4.122 science-based questions.

2 Ballistic armor for mammoths/ general potential carrying capacity

first question so go easy! I've been looking around for the carrying capacity of Elephants, hoping to extrapolate that to a Woolly or Columbian Mammoth. I know logging Indian elephants can lift half a ...

2 How, and for how long, could a permanent storm be maintained on Earth by a stationary mega-structure?

Suppose you had a tower-like mega-structure, rooted all the way into near-infinite geo-thermal energy of the Earth's crust, access to the ocean such water is not a limiting factor to the super-...

Gravity differences on asteroid with an O'Neill cylinder

In my story there is something akin to an Island Three O'Neill cylinder buried vertically into the side of the asteroid Vesta. It is 5 miles across and 20 miles long. Vesta's gravity is about 0.25 m/...

6 Can the Sun lose enough mass that Saturn's current velocity becomes escape velocity?

5 answers, 484 views science-based gravity orbital-mechanics
Imagine that, through some cosmic phenomena not yet understood, the Sun 'burps' and ejects a vast amount of its mass into the cosmic void. A huge coronal discharge, perhaps. A pressure bubble inside ...

1 How could a real world doomsday cult go about causing the apocalypse? [closed]

This is not a fantasy or sci-fi scenario. This is about a doomsday cult terrorist organisation, akin to Aum Shinrikyo, in the present-day real world. Is there any way that such an organisation with ...

70 How can I ensure my Evil Tower is always stormy?

It's been a good year for me as an Evil Overlord. Lots of princess kidnapping turned into sizable ransoms, several of my Doomsday Devices were sold for high prices at auction, and my Minions have been ...

4 answers, 513 views science-based biology xenobiology brain
So, I'm currently toying around with the idea of a hypercarnivorous sapient race on a planet in my universe, and I'd like to make them scary, but without abiding only by the "rule of cool". (Also note ...

33 What's the smallest reasonable natural planet or moon with Earth-like surface gravity?

6 answers, 4.693 views science-based planets magnetism
We all know that equation for surface gravity is $$g = \frac{4\pi}{3} G \rho r$$ So if we want Earth-like surface gravity of $g = 9.81$, then the equation for radius is  r = \frac{3 g}{4\pi G ...

6 Magic: Reality check of effects of mass-altering magic

3 answers, 236 views science-based reality-check magic gravity
I'm looking into magic systems for my fantasy world, and among other things, I want to make sure that I have the effects right. One such magic system allows the user to create a small 'bubble' of ...

8 How humanly survivable is my world?

Please note that I have had some incredibly helpful and useful suggestions here that I have decided to make some major revisions as a result. I will reduce the overall atmospheric pressure and partial ...

9 Why would an entire biosphere evolve to reproduce with three parents instead of two?

So I have an alien biosphere in which trisexual reproduction predominates. As far as we can tell, trisexual reproduction does not offer an advantage when it comes to shuffling genes. The biological ...

48 How could we time travel backwards without killing everyone with germs from the future?

10 answers, 12.857 views science-based biology time-travel
Consider a world in which time travel has been made viable possibility. Initially, many are ecstatic at the new technology and the knowledge it will unlock. However, biologists and other scientists ...

12 Is it possible to have detachable natural armor?

This is a partial extension to this question: What kind of natural armor would stop bullets? I was wondering if a creature could grow armor in such a way which would allow for it to detach a portion ...

6 Can a bin bag supply enough air to escape? [closed]

3 answers, 179 views science-based oxygen
A reasonably healthy adult human is trapped in a burning building. The corridor to the outside is not on fire yet but is filled with smoke (and they can't just crawl under it). Since their eyes are ...

7 Anatomically Correct Tiberium - Part 1 (Mineral Leaching)

1 answers, 97 views science-based flora
In the Command & Conquer series of games, there is a mythical 'plant' life called Tiberium. It ends up being of alien origin through the course of the games, but its role in the game is as a ...

16 How do my spacefarers not get crushed accelerating to 0.2c?

5 answers, 6.601 views science-based space-travel spaceships
Inhabitants of another planet (their biology is yet undefined, and if helpful to solving the problem, suggestions can be included in the answer), have a spaceship in which they plan to accelerate to 0....

18 Terrestrial Exoplanet Skies – I've Built a Visual Sky Chart. Is it Correct?

I'm an artist and I've been trying to find a comprehensive resource that would help me clearly identify likely sky colors for exoplanets that have atmospheres with a similar chemical composition to ...

4 What would the biochemistry of a vacuum dwelling creature look like?

I'm playing around with a story idea that includes vacuum dwelling intelligent life, but I'm not sure I understand the constraints of biochemistry I need to deal with. There's lots of potential ...

4 What would a medieval steam locomotive look like?

My question is pretty simple, if the steam locomotive were invented during the middle to late medieval period, what would it look like? We are just going to ignore how it was invented. My guess is ...

5 What geological consequences would result from a binary planet system?

Before picking specs, I need to ensure feasibility. Only one of the planets need be Earth-like; in fact, I would prefer if the other planet were rather small and dead, like a moon. The orbits will be ...

4 Long Term Zircon Data Storage

3 answers, 105 views science-based geology data-storage
Question How can Zircon be used to record data for generations of life forms? Requirements Must be able to store the data with little to no loss of it, for a least 541 million years The data in the ...

5 What if the geographic pole were in the Himalayas?

3 answers, 290 views science-based climate alternate-earth
From a climatic point of view, what if Earth went through a radical polar shift that would place the geographical pole right where the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau are? (No matter if southern or ...

20 Effects of a human moving faster than sound

2 answers, 11.088 views science-based super-powers
Let us suppose that we have people who for all intents and purposes are human, except for one (not so) tiny modification: they are able to exert enough muscular force and react fast enough that they ...