Questions that are purely hypothetical, for example a question such as 'Could a black hole destroy the universe' or 'What if our solar system had two suns' (however, feel free to visit World Building) [are off-topic]
From my understanding, a "hypothetical question" is a question discussing events/observation not possible in real universe or an imaginary event (suppose gravity stops for 1 sec, what will happen? or suppose Moon vanishes, what will happen to Earth?), imaginary scenarios (stepping on sun). Many such question starts with "What if", "What would happen" or "Suppose" and they should be closed based on the above rule (however not all question are technically hypothetical). But, there is an inconsistency in closing "hypothetical question". While some are closed as "opinion-based" or "not within the scope", some are open and has answers. I don't mind answers on those question but shouldn't it count as "hypothetical questions" and thus should be closed?
I did some look-up and listed some of the questions:
- What would happen if (imaginary tennis ball colliding with sun- closed)
- Would an object falling into a black hole ever collide with the surface of the black hole? (elephants falling in black hole - open)
- What would happen if a medium -sized black hole passed the Earth? (open)
- What would happen if we stepped on the Sun? (open)
- What if the Sun turned into a red giant tomorrow? (closed)
- What would happen if a spaceship goes faster than the speed of light? (closed)
- What if one teleportes to a star that is some light years away? (closed)
- What would happen if the Sun, Moon and Earth were isolated? (open)
- What would happen if a planet is removed from the solar system? (open)
- What would happen to the Galilean moons and Titan if Jupiter and Saturn disappeared? (open)
...and there are many more
Now there are posts discussing about scenarios that are not technically "hypothetical" and can be possible if done in the near future. For e.g. "In the near future, a space probe is launched and is tasked to release ice cubes and water in space, what will happen?" (post 1, post 2).
Question: What exactly counts as a "hypothetical question"?
Related but different: Thought experiment questions that aren't completely scientific?