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Q&A

General Q&A about worldbuilding and other speculative developments that can be extrapolated from science.

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Why buy tech from the future?

The Demonstration You're a rich, successful CEO/capitalist working in the electronics business. Your R&amp;D division is exceptional and routinely fabs state of the art processors at bleeding edg...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Green‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Jordan‭

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Effects of not growing up?

Let's say I have a bunch of pre-pubescent children (circa 8-12 years old). Let's also say I subjected them to some drug/process/whatever that caused them to stop growing. In particular: Whatever...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Matthew‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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An alternative way to rotate or in this case rolltate

As far as we know Earth and every other planet in the solar system rotate around their axes. Whether it be Uranus which rotates on its side or Mercury which rotates perfectly straight, all planets ...

5 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Nanoshadow‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Matthew‭

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What is the best apex predator to thin the zombie herds? [duplicate]

A global epidemic of H1Z2 virus has rendered 95% of the population into zombies. The zombies have lost most of their frontal and temporal lobes so the following capabilities are either severely de...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Green‭  ·  closed as duplicate 2y ago by Canina‭

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Exploration of a 50 mile high mountain [duplicate]

My friends and I are building a world with a 50 mile high volcano on it. The mountain is the result of some bored god deciding to play a joke on everyone. Or, some other god got angry and decided ...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Green‭  ·  closed as duplicate 2y ago by Canina‭

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How do I manage memetic infection while time traveling?

Time travel works...just invented, by you. The tests prove it! After many conversations and significant planning, your epidemiologist significant other has approved your plans for time travel, for...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Green‭

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Is it realistic to see satellites moving across the sky centuries after humans stopped space activity?

After an age of highly developed technology, including many different satellites in various Earth orbits, humanity loses the technology needed to control those satellites. After many centuries, how...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by celtschk‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Green‭

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How to Convince Humans to Allow a Machine Take-Over

In a lot of stories there are fights between man and machine; rogue AI that has decided humans are inferior in some respect and chooses to wipe them out. What if the only chance for any remnant of...

8 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Varrick‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by celtschk‭

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How efficient can a Dyson sphere be?

The shell variant of a Dyson sphere consists of an artificially-made shell of material about 1 AU in radius encircling a star. The sphere captures most of the star's energy and stores it for future...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by HDE 226868‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by celtschk‭

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Is a genetically modified human with a much higher height plausible?

I've created a genetically modified race of humans with an extreme height. I've taken into account the cube square law, and added some bones and muscles to help cope with that. I'm planning on maki...

3 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Popplio Lover‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Razetime‭

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Wings going from locomotive purposes in juveniles to sexual purposes in adults, plausible?

So I thought about how my dragon-like species would get it's wings between the arms and legs and I figured that this would be the evolutionary path for such a creature: Hexapodal ancestor -&gt; Q...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by caters‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Lundin‭

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How do I realistically keep my large mammalian predator hidden from other pack hunters.

What coloration pattern/ technique could a large mammalian predator employ to evade detection from other mammalian predators at 100 -&gt; 20 meter distances (or close enough so that it could sprint...

3 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Cazadorro‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Lundin‭

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Magnet strong enough to rip the iron out of your body feasible?

Is it possible, given a strong enough magnet, to rip out iron based molecules out of the blood stream/body of a person/animal? Would such an event be the thing that kills someone or are there other...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Cazadorro‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by DonielF‭

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How to make an animal which can only breed for a certain number of generations?

What would be the best way in which to genetically modify (or create through some other method) an animal which breeds normally for a certain number (50?) of generations before becoming sterile? Ge...

13 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Richard Smith‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by James Jenkins‭

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How to Terraform a Dead Earth

In the foreseeable future, a scientific community has discovered an alternate universe in which the solar system centers around a binary system of G-type suns, unlike the one G-type that ours orbit...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Enfield‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Restricted Directions for an Alcubierre Drive?

It's my understanding that if an Alcubierre drive were to be constructed, it would be able to function as a time machine because there would be certain paths through you could take to get to a dest...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by FlyingLemmingSoup‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by lsusr‭

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Would a 200-Pound Dwarf Still Need to Wear Clothing?

