%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1459713245082845800
%% Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread.
[[caption-width-right:350:It's huge.[[note]][[http://adamburn.deviantart.com/art/SHield-World-Construction-118068881 Image]] by [[http://adamburn.deviantart.com/ AdamBurn]][[/note]]]]

->''"Imagine the energy crisis of a '''really''' advanced planetary civilization. They've used up all their fuels, they depend on solar power. An enormous amount of energy is generated by the local star, but most of the star's light doesn't fall on their planet. So perhaps, they would build a shell, to surround their star, and harvest every photon of sunlight. Such beings, such civilizations, would bear little resemblance to anything we know."''
-->-- '''Creator/CarlSagan''', describing the Dyson Sphere in a nutshell

BigDumbObject or PlanetSpaceship not big enough for you? Look no further. SciFi authors have made ''[[AddedAlliterativeAppeal solar-system-sized]]'' artifacts into a trope of their own. A prime example to illustrate how ScienceFictionWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale.

The TropeNamer is physicist and mathematician [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson Freeman Dyson]], who theorized in a 1959 scientific paper that, given the ever-increasing demand for energy typical of industrial civilization, SufficientlyAdvancedAliens might need to capture ''all'' the energy radiating from a star.

While Dyson himself originally saw his concept as a ''network'' of many separate [[SpaceStation orbiting habitats and solar power-stations]], most media depictions show a single continuous solid ''sphere'' completely enclosing its star. This misconception is an acute case of SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale. Constructing such an artifact would probably bring a civilization up to at least 2.0 on the [[JustForFun/AbusingTheKardashevScaleForFunAndProfit Kardashev scale]].

The technologies and resources needed to do it raise the [[AwesomeButImpractical question of whether a race that could build one would still need it]]. It has been estimated that constructing the sphere would require the energy equivalent of the lifetimes of ''several'' stars AND the raw materials of more than the entire solar system, which rather defeats the purpose of the initial construction.

The ''Literature/{{Ringworld}}'' concept was created by science fiction author Creator/LarryNiven as a mid-point between this and a true planet because, as Niven put it in his essay ''Bigger Than Worlds'' (a discussion of {{Ring World Planet}}s, Dyson Spheres, and other possible macrostructures), "I like being able to see the stars at night". Something that a Dyson Sphere prevents.

This trope doesn't require an object to block ''all'' light from the star, but it does require construction on that scale. To be a Dyson Sphere, the artifact must:

# be an artificial structure. Naturally-occuring structures don't count, though a nest built by a SpaceWhale would.
# contain a star inside it (that is, a giant ball of gas lit by stable nuclear fusion initiated by the pressure on its core due to its own gravity, not some little glowing speck, a mythological god with a lantern, or Bruce Willis, OK?)
# contain an inside surface where people can survive (possibly with space suits) without being burnt to a crisp by the star.
# be at least the size of a small solar system. Typically we're talking 100 million kilometers or more.

In fiction, Dyson Spheres tend to be abandoned and uninhabited. If they are inhabited, the residents are usually not at a tech level capable of building the sphere. This is because, if your protagonists run into a sphere whose residents are in the full flower of their technological might, they and their petty problems promptly get overwhelmed.

See the [[Analysis/DysonSphere Analysis]] page for more information about how such an object might work in the real world.

Subtrope of HollowWorld. Compare BigDumbObject and PlanetSpaceship. [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] the Dyson Ball, [[BoringButPractical which is part of a vacuum cleaner]].


