn's Horn Serve in the Wild?
20 votes

Magic Unicorns can use their horns to purify foul water, strip away malign enchantments, and heal injuries. But magic resides in the brain, so the horn needs a direct connection to the brain in ...

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On a tidally locked planet, would time be quantized?
18 votes

Biological rhythms might be irregular, but chemistry remains the same. Chemical reactions aren't based on solar cycles, and they're the same everywhere in the universe. As soon as your species starts ...

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An Undercover Army
18 votes

The biggest problem that you're going to face is secrecy I probably don't need to point out that 500,000 people is a large number. Each one of those soldiers is a detection risk. If any one of them ...

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Reasons to not use the "Language of Magic" as a common language
14 votes

Linguistic inertia. Each region and culture developed their own languages, and people tend to pass on to their children the language that they are most comfortable speaking in, so the primary ...

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Could earthquake cancellation work?
13 votes

You can't cancel the stress L.Dutch provides a good answer as to why your specific technology doesn't work. But more fundamentally, there's a bigger problem with any sort of reactionary earthquake ...

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In a cemetery, what evidence could be found that humans were intelligent and had technology?
12 votes

Metal coffins are dripping with clues for an experienced archaeologist. There's a reason that we talk about the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. Metallurgy has been constantly developed and refined ...

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Is there a way to keep science from ruining tribute magic?
11 votes

Knowledge is priceless Knowledge endures. Give someone a fish, you feed them for a day. Teach someone to fish and you feed then for the rest of their life. But we're not done yet, because while a ...

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Biological duck tape - how does it grow and how did it evolve?
10 votes

They're a variety of sundew. Sundews are a type of entirely passive carnivorous plant that rely on sticky droplets to trap and hold insects. It's not much of a stretch to imagine a version where the ...

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Justifying Affordable Bespoke Spaceships
10 votes

Partial Obsolescence of Space Drives A space drive (both the cross system FTL part and the in-system maneuvering engines) drop in power rapidly in the first few years of use, before leveling off. ...

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Creating a new society by children
9 votes

It could go either way, but I'd lean towards cooperation. I saw a documentary a few years back (which I unfortunately can't find at the moment) about a group of Israeli and Palestinian kids who were ...

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Spells that would be effective against a modern day army but would NOT destroy a fantasy one
8 votes

Enormous fireballs "But wait!" I hear you cry. "Fireballs work just as well on medieval armies as they do on modern ones!" Ah, but you see, magic becomes much more difficult to control at a ...

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How can two planets merge into another, bigger planet?
Accepted answer
8 votes

The biggest problem with merging two planets like this is explaining why they haven't already merged long ago. For a planet to maintain liquid water on its surface it needs to orbit in the habitable ...

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Why would someone be cursed in order to be forced to hunt monsters?
7 votes

The monsters have some ability that makes the curse necessary. Bandersnatches are fierce and terrible monsters who love eating small children. But they have a psychic ability that makes people near ...

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How to prevent superluminal traveling idiots from wrecking half of the universe?
6 votes

It's not "faster than light", it's "shorter than space" If your FtL drive functions by moving your ship outside of normal space, and then back into normal space some distance away, then ...

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Multiple "keys," multiple "doors". Any "key" fits any "door" but a "key" can only be used once. How could such mechanic be described lore-wise?
6 votes

Recently the local area has become infested with Barhools! Barhools are large bearlike creatures that spend most of their time sleeping. They're nearly indestructible and immune to all magic, but ...

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Great Old Ones Limited, or Why does Cthulhu need a Company?
6 votes

Really, all these great answers and nobody's mentioned EULAs yet? The corporation isn't the Cult's end goal - the product is. Cthulhu Corporation produces a seemingly innocuous software product, ...

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what is the maximum theoretical density for qubits?
Accepted answer
5 votes

Nobody has the slightest idea 50 years ago, IBM introduced the System/370 Model 145, the first IBM computer to use semiconductor memory for its main memory instead of magnetic core memory. It had ...

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Why would witches not create magical familiars?
5 votes

In general, there are two categories of reasons. Creating a familiar has some cost to the witch If there is a price to pay for having a familiar, not all witches will be willing to pay that price ...

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What kind of planet would be needed to create aliens which are significantly larger and stronger than humans?
5 votes

Make the planet colder. One of the most important facts governing body size is the "square-cube" law - that the volume to surface area ratio of an object changes as an object changes in size. LSerni ...

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