"Some kind of celestial event. No — no words. No words to describe it. Poetry! They should have sent a poet. So beautiful. So beautiful... I had no idea."When a character looks out on the horizon, to marvel at the universe in all its glory; from towering mountaintops above thick, ancient forests, with great beasts flying overhead, to sprawling metropoli, teeming with thousands or millions of thriving souls, a testament to the accomplishments of man. Then, in that moment, both the cast and the audience are reminded that, if nothing else, the world itself is just... awesome. Examples usually, though not always, involve being in the air, as this allows for the whole world to be shown. Or, you know, large parts of it. The characters will all be in awe, and the music will be either super-upbeat, serene and full of reverb, or not there at all. Expect the art work to suddenly take itself more seriously than usual. By looking at the character's expressions, you can tell that even they are impressed, so think how you should feel sitting there, watching/reading/playing this on your boring old earth. Expect comments like, "Amazing!" "Awesome!" "I can't believe it!" Also expect some lesser-awesome things to happen in the distance, like a sea serpent jumping out of the ocean, or a pack of dragon-wolves flying in the distance, or maybe a volcano erupting. In fact, all of the above will usually happen at the exact same time to make the world even more awesome. That, however, is mostly an introductory bonus, as the rest of the world will become "dull and boring" as the cast is Walking the Earth. All of these slightly-awesome happenings will happen only on and off at most and at specific moments. This can happen at any point of the series, though usually at the beginning as a hook for the audience. If used at the beginning, it's usually done to show that the cast is moving away from their normal life. If used some where in the middle of the series, it's usually done to show how far they have come, in which case the characters will probably get a I Can See My House from Here moment. If used at the end, it might either be used for the previous example, or to show how the entire world has changed. Almost always, this will lead to the characters suddenly realizing that they're about to fall, thus ending the beautiful moment. For Fantasy films with a romantic subplot, this is the moment when a boy takes a girl indifferent to him into a mindblower of an experience flying with the world's wonders in full view and realizing to her wonder what the boy can do. By the time they come in for a landing, the girl usually needs no more convincing that she is not letting this terrific guy go. Sometimes, the camera is simply showing off the world ahead of you. This trope only works if the character would otherwise be amazed at the brave new world he has stepped into. If the character(s) is(are) otherwise not amazed, as the world would seem pretty boring to them, this trope doesn't work, though this usually happens at the very, very beginning since the setting has yet to be described. Sometimes these moments happen during gameplay where you do something extra-awesome for the very first time. See also That's No Moon! though that usually consists of fear, and The Ruins I Caused for when characters are looking down at something that's been destroyed. They Should Have Sent A Poet is an alternate name for this trope, and describes a common reaction to such an experience. The Trope Namer is the Discovery Channel, which occasionally uses the titular phrase as a tagline. See also Scenery Porn and Visual Effects of Awesome (may indeed be considered the cinematographer/animator/special effects crew's Moment of Awesome). Can make someone realize they have something Worth Living For. It has absolutely nothing to do with how cool Dio Brando's Stand is.
— Dr. Ellie Arroway, Contact
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Anime and Manga
- Attack on Titan: One of the central themes of Attack on Titan and main goal of protagonists Eren Yeager and Armin Arlert to explore the world. It's both a Tear Jerker and heartwarming that they know nothing about the world and its "fields of ice", "burning water", and "never-ending water of salt". It's also another Tear Jerker when you realize how beautiful the world is in Attack on Titan, but how hellish it is because of the titans.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
- The end of the first episode provides the page image: The three main characters launch themselves through the earth's surface and high into the air, getting an overview of everything. Made more spectacular due to the drab colors being used up until that point.
- Simon & Nia share one after Simon saves her from Guame.
- There's a Call Back to that scene when one of Ms. Yomako's students climbs a really high tree.
- And again a few episodes later, when Simon and the extras blast off into space. By this point, Simon is unimpressed with the view.
- One Piece has several examples:
- When the Going-Merry goes up Reverse Mountain.
- When they arrive at the halfway point of the Grand Line, about six years later (in real-world time.) The scene mirrors the previous Reverse Mountain sequence, and gives the characters a chance to reflect on how far they've come.
- The Knock-Up Stream thing was pretty cool.
- The crew's dive down to Fishman Island shows the huge roots of the mangrove trees, with a pod of whales in the background. Then they come across a giant downward flowing current. Then a giant undersea chimney. Then Fishman Island itself, which is lit by the roots of a magical tree. Then the Sea Forest. One Piece takes Scenery Porn to an awesome extreme.
- Kiki's Delivery Service, as Kiki swoops into the main setting.
- Spirited Away, as the main character walks into the bath house.
- In Space Battleship Yamato 2199, before the crew of the Yamato leave their solar system, they get one last view of the earth. When they left, the earth was a barren, crater-pocked, red planet that was slowly dying. From beyond Pluto, however, due to the fact that the light from the earth would take several years to reach their position, they got a glimpse of the earth before the war with the Gamillas: blue, vibrant, and beautiful.
- Super Dimension Fortress Macross/Robotech: The arrival of the Zentraedi fleet.
- In the Pokémon anime, a Pidgey dreams of flying into space. He does, and tells Meowth how beautiful the Earth is, before he can't fly any higher and descends.
- Happens a lot in Rebuild of Evangelion. It's good to see that they're using all of the money from the franchise in a good way for a change.
- Voices of a Distant Star: Several of these moments for Mikako: Seeing the Lysithea, the Jupiter/Io flux tube, the plains of Agartha (the last of which immediately precedes an almighty Tear Jerker moment, so be warned).
- A much more down-to... well, earth example (but no less applicable): 'Yotsuba&!'' seeing the majority of her neighborhood from the top of a shrine. In fact, it's a recurring theme, as evidenced by the tag line of "Enjoy Everything".
- Strike Witches has this in episode six of its second season. After scaling to astronomical heights to dispatch a Neuroi tower, Sanya and Eila use the moment to look at the Earth below, and also to make up after an earlier fight.
- Appleseed's introduction to the city of Olympus after the dark and grey firefight that occurs beforehand simply screams of this trope. Basement Jaxx's 'Good Luck' is super upbeat as the camera pans over the awesome everyday lives of the citizens of Olympus city.
- Chapter 4 of Silver Spoon pulls this off, notably, using only a few feet of elevation.
- Used in the final chapter of Fullmetal Alchemist with Ed standing on top of his and Winry's house. Between this and the above example Hiromu Arakawa seems to be quite good at pulling these off using only using minimal height.
- Due to its high production budget and general Scenery Porn, K has this with most of its panning and "pulled-back" shots. Memorable scenes include the school grounds, the oceanside view to the school, and the bustling downtown when Kuroh is first introduced.
