Floating island (fiction)

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Gulliver discovers Laputa, the flying island in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Illustration by J.J. Grandville, d. 1847.)

A floating island in fiction is a landmass that floats in a body of water (such as Vadanis in The Guardian Cycle of novels), or in the sky (such as Angel Island from Sonic The Hedgehog), when it could be considered a flying island. They can be free-floating, may be directed by the whim of their inhabitants, or others may be permanently anchored.

Floating islands have been found in literature since Homer's Odyssey, written near the end of the 8th century BC.[1] They reappear in Pliny the Elder's Natural History of the 1st century AD, as the island of Laputa in Jonathan Swift's 1726 book Gulliver's Travels, and many times in more recent works.

Floating islands may be held aloft by lighter-than-air gases, such as helium or hydrogen; a lodestone, magnet, crystal, or other mineral; magic; levitation technology such as anti-gravity, propellers or balloons.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Homer (2008) [8th century BC]. "10.1". In Shewring, Walter. The Odyssey.