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{BLAME}}'' takes place inside of one. This is hinted at throughout the story, but the biggest piece of evidence comes later on when the protagonist finds a chamber that is absolutely massive. Its measured diameter is the same as that of the planet ''Jupiter'' and possibly where it was entombed until all of it's matter was eventually stripped away.
* The [[GainaxEnding ending]] of ''Manga/FutabaKunChange'' reveals the [[spoiler:Shimerus are HumanAliens from a ringworld made out of nano-engineered giant ivy]]. It MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext
* While not spanning the entire Solar System, in ''Anime/SolBianca'' [[spoiler:Earth]] is like this. Interestingly, the government tries to hide the fact that the plant is already dead and thus the people live ON the sphere, not shielded by it on the planet.
* ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL'':
** Christopher Archlight (called simply V most of the time) uses a monster called Number 9: Dyson Sphere, which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. In fact, in terms of sheer size, it's no doubt the biggest Duel Monster in the history of the franchise, being the size of a small star, and it seems to be one of the most powerful Numbers. [[spoiler: Despite this, in his duel against Kaito, Kaito manages to destroy it and win the duel.]]
** Later in the series, while battling against [[spoiler: Mizar of the Barian Emperor,]] he introduces [[MidSeasonUpgrade an evolved version]] of this creature, Number C9: Chaos Dyson Sphere, which not only boasts more power, but can absorb opposing enemies into itself and inflict damage directly to the opponent without having to attack them. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, its effect is exactly what Mizar needed to break free of the lock he and Trey/III had set, costing them the Duel and their lives.]]
* In the 2013 ''Anime/ValvraveTheLiberator'', the series descriptions say that 70% of humanity is now living in space "thanks to the development of the Dyson Sphere". Though the story never delves into the nature of the sphere, it has the characters living on one of many modules that are territories of Earth nations (they are from JIOR, which is essentially future Japan). Theirs is Module 77, and it appears to be big enough for just their school and a small town. They end up disconnecting their module from the sphere, and moving it to the Moon, which is a neutral space.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/NewMutants'', an ''Comicbook/XMen'' spin-off from Marvel Comics, featured a Dyson Sphere belonging to Cannonball's then-girlfriend, Lila Cheney. It had actually been built and abandoned by unknown aliens, but Lila (whose power is intergalactic teleportation) found it and claimed it as her base of operations. Since she can ''only'' teleport over intergalactic distances, any short-range travel requires a double teleport, with the Dyson Sphere being a convenient transit point. Thought the Dyson sphere is featured in the opening and publicity artworks as a nice, yellow-greenish background
* In Comicbook/NewAvengers Vol 3, [[ComicBook/IronMan Tony Stark]] pays aliens to build a Dyson Sphere for him [[spoiler:as part of a alternate world destroying weapon he is preparing]].
* ''ComicBook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'': The modern-day team visits one early on in vol 2., when a fissure in time and space opens up there. They arrive and find that the locals aren't there. And when they ''do'' find them, [[BodyHorror they really wish they hadn't]]. Note that only the tiniest fraction of the sphere's surface was inhabited, protected from the local star by a shell, which the team had to open to [[KillItWithFire get rid of what they found]]. The trouble with that started when they wound up a good distance away from the control panel required to re-seal the shell.
* ''ComicBook/TomStrong'' supporting character Johnny Future comes from a more realistic one, known as the Crepusculum, a cloud of space colonies orbiting a dying sun.
* ''{{ComicBook/Transmetropolitan}}'' has an inversion: instead of building the sphere around the Sun, the planet Mercury was covered in solar panels in order to supply the gargantuan energy needs of Earth.


* In ''Fanfic/UndocumentedFeatures'', the [[TheRepublic Republic of]] [[BigGood Zeta Cygni]] makes its home in a Dyson Sphere (which happens to be home to one of the most blatant [[ShiningCity Shining Cities]] in written fiction).
* ''FanFic/TranscendentHumanity'' has one for the Sol System in order to make the best use of the sun's energy and raw materials. It's made abundantly clear that materials required for it made it necessary for humanity to take material from the sun itself, turning a G Class yellow dwarf sun into at the very least a ''K Class'' yellow (or orange) dwarf in ''building it''.
* ''FanFic/GloriousShotgunPrincess'': This is what [[spoiler:Autochthon's [[GeniusLoci worldform jouten]]]] looks like from the outside.

