Created By: DarkConfidant on May 18, 2012 Last Edited By: DarkConfidant on June 5, 2012
Troped

Rock of Limitless Water

Stones or other similar objects create water by mystical power

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Most rocks are basic, run-of-the-mill objects. They're found everywhere on most planets, have little to no intrinsic value, and are about as ordinary as... well, a rock.

Then, there are these. A rock of limitless water is a rock, stone, or other similar object that emits a steady stream of water from itself. Such an item is generally held as an object of reverence, either from a deity, other mystical force, or perhaps something something more sinister. These items are generally desired for their otherworldly powers by heroes and villains alike.

Such an item can be found across media types, occurring in film, video games, and television alike. However, due to the nature of the trope, examples will generally occur in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and/or religious scripture. As this trope is at least as old as The Bible and Classical Mythology, this trope falls squarely into the realm of being Older Than Feudalism, and possibly is Older Than Dirt as well.

These items, due to their immense power, are almost always going to be a Plot Device or otherwise sought after at some point. A related object is a Philosopher's Stone. Whereas a Stone of Limitless Water is generally the mark of power of a deity or of magic, the Philosopher's Stone is the mark of the power of science or alchemy.

Examples

  • In Anyone Can Whistle, one of these appears in a Dying Town, which causes a huge boom to tourism. The trope is subverted in that the water is actually being pumped in from behind the scenes.
  • A similar feature occurs in Avatar. The floating islands have waterfalls constantly flowing from out of them, despite not having a source for such water. In this case, there is a somewhat logical reason given for such behavior that does not justify the amount of water created
  • The Bible contains what is among the first examples of this trope, whereby Moses strikes a stone and God's power creates a waterfall from it.
  • Call of Cthulhu supplement Terror Australis, adventure "City Beneath The Sands". The supernatural creature known as Power Boy can cause a spring to come out of a rock just by sticking his rangga (a ceremonial staff) into the rock.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a decanter which mimics this trope. Though not the cheapest or most common of items, wizards can craft them without too much difficulty, making them less desirable than some on this list.
  • Greek Mythology
    • One legend involves Athena and Poseidon dueling over the patronage of the city that would become Athens. As part of said duel, Poseidon creates a sea from a rock.
    • Another legend involves the winged horse Pegasus flying up to the top of Mt. Helicon and striking a rock with his hoof, creating a stream of water. It became known as the Hippocrene, literally the "Fountain of the Horse"
    • A third legend involves a woman named Niobe who thought herself above the goddess Leto. To avenge this insult to their mother's honor, Apollo and Artemis flew from Olympus and smote each of Niobe's children. In her grief, Niobe turned into a stone constantly awash in tears.
  • The Aqualith in Legaia II: Duel Saga. A stone found in the protagonist's hometown, it is actually one of three stones needed to access the Source Forge, the beacon of creation in the world
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the town of Skyloft has a magic island spring that floats just above and supplies the river and infinite amount of water.
  • Such an object appears in MouseHunt
  • Lala-Ru's pendant in Now and Then, Here and There is sought after for its ability to produce large amounts of water.
  • The Crystal Stone in the first Paper Mario game is needed as part of a Fetch Quest in the Flower Fields.
  • Such an item appears in an episode of Samurai Jack.
  • Inverted by the SCP Foundation. SCP-402 is a Rock of Absorbing limitless water.
    • SCP-045 is a straight example, producing water when exposed to nitrogen in an environment with less than 380 atmospheres of pressure.
  • The Sacred Orb in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is a prized treasure of the Kingdom of Aquaria. As an exceedingly powerful artifact, it is desired by each of the warring factions in the galactic war. Later, it is revealed to be a debugging tool for use by the denizens of 4D Space.
  • There is the Orb of Tornami in Xiaolin Showdown
Community Feedback Replies: 42
  • May 18, 2012
    Koveras
    Arguable whether The Bible is the earliest example. The Greek myth about Athena and Poseidon competing over the patronage of the city later known as Athens (where Poseidon creates a spring of sea water from a rock) may be at least just as old as the Book of Exodus narrative.
  • May 18, 2012
    Ghilz
    The giant floating islands and boulders in Avatar emit unending streams of water and waterfall, despite having no where for that water to come from.
  • May 19, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Call Of Cthulhu supplement Terror Australis, adventure "City Beneath The Sands". The supernatural creature known as Power Boy can cause a spring to come out of a rock just by sticking his rangga (a ceremonial staff) into the rock.
  • May 19, 2012
    dalek955
    The Avatar mountains get their water from rainfall and such, the same as any mundane island. Not an example, and anyway let's stick with ones where this is explicitly supernatural.

    • The SCP Foundation has an inversion in SCP-402: a Rock of Absorbing Limitless Water.
      • They also have SCP-045, a stony object that continually creates water if it is exposed to nitrogen and is under less than 380 atmospheres of water pressure.
  • May 19, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Examples so far have been added.

    Going through Lost And Found, no such trope currently exists, but there is the possibility that we were just not aware of said trope. Just want to throw that out there.
  • May 19, 2012
    Dacilriel
    This was a popular one in Greek Mythology. I can think of two others in addition to the example given above:

    Pegasus, the winged horse, flew up Mount Helicon, struck a rock with his hoof, and it began to pour forth water. It became known as the Hippocrene or "Fountain of the Horse."