- In episode 3 of Log Horizon when Shiroe's party finally emerge from Palm's Deep, they are greeted with the sight of a beautiful sunrise and Shiroe remarked on how wonderful the view is.
- During the climax of StrikerS Sound Stage X, Subaru takes Ixpellia up into the sky. Ixpellia, who has known nothing but the horrors of war in her very long life, is awestruck.
Ixpellia: Subaru! I can see the stars in the sky!
- Pretty much every part of the Mars scene in Watchmen. Though it's more of "Mars Is Just Awesome But Earth Is Shit."
- Though by the end of that scene, Doctor Manhattan admits that the Earth is awesome, you just have to look much deeper to see it.
- The comic 52 has a "the Multiverse is just awesome!" scene. "Welcome home."
- A lot of the surrealism in The Sandman can be like this. A little girl becoming a bird, any scene where we are shown the castle of the Dreaming or in a dark version the palace of Lucifer, all the Gods visiting Morpheus in Season of Mists, Morpheus' hair and Delirium shaping little soap bubbles into a multitude of signs and figures in Brief Lives.
All right, I'll admit it. He's got a point. The sunsets are bloody marvelous you old bastard. Satisfied?
- Another Sandman example: Lucifer is relaxing on a beach while an old man muses on the beauty of a sunset. After the old man leaves, Lucifer addresses God:
- In a Star Wars: Empire comic, a number of Rebels land on a new world◊. A rather young Luke Skywalker has some time to kill◊, and he spends it running around exploring and looking at things◊ until he finds some graves◊.
- ElfQuest subverts this: the character Skywise has spent his entire life obsessing over the stars, and finally gets a chance to fly a spaceship. He makes the walls of the ship translucent to show everyone the beauty of space, only to find that his best friend Cutter (the comic's main character, who suffers from fear of heights) just wants to close his eyes and get back to earth.
- Played straight when an elf girl takes Cutter to the top of a cliff so he can see the ocean for the first time. Awestruck, all he can say is "Could I be alone for a little while?". This is followed by several panels of the scene pulling back as he stares, awestruck, at the immensity of the sea.
- In All-Star Superman, Lex Luthor gains Superman's powers, and is eventually brought to tears at being able to see the world through his eyes (for the record, this means being able to see all the radio waves, x-rays, etc).
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Power Girl crossover fanfic Origin Story, Alex Harris looks at the sky at night while she's cranked up her eyesight to ultra-high magnification (she's a Kryptonian) and is immediately awestruck. She comments about how such natural beauty never seems to be mentioned in the comic books.
- The Games We Play: When using Cathedral for the first time, Jaune reflects on how, as powerful and physics-bending even a high-tier Huntsman like himself is, all that pales before the energy Remnant the planet generates and manipulates naturally.
Films — Animation
- The LEGO Movie. "Everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you're part of the team!"
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Milo tears up a little as he looks down on the amazing underwater city of Atlantis from the top of a huge statue.
- The Lion King, the very beginning.
- WALL•E, once he boards the space craft. Or when he's viewing the universe. Wow indeed.
- The Captain experiences an in-universe example when he starts questioning the computer about Earth, and gets more and more awestruck as he Wiki Walks his way through planetary and human history.
- Up: Not only are the locations featured in the film beautiful, there's a theme of not letting past tragedies stop you from enjoying the world as it is.
- Toy Story, as Woody and Buzz fly through the sky.
- The Pterodactyl flight sequence from Dinosaur.
- Titan A.E.. Overlooking the freshly made Planet Bob.
- How to Train Your Dragon when Hiccup takes to the air with Toothless for the first time in a sustained flight, and then Astrid as she learns just how awesome the world is and what Hiccup and Toothless can do.
- The extended "A Whole New World" scene in Aladdin, when the title character and Princess Jasmine were flying around on their Magic Carpet.
- In the Rankin Bass version of The Hobbit, Bilbo climbs the tree in gloomy Mirkwood to "have a look about." He emerges above the trees and all about him sees a profoundly beautiful wilderness with deep purple butterflies floating above.
"There are moments that can change a person for all time. And I suddenly wondered if I would ever see my snug Hobbit-hole again. I wondered if I actually wanted to."
- Trailers for Patema Inverted reveal that this will be a large theme of the film. It's natural, given that one of the main characters, a girl named Patema who escapes the underground kingdom where she lives and finds the human world, this is a given. However, Patema's center of Gravity pulls her away from the earth, meaning that she can fly when she works together with a human boy from the surface, who is pulled towards the earth, allowing many chances for Scenery Porn and Ghibli Hills.
- The Place Promised in Our Early Days borders between this and Scenery Porn, especially during the finale.
Films — Live-Action
- When John Preston stops taking his meds in Equilibrium is this trope: his first look at the world outside is to see beauty for the first time, and we're carried along with it.
- Contact. As well as the awe-inspiring sequence that contains the second page quote - a staggering symphony of visual effects and music built around Jodie Foster's note-perfect performance - the movie opens with a amazing pullback that, starting from Earth orbit, proceeds to give you the faintest hint of just how INCREDIBLY HUGE the universe is, complete with a kind of audio time-travel, backwards through the history of broadcasting. Sadly, for hardcore geeks, the audio and video are not accurately synchronised, although for anyone else this surely counts as an Acceptable Break from Reality.
- The original pullback-into-the vastness-of-space short film Powers Of Ten, starting with a couple lying on a blanket in a park and pulling away until our entire galaxy is just a speck of light - then coming back, and zooming in to the atomic level.
- In E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, It's suggested ET finds Halloween this way. Also when all the human characters get to see the aliens retrieve ET, who is still alive.
- The starchild sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as the first glimpse of the Monolith on the Moon.
- The Matrix Revolutions
- The film has a scene near the end where a hovership breaks through the omnipresent cloud cover and into the sky. Up to this point, everything in the real world was under perpetual darkness (while everything in the Matrix had a sickly green hue). After two-and-a-half films worth of this visual oppressiveness, the sight of white clouds in a blue sky is shockingly beautiful, which Trinity notices.
- Also, the nearly-full Moon, untouched and looking down on the troubled Earth as it always has.
- Monty Python's The Meaning of Life shows us that the whole universe is awesome with the "Galaxy Song," but mostly just to show how crushingly inconsequential humanity is.
- Independence Day: Arrival of the City Destroyers. Later, when our two heroes use the old crashed ship from Area 51, and they both see the stars up close and personal.
- Star Trek:
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Australia. New Guinea. Solomon Islands. Montana will be up soon, but you may want to hold your breath - it's a long way down.
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture:. When Scotty takes Capt. Kirk in the pod to see the Enterprise in dock, there is a flyover that shows exactly how incredibly awesome this graceful ship is. It was like a homage to the faithfulness of the fans who had worked for the return of Star Trek since 1969.