* ''Literature/StarMaker'' by Creator/OlafStapledon contains the first known instance of this, long before Freeman Dyson came up with it and gave it a name. During the travels of the narrators, they encounter several of these that range from uninhabited spheres, spheres composed of artificial beings and artificial-but-sentient spheres that share a symbiosis with their inhabitants who are also artificial and sentient beings. It's even more complex than it sounds.
* In Creator/AlastairReynolds's ''Literature/HouseOfSuns'', Dyson Spheres made out of perfectly reflective {{Ring World Planet}}s are used to encapsulate stars that are about to go supernova.
* ''Orbitsville'' and ''Orbitsville Departure'' by Bob Shaw featured a solid Dyson Sphere.
* Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/{{Ringworld}}'': the Puppeteers' Fleet of Worlds is a Kemplerer [sic] Rosette. The Ringworld itself is a "flattened" Dyson Sphere -- it is described as being like a ribbon encircling its sun, nearly a million miles wide and 300 million miles in diameter.
* A Dyson Sphere made of a forcefield holds the SealedEvilInACan in Peter F. Hamilton's ''Literature/CommonwealthSaga''.
* The humorously tiled ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Universe_Foundation The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps]]'' features a more realistic version of a Dyson Sphere called a [[http://www3.sympatico.ca/n.rieck/docs/millennial_project.html Dyson cloud]]. [[http://tmp2.wikia.com/wiki/Solaria See here for more details.]]
** It also proposed a solar-cell sphere around the orbit of Mercury, held up by the solar-sail effect and leaving a gap around the ecliptic for the planets and the aforementioned cloud.
* ''Literature/IllegalAliens'' by Creator/PhilFoglio and NickPollotta has two such sphere mentioned:
** The inside shell of the first was covered in solar collectors, and its people lived ''inside'' the shell as well, as basically it was a big spherical shaped space station.
** The second was discovered in a previously-unknown sector of space. When opened, it was found to contain a slightly smaller sphere. Which itself had another inside, and so on. The discoverers abandoned their investigation after going several layers deep, positing that "With so many amateur lunatics around the universe, nobody wanted to meet professionals."
* Neal Asher's novel ''[[Literature/ThePolity Polity Agent]]'' features the Cassius Project, humanity's first attempt to construct a Dyson Sphere. One of the subplots kicks off when an antagonist tries to sabotage its construction.
* [[Creator/IainBanks Iain M. Banks]]' ''Literature/TheCulture'' novels have Orbitals, which seem suspiciously similar to Ringworlds, although a lot smaller. The Culture does have Ringworlds (they lost three in the war with the Idirans) but they're rare and regarded as somewhat wasteful since you could build thousands of orbitals with the same material. Dyson Spheres are referenced in the ''casualty list'' of the Culture/Idiran War at the end of ''Literature/ConsiderPhlebas''.
* ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoNewAdventuresTheAlsoPeople The Also People]]'' has two.
** The main plot is set in a Dyson Sphere inhabited by a society which seems suspiciously similar to Iain M. Banks's Culture[[note]]And by "suspiciously similar" we mean the dedication is "I'd like to remind everyone that while talent borrows and genius steals, New Adventure writers [[LawyerFriendlyCameo get it off the back of a lorry, no questions asked]]." [[/note]] and who have orbited a planet inside it. As a mark of the dwellers' sense of humour the planet is called Whynot and is home to a massive supercomputer named God.
** The other appears in a brief flashback to Bernice's past when she was a field archaeologist. It is an abandoned ruin, slowly disintegrating, and its current inhabitants are a species that evolved in it after the start of its disintegration and abandonment.
* Part of ''Literature/TheTimeShips'' by Creator/StephenBaxter is set in a Dyson Sphere.
* In the final book of the ''Literature/HyperionCantos'', ''The Rise of Endymion'', the Ousters are growing an organic Dyson Sphere around a star. It does not have gravity. While [[spoiler: this particular one is heavily damaged by the Pax war fleet (at least, the narrator assumes the damage was heavy -- he is not a very smart guy and only saw the start of the battle) it is revealed that there are more in existence.]]
* The title object in ''Wall Around a Star'' by Creator/FrederikPohl and Creator/JackWilliamson. In that case, the inhabitants live on the low-gee outside of the sphere.
* In ''Literature/JunctionPoint'', it's offhandedly mentioned that the tianlong are considering it for the star that their capital planet orbits.
* ''Second Genesis'' by Donald Moffitt is mostly set on a Dyson Sphere composed of planet-orbit sized disks, used to power a massive interstellar transmitter (The rest of the story is set on another of Dyson's conceptual objects, a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_tree Dyson Tree]] that has been converted into a LivingShip).
* Creator/WilliamRForstchen's Gamester Wars universe has a Dyson Sphere setting that's still being built--the {{Precursors}}' ancient robots have been at it for millions of years and it's still only half-complete, because of its size. There's also a RingWorldPlanet and other stellar-scale objects in the same universe.
