# Should "fun questions" be considered on- or off-topic?

There are a number of questions on this site that start with a fun, sometimes ironic context. Here are some more recent examples

• How do I find the approximate surface area of a chicken? (meta discussion on this question here)

I'm working on building a chicken army and I'm trying to find out how much metal or kevlar (still deciding) I need to make armor for the chickens. this measurement does not need to be exact I'm just trying to get an estimate for how much I will need. You will be spared when my chickens take over the world if you give me a working answer.

• I need a kilogram of neutrinos. What are my problems?

So I am a benevolent genius that figured out that if only I had a kilo of neutrinos in a bottle, I could solve some long standing problems (climate change, rockets landing upright, world peace, the usual). What are my problems?
[...]

Should such questions be encouraged/discouraged? Should questions on Physics SE only contain the actual information that is needed and avoid such introductions?

"Fun" is subjective. As long as the question follows the site policies then it should stay on the site. If it doesn't follow site policy it should be closed. It doesn't matter what else you think about the question. Therefore "fun" questions can be either on-topic or off-topic.

Note that "being about physics" is not a sufficient condition for a question to be on-topic. So saying "fun questions are fine as long as they also focus on the physics" is missing some other points about site policy.

Here is my opinion on this.

Personally, I think that it is not a problem to start with some fun context. It can spark interest in the reader and encourage them to read the complete post or answer it. However, I think that the "fun context" should be clearly separated from the actual question (which should of course be about physics) and should not distract from it. There should be no ambiguity about what is the question and what is just the fun part.

• I've removed a personal remark, and some replies to it.
– rob Mod
Mar 28 '21 at 18:04

As long as the fun context contains a genuine and interesting question about Physics, I do not see any reason for considering off-topics. Of course, people should not abuse this style and one has to consider that what may sound funny, in some cases, could be considered offensive for someone else.

However, I am more concerned by the proposal to close such questions for reasons that sound even funnier than the context itself (the first one should be considered an engineering problem, and confining $$1~kg$$ of existing real neutrinos should be a non-mainstream physics problem.

Come on, good physicists have always enjoyed some humor.

• "Good physicist" might be the key word here. Mar 28 '21 at 7:49

I know this gets downvoted to the ground every time I suggest it, but I still think the best option by far is to move these questions to Worldbuilding. Worldbuilding.SE is all about fun, often physics-inspired questions, which rack up tons of questionably-correct but entertaining answers.

The questions are already written in the characteristic Worldbuilding style, and would probably do well. It is better for this site, and for the questioners, to have these questions answered over there rather than stretch the policy to keep them over here.