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Questions tagged [hypothetical]

The hypothetical tag is used for questions about processes that are unlikely to occur, but which may act as useful thought experiments and provide general insight into the processes in question.

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A hypothetical geological case study regarding and an alternate possibility of tectonic plate mechanics

I'm a noob when it comes to tectonics but I have quite a bit of interest in physics so bear with me. Okay, imagine a hypothetical geological situation where tectonic plate motion is in full swing but ...
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How big does a pointed piece of tungsten need to be to self-propel into the earths core by gravity alone? [closed]

Density is 19.25 g/cm3, hardness ~9 (Tungsten carbide might apply), and melting point is at 3695 K.
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Why would moving the prime meridian hasten the time when it would be necessary to drop a day from the calendar?

I'm reading the sci-fi novel Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, and in the story a pope in the post-apocalyptic future moves the prime meridian from England to the U.S. It is an unpopular ...
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Nibiru, or Planet X [closed]

What is the popular opinion on this "Planet X" news that I have been seeing? It makes me a little nervous sometimes... I read so much on the internet about this subject and do not know what to believe....
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How would waves (in a fluid) behave without intermolecular attraction?

Water molecules, as many people know, are polarized, and so water molecules tend to have an attractive force between them. But how would the waves in water behave if this attraction no longer was ...
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A Wide-Open Passage Between the Indian and the Pacific [closed]

Today, through plate tectonics, the islands of Indonesia and the Philippines stand as barriers between the Indian and Pacific oceans. In fact, there once was a warm ocean current flowing from the ...
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Great Lakes Earth: The Americas [closed]

Related to If the Oceans Were Deeper The Appalachian Range, at first glance, doesn’t seem so different—low-lying hills covered in forest dominating the eastern landscape. However, they are taller—7,...
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What would happen if Earth suddenly stopped rotating and revolving at the same time?

What will happen if earth stops rotating as well revolving? Will we all be moving with its velocity? It should get displaced from its orbit and move in a tangential direction.
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What would the climate be like on an Earth-like planet if it had only one convection cell per hemisphere?

Earth has three convection cells per hemisphere. These are the Polar cell, Ferrel cell and Hadley cell. These create the trade winds, westerlies and polar easterlies which control many aspects of ...
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How much reduction of insolation (solar energy) would be required to stop global warming?

Suppose a giant sheet of semi-reflective mylar (or some other kind of partial sun-screening material) was temporarily placed into space between the Earth and the Sun with the intent to lower the ...
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Can a cosmic impact break Earth's crust in large area exposing the magma ocean?

Can a cosmic impact event break the Earth's surface in such a way so it expose liquid magma over large areas with solid rocks floating in it as "icebergs"? I wonder, will such magma ocean experience ...
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How big is the influence of tree leaves on global windsystems?

As anybody knows, there are a lot of forests. I stumbled upon the question whether these have any effect on the global wind-systems. Imagine the following situation. All trees suddenly die in an ...
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Is a complete global flood physically possible on Earth?

Genesis 7:11-20 presents an account of a precipitation event which, in 40 days, submerges the entire surface of the earth: [On] the seventeenth day of the second month — on that day all the ...
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What would happen if we removed Earth's moon?

This question is an object of fascination of mine. There are a few different angles to take to it. My favorite is blasting the moon out of existence while its moving away from Earth. What would ...
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What would the equilibrium temperature be at the poles in a world without seasonality?

Inspired by: How does Antarctica stay frozen? If the Earth was in a fixed solstice state - northern winter and southern summer (e.g. the axis obliquity rotated with the Earth's orbit), what would ...
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What woud happen to me if I touched the aurora?

The Aurora Borealis (commonly known as the northern lights) is a mesmerizing and captivating sight to behold, so beautiful that I just want to touch it and feel it. Should I? Could it harm me?
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How would weather change on a tidally-locked terrestrial planet?

On Earth, weather is very much affected by the Earth's rotation around its axis and around the Sun. Even locations that are almost on the equator do have strong annual variations in precipitation and ...
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Would life on Earth survive without the Sun?

Would life on Earth survive if Sun wasn't there? My teacher told me that there are chances that it would but there would be a lack of gases and chemicals and photosynthesis that occurs with light at ...
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Fictional Land - How can I keep dense fog in an area for half a day? [closed]

This question is now here on Worldbuilding Stack Exchange I am a writer, and this question is for a fictional work. However, given its nature, I believe it is better suited here than Writers Stack ...
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What would be the first thing which will render the Earth uninhabitable?

There are quite a few things which can make an otherwise habitable planet uninhabitable, and some of these will eventually happen, sooner or later: engulfed by its star when it becomes a red giant ...
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What sort of climate zones would be present if Earth was tilted like Uranus?

The three main climate zones on Earth are tropics, temperate and polar. Due to Earth's axial tilt, the three zones experience different seasonal patterns: The tropics experience 2 or 4 wet/dry ...
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Hypothetically, what would happen to the earth if a large hole was drilled through the center?

This may be a slightly unusual question. I know it wouldn't be possible, but what would the short and long term effects be, if a large (say, 1 mile diameter) round hole appeared, and went straight ...
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Effect on sea level if the Earth stopped rotating

Would sea level change at the equator if the Earth stopped spinning? I am assuming it is currently bulging around it due to centrifugal force.
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What would happen if we could revert $\mathrm{CO}_2$ production but took it too far?

So recently, scientists managed to produce fuel basically out of thin air (water, air and sunlight). And in a discussion I had with a friend, the question came up, what would happen if you took that ...
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How would plate tectonics differ if Earth had no water?

Water plays a crucial role in plate tectonics by easing the brittle and ductile deformation of the Earth's lithosphere. Water lowers the Mohr-Coulomb for brittle fractures. During ductile deformation, ...
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Would the Earth function the same spinning the other way?

Right, I saw a question about why the Earth spins counter clockwise, and it reminded me of something I would like to know the answer to. I watched a episode of Futurama. In this episode the Earth ...
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(How long) would Earth's atmosphere last without a global magnetic field?

The Earth's magnetic field provides an important protection against the solar wind (for example, see Wikipedia on Earth's magnetic field and references therein). Mars may have lost its atmosphere ...