- Star Trek (2009 reboot): In homage to the above scene, when Kirk and McCoy are seeing the Enterprise for the first time.
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan climaxes with the fiery and regal birth of the planet Genesis.
- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, at the end where Kirk climbs up a small cliff-face and looks out over a dying planet at sunset. Naturally, James Horner's score accompanies this perfectly.
- Star Trek: First Contact: When Picard finally convinces Lily that they are aboard a starship in orbit.
Cochrane: (amazed) Is that Earth?Geordi: That's it!Cochrane: It's so small...Riker: It's about to get a whole lot bigger.
- Also, after Zephram Cochrane completes mankind's first warp flight, with Riker and Geordi onboard.
- Star Wars:
- The film Home is all about this trope.
- The 2008 movie of Journey to the Center of the Earth did this quite a bit with climbing the mountain and seeing the giant caverns, though the latter may be a little more ominous sometimes.
- Disney's The Black Hole.
- Avatar. It takes place on the moon of Pandora, where the life forms apparently evolved if only to be as spectacularly beautiful as possible. There are plants like great sea anemones, telepathic trees and wafting creatures which glow.
- The Lord of the Rings, which also counts as "New Zealand Is Just Awesome". Revisited, of course, in The Hobbit.
Sam:It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?Sam: That there's still some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for.
- Specifically, Sam's speech near the end of The Two Towers, invokes this trope openly, reflecting on the irony of how dark things are in "the great stories" just before good triumphs, as we see Man and Ent vanquish the evil of Sauron's forces at Helm's Deep and Isengard, after a hard-fought campaign. The way the camera pans out high over this image provokes a sense of relief, and a vindication of what Sam is talking about.
- The Disney Theme Parks Circle-Vision 360 films — shot with nine cameras and projected on screens ringing a circular room the viewer stands in the middle of — are a good example; most are documentaries about the beauty of a country or the world as a whole. See also the motion-simulator Soarin' Over California, in which riders get to do just that.
- The ending of Brainstorm.
- Some scenes in Jurassic Park; the theme music swells as the characters marvel at the dinosaurs.
- The Sundance Festival film, Life In A Day. On July 24th, 2010, people all around the world recorded their day, with the minds behind this experiment sending out 500 cameras to areas that wouldn't have the technology for this. What resulted was an entire day, summed up in less than two hours, covering issues such as the Afghanistan War, cancer, religion, slaughter houses, poverty, personal journeys, death, festivals, humor, birth, and sometimes? Just nothing important. And every minute was awesome.
- A weird variation in Soylent Green, which is set in Crapsack World future where the environment has been totally wrecked. Those members of society who have had enough and go in for voluntary euthanasia are treated to a video montage of what the world used to be like. So it's like The World Was Just Awesome before it got all fucked up.
- In Apollo 13, the crew is forced to abort their moon landing after an accident, but to get home, they must orbit around the moon. During their orbit, they see their intended landing site, and flight commander Jim Lovell imagines what it would've been like if they landed, walking, running his hands through the moon dust, and staring in awe at the distant Earth. As his fellow astronauts enthuse over the staggering sights they can see through the windows, he covers the Earth with his thumb, reveals it again, and asks quietly, "Gentlemen, what are your intentions? (Beat) I'd like to go home." The sentiment is also referenced early in the movie, as he looks up at the moon after the successful landing of the Apollo 11 mission: "From now on, we live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. And it's not a miracle. We just decided to go."
- In Forrest Gump, near the end, when he is describing to Jenny what it was like to see the stars from a clear night in Vietnam, or to see the sun rise over a crystal lake while making his cross-country run through the desert.
- The planet Krypton in Man of Steel. Good Lord.
- The Motorcycle Diaries has long Easy Rider-style shots of South American various sceneries.
- Subverted in A Serious Man. The youngest rabbi tries to get the main character to feel this way about life, opening the window and repeatedly telling him to "just look at that parking lot!"
- Sunshine, with its long shots of the sun. Especially the famous "Mercury scene", where the characters are fascinated by Mercury orbiting between them and the sun.
- The Tree of Life.
- At the end of The Giver. Jonas escapes his controlled world to discover a town celebrating, presumably, Christmas, as he sleds down a hill.
- In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent is awed by the diversity of alien life, having lived on Earth all his life. The others don't fully appreciate his wonder.
- There's a great little scene in the first book where Arthur is, naturally, awed by the sight of a double-sunset and goes on and on about how beautiful it was. And Marvin says: "I've seen it; it's rubbish."
- That's Marvin. Earlier, the narration states that "even the most seasoned star tramp can't help but shiver at the spectacular drama of a sunrise seen from space, but a binary sunrise is one of the marvels of the Galaxy." Even Zaphod stops babbling to watch it.
- Also: The Magratheans built luxury planets. In the film we see the earth being built from an elevator in space.
- The film also subverts this impulse with Slartibartfast's casual line, "Voila! Himalayas. Good, eh?" Arthur, meanwhile, is too overwhelmed to speak.
- The inhabitants of Krikkit, when they first escaped the black clouds that surround their planet and saw the universe, had entirely the opposite reaction.
"It'll have to go."
- There's a great little scene in the first book where Arthur is, naturally, awed by the sight of a double-sunset and goes on and on about how beautiful it was. And Marvin says: "I've seen it; it's rubbish."
- Around the World in 80 Days.
- J. R. R. Tolkien
- The abandoned underground city of Moria in The Lord of the Rings.
- As shown in The Hobbit, the Lonely Mountain, its dwarven stronghold of Erebor, and the neighboring northmen city of Dale all definitely count.
- Also Lothlórien and, according to Gimli and Legolas, the caves of Helm's Deep. Tolkien really liked describing scenery.
- In Alex Rider's sixth book, he's IN SPACE on a space station about to explode. He needs to get out quickly. He runs for the rocket but on the way he stops. Why? There's a window facing the Earth. He stops to stare at it. Let's face it, who would really want to waste an opportunity to do that?
- In Animorphs, when they're trapped on an alien ship, they look out the viewport and see the Earth, described as being beautiful.
- Also, in in #7, the Ellimist explains his desire to save humanity by showing them a mental montage of different places on Earth and human culture, describing it as "a very beautiful planet" and "a priceless work of art".
- This seems to be the reaction that Yeerks have when they first take over a host, allowing them to see for the first time; even Visser Three was awed by it. Also, in #19, when finding out that Aftran kept her agreement to free her host and willingly go back to being blind and helpless, Cassie looks around and is in awe of all the beauty she was willing to give up.
