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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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Making Immobile carnivore

I recently finished watching one of the Star Wars films, the one that features the sarlaac pit. When I saw it, I began to immediately think how such a thing would evolve. The sarlaac pit is essen...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by RotNDecay‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by RotNDecay‭

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How deep can the oceans be while still alowing some land?

Many alien worlds will most likely be water worlds. I was wondering what the deepest possible global ocean dept is where land is still possible. I think that volcanic islands will still have a chan...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by TheDyingOfLight‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by TheDyingOfLight‭

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Are large meteor craters possible with the survival of most human society?

In my world, I am looking for a crater formed by a meteor impact that deposited a large number of resources there. The final crater should be 200 miles in diameter. I would like to do this with min...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Cascader‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Cascader‭

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Treating Postpartum Depression when Reproductive Mortality is ~100%?

Postpartum depression among humans is a thing that is "normal" insofar as it happens a lot, but it is not "normal" in the sense of "a thing that we don't worry about"; it doesn't happen to absolute...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Logan R. Kearsley‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Logan R. Kearsley‭

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Would an obligate carnivore eat bread/grain?

Say I have a race of obligate carnivores (for simplicity, we'll say they're felinoid). They have carnivore dentition, and must eat meat as a major component of their diet, but they can also eat fru...

4 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Matthew‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Matthew‭

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How long would the St. Louis arch stand if humanity vanished from the earth, tomorrow?

How long would the St. Louis arch stand if humanity vanished from the earth, tomorrow? What would be the failure mechanism? Note: I'm following the directions to ask a specific question, but if ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by guest‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by guest‭

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Inducing hallucinations to attract prey

Rock snails are giant slug like creatures living in the forest and underwater, they are not mobile in adulthood and their shell resembles a giant rock. They grow up to being 8 meters tall and the...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Kyu‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Kyu‭

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Would a Longer PETM Save the Creodonts and the Mesonychians?

Some 55.8 million years ago, Earth underwent a really dramatic heat wave known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. What happened, exactly? We don't know how it happened, but we do k...

3 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by JohnWDailey‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by JohnWDailey‭

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Putting together a research expedition to an alien planet - what kind of scientists am I taking with me?

It's the 22nd century and we have discovered a derelict alien craft somewhere in the Oort cloud. The craft contains a star chart showing its origin on an alien planet some 30 light years away. Let'...

4 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Faz‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Faz‭

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How small can I make this character without making it too weird?

I'm creating a character who was born after a long period of genetic instability, which created a lot more diversity throughout the human race. I'm planning on making my character excessively small...

4 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Popplio Lover‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Popplio Lover‭

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How could a civilization stay at a medieval tech level for millions of years?

My world has a medieval level civilization that has remained unchanged for millions of years. They look and act a lot like humans; they have language, culture, government, literature, and basic te...

26 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Alex‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Alex‭

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When earth is filled to the brim with plant-life, can it cause a hyperoxic environment?

Say humans found a way to exponentially increase the capability of plants to grow. Is it possible for it to cause an environment that can cause oxygen toxicity in humans?

3 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by chaeltom‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by chaeltom‭

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How "young" can a non-aging person be and still function?

Vampirism. There are benefits and drawbacks, but one of the benefits is not aging. Great if you get turned in your early twenties, but... what happens if you are turned earlier? Being turned as an...

7 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Matthew‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Matthew‭

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Are firefly-like vertebrates biologically plausible?

Fireflies are amazing little insects. They have the ability to produce a pulse of light without the help of a symbiotic relationship with bioluminescent bacteria. This works via a chemical reactio...

4 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by user3556983‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by user3556983‭

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Temperatures on an Earth with a week-long rotational period

To make things simple, assume Earth had a slower rotation than it does. How would that affect daily highs and lows in temperature? Is there a simple way to figure it out? Was thinking a week-long r...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Ryan Williamson‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Ryan Williamson‭

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How could two AIs "battle" within a closed off computer?

This is not so much for a story as much as something I've been thinking about for a while. I'm really drawn to the idea of a sort of world that exists on a server somewhere. The "˜gods' that eve...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Alex‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Alex‭

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Where to place an artificial oceanic island?

