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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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Harnessing energy directly from the sun via quantum tunneling

In the universe of my story, the Earth is ridden with metahumans with uncanny powers that do all sorts of different things. Of course, to do all this, they would require a tremendous amount of ener...

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

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How to keep internal organs functioning within an exoskeleton suit in different gravity levels?

This question answers the issue I was wondering about of how well an exoskeleton suit could help my characters move as normal in higher and lower gravity Could a robotic exoskeleton give humans Ear...

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

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Could an island on Earth with these climate types exist?

I am creating an RPG and I created a continent in which it is set on. I want to make sure that the climate types in it are realistic as well as the continent. This island is called Lartess. Lar...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by galactic_analyzer‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by galactic_analyzer‭

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Finding ways to robots feel pleasure

Given a world where a human-like brain is synthetizable, I wonder: A human-like artificial brain would most likely crave sensorial overwhelm. Pleasure to humans is something deeply associated with...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Guilherme Vogt‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Guilherme Vogt‭

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Ningens / Humanoid whale-like creatures

Ningens are an old internet legend/creepypasta. Supposedly living in the polar regions of the globe, these creatures are described as having white-skin, a roughly humanoid structure with clear hea...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Mr Glass‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Mr Glass‭

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What types of flora would flourish on a tidally-locked moon?

My world is a satellite of a gas giant. It has an atmosphere and is mostly covered by water (the percentage of water to its surface is somewhere in the high 80s-low 90s). Its rotation period is 28 ...

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

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Powertrain for mid-19th century mecha

I'm writing a steampunk/weird west story set in 1867 and I want to incorporate some form of armored battle "walkers" (aka mechs). Looking for ideas for powertrains that could conceivably run such a...

7 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Ryan Williamson‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Ryan Williamson‭

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Science of Green Lantern and solid light constructs

Many know that the Lantern Corps of DC Comics are capable of constructing objects of any shape or size out of hard light using their power ring fueled by their emotions. However, I'm wondering what...

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

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Navigating in a Subsurface Ocean

Based on the planet from this question. The main thing that distinguishes this planet from, say, Europa, is the handwavium light-source, which I must assume is wrapped in a perpetual explosion wrap...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by CAE Jones‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by CAE Jones‭

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How Would Hominids Evolve to a Mountain Environment

My non-magic fantasy world has a species of hominid that lives in a huge and wide sierra of mountains. If they had split off from the (now dominant) human species a couple million years ago, (say a...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Capillary Cumorah ‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Capillary Cumorah ‭

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What adaptations would a hominid need to survive in Antarctica?

along time ago a group Australopithecus somehow manged to get washed ashore on let's say the Antarctic peninsula or at least an island near Antarctica now inhabiting mainland Antarctica and evolvin...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by icewar1908‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by icewar1908‭

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Why would an AI only give limited information to humans?

I'm thinking about an AI similar to The Machine from Person of Interest but in a generally more advanced setting, and with a likely more broad goal of serving as a shepherd for humanity as opposed ...

19 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Adam Reynolds‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Adam Reynolds‭

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Roughly how long could an 'Oumuamua type object get?

Roughly how long could an 'Oumuamua type object get if created naturally or if created artificially using fused rock? What would be the limiting factor governing the length of such objects? Oumaum...

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

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What FTL models are appropriate given my constraints?

I'd like to have faster-than-light travel (and communications) be an late-game option for a video game I am working on. The extent of the playable universe is approximately 4 million light years in...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by John O‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by John O‭

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what modifications or methods need for flying monster to withstand thunderstorm?

so i want to create a monster that dwell or fly inside thunderstorm as their defense mechanism, though they do goes down to get food, i want to know what method or modifications need for creature t...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Li Jun‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Li Jun‭

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Why would a tree species grow very large in what is a very windy environment?

In my fictional world, the planet has some very strong winds that regularly blow across large areas of land. In this world, however, very large, tall trees grow (the reason for the size of the tree...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by bio‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by bio‭

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Psychological Development of Children and Adolescents Under Accelerated Time

To try and explain the situation the best I can imagine one of those sci-fi/fantasy situations where whenever someone is asleep they can experience new things. Whether they somehow end up in some d...