- In #11 after the Animorphs are trapped in a rainforest and finding it hard to adapt, Rachel exclaims that the rainforest is not worth saving. Later, they change their minds when they morph the jaguar and finally see the rainforest in all its glory. Ax confirms this to the group <You have an amazing planet. Amazing.>
- In Deep Wizardry, when Nita and Kit bring Nita's parents to the Moon, and they look down at the Earth.
- In the X-Wing Series, Imperial City aka Coruscant under Imperial rule is seen from orbit a few times by people going to the surface. There's a little awe each time, especially since two of them had never seen it before. Loor thought he was going to be executed and couldn't keep himself from marveling at the immense scale of everything, and how many people must live there. Gavin was distracted by what looked like writing in some alien script.
- In Rogue Squadron, Wedge and the Rogues lift of Novquizor on a mission, and Wedge takes a long look at the planet, promising himself that if he survives he'll walk around down there and soak up some of that peace.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's Have Space Suit – Will Travel, Kip is awed seeing the three Galaxies from the intergalactic court station.
- Most of the early books parody this, with the description of the approach of Great A'Tuin at the very beginning of the book. It's also played completely straight in descriptions of the spectacular Rimfall.
- In the The Last Hero, Carrot, Rincewind and Leonard of Quirm go on the Disc's first return spaceflight. They're awestruck by the sight of the four elephants, and even more so when they briefly land on the moon and a get a good look at the world. There's a bit of humour when Carrot reflects that they can't see the boundaries between nations. Leonard and Rincewind, taking this literally, start wondering about spelling out the names of countries with forests.
- In Harry Potter, any time Harry goes to a new place in the wizarding world, especially in the first book. Special mention goes to the Great Hall, which he comments seems like it has no ceiling but just opens up into the heavens.
- Frequently in certain parts of The Bible, especially the Psalms.
Gen. 1:31: And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
- Explored in The Planck Dive, by Greg Egan. They did send a poet, and the mathematicians were thoroughly unimpressed by his complete inability to even comprehend what was going on, and adamant refusal to even make the attempt.
- The Chalion books by Lois McMaster Bujold have this happen to people who've met the gods. They spend the rest of their lives trying to find a way to describe it, unsuccessfully.
"I need words mean more than they mean, words not just with height and width, but depth and weight and, and other dimensions that I cannot even name."
- The Land from The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is nothing but this. What's even better? Everyone gets another sense to see Beauty and Health.
- There is a scene in The Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven in which Luis Wu and Chmee land on the Ringworld's wall. The sight of the Ringworld stretching below him, displaying a land area greater than the surface of the Earthnote , momentarily takes Wu's breath away.
- There is some of this in The Sparrow. Fr. Emilio is the poet in the trope namer, recognized as such by the other members of the landing party. They agree he should be the first to step onto the surface of Rakhat. He himself feels it most strongly when he communicates for the first time with the native children.
- An Orison of Sonmi-451, in Cloud Atlas, has Sonmi, formerly kept in the equivalent to a fast food restaurant for all her life, react with dazed awe the first times she sees aspects of the outside world, particularly snow and the sea.
All the woe of the words "I am" seemed dissolved there, painlessly, peacefully.
- Subverted in The Fountainhead, where the hero looks at the wonders of nature, and immediately makes plans for how to cut it down, mine it, and turn it into a building.
- In the Warhammer40k novel Malleus, Eisenhorn describes being part of a parade celebrating the end of an Imperial Crusade. The author lovingly describes the scale of the city and the audience, including such details as an archway to huge, even a massive Titan could walk under it without ducking.
- Eisenhorn: Fifteen million people. All cheering in unison. You cannot even begin to imagine it.
Live Action TV
- Anything to do with Planet Earth, but especially this music video/commercial.
- Speaking of BBC nature documentaries:
- The intro for Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Star Trek opening sequences in general.
- From the Earth to the Moon, like many series or films about Real Life historical spaceflights, often features this trope, especially in many genuinely moving moments in various episodes. The idealistic tone of the series' intro pulls no punches in highlighting that the manned expeditions to the Moon were humanity's undisputed and hard-earned Moment of Awesome.
- James May has invoked this on a couple of his series:
- May did a documentary series on the 40th anniversary of the moon landings; the climax was him getting to fly aboard a U-2 spy plane at 70,000 feet, just on the very edge of the Earth's atmosphere. The normally Deadpan Snarker May gushing about the beauty of the world below will bring a smile to your face.
- On Man Lab, he and the crew race weather balloons to send the ashes of a pet cat and a pet budgie into space. The camera shots from the balloons' gondolas as they ascend are quite impressive and even warrant a few moments of contemplation during the contest.
- It's good that James May has been brought up because Top Gear, the series he's best known for, has a more than a fair share of moments, usually during the specials. Stand-out examples include the sunset on top of Kubu Island in Botswana, the Stelvio Pass overlook in Switzerland, and a good portion of the Nile River and Vietnam specials.
- Doctor Who does this all the time in the revived series, right from the get go.
Vincent Van Gogh: Look at the sky. It's not dark and black and without character. The black is, in fact deep blue. And over there: lighter blue and blowing through the blues and blackness the winds swirling through the air and then shining, burning, bursting through: the stars! [the sky gradually transforms into van Gogh's painting Starry Night] And you see how they roar their light. Everywhere we look, the complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.
- The launch of the new series in 2005 was advertised with teasers of Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor promising new companion Rose - and the viewers - the "trip of a lifetime."
- Most of the Doctor's companions are changed by their trips with the Doctor, making repeated references to not being the same. Most notably this applies to Sarah Jane Smith, Rose Tyler, Donna Noble and Amy Pond, but the rest of them as well.
- Discussed Trope with the Doctor a few times. In a DVD only scene with Amy Pond, he asks her if she knows "what he keeps in here", walking to the TARDIS doors. He opens them to say, "Absolutely everything.", whereupon he shows her that they're in deep space. He does this again in the 2010 Christmas Special, when, transporting a shark to the planet's clouds, he responds to Abigail and young Kazran calling the TARDIS amazing.
The Doctor: No, this is just the transport. I keep amazing out here. (Opens TARDIS doors to reveal they're high above the planet in clouds full of schools of flying fish.)
- Near the end of "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship", Rory's dad Brian asks the Doctor for a favour, and we cut to Brian sitting in the TARDIS doorway, having a bite to eat, while looking out over Earth, with Amy, Rory and the Doctor looking on behind him.
- The Eleventh seems to get a lot of this, as his character is the type that looks young but feels old. He talks about this directly to Amy at one point, saying that it's just become another backyard for him, and he has his companions along so he can see what they see and feel the wonder he's since lost.
- In "Vincent and the Doctor", Vincent explains to the Doctor and Amy how he sees the universe:
- Sarah Jane Smith continued the tradition in The Sarah Jane Adventures. In "The Warriors of Kudlak", she found herself looking at the Earth from a spaceship in orbit:
"I never thought I’d lay eyes on a sight like this again..."