I want to build a seastead in international waters that starts small. It has to be in the Atlantic, preferably in the northern hemisphere close to either the american or european continent. Due t...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by SilverCookies‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by SilverCookies‭

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Weakspots of a Humanoid Iguana

Well. This is for a hard sci-fi fiction. The main protagonist, an Action Girl, has just met her sidekick: an humanoid Iguana (it makes sense and it is explained why Iguana-people people exist (has...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by sjzjjdjdjsn‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by sjzjjdjdjsn‭

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Online Anatomy Creator/Maker..?

I was wondering if there's some sort of online anatomy creator or maker? I'm wanting to make a model of a modified human body... is there some sort of anatomy creator that allows you to add organs ...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by WhimsyDoesIt‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by WhimsyDoesIt‭

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how big does my creature's organ need to blind or stun predator of all size?

Ok so my creature will look like this They're not big, about 2 feet tall. They're technically amphibians but have the scaly hide of a reptile. They live near the sea. Their life cycle is simila...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by user3556983‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by user3556983‭

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Could my "erect penguins" exist?

In the story I'm writing, a group of African penguins evolved to be fully upright (instead of having their knees bent like modern penguins). Now some basic characteristics of these "erect pengu...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by icewar1908‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by icewar1908‭

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What if we created a race of humans specialized for islands?

I'm creating a fictional universe in which several races exist that are very different from each other due to long term separation. One race is specialized for archipelagos and more specifically, d...

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

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Would it make sense to send potential human colonists on the initial manned expedition to a habitable, Earth-like planet?

In the near future, humanity has spread out across the Solar System. A new planet is discovered, let's say 30 light years away, that shows it to be Earth-like and could harbor Earth life without to...

5 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Space_Cadet‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Space_Cadet‭

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What if we created a race of humans specialized for a tundra biome?

I'm creating a fictional universe in which several races exist that are very different from each other due to long term separation. One race is specialized for the tundra, and is subjected to sever...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Popplio Lover‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Popplio Lover‭

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How would someone actively search for titanium ores or other minerals?

I'm working on a story where the main character has to search for titanium (or rather ores containing titanium) in order to repair the hull of a ship. She's on a habitable world that's essentially ...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Wayward Astronaut‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Wayward Astronaut‭

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Could the common housefly survive on a diet of various grasses? If not, whats the minimum amount of other species they would need to survive?

I was wondering, for a speculative evolution project, what could be the bare minimum amount of organisms the common housefly needs to survive? Could they just feed on grass? Or should I add a flowe...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Schwefel Kamm‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Schwefel Kamm‭

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Rewiring the way one views his kind

In my post apocalyptic world, a virus has spread, essentially changing the roles, with infected animals gaining sentience and intellect close to a human and humans degrading into a more animalistic...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by ProjectApex‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by ProjectApex‭

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How much volume does a liquefied human take?

A group of aliens are off to save the human race from extinction caused by a Lovecraftian monstrosity. In order to accomplish this feat, they go to Earth in order to harvest as many humans as po...

8 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Seraphim‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Seraphim‭

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Superhuman: Extreme Temperatures Pt.2

I have decided I will add my whole question"¦ I'm new give me a bit of grace"¦ I am creating a superhuman and I am in need of some helpful tips and answers. To get straight to the point I need t...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by WhimsyDoesIt‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by WhimsyDoesIt‭

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What would it take to get the temperature of the human body to rise to 3,000 °F?

I am creating a superhuman that can raise her overall body temperature to 3,000 °F (1648.889 °C) but I need to know the exact requirements of how that could happen. Let's say this superhuman co...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by WhimsyDoesIt‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by WhimsyDoesIt‭

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Where would a technologically advanced group of people forced into space by a calamity obtain water from?

The fleet in my setting are forced to leave the planet due to a volatile virus, and leave in pre-prepared spacefaring vessels capable of transporting ten million people per ship. The ships have alg...

7 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Niobium_Sage‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Niobium_Sage‭

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What will the abdominal muscles of non-primate humanoids look like?

After looking at concept art of various humanoid creatures portrayed in science fiction I noticed many artists tend to make the abdominal muscles of their creatures/aliens look similar to those mus...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Pierre ‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Pierre ‭

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What percentage of stars would need to become Shkadov thrusters to move the whole galaxy?

The advanced civilization in my story is trying to reach as many galaxies as possible in the next few billions years before the expansion of space has sent those galaxies permanently out of reach w...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by RandySavage‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by RandySavage‭

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Would would occur if a person travelled from a wormhole in flat empty space, to one on Earth?