* Half of ''[[Creator/AlastairReynolds Century Rain]]'' is set in one of these, but it wasn't built for the normal reasons. The inside of the sphere is patterned with stars that match the stars in our own solar system, and by some pseudo-scientific method they shift as our own stars would, so that those inside the sphere don't know that they're not really on Earth.
* In Creator/RobertSilverberg's ''Across a Billion Years'', some archaeologists discover an artifact left behind by a billion-year-old vanished civilization that leads them to the Dyson Sphere that the civilization disappeared into.
* George Zebrowski's ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrolife Macrolife]]'' mentions an alien solar system that consists of [[ThatsNoMoon Worldships]] orbiting a black hole in a Dyson cloud. [[spoiler: Later, a fleet encounters an ''[[TheMultiverse interuniversal]]'' transport ship 100 million km in diameter.]]
* ''[[http://www.xenology.info/index.htm Xenology: An Introduction to the Scientific Study of Extraterrestrial Life, Intelligence, and Civilization]]'' discusses [[http://www.xenology.info/Xeno/19.2.4.htm several types of Dyson Sphere-scale projects]] and [[http://www.xenology.info/Xeno/19.1.1.htm construction materials]], as well as "[[http://www.xenology.info/Xeno/19.2.5.htm Galactic Megastructures]]" which are [[UpToEleven even larger]].
* ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'': Pryan, the world of fire, is a hollow sphere with an internal surface covered by miles-high jungles and with four small suns at its center. As the suns never set or move, it has no true night (the closest most of the world gets are storms that move over its surface at regular intervals and provide some measure of darkness) outside of areas where darkness is provided by artificial means. Most of the characters are not aware of the world's nature for a while, resulting in some difficulty and confusion when navigating it, as most of them had a more "regular" world in mind.
** It is the biggest of the four worlds by far, having far more surface area than even the pre-sundering Earth. It's also the most sparsely populated, as there has simply not been enough time in the setting's relatively brief history for the its population to grow enough to inhabit more than a tiny part of its surface. This is also why Zifnab gets an elf inventor to start shooting rockets day and night to attract Haploís attention when he enters the world -- itís all but stated that without some visual cue to head for, Haplo could have spent a lifetime flying over Pryan without ever coming across civilization.
** Originally, it was designed by the Sartan to be essentially an enormous power plant for the same reasons that itís theorized high-tech civilizations would be driven to build such spheres -- its shape meant that all the sunsí energy would be captured without any being lost, which the Sartan could then transmit to the other worlds.
* In Housuke Nojiri's ''Usurper of the Sun'', the SufficientlyAdvancedAliens start building one around ours.
* An unfinished Dyson Sphere is found in AndreiLivadny's ''Literature/TheHistoryOfTheGalaxy'' series. It was built 3 million years ago by the [[BeePeople Insects]] as a way to escape the oncoming swarm of Forerunners (mindless {{Planet Eater}}s). The idea was to hide the star from the outside, as the swarm is attracted to starlight. They manage to build most of it, but the swarm still reaches them. Strangely, the Forerunners don't consume it but merely damage it. The sphere is part of the ancient PortalNetwork. Interestingly, one novel reveals that the "sphere" is a misnomer, as the structure is, in fact, an ellipsoid and looks like an American football from the side. The wider sides are the habitable ones. Naturally, the Insects' modern-day descendants have forgotten all about their glorious past.
* Karl Schroeder's "Virga" series takes place inside a kind of mini-Dyson Sphere: a hollow shell roughly the size of Earth, filled with air and lots of tiny little artificial stars orbited by floating cities.
* ''Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse'':
** A ''Star Trek'' novel about the sphere in TNG: [[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS6E4Relics "Relics"]] indicates that the area around this sphere is nearly devoid of other star systems, because the ancient builders of the Dyson sphere had consumed them (stars and all!) for raw materials. It also implies that the sphere's builders would go on to become [[spoiler:the Borg]].
** There's also one in ''Literature/StarTrekNewFrontier'', but called a Thul Sphere after the financier. Needless to say, it gets blown up.
** In the non-canon novel series ''Literature/StarTrekTitan'', the crew of the U.S.S. ''Titan'' uncover evidence of the existence of what may be the largest lifeform in the galaxy, a living Dyson Sphere distantly related to an alien lifeform the ''Enterprise'' encountered in ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration The Next Generation]]'' pilot, "Encounter at Farpoint".
** In one of the other non-canonical novels, part of the ''Literature/StarTrekMillennium'' trilogy, O'Brien is trapped in one of these for what seems like years as the FateWorseThanDeath meted to him by the Pah-Wraiths.