- Professor Brian Cox, so much so his style of delivery has been spoofed. (NSFW!) He could be talking about the end of the galaxy or our sun going supernova but by the time he's done talking, you'll be completely convinced that whatever he's talking about is the most heartbreakingly beautiful occurrence in existence.
- The whole point of The Amazing Race. Racers tend to react like this when the race brings them in the presence of great natural beauty. Of course, there's also the subversion, usually brought on by bad interactions with locals, where racers declare that foreign cultures suck.
- In season 5 of True Blood, Tara gets turned into a vampire, and is amazed that her superior senses allow her to see every star in the night sky.
- In Parks and Recreation, April (who despises virtually everything) is unable to find anything to hate about the Grand Canyon.
- When Dean visits a Bad Future in one episode of Supernatural and encounters Lucifer!Sam, he accuses him of wanting to fry the Earth. Lucifer incredulously asks Dean why he would ever want to destroy "this stunning thing. Beautiful. In a trillion different ways."
- In Stargate Atlantis, Radek Zelenka's description of Atlantis' rise in Czech.
- Followed immediately by a funny moment:
Lt. Ford: You didn't...say anything that would require a security clearance, did you?Zelenka (who most certainly did): Security clearance?
- Followed immediately by a funny moment:
- Cosmos, original and revival, is about this for all of the known universe—from the inner workings of plant cells to the movements of galaxies.
- Vertical Horizon's acoustic song "Angel Without Wings" offers this little jewel.
I have seen your city lights, but have you seen my country skies? Watch the world go twirlin' by.
- "What a Wonderful World", a famous song first recorded by Louis Armstrong. "I see trees are green/ Red roses too/ I see them bloom/ For me and you/ And I think to myself/What a wonderful world..."
- U2's "Beautiful Day": "See the world in green and blue!/See China right in front of you!"
- According to the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It, quite a lot of the film footage incorporated into the show would have worked this theme.
- Pink Floyd's "Learning to Fly" is all about this trope.
There's no sensation to compare with thisSuspended animation, a state of blissCan't keep my mind from the circling skies'Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I
- Owl City's "Vanilla Twilight": "When violet eyes get brighter/and heavy wings grow lighter/I'll taste the sky and feel alive again!"
- Music From The Hearts Of Space often has music appropriate to this. In fact, one of the definitions of "space music" is music which evokes a feeling of place... and can literally bring awesome visuals like these to the mind's eye.
- Bryan Steeksma's "The Galaxy's Elegant Cinema" is all about appreciating the vast scale of the universe and the vast improbability of us being here to do so.
- One of the reasons the Symphony Of Science series even exists in the first place.
- A major theme in the album Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Nightwish, specifically about the world as seen through the perspective of science and evolution — especially in "Shudder Before the Beautiful".
- The music of this awe
Deep silence between the notes
Deafens me with endless love
This vagrant Island Earth
A pilgrim shining bright
We are shuddering before the beautiful
Deep into the past
- The titular song of the album sums the whole feeling of this trope up in the chorus:
Follow the aeon path
Greet a blade of grass
Every endless form most beautiful
Alive, aware, in awe
Before the grandeur of it all
Our floating pale blue ark
Of endless forms most beautiful
- The first two verses of the hymn How Great Thou Art.
- Trance classic "Gamemaster" by Lost Tribe.
Like a priceless jewel buried in dark layers of soil and stone
Earth radiates her brilliant beauty into the caverns of space and time
Perhaps you are aware of those who watch over your home
And experience it as a place to visit and play with reality
You are becoming aware of yourself as a game master
- This is pretty much the point of the Disney attraction, Soarin' Around the World and its predecessor, Soarin Over California, with both of them being a simulation of flying over some of the most awe-inspiring locations in the world.
- Epcot also has Impressions de France, Wonders of China, and O Canada! The first is a tour of France projected on five connected movie screens for a wrap-around effect, and the other two are full-on Circlevision 360, which is exactly what it sounds like.
- The experience also includes Illuminations, which is one-third this, one-third Awesome Music, and one-third Moment of Awesome for Disney World's practical effects crew.
- Busch Gardens Williamsburg has a simulator ride titled Europe In The Air, that offers a lot of gorgeous shots of the continent.
- Subversion in BIONICLE:
He used his power to soar above the trees, taking in the majestic forest, beautiful rivers, rolling fields, and cybernetically enhanced giant reptiles.
Incredibly bright and hot sunlight poured down on them from an impossibly blue sky. A salty sea breeze set tropical trees to swaying, while brakas monkeys chased sea birds that flew too close to the branches. The air was alive with the sounds of Rahi and the crash of distant surf against the rocks.It was disgusting.
- Another subversion occurs in Bionicle Legends 4: Legacy of Evil, when the Piraka have just stumbled upon the island paradise of Mata Nui:
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers, the characters have this moment many times - in the lake with the Volbeat and Illumise, seeing the sunrise after coming back from the dark, at the top of Sky Peak, etc.
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity also uses this multiple times, most notably in the ending, where the hero is treated to a gorgeous panoramic view of the world from high in the sky as they depart from it.
- X3 Terran Conflict- The opening scene features a quote from Neil Armstrong (see Real Life examples below).
- MOTHER 3 has two, both dealing with traveling through the air. The first time, the party runs up a mountain, then sleds down it inside a fridge to fly through the air and back to their town. The second time, similarly, consists of the party traveling via a bird-powered... err, bird cage.
- And in Earthbound, Jeff (or the whole party) will travel the world via the Flying Machine, swooping down over nearby places.
- This trope is the very symbol of Mother series.
- Upon entering an area for the first time. For The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, they took things farther. They added specific areas that seem to serve no purpose other than to give the player a vantage point for looking at things. The top of the tower in the desert, at about the middle of the game, offers a great place to marvel at the sheer size and scope of the world itself.
- This occurs when Max first sees the outside world in Dark Cloud 2.
- The teleportation scene in Half-Life 2, which gave hint of just where the adventure was going to take as well.
- Also the ride up the Citadel, which shows the whole of City 17 at sunset, with gunships flying out below you.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind does it with MGE and a higher view distance than normally possible in game is prone to shots like this.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim throws in aurorae for extra effect.
- Climb to the top of the Throat of the World. Look to the east. You can see all the way to Morrowind. To the west, Hammerfell and High Rock, and Cyrodil to the south.
- The Civilization IV intro begins with Leonard Nimoy narrating "In the beginning, the earth was without form..." with some EPIC music playing.
- This happens as far back as the original Civilization, albeit without the Nimoy voiceover.
