PLANETCOPIA - Earth and Other Planets Re-imagined
This home we call Earth? Well, it’s the only home we know. But who among us, I ask, has not wondered what this planet would look like, say, if Antarctica was not an actual landmass, or if all the continents were upside-down? Even XKCD has wondered such things, when Randall showed us what an Earth with 90˚-rotated continents would look like.
Chris Wayan is someone who, until 2010 at least, actually made such worlds. He would envision a different scenario for Earth or another planet, find a globe, sand it flat and then (re-)build the new planet from scratch. This is no haphazard guessing-game, though. It’s not pin-the-continent-on-the-planet. Detailed predictions and calculations are made, involving orbit, atmosphere, reflection, currents, total water, modified tectonics … even biology. Here’s more about his process.
Then the new planet is sketched, sculpted, and the tour commences! I can barely fathom the planning, research and creativity that goes into these. Some that I have included above (clockwise from top left):
- Dubia - A future Earth, showing the effects of twice the atmospheric carbon dioxide that we have today. The name is a not-so-subtle poke to a certain climate-denying former president. Note the 110-meter rise in sea levels.
- Siphonia - An Earth where 90% of the water has been sucked up by thirsty alien invaders. The highlands are even higher and colder.
- Mars terraformed - Picture Mars a thousand years in the future, after colonization and terraforming. Massive oceans and huge, ice-tipped volcanoes abound.
- Turnovia - It’s Earth, flipped on its head. Easy one, right? Not so fast. Our rotation still continues in the direction we are used to now, which changes everything in terms of weather.
There’s more Earths, an uncovered Venus, and even a Europa or two. Awesomely cool stuff. Go check it out.