Alternate Landmark History YKTTW Discussion

Alternate Landmark History
When works of fiction manifest a reason for landmarks to have been built as part of the story.
(permanent link) added: 2012-10-20 14:49:34 sponsor: norsicnumber2nd edited by: lakingsif (last reply: 2012-12-24 06:24:55)

Add Tag:
The Doctor: "The stones. These stones are great big transmitters broadcasting a warning to everyone. Everywhere. To every time zone."
River: "Stonehenge is transmitting. It's been transmitting for a while. So who heard?"

Works of fiction will often disguise Scenery Porn by providing suitable (if probably false) explanations for 'mysterious' landmarks, or related phenomena. The work will tell its audience for what reason the landmark was built, true or not, making the obvious ones more interesting. Most commonly done with Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Bonus Points for suggesting that the actual truth is a Government Conspiracy.

Often, the landmark is a facade for something concealed inside or beneath it - sometimes becoming an Elaborate Underground Base. Most things that offer an explanation for Area 51 as part of their plot count - but not if they just show us what's in there. Generally follows the Rule of Cool.

Super Trope to Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai and Pyramid Power. Sub-Trope of Reality Retcon.

Will frequently overlap with Beethoven Was an Alien Spy and very rarely doesn't create Alternate History, being a type of Historical In-Joke.

Compare Landmarking the Hidden Base.


Anime And Manga
  • Outlaw Star: The beginning of the 21st episode, Grave of the Dragon (00:16-01:19), explains that Stonehenge is only one of many mysterious ruins, found on other worlds, that are believed to have been left by the same advanced alien civilization.


Doctor Who

  • In Aladdin, Aladdin and Jasmine fly the magic carpet to Egypt and a shocked stonemason breaks the nose off the Sphinx.
  • In the first Alien vs. Predator film, the Aztec pyramids are implied to have been built for the Predators, who came as godlike beings to earth thousands of years ago, demanded human sacrifices, and gave humans advanced technologies (such as the one necessary to build said pyramids).
  • In From Dusk Till Dawn, the ancient Mayan/Aztec temples were implied to be places where the blood-lust of vampires was appeased.
  • In Hellboy II: The Golden Army the Giant's Causeway in the British Isles is shown to be a secret entrance to the Land of Faerie.
  • In Hop the Moai statues on Easter Island (where all the bunnies are from) are the secret entrances to the Easter Bunny's whole operation.
  • Promos for Ice Age 4: Continental Drift showed Scrat causing the continental drift, shifting Pangaea into the present landmasses.
  • In Men in Black we find out that the observatory towers in New York's Flushing Meadow Park are really moored flying saucers.
    • The third film in the series shows that the Statue of Liberty was constructed to conceal a giant neuralizer device.
  • In National Treasure: Book of Secrets the ancient mythical city of Cíbola was hidden behind Mount Rushmore. Or rather Mount Rushmore was created to hide Cíbola.
  • In The Prince of Egypt, Ramses and Moses race their chariots through the monument construction grounds, causing a worker to hack off the Sphinx's nose.
  • Animated film Rise of the Guardians explains the Aurora Borealis phenomenon as a communication method between Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and others.
  • At the end of The Rocketeer, Neville Sinclair steals the rocket pack but ends up crashing into the "HOLLYWOODLAND" sign and exploding, converting it into the now-famous "HOLLYWOOD" sign.
  • In The Santa Clause the pole at the North Pole is a keypad stand, you need the correct code in order for the Sleigh to enter Santa HQ.
  • In Starman, it's implied, though not explicitly stated, that the huge meteor crater in Arizona was built as some kind of alien spaceship landing site.
  • In Stonehenge Apocalypse, Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids, and masses of other landmarks turn out to be hiding vital catalysts for the End of the World. All the pyramids-unravelling-and-becoming-volcanoes should be fair warning, however the film fails to mention by who or what, or why, any of it was built.
  • The first Transformers live-action film reveals that Hoover Dam was actually a Sector 7 research facility that stored a lot of their finds, including the Allspark and Megatron.
    • In the second live-action Transformers film, the Great Pyramid was built to hide the Sun Harvester which a corrupt Prime had brought to Earth.
  • In 2012, the Ganges Dam in China was revealed to be hiding the construction of the Arks.


  • In Animorphs one of the Pyramids of Giza was built over the Time Matrix.
  • In Roman de Brut, in 1155, Wace illustrated his belief that Merlin had constructed Stonehenge with the assistance of a giant.
  • In Kurt Vonnegut Jr's The Sirens of Titan various Earthly achievements are actually the result of psychic projection from the planet Tralfamadore; Salo, a stranded Tralfamadorian on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, watched these through his telescope, decoding human monuments like the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China as messages in his own language, like, "A replacement part is on the way."

Live-Action TV

Video Games
  • In the Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction video game the Great Wall of China was built to hide part of an ancient Galvan artifact, the Potis Altaire.
  • In the PC adventure game The Omega Stone, several famous landmarks (the Giza pyramids and Sphinx, Stonehenge, Chichen Itza and the Moai), along with yet-undiscovered ones at Bimini and in the Aegean, were constructed as part of a globe-spanning mechanism to destroy a comet that would impact the Earth one day. Stonehenge was also calibrated to come into alignment with certain celestial bodies just in time to warn future generations that the cometary strike was imminent.
  • The upcoming game The Secret World centres itself around the concept that EVERY real world myth, urban legend, and conspiracy theory is, in fact, true and claims to have entire missions devoted to each of them. The tagline is "everything is true".

Western Animation
  • Parodying National Treasure (see above), American Dad! reveals that the Lincoln Memorial was built to conceal the headquarters of the Illuminati Illuminutty, a peanut-based conspiracy surrounding George Washington Carver's total lack of responsibility for the invention of peanut butter.
  • In the Looney Tunes short Louvre Come Back to Me, Pepe Le Pew (the skunk) visits the Parisian museum, and his trademark odour alters many famous works of art. He causes the arms to fall off of Venus de Milo.
  • In The Real Ghostbusters, the Eiffel Tower turns out to be a Steam Punk ghost trap built by...not-a-zombie-at-all Gustave Eiffel.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons set in the past, it is revealed that all the moai statues on Easter Island are busts of Lord Uglyface.
    I keep telling you, I DON'T LOOK LIKE THAT! Do another!
    Yes, Lord Uglyface.

Real Life Legends
Replies: 66