** The ''Literature/StarTrekDestiny'' trilogy features the Caeliar. They build a sphere around their sun to hide it from the rest of the galaxy and another smaller one around their planet which draws energy from the sun's sphere allowing them to make the Omega Particles which power their civilization. [[spoiler:An offshoot faction of them which were sent back in time, by an accident which nearly destroyed their civilization, billions of years to one of the first galaxies to ever form]] build spheres around every single star in the galaxy thereby harnessing not just the full power of a single star, but the full power of an entire galaxy. [[spoiler:They do this in order to create a ''StableTimeLoop'' and CAUSE the 'accident' which sent them back in time to begin with]]. The Enterprise E briefly visits this 'shrouded galaxy' by traveling through a subspace corridor and realize any race capable of doing such a thing is one best left alone, and very quickly gets out of there.
* In Creator/DavidBrin's ''Literature/{{Uplift}}'' universe [[{{Precursors}} retired]] species live in fractal worlds that are similar to dyson sphere built around red dwarf stars from hydrogen snow impregnated with carbon fibers. The structure also extends inward towards the star in fractal patterns to maximize "window space".
* While Pendor itself is "only" a [[RingWorldPlanet ring world]], at least one ''[[Literature/TheJournalEntries Journal Entries]]'' story is in fact set against the background of a Pendorian archaeological expedition exploring an abandoned Dyson sphere of unknown origin.
* In the ''[[Literature/AncillaryJustice Imperial Radch]]'' series, it's mentioned that the true Radch is an ancient Dyson sphere and the galactic empire that shares its name exists primarily to protect it.
* In ''Literature/Aeon14: The Last Bastion of Star City'', the eponymous settlement is a Dyson sphere built around a neutron star. The inhabitants have reportedly fended off a number of Orion Guard attacks by dumping matter into the star to produce a targeted X-ray burst.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In Gene Roddenbery's ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' the [[TheMothership Magog Worldship]] is somewhat closer to the original concept of a Dyson Sphere but even more fantastic in some ways. It consists of twenty inter-connected planets surrounding an artificial sun. If the stresses involved in connecting twenty planet-sized bodies in stable orbits around a sun isn't enough, the entire thing could ''[[ThatsNoMoon move]]''.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode [[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS6E4Relics "Relics"]], the ''Enterprise' encounters such a sphere[[note]]Actually misnamed by the writers, as what they encountered was a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere#Dyson_shell Dyson ''Shell'']], also postulated by Dyson, but distinct in that it is a complete shell instead of a spheroid cloud of solar collecting satellites[[/note]] that was abandoned after the encased star became unstable, rendering the inner surface uninhabitable. The characters themselves, even with all their advanced technology and having encountered [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens far more advanced aliens]], are astonished that anybody would be capable of building such a thing.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The episode "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" reveals that the TARDIS itself is a Dyson Sphere. The TARDIS is BiggerOnTheInside, and one "room" contains AN ENTIRE STAR. A massive star frozen in time at the moment it collapses into a black hole. And the TARDIS uses that as a power source. That's what the Eye of Harmony is. That little police box suddenly became CrazyAwesome.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' has a Dyson Sphere that belongs to the Void Engineers; the Copernicus Research Center functions as an Earth-away-from-Earth for a large number of Engineers, researchers, and their families. This actually puts the Void Engineers under suspicion: People started thinking that it'd be unlikely they managed to build "the Cop" on their own, and some wonder if they got it from [[EldritchAbomination some... "friends"... they met beyond the stars]]. In one outcome of TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, the Void Engineers retreat to the Sphere ''en masse'' and '''leave the Universe''' in their own portable biosphere.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' has a plane called [[http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/article/Pyrulea Pyrulea]], which is a Dyson ''Forest''. It's a hollow sphere around a star, with its entire inner surface covered by towering rainforests of massive, massive trees -- "massive" here meaning that their individual leaves are large enough to build a small house on.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'': First, Crystal Spheres often take this appearance (e.g. Realmspace has pseudo-stars, walking cursed people and ''big magical scroll-like writings'' on its inner surface, while Herdspace's inner surface is out-and-out inhabitable and home to ''colossal'' megafauna). Also, while [[http://www.flickr.com/photos/23109322@N00/2059380289/ Penumbra's]] Stellar Well isn't a Dyson Sphere, it's a large enough part of it, and the disk behind it is of Dyson Sphere scale.