How does a Neandertal compare with an anatomically modern human? This diagram below is a simplification of the real answer: The average Neandertal male stood 64 inches tall, weighed 143 pounds an...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Enfield‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by pnuts‭

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Avoiding Incidental Ion Drive damage to Following Vehicles?

Is it possible for a large enough Ion Drive with enough power to be dangerous to other objects "down wind" of the vehicle, even at long distances (100+km)? As I understand it, ion drives accelerat...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Cazadorro‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by dmckee‭

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Why would merfolk have hair?

A classic image of mermaids are their long flowing hair that swishes in the water. But in the scientifically realistic sense this makes none. The hair would be nothing more than a nuisance to the m...

21 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Uncle Tres‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by PinoBatch‭

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Would a huge amount of asteroids hitting Earth change its rotation speed or destroy the planet?

Earth's rotation is slowing down, and in this article Randall Munroe gives some ideas to accelerate the rotation - or at least to keep it from slowing down as quickly. He concludes that the only "s...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by hkotsubo‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Are geographically typed planets realistic?

In many science fictions we see planets which are designated by a particular terrain type. For example, Dagobah is a swamp planet, Tatooine is a desert planet, and Kamino is an ocean world. Howeve...

5 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by Liath‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Canina‭

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Is this planet's atmosphere stable and reasonable, and anything to keep in mind for lifeforms living in it?

Inspired by the answers to What can I add to an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere to make it unpalatable or poisonous to humans, yet stable and breathable to local creatures?, I am building a planet that ...

3 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Canina‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Canina‭

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How to explain a mermaid's tail morphing into legs and vice versa?

I know a tadpole can do this transformation, given enough time, so what about mermaids?

4 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by user6760‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by PinoBatch‭

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How to go from a free person to a slave

This question is a little nebulous unfortunately and perhaps a bit disturbing. The evil-empire in my WIP captures Mages and breaks them down into loyal and obedient servants. The Mages aren't as d...

11 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Trismegistus‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by PinoBatch‭

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How should I create my Merfolks to make them landbased?

I want a mermaid protagonist. If I am to make this story realistic, how should the Merfolk's body structures be made to make them adaptable for both water (swimming) and land (walking, running)? Is...

3 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by Pobrecita‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by PinoBatch‭

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Earth where all of Equidae went extinct via Ice Age... - Effects

Assuming that all Equidae went extinct at around the same time as the American Equidae on OTL (Original TimeLine) Earth, 8000 BCE, and in the same way, via Ice Age... What would have changed for ea...

3 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by Malady‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by PinoBatch‭

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Does the sun being blocked affect electricity?

I feel like this is the most noobish question ever. Anyway, imagine an asteroid hits Earth and the atmosphere is now full of particles, successfully blocking the Sun from Earth. There are people st...

6 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by KaguraRap‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by PinoBatch‭

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3D Printer / Replicator : Raw Materials and Distribution Cables

So let's say you have a starship like in Star Trek and you want a Replicator, but don't have the ability to convert matter to an energy form to pass their electrical cables. Basically you have an a...

3 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Durakken‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by manassehkatz‭

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Oh crap, it's 2020ad, and the Earth is about to explode! Can we make it to the stars?

Okay, not literally Krypton style, but let's say some local astronomical event is going to render every rocky surface in our solar system totally uninhabitable. Details aren't terribly important, ...

9 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by SomeGuy‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by manassehkatz‭

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"Life post-Singularity", or "How to survive without Instagram"

The Story The year is 2027, singularity happened. A powerful AI (let's call it Eve) was created. In a matter of days, it escaped the control of its creators and hacked all the computers of the wor...

14 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Babika Babaka‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by wizzwizz4‭

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Competently Mobile Photosynthetic Animal?

I have an idea for a land based mobile organism that moves and uses photosynthesis for its primary means of energy generation. Can a motile organism conceivably get enough energy from photosyntheti...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Cazadorro‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Cazadorro‭

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Can a organism control its metabolism and the heat it's generating?

How would it switch between if endothermic and ectothermic and in between and how would it be able to create different temperature in specific areas in the body?

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Random guy‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by wizzwizz4‭

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Is it possible to create a beam of non-relativistic neutrinos?

