What I think would be fun is for some brainiac to decipher the tectonics of whatever they call the planet that middle-earth is on and answer if continental features as they were drawn by Tolkien could actually exist.
I'm an armchair geologist at best, but it seems to me a lot of things in there that couldn't happen naturally.. the box of mountains around Mordor being an easy example.
A wizard did it.
The Wizards only came to Middle Earth to oppose Sauron, so they were a bit late to do it. The plate tectotonics of Middle Earth must be a bit unusual if it was originally flat, but there are interpretations that it was always round.
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I suppose a mantle-plume hotspot could both create Orodruin and a localized Basin And Range Province environment of stretched-out lithosphere. Later tectonic action could deform the resulting valleys and mountains and GOD DAMN IT I HAVE WORK TO DO.
I bet there's some Magellan-like figure in Middle Earth trying to find an Eastern route to the undying lands.
I thought that you could just zoom in on New Zealand.
The Outterra software looks pretty awesome. I wonder if it could render non-spherical worlds? Like Halo, or Ringworld, or Varley's Titan.
That link to fastcodesign.com appears to be broken...
i wonder if Stephen Colbert has commented on this.
I kind of like to imagine a Future Middle Earth where the Dwarves, in search of new caves to mine and riches to uncover, have developed space travel and a fellowship led by a great, great, great (etc, etc) Baggins ancestor begins a quest to the the Sun to finally and ultimately destroy a recently resurfaced One-Ring, which has reconstituted itself over centuries by means of some unknown powerful dark magic.
Coming to Middle Earth to oppose Sauron means they arrived right as Illuvatar sank Numenor beneath the oceans, and bent the (previously flat) world into a sphere. Plenty of room for geological upheaval.
Speaking of which, has anyone done a pre-Numenor version? Also, is Valinor up there somewhere, maybe as a moon? And are the sun and moon visible as an actual fruit and flower carried by the maiar?
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