* ''TabletopGame/AT43'''s Therians freaking ''love'' Dyson Spheres, so much in fact that they plan on putting every solar system they can find into them.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}''. A Klemperer Rosette created by the [[{{Precursors}} Ancients]] exists in the Tireen system in the Vargr Extents.
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000''
** One of the C'tan star-gods is [[SealedEvilInACan sealed]] inside a Dyson Sphere. Whether it was imprisoned or sealed itself there is not quite clear (although the background seems to suggest the latter).
** In the Literature/SpaceMarineBattles novel ''Malodrax'' the titular planet is surrounded by a orbital coral reef, because the writers in this franchise will go to any length necessary to drive home the point that SpaceIsAnOcean. [[FridgeLogic Interestingly]], the reef does nothing to block out the planet's twin suns... though Malodrax ''is'' a [[RealityIsOutToLunch daemon world]], so it probably gets free sunlight from [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace the Warp]] instead.
* One exoplanet in ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase'' is believed to be a Dyson sphere. Who built it, and why, and why the Pandora Gate is on the outside, and why it shoots down any attempt at orbit, and at least a hundred other things about it, are not known.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' Shard known as Heaven's Reach has [[EldritchAbomination the Primordials]] exist in this form and similarly scaled hyperconstructions. Malfeas in particular is a Dyson sphere wrapped around a green sun, with a demonic city on the inside.
* In ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'', there is an Xyz Monster called [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Number_9:_Dyson_Sphere Number 9: Dyson Sphere]], a RealLife version of the card used by V in the anime, as well as its upgraded form, [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Number_C9:_Chaos_Dyson_Sphere Number C9: Chaos Dyson Sphere]]. (See the entry in the Anime/Manga folder above.)
* The core book of ''TabletopGame/TheSplinter'' suggests that the game world is actually one of these.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/Prey2006'' takes place, for the most part, in an organic/cybernetic [[LivingShip living]] Dyson ''spaceship'', the "Sphere". It's essentially a smaller version of this trope, with a small dwarf star at its core.
* Shows up in the final level of ''VideoGame/{{Freelancer}}''.
* Strangely, the world of Atreia in the MMORPG ''VideoGame/{{Aion}}'' was one. [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Then it broke.]]
* The Forerunners of ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' built quite a few of these. Known as "Shield Worlds'', they were intended to be bunkers where the Forerunners would take shelter when the Halo Array was triggered:
** ''VideoGame/HaloWars''[='s=] final arc takes place in a micro Shield World, complete with a miniature artificial sun.
** ''Literature/HaloGhostsOfOnyx'' has one that's BiggerOnTheInside. Specifically, though the sphere itself is twice the size of Earth's orbit, it is contained within a slipspace bubble that is only 23 centimeters in normal space; due to this, time passes much slower inside the sphere than it does outside. Considering that the Forerunners were an interstellar empire ruling over a countless number of less-advanced sentient species, it's understandable that they felt like they would need a lot of room (a Dyson sphere that size would have over fifteen ''trillion'' times the surface area of Earth).
** ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'' is mostly set within Requiem, the oldest known Shield World. It's similar to the ''Halo Wars'' example, but instead housing a star surrounded by an "inside-out" planet, Requiem's outer shell houses additionally layered shells, the outermost of which has an Earth-like environment on its surface.
** ''Literature/HaloBrokenCircle'' features an incomplete Shield World similar to (if nowhere near as complex as) Requiem, named "The Refuge" by its current inhabitants, the Ussan Sangheili. [[spoiler:It also has an experimental emergency feature where it can break apart and hide its various components in a nearby asteroid belt.]]
* In ''VideoGame/InfiniteSpace'', [[spoiler:the Dyson Sphere covers the Sun, absorbing its energy to empower the True Void Gate]]. [[spoiler:Taranis successfully destroyed it in the end of the game at the cost of his own life, preventing the Overlords from destroying the universe further]].
* One level of ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' takes place inside of a partially finished Dyson Sphere. The builders are nowhere to be seen and the area is filled with clutter and wreckage. Like most of the game, the level is sheer SceneryPorn with vast sections of plate in the background, still so distant they're unreachable.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', [[MechanicalLifeforms Legion]] states that the end desire of the mainstream geth is to build a structure somewhat analogous to a Dyson Sphere and upload each one of their individual programs into it. The geth gain proportionally in intelligence as they mass together, with more bodies or "mobile platforms" available meaning faster processing and higher thought processes. If every geth were able to simultaneously occupy one such super-structure, [[MechanicalEvolution they would become nigh-omniscient]].