Neutrinos have extremely low masses, and it's quite easy for them to reach high energies and speeds. As such, it almost always makes sense to treat a neutrino as being relativistic. I've been doing...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by HDE 226868‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by dmckee‭

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How fast would strange matter conversion go?

Background: So this Kurzgesagt video talks about quark stars, and how two of them colliding could send strangelets flying towards Earth or the Sun. Now it's been said that since, theoretically (as...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Nierninwa‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Black as color of magic

I am trying to create "black magic" with a visual black effect with lore backing (it is for PC game). How can I create this effect, either optically or neurologically? I am not talking about hue ...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Prahara‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Aliza‭

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What would this nebula look like from a planet?

I have a binary system. The primary star is F- or G-class; the secondary is K-class, 20AU away, and in a small reflection nebula (suggested here). A planet orbits the primary in the habitable zon...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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How can I safely brighten my secondary star?

I have an earth-like planet orbiting one of the stars in a binary system. I have learned that, for G-class stars, if the secondary star is 100AU from the primary one, I can expect the secondary st...

5 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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How do seasons work in a binary system (planet orbits one star, not both)?

I have a planet orbiting one star in a binary system. When the planet is exactly between the two stars it will experience a double day; when the primary sun sets the secondary one rises, no overla...

5 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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How much does my secondary star heat the planet orbiting my primary star?

In this question I asked about the lighting patterns from this system: A really helpful answer there explained when the planet is getting how much illumination. This question is about heat. On ea...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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What conditions would cause an extremely dense (dark) coniferous forest to grow?

It is said that in dense rainforests, only 1% of sunlight (sometimes less) reaches the forest floor, which greatly restricts the types of plant and animal life that can survive there. My (limited) ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by xtal‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Can velocity drift be used to calculate a radio wave source's distance from Earth?

If you're studying radio signals from Earth, is it possible to calculate whether a radio source is 'near' as in near Earth or 'very far away' as in somewhere far out in space from velocity, or velo...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by zeno‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Cruelty Free Vampirism [closed]

Setting: "One Big Lie" Sci-fi RPG The lies in this setting are an extension of relativity with a couple of extra dimensions allowing for FTL/Backwards Time Travel, and Thaumons. Thaumons (Magic B...

6 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Douglas‭  ·  closed 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Does crossing a wormhole happen instantaneously, or with the course of time?

I have seen many science fiction movies that depict traveling in space through wormholes. The appearance though, and the time it takes to cross a wormhole, tends to vary: On one hand, we have the...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by ΓΙΑΝΝΗΣ ΜΙΧΑΗΛΙΔΗΣ‭  ·  edited 2y ago by ArtOfCode‭

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How could a bad random number generator explain baryon asymmetry?

How can a character explain baryon asymmetry (there is more matter than antimatter) by the universe being a simulation with a slightly imbalanced random number generator being employed at the point...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Konrad Höffner‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Inverse orbital direction

Is it possible that a planet/moon will have inverse direction comparing to the rest orbiting material? For example Mars would go in counter direction comparing to other planets in solar system. I...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Zavael‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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What if the Planck constant was exactly zero?

I was thinking of a parallel universe in which the Planck constant has an exact value of zero. How would this effect the physics of that universe and how would it effect the development of that un...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Anders Gustafson‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Could there be something like the Higgs field which gives particles their energy in a similar way to how the Higgs boson gives particles their mass?

First of all, in no way do I have advanced knowledge of particle physics, quantum mechanics, or any other necessary scientific concept for a full understanding of this question. Secondly, this is p...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Aeroan‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Why do flying saucers have to spin while flying?

Set during the Cold War period, the then-president rented five (5) flying saucers from the extraterrestrial aliens and a few training exercises were conducted in the air space above Roswell. My fat...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by user6760‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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What would the sky view be like of a final stage massive merged galaxy?

What will be the view of the sky and the distances between stars, living on a planet or in a habitat in a super galaxy that has merged with all its nearby galaxies in its cluster, at a time in the ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by RandySavage‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Do seasons occur on a tidally-locked planet?

I have done some research and so much contradict one another or I simply fail to understand. Do seasons occur on a tidally locked planet that isn't tilted on its axis?

4 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Mister Onion‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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