This Video Explains Everything You Need to Know About My Favorite Science Fiction Superstructure

A Dyson sphere!
A Dyson sphere!
Image: Screencap via YouTube

Superstructures—giant, impossible machines or buildings, popular in science fiction, more or less impossible in reality—are the absolute best. They are my jam. The Dyson Sphere is the best one.


(To be fair: it’s possible, at some point in the future, that people could build one of these, and advanced civilizations may have, for all we know, already built them. Bear with me here.)

The Dyson Sphere is, simply put, a structure that fully captures a star inside of it, letting its owners harvest the infinite energy of the sun as a power source. It rules. So, let’s say you want to build one of these spheres. That’s where this video comes in. In a brief ten minutes, Kurtzgesagt—In a Nutshell runs down what a Dyson Sphere is, and how you, entrepreneurial future inventor you, would go about building one.

Well, what are you waiting for? Superstructures don’t build themselves. It just takes time, and ingenuity, and solving several intractable problems. Get to it.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.


Arai-the fly on the wall

Dyson sphere is great and all, but how many planets, nay planetary systems, would be needed to be stripped of their resource to build one of this?

And how sure are we that those planets to be stripped doesn’t have lifeforms or proto lifeforms and breaking prime directive in stripping them?