Super-Sargasso Sea

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The Super-Sargasso Sea is the dimension into which lost things go, whose existence was proposed by Charles Fort, writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena. It may be thought of as the spontaneous, anomalous teleportation of an object into another dimension. Fort did not actually believe that it existed but, in the vein of the ancient Greek skeptics, he wished only to present a theory that was just as plausible as those in the mainstream. The name alludes to the Sargasso Sea of the Atlantic Ocean, which lies next to the Bermuda Triangle.

Cultural references[edit]

  • The 1964 science fiction novel Into the Alternate Universe by A. Bertram Chandler seems to be inspired by Fort's idea, and depicts an actual "Super-Sargasso Sea" in space, where the protagonist discovers many lost spaceships and ocean-going ones, some fictional and some historical, which have "fallen through a dimensional barrier".
  • The DC comicbook Ironwolf portrayed a version of the Super Sargasso Sea as a collection of drifting starships, some of which were so old they contained hanging gardens. Lord Ironwolf, the protagonist of the comicbook, flew a shuttle craft onto one of them to rescue Sebaba O'Neil from brutal barbarian creatures featured earlier in the comic.
  • In cult television history, the Sargasso Sea—a graveyard of ships—has often been transposed to the realm of outer space. Gerry Anderson’s Space: 1999 (1975 – 1977) featured two different “Sargasso Sea” scenarios, one in orbital space, and one on a planet surface.
  • Over the years, the Star Trek franchise has also featured the Sargasso Sea trope. In the Filmation animated series of the early 1970s, an episode called “Time Trap” saw the Enterprise and a Klingon battle-cruiser drawn into a dimensional vortex of Elysia, in a mysterious realm of space called The Delta Triangle. Inside the void was a graveyard of ships that had been trapped there for a very long time. Like the Sargasso Sea, Elysia became the final resting place for space vessels from across the known galaxy. Representatives of countless intelligent species had become trapped here over the years, and a diverse group of the stranded banded together to form a decision-making body known as the Elysian Council; this deliberative group was extremely averse to acts of violence, which the Council sometimes punished by placing the offenders in hibernation. The U.S.S. Enterprise, commanded by Captain James Kirk, and the I.K.S. Klothos, under the command of Captain Kor, both became trapped here briefly in 2269, escaping on stardate 5267.6.Kirk and Klingon commander felt it was better avoid being trapped here. To avoid suffering the same fate, the Klingons and the Enterprise had to join forces, and link up their respective engines.

Star Trek: Voyager (1995 – 2001) repeated the Sargasso Sea convention in its final season, in an episode titled “The Void.” There, Voyager slipped into an area of space without matter, and became trapped with other spaceships, some of which had begun to resort to piracy and theft to survive. After dealing with a duplicitous alien captain, Valen (Robin Sachs), Voyager escapes the void using a “modulator.”

Doctor Who has also visited the Sargasso Sea concept on more than one occasion. In “The Brain of Morbius,” the Sisterhood of Karn brings down any spaceships that wander by their world…for fear that their crews plan to steal the Elixir of Life. When the TARDIS lands on Karn at the behest of the Time Lords, Sarah-Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) terms the spaceship cemetery a “Sargasso Sea.”

  • More recently, the eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) discovered a Sargasso Sea of half-devoured TARDIS’s on a distant world outside of the conventional universe, in a kind of bubble or pocket dimension. When his own TARDIS is stolen during this episode, “The Doctor's Wife,” The Doctor and the “soul” of his TARDIS must construct a time capsule to retrieve it out of the TARDIS corpses.
  • Terrestrial Sargasso Seas have also appeared in the puppet-show Diver Dan (1960) story “Lost in the Sargasso Sea”) and in Jonny Quest (“The Mystery of the Lizard-Men”) and, after a fashion, in The X-Files Bermuda Triangle episode “Triangle.”
  • First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#209 (August, 1979) Created by Marv Wolfman, John Byrne, and Joe Sinnott featured The Sargasso of Space near Skrull space is presumably named after the Sargasso Sea of Earth. While the Fantastic Four were in search of Galactus(Fantastic Four I#209 (fb) - BTS) - Grogarr captured Krogg and five other Slig criminals and was transporting them back to Ankara when they escaped and mortally wounded him. Their badly damaged ship was left floating helplessly a section of the cosmos known as the "Sargasso of Space," which served as a virtual graveyard of spaceships.

During their search for Galactus, the Fantastic Four detected lifesigns in one of the ships in the "Sargasso of Space." They investigated and found the dying guard Grogarr, who warned them about the escaped prisoners, Krogg and the others, before passing on. As they searched the ship, they were assaulted by Krogg's men. As they struggled, the FF noticed that Krogg was making a beeline for the Xandarian Nova Ship the FF had been piloting. Defeating the others, the FF made it to the Nova ship, only to find Krogg already dead. The only other being aboard the Nova ship had been the robot HERBIE, but it told them that life extinction was not part of its programming.The FF put the six surviving Slig prisoners into stasis and sent a sonic beacon from Grogarr's ship to the Slig homeworld, based on previous settings. They then left the prisoners in a small cargo device and continued their mission.

  • An episode of Psi Factor where The OSIR team races to solve a mysterious natural anomaly after frogs begin falling from the sky. But when other items rain down, it's feared that the cause may be more ominous than mere weather.
  • The song "Touch-Tone Telephone" from the Lemon Demon album Spirit Phone makes a reference to the Super Sargasso Sea.


External links[edit]