** As of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', the geth have finished it... just in time for [[spoiler: the quarian Migrant Fleet to roll in with a new weapon that disables geth, who then destroy the superstructure, which houses the majority of the geth "species" and utterly shattering their ability to process and analyze data. The geth revert to survival mode, and turn to the Reapers for code upgrades to protect them from immediate destruction by the quarians.]]
** For ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda'', the VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon, Meridian, is one of these.
* You can actually ''build'' one, as of ''VideoGame/SpaceEmpires IV''... or you could build a massive war fleet for [[AwesomeButImpractical one-tenth the cost]].
* One alien race in ''Fargate'' has one of these as their home system. As these aliens possess no apparent mechanical technology but are the masters of biological manipulation, the entire double-layered Dyson Sphere is grown organically. It looks very fleshy.
* ''[[Videogame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'':
** In ''X3: Terran Conflict'', [[spoiler:a plot leads you to The Hub, an ancient space station inside a Dyson Sphere. However, the latter ''orbits'' a star, and looking outside, you can see more of them, like in Dyson's concept.]]
** In the ''Xtended'' GameMod for the previous game, ''X3: Reunion'', the Sohnen - the robotic representatives of the {{Precursors}} that built the PortalNetwork - possess a dyson sphere built around tiny star in a remote sector, which the player must dock with to interact with the friendly faction of Sohnen. Inside the sphere, the miniature star is surrounded by a massive gyroscope spinning at a rate that will crush any ship.
** The games' fluff speaks of the Ancients, who have uploaded their minds into vast computer arrays called "Presence Clouds", which are more or less dust clouds that completely surround a star, feeding off of it for their energy needs. Though not a single solid object, this does qualify as a Dyson sphere as originally imagined.
* The [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Ascent to Transcendence]] ending of ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'' suggests a variant: "stellar encapsulation," effectively bottling the star without dismantling the planets of the system or otherwise affecting their biospheres.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Polycon}}'' [[GameMod total conversion]] for ''[[VideoGame/EscapeVelocity EV Nova]]'' contains several of these, including at least one Dyson ''cube''.
* The ending cutscene of ''VideoGame/MissionCritical'' has the protagonist travel to the future (a positive one this time), where humans and [[EnergyBeing ELFs]] live in peace. Earth is gone and has been replaced by a Dyson Sphere, with the humans living on the inner surface, while the [=ELFs=] live on the outside, as they don't need air or heat.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'''s Season 8 expansion "The Sphere" takes place inside of one as the Federation, the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Republic fight [[Series/StarTrekVoyager the Voth]] for possession of Omega Particles. [[spoiler:We eventually learn that it, the original one from ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', and a ''third'' that is visited in "Uneasy Allies" were all built by the Iconians, the BigBad of the first several years of the game's existence.]]
* ''VideoGame/SpacePiratesAndZombies'' has stars encased in glass cages as window dressing for some maps.
* VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII takes place mostly within one called "Cocoon" run by the [[DeusEstMachina fal'Cie]]. It even has it's own miniature fal'Cie sun inside.
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'': The ''Knights of the Eternal Throne'' expansion has an artificial world called Iokath. A Dyson sphere constructed by an incredibly advanced ancient civilization, it completely engulfs its star, making both completely undetectable to the larger ''Franchise/StarWars'' galaxy.
* ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'', by default, features massive ringworld structures that are typically inhabited by ancient fallen empires -- if not, then they are abandoned and unusable derelicts. One of the core features of the '''Utopia''' expansion is giving the player the ability to build megastructures -- including a dyson sphere, ringworlds, and space station habitats. Notably, building a dyson sphere/ringworld is a ''massive'' undertaking, requiring you to find a star system without any colonized planets. In the case of the dyson sphere, this is because once the construction is 100% completed, every single planet in that system is turned into a barren, frozen husk (as you would expect from switching off the sun). In the case of the ringworlds, it is due to all of the other planets being dismantled and used to actually build the thing.