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

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What might be the climate inside a "sky abyss" on a tidally locked planet?

Ok, assuming a planet that's tidally locked to its sun, but is otherwise roughly similar to earth in gravity and atmosphere. Classic tidally locked planet: one side is covered in ice, the other is...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Monsieur Nauru‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Monsieur Nauru‭

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How long can a wooden door last?

The setting I've cooked up for a D&amp;D campaign I'm running features a fair amount of buildings that have been totally abandoned by civilization for hundreds or even a thousand years. Obviously w...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Dylan B‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Dylan B‭

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Plausible propulsion methods given a virtually infinite electric power source

Humanity discovered a new energy source, virtually infinite, that can produce gigawatts of electric power using devices of few kilograms. Land and sea transport obviously will switch to electric m...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by if9y4d‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by if9y4d‭

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Would sound shifts be severe enough for two dialects to be mutually unintelligible after 400 years of no verbal contact?

A group of English-speaking settlers travel to the Earth-like exoplanet of Rataan, which is 5 light years away. They board the generation ship Genesis that will reach Rataan in 200 years (0.25% of ...

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

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Would a life-bearing Earth-like world with 3g average gravity produce more or fewer flying creatures than Earth?

On one hand, heavier gravity would make flying more difficult, owing to greater weight restrictions on the flying creatures' bodies. On the other hand, the greater density of the atmosphere on ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by James Grossmann‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by James Grossmann‭

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What's a possible justification for Giants not taking over the world?

An extension to another question about Why would humans be the dominant species? In my story Giants, humans, and a bunch of other fantasy races live along side each other and i'm curious as to why...

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

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What environment would Giants be best adapted for?

In my story Giants, humans, and a bunch of other fantasy races live along side each other and i'm curious as to what sort of environment (on earth) would best suit them? some basic characteristics ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by icewar1908‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by icewar1908‭

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How can I estimate the maximum mass that can be safely handled in low to no g?

Many countries, authorities and companies have the concept of a maximum weight limit for manual handling, both to protect their workers and to protect themselves from lawsuits. Interstellar Shippi...

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

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Distance from Jupiter to minimize destructive tidal forces

There is a video from "What If" that tells about (precisely) "What if Earth was a moon of Jupiter":What if the Earth Was a Moon of Jupiter And, in a short story I am writing in an alternate realit...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Carlos Zamora‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Carlos Zamora‭

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My characters have been killing the same demons over and over again. How come the demons never adapt to them?

There are three "worlds" in this setting: Heaven, Hell and Midgard, Midgard being Earth and the entire Milkyway galaxy. When a demon or an angel enters Midgard, they can't just walk there, as they...

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

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Could an Ice Age Extinction Wipe Out All Marsupials?

Say the word "Australia", and one of the first things to come to your mind would be the marsupials. Of the 334 species of pouched mammals whose earliest ancestors witnessed the fall of the dinos...

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

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How do I explain the evolution of slug people?

I got motivated to write a novel after reading about ocean slugs that managed to evolve into fish. In my fictional world I'm writing how a few fish shaped slugs made their way on land and managed t...

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

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Humanoid Bioweapon: what can stay and what has to go?

I'm working on a bioweapon created by an extraterrestrial agent. The being is 2.5 m tall, humanoid, digitigrade, intelligent and mostly predatory. However, it does not require water, food or oxygen...

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

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Can a perpetually darkening atmosphere exist and yet still allow life to evolve?

I am creating a science fiction worldbuilding project, in which humanity has colonised distant exoplanets. One such planet is a Venus-like planet in the sense that it has a perpetual cloud cover, a...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by QUESTER42‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by QUESTER42‭

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What would a piece of the ocean floor look like if raised to surface level and left for a few thousand years?

My world is basically the surviving chunks of an exploded planet (there's a little more to it than that but that's the important part for the question, ignore any issues of gravity etc.) and while ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by adaliabooks‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by adaliabooks‭

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How did aliens on a habitable planet hide themselves during the recon and scouting stage by human colonists?

