Someone has plugged fictional data into a real life supercomputer, resulting in similarities to real world locations, such as the weather patterns of Mordor, the home of Sauron in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. According to the data, Mordor’s climate imitates that of Texas and Los Angeles.
Dan Lunt, a climate modeling researcher at the University of Bristol, scanned detailed maps of Tolkien’s Middle Earth into a supercomputer and ran the numbers to get a 70 year prediction of its climate. The Guardian reported that the predictions likened the Shire to Lincolnshire in Britain and Mordor to Los Angeles. The general weather patterns of Middle Earth overall represent that of Western Europe. If data from other fictitious locations were entered, what would be their likely real world locations?
Another well known location taken from fiction would be Frank Herbert’s Dune, specifically locations such as the planets Arrakis and Giedi Prime. Frank Herbert based the culture of Arrakis’ desert dwelling Fremen on real life Middle East, so it would stand to reason that the desert planet itself may have its roots in locations such as the Sahara, which is the world’s hottest desert, as well as the Arabian Desert.
Giedi Prime, home of the sadistic House Harkonnen, which Herbert portrayed as an allegory to a greed driven military complex, might have smog laden weather indicative of the factories of the Industrial Revolution, or factory districts of the modern world. Conversely, the ancestral home of House Atreides was depicted as vibrant and green with vast oceans, to represent a society dedicated to preserving harmony with the environment and the people.
What real world location would Lunt’s geekputer generate if data from Roger Zelazny’s Nine Princes of Amber was entered? It would either spit out data with very close real world similarities, including its analysis of Mordor, or its processors would melt trying to compute all the permutations of weather conditions across countless copies of Amber—of which earth is just a shadow of.
Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Beneath the surface of the Atlantic, though it is the actual real world of the time depicted in his ground breaking novel. Same goes for Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. However it must be said that a number of the classics of the time took place in an all too real world.
Getting back to the experiment, Lunt, an admitted Lord of the Rings fan, published his findings in a mock report under the pseudonym of Radagast the Brown, one of Middle Earth’s famous scholars. There had been more than enough source material, for Tolkien was very meticulous in the creation of his world, from geography to culture and right on down to fully actualized languages.
So how did Los Angeles and Texas of all places come up as Mordor’s equivalent? Los Angeles’ infamous smog layer simulates the volcanic ash surrounding Mordor’s Mount Doom, as well as being hot and dry. Texas generates similar conditions. So what’s next? Google Maps already has walking directions to Mordor, although it is nowhere near as easy as it sounds—just ask Sam and Frodo.
Planet earth is so diverse in terrain and conditions, both natural and man made, that real world similarities can be found in otherworldy locations other than just Mordor and the rest of Middle Earth.
By Lee Birdine