* In ''Webcomic/DreamwalkJournal'' the world of Cyeatea, with its immense jungle housing a peaceful culture of sexually-insatiable anthropoid insects and spiders, is apparently a habitat within a Dyson Sphere called Velveteen. However, there is only one reference to this in a [[AllThereInTheManual related text piece]].
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'':
** The F'sherl-Ganni have built several of these. They call them "buuthandi", a shortened version of a F'sherl-Ganni phrase that roughly translates to "This was [expletive] expensive to build" (fully transliterated as "expensive and expensive-expensive [expletive] we built."). At one point, the characters gather a fleet to ''assault'' one. The author tried to depict them more realistically then a solid shell build around a star. In this setting Dyson Spheres (there are four, formerly five before one was destroyed) are constructed from a flexible material. They are practically bubbles around a star kept inflated by the solar wind. Habitats are anchored to the interior of the sphere. The setting also has widespread gravity generators, so that's not a problem either. Of course, when we say "more realistic"... the galaxy's general populace assumes the buuthandi to be more like the cloud or network of orbiting satellites envisioned by Dyson. One character goes nearly catatonic upon learning that they are fully contiguous.
** Much later, the "All-Star" is discovered, which is a massive solid sphere around a star. It is mostly a computer dedicated to holding all the virtual minds of trillions of inhabitants; they could upload every single person in the galaxy without going over sixty percent capacity. It's implied that all the survivors of previous galactic epochs created Dyson spheres of some flavor or another to hide from the rest of the galaxy.
* The ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' Punyverse is revealed to be contained in one.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/4845fbe091a18 Many types]] appear in ''WebOriginal/OrionsArm''. Most impressive is probably the [[http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/4847416b8b0ad suprastellar shell]], a solid Dyson Sphere (actively supported) that people live on the outside of. The one and only solid Dyson Sphere which people live on the ''inside'' of is called "the Impossible Dyson" and exists only in a virtual reality.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Umbra, the BigBad in the 1984 animated series ''WesternAnimation/MightyOrbots'', WAS a Dyson Sphere. He was the core of the Shadow Star, a world so large it contained its own internal sun.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* There are quite a few stories of small children getting the misconception Earth is like this -- and of some grown-ups mimicking this, completely disregarding the fact that Earth would be a Dyson Sphere if the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollow_Earth Hollow Earth theory]] was proved true. To summarize: Earth is hollow and there is a tiny star inside, providing enough heat and light to sustain life. Just ask them ''[[{{Satan}} who]]'' is inside.
* Some folks at SETI want to use some recently installed IR telescopes for searching after Dyson Spheres. While some feel it would be a waste of the usage time of a scientific instrument, others say that these spheres should stick out like sore thumbs and therefore it would be silly at least not to check.
** This has been done, as part of the [[http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/ WISE]] spacecraft's all-sky infrared survey. Among other things, WISE was designed to discover brown dwarf stars with surface temperatures similar to Earth's within ~30 lightyears of the Sun. It would also have found 1-AU-radius Dyson Swarms around Sun-like stars out to >3000 lightyears. [[AbsentAliens It didn't find any]].
** On the other hand, there IS at least [[http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/weirdastronomy.php#id--Object_X one object]] that ''could'' be a Dyson Sphere, judging by its visual properties.
** A [[https://arxiv.org/abs/1503.04376 recent proposal]] is to look for Dyson spheres built around [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_dwarf white dwarfs]], the cooling corpses of Sun-like stars, something that would resolve the issues of Dyson spheres built around main-sequence stars (namely, very low gravity). These constructions, however, would be much harder to detect.
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KIC_8462852 KIC 8462852]] is a star larger and brighter than our Sun located in Cygnus, that according to data from the ''Kepler'' telescope suffers irregular changes in brightness consistent with many small masses in close formation orbiting together the star. Among the hypotheses that can explain those variations is that the star is surrounded by a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_swarm Dyson swarm]][[note]]It's far more likely they've a natural cause, such as asteroids and/or comets passing in front of the star, variations of the star's luminosity, or even unrelated dust clouds passing in front of it.[[/note]]