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The Sky Is an Ocean

Sister Trope of Space Is an Ocean. In this case, it's the sky being used to make visual/stylistic parallels to the ocean, but the same basic principles apply. As with space, the metaphor can easily be taken a little too far (although the presence of gravity might explain parts of it). Often runs on the Rule of Cool.

May involve:

For more info on the Real Life lumbering battleships and luxury liners that ply the skies, see our Useful Notes on military aircraft and airships. Contrast Water Is Air, Sand Is Water.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • One Piece takes it literally in the Skypeia arc, where the clouds are considered an ocean. Luffy tests whether it works like in the world below...and yeah, it still gives him Super Drowning Skills.
    • It's explained that the sea and island clouds are created when an element called 'pyrobloin' (ejected from volcanoes into the sky) reacts with water vapor. The type of cloud created depends on the density of the water vapor. The pyrobloin accounts for the Super Drowning Skills effect, since it's found in Seastone which can de-power Devil Fruit users.
  • Simoun, pretty much all of it.
  • In the Ah! My Goddess manga, the Schroedingers swim through the air... but it's mainly in a conceptual space so it might not completely count. Still evokes the trope, though.
  • Castle in the Sky
  • Last Exile
  • Discussed in Trigun: Vash compares the large open sky to "the deep blue sea"... even though he's never seen the sea or even been close to a large water point.

    Comic Books 
  • The CrossGen series Meridian was set in a world of floating islands and airships.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • The Dreamlands of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos feature boats that float on the sky and can sail to the moon.
  • Airborn has Sky Pirates and an airship that's basically a luxury cruise liner.
  • The Nameless Castle in Xanth sits among the clouds, upon which (magical, one presumes) boats can be floated.
  • In The Integral Trees by Larry Niven, which is set in a thin, orbiting band of breathable air the sky literally is an ocean, since there is no actual planet one can set foot on.
  • Older than Television: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1913 scifi short story "The Horror of the Heights" features an aviator who has a nasty run in with a swarm of flying jellyfish.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs uses this trope throughout his Martian tales, especially when The Hero is being chased by Sky Pirates.
  • Karl Schroeder's "Virga" series takes place inside a Hollow World filled with air, where people, ships, and entire cities float around.
  • In Michael Reaves' The Shattered World, ships sail through the air-filled Abyss between the many fragments of a world broken into pieces. The sky/sea analogy is taken further still when its characters encounter "dragoneers", dragon-hunting equivalents of old-time harpoon whalers.
  • In The Death Gate Cycle, each world is based on an element. Arianus, the World of Air, is exactly this, with elves using magical airships for transport.

    Live Action TV 
  • In A Christmas Carol of Doctor Who, the sky above a planet was full of fish (including sharks).

    Video Games 
  • The entire point of Skies of Arcadia. Hell, different parts of the sky are actually called "oceans" - you start in Mid Ocean and go out from there.
  • Ecco the Dolphin : The Tides of Time has "the great sea of the sky", which includes floating islands, giant water tubes, dolphins who have evolved helium sacs to float in the air, and GIANT FLYING JELLYFISH.
    • Defender of the Future had huge floating water globes, floating water tubes, and non-floating-but-still-in-the-sky squid.
  • Bahamut Lagoon.
  • Final Fantasy XII is all over this, complete with fleets, battleships, carriers, and Sky Pirates.
    • Final Fantasy in general is all over this. Name one game which doesn't have an airship in it, I dare you...
    • In FFIII there are cutscenes which show that said airship has OARS. Need I say more?
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers goes so far as to include a wake of mana in the shape of ocean waves trailing from behind its bigger ones.
  • The airships from Super Mario Bros. 3. In the game Super Mario Galaxy however, Bowser actually upgrades them all so they can fly through outer space.
  • Done wonderfully in Baten Kaitos.
  • The X game series. Space ships experience severe drag and fly at speeds of 50-400 m/s. Their greatest sensor range is something like 25 m. What they don't know is that they are all not in space but underwater. It's a boron plot, no doubt.

    Webcomics 
  • Evus is set in a World in the Sky, so ships and pteroplanes fly through the Midcloud Layer. The Undercloud Layer compares to the dark, unexplored depths of the ocean.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • When the Captain or First Officer of your airliner turns off the "Fasten Seat Belts" signs you may move about the cabin. Flight Attendants were once stewards and stewardesses, and they still serve food and drinks from a galley. Very large airliners have upper and lower decks. Aircraft are steered to port or starboard by pilots and one of the control-surfaces they use is the rudder.
    • Ooh! Ooh! Airport!
      • Specifically Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix.
    • Needless to speak about bulkheads (pro walls), navigation lights (pro flight lights), cockpit (pro control room) and so on. The airspeed is measured in knots - not kilometres or miles per hour. The whole aviation terminology derives itself from maritime. The glazed see-through apertures on the fuselage are windows, though - not portholes.
    • Not to mention terms in other languages, such as "embarque" and "desembarque" in both Spanish and Portuguese, used for boarding and unboarding airplanes (as well as busses, subway, train and other transportation).
    • Justified since aviation terminology is based on seafaring terminology since boats came before planes.
    • Until it's collapse in 1991, Pan Am Airways referred to it's airliners as Clippers, with each aircraft being individually named in the style of sailing ships, with names such as China Clipper and Clipper Defiance. In the US, Pan Am was originally a Trope Codifier for this trend in civil aviation, with pilots transitioning from leather jackets with silk scarves to uniforms similar to those worn by naval officers.
  • While modern day aircraft my not invoke this trope that much, the airships of the early 20th century most certainly did. Not only were they large and relatively slow moving, but their massive, palatial interiors often wouldn't look out of place on an ocean liner. The Hindenburg, for example, had private passenger staterooms, a bar, promenades, a double Grand Staircase (complete with a bust of Hindenburg himself), a piano lounge, a restaurant, and even an old-fashioned ship's helm used for steering in the Führergondel (what the Germans call a control car, "leader gondola").
  • Santos Dumont (a Brazilian aircraft scientist) once said "The atmosphere is our ocean.".


Red Sky, Take WarningIndex in the SkySky Pirate
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Myth PunkPunk Punk    
Skies of ArcadiaImageSource/Video GamesToken Adult

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