- The opening menu alone is built on this trope. It shows the Mediterrianian sea and surrounding land from orbit, with the sun slowly circling around it. Awesome Music (Christopher Tin's Baba Yetu, a setting of The Lord's Prayer in Swahili) reaches its high point, the planet's rotation carries the viewed area into night, and we see the lights of civilizations spring up one by one, boldly projecting the evidence of their existence into the cosmos.
- Approaching Citadel for the first time in Mass Effect.
- Also, in Mass Effect 3. Should one use the final Renegade options The Illusive Man's last sight and words regarding the view of Earth are enough to make even players who hated Cerberus from the beginning shed tears.
- Mass Effect is an entire series full of this, many of the visitable planets and space stations have not only beautiful views within them, but also spectacular intro and outro cutscenes to each as we see the Normandy flying to and away from the location.
- In the Overlord DLC of Mass Effect 2 driving out of Vulcan Station in the Hammerhead reveals a cliff beyond which is a broad valley, absolutely stunning mountains in the distance with gorgeous waterfalls, and large flying creatures lazily flapping by. The Hammerheads's VI will even helpfully point out the aesthetically pleasing scenery.
- Final Fantasy loves this trope:
- In Final Fantasy III, leaving the Floating Continent for the first time. In the original NES version, there are very few hints that the (massive) world map is only a floating part of a bigger earth. Leaving it, and realizing the entire earth below is drowned underneath a vast ocean, is one of the most beautiful moments without dialogue in Final Fantasy history.
- The end of Final Fantasy VI is this to a T - with Kefka defeated and the world restored, the heroes fly around the world in their airship, joking around with each other as scenes play of the towns and villages of the world rebuilding and the citizens living their lives again. It ends with Terra climbing to the front of the airship and taking off her headband just to let her hair fly in the wind.
- Used as an in-game trope in Final Fantasy VII, when the characters are awed during Bugenhagen's lecture at the Observatory. The player will also have this reaction when first entering the World Map field, since the story has been confined to one big city for so long, then the whole world is revealed, showing that this is just the beginning.
- Barret also reflects on this when looking at Gaia's Cliffs.
- All but two of the characters in Final Fantasy XIII spend most of the game believing the lower world of Pulse is literally Hell. Then they actually go there, and well, Pulse makes Pandora look like Detroit.
- Many of the heroes from Dissidia: Final Fantasy, before they are all sent to their individual homes take in the simple but astonishing beauty of the world around them.
- It's also rather poetic as it could easily be considered one big "thank you" to the game that started it all, since the world in question is the very first Final Fantasy world ever.
- Another Square property, Chrono Trigger ends with a Mode 7 flight over the Zenan Continent. Then it travels through time to show you that every time period you touched is doing better. Eventually it returns to the present and gradually zooms out to reveal the planet in space.
- Treasure of the Rudra has many examples. The Observatory has an actual museum tour of the origin of space, entering Floating Continent for the first time gives the characters a grand view of earth, and the cleansing sequences of the sky/earth/oceans are some of the game's best moments.
- Every time Altair or Ezio finish climbing to a lookout point in Assassin's Creed I and II. This is also a theme in the series, which is filled with Scenery Porn. Specific examples include Ezio coming to Istanbul in Assassin's Creed: Revelations and luxuriating in the beauty of the city.
"Love, liberty, and time: once so disposable, are the fuels that drive me forward. And love, most especially, mio caro. For you, our children, our brothers and sisters. And for the vast and wonderful world that gave us life, and keeps us guessing."
- The crowning moment is the opening of Assassin's Creed III where Decoy Protagonist Haytham Kenway climbs up the mast of a ship and gets his first look at 18th Century pre-Revolution Boston Harbor and essentially his first glimpse of America, the fact that the game's titles first come here doesn't hurt either.
- In Assassin's Creed: Embers Ezio Auditore leaves behind a letter to his wife which is read on the soundtrack after his death:
- A sunrise in Spore. Especially a binary sunrise.
- And, if you're patient, a solar eclipse. Equally amazing on a planet or a gas giant's moon.
- Used a few times in Phantasy Star 4. When you first get space travel ability, for instance, and see the world racing beneath the ship as you take off, and the planet you're heading to filling your field of vision in space... or during the scenes where Le Roof manifests as a gigantic illusion of the entire galaxy all around our heroes, accompanied by the Awesome Music, Age of Fables. And in almost note-perfect fashion, when Rika leaves the underground laboratory where she's spent her entire life, and sees blue sky and sunshine for the very first time.
- The video game Journey glories in Scenery Porn, but there are moments, like the one at about 6:00 in this clip were just the dev team telling you to sit back in your chair with your mouth open.
- Shadow of the Colossus had a truly massive in-game world, and the story only involves about a tenth of it. The rest is just there to look amazing.
- Ace Combat: "Hey Cipher, you hear me? Just look at the view. There's not much difference between those countries from up here."
- The fact is that a great majority of the series displays incredibly breathtaking views of the Earth from the sky.
- Fallout 3; the PC emerges from Vault 101 and is at first blinded by the sunlight after spending their entire life underground, but then their eyes gradually adjust and the Capital Wasteland comes into full view. Lampshaded by the sign placed right before the player, reading "SCENIC VIEW."
- Fallout: New Vegas. When you walk out of Doc Mitchell's house, you're briefly blinded before the Mojave and the town of Goodsprings fades into view. As the game is a lot more colorful than the Real Is Brown previous game, it's really very beautiful.
- Fallout 4. Find a nice high spot on a clear night around the center of the map (the towers of the Corvega factory work well). The lights from the various settlements, including the glow of Diamond City, the starlit sky, and the waves on the ocean ocean are gorgeous. And to the south you can see a small patch of light glowing in the sky like a miniature aurora that's also beautiful. Of course that last one is the radioactive glow of the Shining Sea where everything will try and kill you, including just standing there, but it does look pretty from a distance.
- The random world generation in Minecraft can lead to strange but beautiful landscapes. Pretty much the first thing any player does when opening a new world is find the highest nearby point and just look at things. Even after you've played for a long time, taking a little exploration trip to a new part of the world can still awe you!
- Pokémon Black and White. The first time you cross the Skyarrow Bridge into Castelia City. It's absolutely beautiful.
- It even comes with an awesome, catchy background song and frequent camera pullbacks so you can get a full view of the bridge. If you're crossing it at night, the lit up skyline of Castelia City is pretty awesome-looking, too.
- A good portion of Ōkami, such as just running around in Shinsu field with the sound of wind rushing by. Or Hana Valley. Or Ryoshima Coast. Or...
- Endless Ocean does this for, naturally, the world's oceans, playing like an interactive version of a wildlife documentary.
- In The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure, all scenes are all black-and-white (or green-and-white, for the night-vision camera), with occasional colored objects for contrast. Likewise, the weather is cloudy, drab and glum for the first few in-game days of play. At most, you might expect a little color if Nigel's walking past a flower garden ... and then, when you get to May Day morning, the sky clears up and it's suddenly a brilliant, rich blue.
