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Eosin

Real Locations that should be fantasy

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I've been putting together a list of real places on Earth that seem to have been created by some aspiring fantasy writer. I'd like to know what everyone else has tucked away on their hard drives or bookmarked.

 

My List includes:

Museum of the Dead

Bone Cathedral

Wieliczka Salt Mines

The Gate To Hell

Crater Lake

Mirror of Heaven

 

The links go to my personal site but most of them were originally buried in wiki or on travel blogs somewhere else.

 

So, what cool fantastic sites do you know about?

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

Awesome!

 

Gate to Hell is the same link as the salt mine. Why do you tease me so?

 

Fixed.

 

I've cross posted this elsewhere and I am turning up some pretty good hits so be sure to check back.

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

Fabulous collection, Eosin. I will have to owe you Rep for it, though. :(

 

My contribution: the floating islands of Lake Titicaca in the Andes Mountains, fashioned by the Uros people entirely out of thick masses of buoyant cane-like reeds. Completely artificial, and mobile when necessary. They're a major tourist attraction of the region.

 

More photos and details here:

 

http://www.andrys.com/peru8.html

 

http://www.andrys.com/peru9.html

 

http://www.andrys.com/peru10.html

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

I've got about 13 locations listed now. It is easier check out the Fantasy Locations Forum than it is to link to all those individual threads. Forgive my laziness but I haven't even got all the insane sights up yet [i am about four behind right now including the floating islands and Gieger's Bar]

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

Angels Falls and Tepui el Diablo in Venezuela.

The Witch's Stairway, Blarney Castle Park, Ireland (small scale and touristy, but special)

El Portillo, Dominica

The West Coast Trail, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

Looking over your full list at Pencil-Pushers, Eosin, I notice you're more interested in large-scale architecture than I realized at first. In that case, let me direct you to the ancient Middle Eastern city of Petra, an artificial "oasis" amidst a rocky desert, holding a vast collection of temples, tombs, and other monuments literally carved out of the cliffs surrounding the city.

 

This "virtual tour" of Petra displays more of the ancient monuments: http://www.raingod.com/angus/Gallery/Photos/MiddleEast/Jordan/Petra/

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

Looking over your full list at Pencil-Pushers' date=' Eosin, I notice you're more interested in large-scale architecture than I realized at first. In that case, let me direct you to the ancient Middle Eastern city of Petra, an artificial "oasis" amidst a rocky desert, holding a vast collection of temples, tombs, and other monuments literally carved out of the cliffs surrounding the city.

 

This "virtual tour" of Petra displays more of the ancient monuments: http://www.raingod.com/angus/Gallery/Photos/MiddleEast/Jordan/Petra/

 

I am interested in the freaky weird, "holy cow" type of stuff. Large or small. I am just overwhelmed by the number of entries. I am now about 30-40 behind. So keep checking the list every couple of days.

 

The Temples of Damanhur are another wierd' date=' cool place that seems fantasy. Just the Redwood forest seems like an enty, faerie sort of place.[/quote']

 

 

I added the temples last night. Talk about strange.

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

It could be interesting in a fantasy setting to have the Door to Hell and the Mirror of Heaven within the same region. The locals could mean those names literally and treat them as sacred (or taboo) sites. They might even be the centers of rival cults.

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

For freaky-looking natural formations, it's hard to top Monument Valley in the state of Utah. (Don't miss the photo gallery on the bottom of the webpage.) In a fantasy setting it certainly wouldn't be hard to envision these formations being man-made, or at least man-enhanced. Now that I think of it, if you add the stone-working of Petra, above, to these buttes you'd have one freak-inducing environment. :eek:

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

It could be interesting in a fantasy setting to have the Door to Hell and the Mirror of Heaven within the same region. The locals could mean those names literally and treat them as sacred (or taboo) sites. They might even be the centers of rival cults.

 

Add some Cenotes from the Yucatan with some of H.P.L.s "Deep Ones" and by god you have a ready made supernatural fantasy.

 

For freaky-looking natural formations' date=' it's hard to top Monument Valley in the state of Utah. (Don't miss the photo gallery on the bottom of the webpage.) In a fantasy setting it certainly wouldn't be hard to envision these formations being man-made, or at least man-enhanced. Now that I think of it, if you add the stone-working of Petra, above, to these buttes you'd have one freak-inducing environment. :eek:

 

This. This is exactly why I started collecting these sites. They are real but inspire such awesomeness. I think of them as looking at the works of the great masters in art school. You aren't going to re-create their works but you can learn from them and improve your own vision.

 

Thanks.

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

Add some Cenotes from the Yucatan with some of H.P.L.s "Deep Ones" and by god you have a ready made supernatural fantasy.

 

Heck, we could take that even further by weaving in some of your other listed items. :sneaky:

 

The fantasy world equivalent of Crater Lake could be an enormous cenote, formed when the analogue to the city of Ubar collapsed into a gigantic water-filled cavern beneath it. The city really was destroyed as punishment by the gods, which included transforming the inhabitants into aquatic monsters, who still inhabit their drowned city.