    Niobe was a queen who boasted that she was grander than the goddess Leto, because Leto had one son and one daughter while Niobe had seven sons and seven daughters. To avenge the insult to their mother Apollo and Artemis flew down from Olympus and slew all of Niobe's chidren. Niobe was so overcome with grief that she turned to stone and the stone was ever after wet with tears.
  • May 19, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Added, and making one of those famous YKTTW Bumps to keep this going.
  • May 19, 2012
    Stratadrake
    It's a shame we can't call this Mineral Water.
  • May 19, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    It would be humorous for certain, but I'm afraid that whole clarity thing would be violated.
  • May 20, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Exactly, I know, but the pun had to be said.
  • May 20, 2012
    Prfnoff
    In Anyone Can Whistle, a Dying Town starts drawing a healthy tourist trade after the discovery of an allegedly miraculous rock that produces water, which is actually being pumped in from behind the scenes.
  • May 20, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Added; another bump.
  • May 20, 2012
    Dacilriel
    Leto was Apollo and Artemis' mother, not their daughter. Please correct in the examples list.
  • May 20, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    So changed.
  • May 21, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Bumping for more examples, and for help with a better description. Could also use more relations to other tropes in said description.
  • May 21, 2012
    electronshock
    in Now And Then Here And There, Lala-Ru's pendant that is the Mc Guffan of the series is sought after because it is capable of producing copious amounts of precious water.
  • May 21, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Added; more bumps. Seems I often need a lot of those.

    Still looking for a better description.
  • May 22, 2012
    HawkofBattle
    Not sure if it counts, but the floating dyson sphere Cocoon from FF 13 continually leaks water, though it's probably generated by a Fal'Cie somewhere inside the world.
  • May 22, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Can someone provide some more detail on this one?
  • May 23, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Still looking for some description help and more detail on a couple of examples.
  • May 24, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Hate to keep being pushy like this, but I'd really like some help finishing this up so I can get it launched.
  • May 25, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    See above. Please help?
  • May 26, 2012
    captainsandwich
    do bottles qualify as similar? because D&D has a decanter that does this (salt or fresh, your choice, speed it comes out is your choice of 4 settings, including off). they also have a bottle that does this with smoke (no settings), and another one that does this with air (no settings), and another that does it with sand (4 speed settings including off). While these bottles are far from unique, they aren't very common either. the water version cost 9,000 gold. which might be cheaper than you think. I think for its utility it is a bargain. Aside from the obvious (a fresh water source), it can be used to flood places, used to power contraptions via gravity and water wheel, make shift weapon (the geyser setting gives a substantial push), Salt water supply for a Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals, destroying things, say a door (how long it takes may be more time than you want, but water carved out the grand canyon).
  • May 26, 2012
    JonnyB
    Answer to your Avatar question: Yes, it's an example. I think I even saw it lampshaded in a column on Bad Astronomer not too long ago.

    Edit: Couldn't find where I originally saw it, but this blog post explains the obvious problems with the amount of water coming from the rocks.
  • May 27, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    I'd like to launch this sometime Tuesday, so if there are any lingering examples that you haven't come in to mention yet, please do so as soon as possible.
  • May 28, 2012
    dalek955
    I still don't think Avatar should be here. As I understand it, this trope is about an explicitly magical effect that has some plot significance, not just a miscalculated background feature.
  • May 28, 2012
    JonnyB
    They're rocks, and they have seemingly limitless water. In a place where nothing there makes sense from a conventional point of view, to the point where they're called the Hallelujah Mountains. Seems to fit to me.
  • May 28, 2012
    captainsandwich
    I think it should be organized before it gets launched.
  • May 28, 2012
    dalek955
    I was under the impression that this was a magic trope, not a lampshade trope. If it's the former, it only counts if the author meant to do it.

    Also, please don't try to explain it as "it's an Eldritch Location, everything must be magic". In-universe, the Hallelujah Mountains totally make sense, and the force that causes them has nothing to do with water.
  • May 28, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    It's a magic trope. It merely has to exist, not be acknowledged as such by the author.

    @Captain Sandwich: Organized in what regard?
  • May 29, 2012
    dalek955
    Um, what? Magic tropes totally have to be done on purpose. That's the dividing line between actual magic tropes like Magitek, and meta or lampshading tropes like Automaton Horses. Hand Waves like the waterfalls can indeed be examples of magic tropes, but only if the authors actually say that A Wizard Did It. In this case it was not a wizard.
  • May 29, 2012
    erforce
  • May 29, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Can we get some context on that, erforce?
  • May 29, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Hmm. Any other indices to put this page on?
  • May 30, 2012
    erforce
    That's all I remember, it was a long time ago when I saw that episode.
  • May 30, 2012
    Dacilriel
    You might want to add a note about this being Older Than Dirt.
  • May 31, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    According to the page on Older Than Dirt, The Bible and Greco-Roman Mythology are only Older Than Feudalism. Noted that it counts as an example of Older Than Feudalism, and possibly Older Than Dirt.
  • June 1, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Going for a weekend push for examples, otherwise, I'd like to launch this soon.
  • June 2, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Bumping for the examples.
  • June 4, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Anything left to add before we send this trope off to the wiki?
  • June 5, 2012
    JonnyB
  • June 5, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Let's do this then.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=wgnbhv5cv2cmzmxjh06svb69