- While the world Red Dead Redemption takes place in is, from a mood perspective, a complete Crapsack World, the land itself is gorgeous, and the player can spend ages exploring the amazing looking canyons, mountains, forests, and rivers in the game. Illustrated here by the guys from Achievement Hunter.
- Dark Souls's Lordran may be a ruined Crapsack World, but my can that Gorn be beautiful. There's a reason "Gorgeous view" is a possible statement to write down for other players.
- Dark Souls II is no slouch in this department either. The view at the end of Aldia's Keep right before and after the Guardian Dragon boss is particuarly breathtaking.
- Unreal. The game starts inside a confined shipwreck, and then you step outside to a beautiful landscape. Awe-inspiring in spite of the age of the technology (Unreal Engine 1 ca. 1998).
- Happens in Beyond Good & Evil, when you first leave the planet. Jade, who has been in an understandable funk for a significant portion of the past gameplay time, suddenly brightens up when she sees all the stars.
- Asura's Wrath: The First level. Enough said. With some awesome music.
- Orbiter: Travelling really far out and turning on planetarium mode. You'll see a tiny little yellow box marked Earth.
- The Myst series is of course filled with Scenery Porn left, right, and center, but there are a few spots where the artists were clearly just showing off:
- A staple of all the early games were the fly-bys one gets when first looking into a Linking Panel.
- In Riven, there are various assorted rides, including a mine cart and a submersible, but the biggest example is definitely the coaster rides one takes from island to island.
- In Myst, the moment one heads out of Gahreesan's opening tower, they're treated to a lush, tropical environment which simply looks huge. One can bask in the ambience for quite a while. Ahnonay gets this treatment too, even once one's figured it out.
- Elegy For A Dead World almost namedrops the alternate title of this trope in it's announcement trailer, and it seems fairly well poised to follow through as well. A game where the whole point is to wander around alien worlds and write down whatever you're inspired to seems like a good fit for this trope.
- Kerbal Space Program: Jebediah Kerman will often be gazing with almost childlike wonder at the incredible sights around him. Many players agree.
- Being about stellar exploration, Starbound is bound to invoke these—especially when hovering in orbit above a planet, especially one that's part of a huge planetary system with many moons in the background. There's also the song "Vast, Immortal Suns" on the soundtrack, which is more or less the musical personification of this trope.
- The very first time you beam down to a planet. You've just escaped destruction, you've been cooped up on a small, beaten ship, and... suddenly you stand on this beautiful, unspoiled green planet that's just waiting for you to explore and build to your heart's content.
- The Talos Principle: The overall thrust of Alexandra's voice messages.
- Overwatch: The first part of Bastion's short has it awakening in the forest surrounded by stunning natural scenes that it takes time exploring, until it hears a woodpecker tapping and mistakes it for gunfire.
- Zoophobia's sensational Amazing Technicolor World and its Amazing Technicolor Population, along with the Amazing Technicolor Wildlife. AmazingTechnicolorEverything, really.
- In Drowtales, Ariel visits the surface for the first time.
- Also when she sees Chel'El'Sussoloth in its full glory for the first time.
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! likes this trope.
- Jean sees the Earth from spaaaaaaayce...
- Roofus the Robot follows a butterfly into Pitcheresk Forest.
- Inverted when Galatea sees the outside world for the first time. It's beautiful... and she's terrified of it.
- Then played straight when she sees the night sky for the first time (although she spoils the moment at the end, anyway).
- This Christmas strip.
- this xkcd comic
- Sinfest offers up quite a few of these. Usually in the Sunday strips.
- Spoofed in a Virtual Shackles where Valve creates a console based around Google Glasses Here.
- A variant of this is used in Homestuck Act 6 to reintroduce the reader to the world before Sburb, and by extension, the reset timeline and the new players.
- Inverted literally in this Abstruse Goose.
- This happens to Elena in Twisted Cogs when she first sees the city of Milia. Since she's from a small village called Capri, seeing a massive city with a giant metal gate can easily appear as Elena describes it, "the gates of Heaven."
- Happened in Kickassia to Lee after becoming 3-D Lee. He spends the rest of the movie fascinated by the sensations of touch and waxes eloquent over drinking a bottle of water.
- The reaction of Hungrybear 9562 in his Double Rainbow video.
- The Where The Hell Is Matt videos probably count as such, as well as a heartwarming moment.
- Tim Minchin uses this at one point during his Storm beat poem.
- Happens to the Critic in To Boldly Flee when he opened the door and saw the real world. It's generic suburbia, but it's done with excellent music, acting, and camera angles which makes an otherwise mundane scene beautiful.
- If you're reading it with the right mindset, this page, all by itself can cause you to get all sentimental and teary-eyed at how cool the world really, truly is.
- Said about Duke Devlin by Yugi himself in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged version of World's Strongest has Doctor Wheelo (who isn't evil in this version) flying into low orbit after spending fifty years trapped in his icy prison and is brought to tears by fact that he'll never be able to see the planet's beauty with his own eyes ever again.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang's meditation on unlocking the Avatar State concludes with a vision of the Avatar Spirit – a giant, glowy version of himself – floating in an orbit overlooking the entire world. Cue a musical buildup and an awed smile on his face.
- Numerous other examples on a lesser scale, most notably on the first sighting of the Western Air Temple.
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends does this for just about anyone who enters the house for the very first time; almost every imaginary friend and then some will come walking down the hallways to the amazement of the visitors. To be fair, the imaginary friends do want to be adopted, and not being awesome doesn't do much for them.
- Fry in Futurama. One time they went to the moon (Faster than Fry could do a countdown for liftoff). Of course Fry loved it and Leela was thinking, 'it's just the moon, we travel to other planets all the time in the year 3000'. But by the end of the episode, Leela begins to understand how amazing the universe she lives in is to someone from the past.
- The episode in which Farnsworth builds a forwards-only time machine also has one of these, when they travel past the destruction of the universe and it recreates itself around them.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", the Backstory of Fluttershy reveals that she had a moment like this when she fell into the forest from Cloudsdale.
- Played with in the Ren and Stimpy cartoon "Marooned." The main characters camp out on an alien planet and Stimpy notices an etheral light streaming into their tent. The soundtrack swells as Stimpy oohs and aahs over the sight, begging Ren to come out and see the beautiful moon (although the viewer doesn't see it yet.) Ren finally relents and exits the tent—only to smash his head into the moon, since it is only about ten feet across and floating a couple of feet above the planet's surface.
- The scene in Superman: The Animated Series where Clark Kent discovers the ability to fly. This is done again in a much later episode when Kara/Supergirl is introduced and she flies.
