Alternate Landmark History
The stones. These stones are great big transmitters broadcasting a warning to everyone. Everywhere. To every time. 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
to Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai
and Pyramid Powernote
of Reality Retcon
Will frequently overlap with Ancient Astronauts
and Beethoven Was an Alien Spy
, and very rarely doesn't create Alternate History
, being a type of Historical In-Joke
. May double-up as a Weaponized Landmark
Compare Landmarking the Hidden Base
and the Eiffel Tower Effect
. Contrast ET Gave Us Wifi
open/close all folders
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.
Yes, Doctor Who
has so many examples we had to give it its own section.
- Stonehenge was built to cover Underhenge, which hides the Pandorica.
- The Legends of Pandora's Box were the influence of the Pandorica for the robotic plastic mind-controlled alien Romans but because time doesn't go anti-clockwise the legends ended up being about (and thus hiding) the Pandorica when it was removed from Underhenge.
- The Empire State Building's construction was taken over by the Cult of Skaro so they could create a race of hybrid Daleks.
- Canary Wharf was constructed by Torchwood to try to gain power from a gap in reality.
- The Moai:
- In "The Wedding of River Song" Area 52, Stars and Stripes in tow, is inside... the Pyramids, built to hide everything. Namely, to contain the Doctor. This was in an Alternate Universe where all of history was happening at once, though, so it may not qualify.
- In "The Fires of Pompeii" the Pyrovile and Sybilline Sisterhood use energy from within Vesuvius in order to turn all the puny residents of Earth into Pyrovile — creatures of lava and rock. To prevent this, the Doctor and Donna overload the generator, causing the volcano to erupt a cloud of ash into the town of Pompeii.
- The legend of the Black Spot, a sign that a Pirate was going to die/be killed, is explained as given by a healer that is only released by highly reflective materials (seawater, for example) in "The Curse of the Black Spot". With Pirate Girl Boarding Party and Hugh Bonneville.
- 'Dutch' (Scottish), ginger Amy is also Vincent van Gogh's muse. Then, after being transported back in time by the Weeping Angels, Amy sets up the Van Gogh display she attends to meet him in the first place.
- The Daleks shot down the Zeppelins.
- A certain Haunted House isn't really haunted (who knew), but the spirit of a future explorer is locked in slow-motion, reaching out to a psychic who also happens to be her great-ancestor.
- The Chicxulub crater believed to have caused the K-T extinction event was not made by an impact from an asteroid hit, but by an Earth cargo ship exploding due to Cybermen and careless hyperdrive usage.
- All life on earth was kicked off by the explosion of a Jagaroth ship, and its pilot guided human evolution for millions of years so he could go back in time and fix it.
- The Statue of Liberty is really an old Weeping Angel which is inactive. Well, until it isn't inactive anymore.
- The earth's core is actually an ancient Racnoss nest.
- The entire desire for humans to go to space and especially the Kennedy Center were created just so there was a suit that could keep someone unconscious alive whilst submerged readily available in Florida.
- But none of that really counts when you remember (or don't) that the Silence have been manipulating humans since forever.
The Lorien Legacies
examples were ever-increasing, so it gets its own folder, too:
- The following discussion happens (book two):
Sam: "The pyramids of Giza? They were built by the Loric?"
Six: "Partly us, but mostly the Mogadorians."
Sam: "What about the Great Wall of China?"
Sam: "Roswell, New Mexico?"
Six: "You know, I've asked Katarina that once and she had no idea. So I don't know either."
Sam: "Wait, how long have the Mogadorians been coming here?"
- Then, as a Call Back to that, in book 3 Number Eight tells us that, yes, Roswell, New Mexico is an ancient Loric site. Loric being "of Lorien", not "of Lore".
"I can only teleport where there's another one of these big Loralite
rocks around... to Peru
, to Easter Island
, to Stonehenge, the Gulf of Aden near Somalia... and I've ended up in the desert in New Mexico."
- And, this, explaining how the Ancients weren't quite as amazing as currently perceived: "how we helped the Egyptians build the pyramids, how the Greek gods were actually Loric, how we taught the Romans military strategy, and so on."
- The Pyramids and Dulce Base, New Mexico also hide the spaceships.
- Area 51 is "a meaningless airplane hangar, give or take", explicitly a decoy set up so the aliens could conduct their extraterrestrial business elsewhere (Dulce, primarily) undisturbed by "all the UFO freaks". You know, exactly what the trope page says (down at the bottom).
- Stonehenge is an ancient graveyard for all the Loric that died fighting on Earth.
- The 7/7 bombings in London (if you don't know, think about them as Britain's 9/11) are implied to have been instead the fight between the Mogadorians and Conrad. So it got blamed on terrorists.
- Book one gives us: "Some of the greatest figures in Earth's history were actually the product of humans and the Loric, including Buddha, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein... Aphrodite, Apollo, Hermes, and Zeus were all real, and had one Loric parent."
- 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 videogame The Secret World centres itself around the concept that EVERY real world myth, urban legend, and conspiracy theory (surrounding many landmarks' creation) is, in fact, true and claims to have entire missions devoted to each of them. The tagline is "everything is true".
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. toys with this trope and Alternate History. Sure, the experiments that lead to the Zone being what it is were merely the result of the Chernobyl Zone of Exclusion being a good place to hide secret experiments, but the experiments would never have been possible were the Russian Woodpecker not secretly a super-sized Mind-Control Device.
- In The Day The World Broke, a previous Chief Engineer of the machine that runs the world built the Pyramids to cover up some unsightly protruding bolts.
- In Atlantis The Lost Tales it's revealed that the Stonehenge was built to hide a terrible power and the Moai statues were made to appease a non-existent god.
- The new World of Darkness core book reveals that the Apollo missions occurred to bring back the corpse of the Angel of Death from the moon.
- In Tales of the Questor, the stonehenges (plural) were built by the Rac Cona Daimh as basically glorified incinerators. Since granite is lux-proof, a granite henge can be used to absorb the magical blast when destroying dangerous or unstable magical items. They consider this an elegant way of disposing of their thaumaturgical waste, except for the circles' tendency to attract druids.
Real Life Legends