 

The lake connects via underground rivers to other cenotes across a widespread region. Local human inhabitants place offerings into the cenotes to placate the "fish men" and dissuade them from raiding the humans.

 

(Speaking of Crater Lake, if you can't do something fantastic with Wizard Island and the Old Man of the Lake, you're just not trying.) :D

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

This. This is exactly why I started collecting these sites. They are real but inspire such awesomeness. I think of them as looking at the works of the great masters in art school. You aren't going to re-create their works but you can learn from them and improve your own vision.

 

That really is movingly beautiful. :cry:

 

:winkgrin:

 

(But in all seriousness, I agree.)

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

Okay, I wanted to make a few more suggestions. A couple of these are so internationally well known that I hesitated to put them up, but to be fair I should let you sort them out. :)

 

First, the Incan city of Machu Picchu, built on the literal peak of a mountain. IMHO there's no more haunting "lost city" site in the world.

 

Next, the incredible Carlsbad Caverns. Natural "architecture" went truly wild here. For a fuller range of downloadable photos, go to http://www.nps.gov/cave/photosmultimedia/index.htm .

 

Here's an odd little spot: The Cave of the Hands in Argentina, prehistoric rock paintings with a most unusual motif. And done with neolithic spray paint! More photos here:

http://www.jordibusque.com/Index/Stories/CuevaManos/CuevaManos_04.html

http://www.jordibusque.com/Index/Stories/CuevaManos/CuevaManos_05.html

 

I'll see what else I can dig up. :)

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

Next' date=' the incredible Carlsbad Caverns. Natural "architecture" went truly wild here. For a fuller range of downloadable photos, go to http://www.nps.gov/cave/photosmultimedia/index.htm .

 

The whole area around Carlsbad is riddled with caves. There's four that belong the the US Park Service (at least, four that are accessable to the public), and a whole bunch more on private land. Carlsbad is the biggest and most famous, but there are a lot of them. After seeing Carlsbad, I believe that there could be entire cities built underground. It's just that big... and it's not even the biggest cave in the world!

 

Those pictures of Spider Cave they've got on the site don't do it justice. That "Tight squeeze" is about 30 feet long, maybe three feet wide, and about 18" high... and filled -- FILLED -- with spiders. Millions of them. Billions of them. On the walls, on the ceiling, on the floor, in your hair, in your clothes... a thirty foot crawl on your belly through a chute so tight you cannot turn around, cannot back up, cannot see anything except that tiny circle of light from your helmet...

 

I highly recommend it. :thumbup:

spider_crawl.jpg

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

A few more suggestions:

 

Banaue rice terraces of the Phillippines, a 4000-square-mile, 2000-year-old terrace farm region still partly in use today.

 

The Ajanta caves in India, a huge Buddhist shrine and temple complex, starkly imposing outside, magnificently decorated inside.

 

My Son Hindu temple complex in Viet Nam, which I find particularly eerie because much of the jungle growth hasn't been cleared off of the ruins.

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

I thought you might appreciate many more spectacular photos of the Ajanta Caves to choose from: http://www.shunya.net/Pictures/South%20India/Ajanta/Ajanta.htm

 

And from My Son temple, which really highlight the eerie jungle growth: http://www.ourplaceworldheritage.com/custom.cfm?action=WHsite&whsiteid=949

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

I submit Craters of the Moon. It features miles and miles of Lava flows, pitted here and there with caves. The bubbly lava is so insulatory that the caves often contain snow all year long. Meanwhile the surface is about as hot as a desert can be at our elevation and latitude. The only life is some lichen and the odd scragly plant that found a crack in the floes. My favorite thing to see was the holes in the floes where a tree had stood for the last eruption, only to have the lava envelope it. Now, all that remains is the hole where it was.

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Re: Real Locations that should be fantasy

 

Well, I went a little crazy with the research today :o , but I think this rounds out everything striking and fantastical that I can find. It'll probably take a couple of posts to properly cover these, after which I shall retire from this thread. :) So, let's get to 'em:

 

 

First, The Meteora, a group of six Orthodox monasteries in Greece built atop enormous natural sandstone pillars. Athough they're all spectacular, to me the Varlaam Monastery looks particularly striking, as it appears to be built behind a giant stone face. (Photo gallery at the bottom of the page, and more photos here.)

 

The Tunnel of Eupalinos on the Greek island of Samos is an underground passage over a kilometer long cut through solid limestone in the 6th Century BCE, used as an aqueduct. More details and photos here.

 

The Hypogeum temple/necropolis on Malta is the only prehistoric (2500 BCE) underground temple in the world, imposing in its stark massiveness. More photos here.

 

The Giant's Causeway is a huge mass of interlocking, mostly hexagonal basalt columns, on the coast of Northern Ireland. (Photo gallery at the bottom of the page, and more photos here.) They look almost artificially shaped and planted, but are volcanic in origin. The Causeway would match well with the similarly-formed Scottish landmarks of Fingal's Cave and the Cliffs of Ulva.

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