We are using a Morris-Throne Wormhole Metric. Let's presume the throat of this wormhole (in internal hyperspace) is short, let's say 1km. Now, as you are travelling through the entrance wormhole,...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by MrKred‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by MrKred‭

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What is the force of impact for a failing space elevator given the following conditions?

The local sapient species on a relatively Earthlike planet has constructed a space elevator. It is anchored along the equator. Due to unfortunate circumstances (and potentially divine intervention)...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by MUSE-42‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by MUSE-42‭

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How would one detect a black hole when there are no more light sources for it to refract?

The universe as we know it has ended. The concept of "natural" illumination ended when the last red dwarves and quasars died out. Now, only brown dwarves and blackholes dot the empty void that was ...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by In the name of the story‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by In the name of the story‭

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Is the existence of vertically shaped pupils, with a hawk eyesight, biologically possible?

The eyes with vertical pupils of small cats and some reptiles are very good at seeing better in the dark and avoiding being blinded thanks to their ability to regulate the amount of light that ente...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Mike‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Mike‭

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I want ten Earth-years long day on my planet. Can I have it?

I need ten Earth years long day-night cycle on my planet. Hemera is a world I am creating as a setting for my story. Name comes from Greek deity - personification of Day. Needs of storytelling hav...

6 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Zjerzy‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Zjerzy‭

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Why would a sleeper ship be designed to only wake one person in case of emergency?

Starliners are huge colony ships. They carry enough equipment, building materials, embryos, colonists and nutrient rich rations to permanently establish a sizeable colony on a far-flung world. Alth...

36 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Joe Bloggs‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Joe Bloggs‭

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How can I make the supporting pillars of an underground city less obstructive?

Node is the last active city of the lizard people. Node was built to be a self-sufficient city and a nexus of an interconnected bunker system. It was a vanity project from the peak of the lizard em...

22 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Mephistopheles‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Mephistopheles‭

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Specific gravity change for my world

Ok, so this is a culmination of a few questions into one final question: am I doing this right? I am trying to figure out the gravitational difference from one end of a continent to another. There ...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by NRJohnson‭

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Are there *plausible* planetary conditions where jet aircraft just don't have much advantage over propeller-driven aircraft?

I've seen Which is easier to develop: a piston prop engine or a jet engine? and my own Effects of ~10atm pressure on engine design neither of which answers this. Would different atmospheric densit...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Tristan Klassen‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Tristan Klassen‭

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Plausibility of a six limbed, four legged giant

So, I'm creating a fantasy setting, and because why not, I decided to have giants. Not giant giants, just roughly 2 times the height of a human. Now, because physics is dumb, a giant species would ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by The Humbug‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by The Humbug‭

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Is my planet realistic?

Is my planet realistic? It doesn't need to be able to support life as it's just another planet in my solar system, but is a planet with such a high density and gravity really possible? I calculated...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by LonelyCryptid‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by LonelyCryptid‭

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Humanity is doomed because of succubi

The first two answers in the anatomically correct succubi question suggest a parasitic approach to the concept of succubi which snatches off human organs, either the tongue or the vagina and feed o...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Kay‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Kay‭

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Creature that increases its own lifespan by killing other animals

An intelligent creature who's natural life span is around 50 years in which they need to feed to not die of starvation after which they naturally die. But killing other beings of their own species...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Kay‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Kay‭

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What might cause a civilization to be unable to colonize a large moon but live in space stations around it instead?

In my world a moon is reached and colonised but only in space stations for a long time. They gain the ability to reach the surface and then story happens. It needs to be something that can be bypas...

25 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Topcode‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Topcode‭

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Net shift of humans towards introversion?

Extraversion and introversion are a central dimension in the Big Five personality model (or OCEAN model). Being introverted or extraverted may not be mutually exclusive, but, when averaging out ove...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by subdermatoglyphic‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by subdermatoglyphic‭

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What is the tallest mountain possible in any gravitational environment?

In world building it is often interesting to consider extreme landscapes "“ how tall can a mountain be on Earth for example. But what is the tallest mountain possible in any gravitational environme...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Slarty‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Slarty‭

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What laws of physics would need to be broken in order to travel in space faster?

I have a spaceship which I want to have travel very quickly around a system like our own solar system -- let's say about 10 million miles per minute, which would go from Mars to Earth in ~15 minute...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by LukeN‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by LukeN‭

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