Waterworld world map

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/05/13/waterworld-world-map.html


Even as a voiceover narrates that the melting of the ice caps put the world under water, it shows the world completely under water with ice caps still remaining .

Um… no, it doesn’t? At least not the video clip that was presented.


Hmm. I don’t know. You figure most of the people got stuck where they were and died. Those that rose with the water in Tibet probably wouldn’t bother looking for other dry land outside of their area because they know there wouldn’t be any. If any did, they could be the source of rumors; and they may have been vague or just lie because they didn’t want these people to descend upon their families.


The people remaining, floating out in other parts of the world ocean may not have had the greatest grasp on geography, and no more internet with which to search. The few that figure it out and manage to get to the Tibetan archipelago doubtlessly wouldn’t want to go back out into the ocean, assuming they’re allowed to stay and not just killed on sight.

All that said, I can’t believe I’m defending anything about Waterworld.


At this point, the level of the water is closing in on 6000m, leaving only Denali and a couple of other Alaskan peaks visible above water, and there’s still arctic ice pack on water.

More clearly (below), here we’re at maybe 1000 or 2000 meters and the contiguous ice cap remains at the top of the shot:

If the world’s ice caps melted, sea levels would rise about 70 (seventy) meters.

(Of course, it’s an animation, they presumably just made a 3D heightmap including pack ice and raised the water level without “melting” it, Denali is in the wrong place, they fooled with the heighmap to create the last islands of land and ice, and so on)


The problem is really that anyone on the water would end up there whether they were trying to get there or not, because of the tides.

The simplest solution might be, “the sea level is raised to whatever turns Everest into the island we see at the end of the movie” but the prominence shown would mean a lot of islands like it across the Tibetan plateau.

Kohala plays the role of Everest in the scene, and at 1600m is about right for the Waterworld canon of a 7500m sea level rise.

This is maybe the point where someone who has read the official novelization comes in with a canon cannon that explains why it’s never found and no-one lives there.


Does this map have directions to all the misguided hatred of this movie? It’s not that bad, really. Certainly hasn’t earned the ire it gets. I can think of several movies with worse production, worse script, worse characters. Yeah, the plot doesn’t hold much water, but still.


Looks kinda mоist.


I don’t think everyone hated it so much as it’s a joke how mediocre it turned out compared to how massive its budget was. This was well before the Star Wars prequels, mind you.


I have a completely unironic and only modestly shameful love for this movie. Same for The Postman. Two Costner apocalypse flicks that I enjoyed and apparently most commenters loathed.

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I think Waterworld’s standing has improved. It’s a decent 1990s action flick, post-apocalyptic scenarios are very fashionable, and the imbroglio over its budget is quaint these days. It’s in the same class as (but not as good as) Mad Max 3.


Yes, but how much you would raise the water level so that only Everest was above water? K2 is around 2,000m shorter, so the island they show in the movie might be just about right if the sea level was enough to submerge K2.

There are also those man-made islands in the film that survivors cling to, probably built on other mountain tops.

So their goof is using 7500m as how much the level the sea rose, when it should be more to make the topography work.

(To agree with others here, I find Waterworld good fun for what it is. Sometimes I need silly mindless entertainment.)

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I figure they’re stuck with ~7500m because they depict the north coast of Hawaiʻi, with ~1500m peaks visible, as the Everest massif.

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Now, onto the issue of isostatic rebound.



Yeah, nah. On to Ishtar.

I never saw Waterworld but have always wanted to. I never saw Ishtar but always wanted to. They seemed to be linked in the esteem they were (not) given when released. A double bill of thrift store VHS cassettes would be perfect.

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I’ll always treasure the review that posited that the sea level only rose 75m but none of the characters depicted in the movie were smart enough to find land.


If the world’s ice caps melted, sea levels would rise about 70 (seventy) meters.

I remember to have found out that the sea level would rise slightly more than a hundred meters in some places. The global sea level is not at all even, level or global for multiple reasons, like rotational, gravitational forces, differences in the crust’s density causing surprisingly big hills and valleys on the ocean surface.
The momentum of currents when obstructions or other currents are in their paths creates pile-ups.
Also the post glacial rebound where partially submerged landmasses rise, being freed from the gazillions of shittons of ice weight, displacing sea water.
Then there is the increased volume of the currently liquid water that would come with the required rise in temperature.
Last thing I can think of now is the erosion. The risen sea would gnaw on “mountains” it currently has no access to.

But all of that combined will not suffice to even alter the shape of continents enough to make them unrecognizable. (from space)

I’ve been on one of the two trimarans they made for the movie. It is just GFRP, glass-fiber reinforced plastic, like pretty much all modern boats, but they were originally both painted to look like riveted metal, the sails as if it were patchworks of different textile pieces. The one in the Florida Universal Studio Park-thing still looks like that.
Half of Florida will be gone by the end of this century.

Waterworld was not a bad movie, but it should have been great.


Nautical maps of the Tibetan plateau are pretty hard to come by.


Some of the rise of sea levels isn’t due to ice melting, it’s due to thermodynamic expansion. As the planet heats up the water gets warmer and takes up more volume. The only way for it to expand is up, so the sea levels rise.

Melting the North Pole wouldn’t add to sea levels anyway because it’s floating. South pole melting does contribute to the sea level unfortunately.

what he said ^^^

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