We've found a habitable planet orbiting a red dwarf star some light years away and conditions are Earth-like enough that a colonization project was initiated. Before any humans landed on the planet...

12 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Faz‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Faz‭

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Harmless spitting snakes

I want to create a harmless snake that can spit like a spitting cobra as a defense while kills its prey by constriction. Its venom is considered harmless, but when goes to the eyes it causes tempo...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by user3556983‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by user3556983‭

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How would pinchers have to evolve to better manipulate tools?

I'm thinking about an alien race that evolved from large terrestrial crustaceans and has developed a somewhat large brain. Like crabs on earth, these creatures have pinchers wich they use for self ...

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

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Antimatter filled buckyballs - The energy storage medium of the future

Antimatter gets used a lot in SciFi due to it's mind-bending energy density. If you can store it in a form that requires no power and is at least mildly idiot-proof then you've just solved half of ...

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

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Could co-orbital planets also be double planets?

Double or binary planets are a really cool science fiction idea. A second Earth hanging ominously in the sky. Co-orbital or trojan planets are also interesting in that you have them on more or less...

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

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How to monitor oxygen levels with medieval oxygen sphere

The characters in my world use oxygen spheres like the top answer to this post (a leather balloon filled with air) to safely traverse land filled with smoke. How would you know when you are runnin...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Daniel Hicks‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Daniel Hicks‭

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Solar expansion and habitability

Is there a feasible setup where the Sun has expanded enough to make the Earth uninhabitable, but some of the other rocky bodies in our solar system (past Earth) become more reasonable colonisation ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Dee‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Dee‭

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Building a spaceship alone in the wilderness

I am currently working on a character backstory for somebody whose fictional character gets sent back in time an era before his species existed (essentially to bronze-age times or even earlier, it'...

11 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by TCC‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by TCC‭

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World with frequent lunar eclipses?

I am working on a world where an event, like a celebration, occurs during every lunar eclipse. I would like to have lunar eclipses occurring more frequently--maybe even once a month--in order for...

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

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Is there a way for someone to be un-cloneable?

This story takes place about 300 years in the future and humanity has since come into contact with hundreds of alien races, you get the picture. Basically, I have this character who is half human a...

20 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Rhysing‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Rhysing‭

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Plate tectonics required to create a area where the land "grows" very rapidly, very often?

From what I understand, Mount Everest grows about 2.4 inches per year. I am trying to create an area of land that grows very often, often around 1 inch per day. As I'm not very good with plate tect...

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

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How large could sea creatures grow on a terraformed Ganymede?

If we assume a terraformed Ganymede has a global ocean roughly 800km deep, that food is bountiful, and that it has been populated by a variety of life from Earth, how large could these creatures gr...

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

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Could yet unobserved baryons constitute useful building materials?

The setting is a science fiction story set roughly 500 years in the future. Looking at Wikipedia, I see a number of baryons that have so far never been observed. I'm interested in exploring this s...

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

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Using a melon organ on land. Plausible?

In my story, set in an earth-like world, a marine species that had evolved a melon organ, much like that found in our dolphins, made its way back into the "land" (a large system of underground cave...

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

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How could medical petrification work?

So, turning people into stone. You only have to add reversibility to the mix, and it becomes the BEST paramedical tool available. But, what does petrification need to accomplish to become just tha...

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

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Planet with double the orbital period of Earth

I need a planetary system for my novel where an Earth-like warm habitable planet has an orbital period of about 650 to 730 days. I know that is similar to Mars and that Mars would be too cold. What...

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

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How can antibodies induce a demigod transformation?

The Greek gods were sufficiently advanced aliens with access to powerful technology. In the begining of our worlds formation, Zeus created mankind from his own flesh. These mortals were made in the...

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

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How close an orbit could you get to Earth with a planet-sized object/ship without severely disrupting Earth's orbit?

My idea involves an alien spaceship inside a roughly Earth to Mars sized/massed planet, but the whole planet is displaced when the drive is activated. If you wanted to travel back to our solar syst...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by DWKraus‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by DWKraus‭

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