- Spoofed in Evil Con Carne. A Musical Episode opens with the Villain Protagonist Hecter singing about how beautiful the world is...hence why he's determined to conquer it.
- Subverted in The Simpsons when Homer went into outer space. It is the most awe-inspiring sight I have ever saw. giver of life, mother of us all. He's talking about a bag of potato chips.
- In the various Transformers cartoons, many Cybertronians (like Seaspray, Inferno, Prowl, and even some versions of Starscream) express this feeling when they take in the Earth's natural beauty.
- In Rescue Bots, Boulder is the most fascinated with Earth's natural beauty, with Blades coming a close second.
- All of the Crystal Gems from Steven Universe seem to have a lot of respect and love for the planet Earth - if not necessarily for the humans that live there. Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl just sit and stare at the sunset at one point, Ruby and Sapphire look delighted when they first arrive on Earth, Peridot is awed by the rain and Lapis starts to soften after she flies around Earth with Steven. Steven himself gets a poignant moment when he sees the Earth from a gem ship in orbit.
- People who ride planes for the first time often awe at how the world looks from so high up.
- This goes double for astronauts. The short film Overview is about the fact that it's unheard of for an astronaut to see Earth from space and not have a profound experience.
- Upon seeing the Earth from the surface of the moon, astronaut Alan Shepard bent down on his knees and wept.
Schmitt: I can't see a thing except the Earth.
- Neil Armstrong, similarly, said: "It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small."
- Armstrong's own words, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind", brought Walter Cronkite to tears of joy and wonder.
- Yuri Gagarin, first man in space, had this comparatively more laconic transmission upon his first time.
"The flight continues well. The machine is functioning normally. Reception excellent. Am carrying out observations of the earth. Visibility good. I can see the clouds. I can see everything. It's beautiful!"
- Tom Stafford's take on the experience:
The white twisted clouds and the endless shades of blue in the ocean make the hum of the spacecraft systems, the radio chatter, even your own breathing disappear. There is no cold or wind or smell to tell you that you are connected to Earth. You have an almost dispassionate platform - remote, Olympian and yet so moving that you can hardly believe how emotionally attached you are to those rough patterns shifting steadily below.
- The reason why the Apollo 8 crewmen became the 1968 Men of the Year. Their photograph of an Earthrise as seen from the moon became an icon of the world's magnificence.
- In an amusing subversion, during the final moon landing of the Apollo Program (Apollo 17: , read from the 112:55:04 mark), mission commander Gene Cernan happened to see the Earth through the window and told co-pilot Schmitt (who was too busy reading the instruments to look outside) to take a quick look. However...
"You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, 'Look at that, you son of a bitch.'"
- Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell had this to say about viewing the Earth from the Moon:
- Neil Armstrong, similarly, said: "It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small."
- The Blue Marble.
- Get up to a high place and look around. Because you know what? It is.
- The idea behind the blog 1000 Awesome Things.
- Pale Blue Dot. Also counts as both an awesome moment and a heartwarming moment.
- Monarch butterflies. If you ever see them migrating through the changing trees of an autumn forest, consider yourself lucky.
- To elaborate, every year Monarch butterflies hatch and mature in Canada during the late summer. When autumn comes, they all migrate from there all the way to a single forest in Mexico. For an insect that can fit in the palm of your hand, this is a massive distance, how they manage to know where they're going is still a mystery, but the way there is also fraught with peril: predators, pollution and weather are all major threats. Once they get to that special forest, the trees are practically covered in butterflies that all somehow made this journey. Even more remarkable, it takes three generations of Monarchs to migrate all the way back to Canada for the summer, but a single generation to make the trip to Mexico.
- There is a ride that allows one to experience Niagara Falls. As in it uses a 360-degree screen surrounding a movable platform along with a variety of special effects including mist, wind, and temperature machines.
- The Grand Canyon is one of those places for which photographs are simply insufficient.
- Ever see a night sky just full of stars? Away from city lights, so that even the faintest stars and nebulae show up starkly against the jet-black backdrop? How about a large meteor shower? The different aurora lights that show up in the sky in certain parts of the World?
- Now everyone can see it for themselves thanks to Mr.Terge Sorgjerd's masterpiece
- Not easy to do this unless you're a sailor, but sit out on the deck of a ship in the middle of the ocean with all external lights blacked out.
- To quote the Vertical Horizon song Angel Without Wings, "I have seen your city lights, but have you seen my country skies?"
- While you are there, the view of a galaxy through a telescope. Sure, that faint smudge of light does not look very impressive... until you think your eye is receiving the combined starlight of many billion of stars, that has travelled across the empty intergalactic space for countless millions of years, is just one among a whole lot of them, and that someone up there may be asking him/her/it/?/self the same while viewing ours. Objects as 3C 273 take this Up to Eleven.
- Anyone who has ever climbed a mountain will know exactly how amazing that the world can be. To think that millions of years of pressure have been pushing small, insignificant pieces of rock together, moving so slowly it can't even be seen, until one day, you look at it, and the result is a range of mountains that can cover entire expanses of countries, and literally pierce the clouds, makes a person really appreciate just how powerful and how magnificently old our planet is.
- Likewise, going in the opposite direction, caves. In particular, Carlsbad◊ Caverns◊. Drip by drip, over millions of years, the magnificent structures of this cave were built. In pictures, it's difficult to adequately show the scale and sheer majesty of the caves and its chambers. One of the most famous structures is the Rock of Ages◊, housed in the adequately named "Big Room," which is one of the largest cave chambers in the world, with a floor size of over 350,000 square feet.
- Most everyone who's heard of Stone Henge has seen pictures of it. Those hardly do the monument justice, but you are unlikely to think more than "Hey, this is cool," when simply looking at it. That feeling comes from actually touching the stones. While it's now prohibited to touch the stones in the actual henge, there are a few of them across the road that are readily available for this purpose.
- Mount Rushmore. Seriously. The cartoons and comics, the photographs, even the Hitchcock movies do nothing to prepare you for a mountain carved into four human faces.
- Just wait until Crazy Horse is completed.
- Lots of national parks actually have helicopter tours, such as the Rainbow natural Bridge or Hawaii's big island. Try taking one some time.
- Earth Porn: And entire forum dedicated to posting pictures of earths magnificence.
- Virgin Galactic Branson's sub orbital taxi service isn't so much about going into space as it is about invoking the experience of piercing the heavens for paying customers. Book now!
- Machu Picchu, the holy city of the Incas. A kingdom located on the roof of the world.
- Standing at the tip of a coastline and looking out to the open sea under the sun or in fog. One place you can do this is at the lighthouse point of Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia, Canada.
- The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. Seeing all the people of the world come out together as one, united by the spirit of the Olympics. It's always pretty awesome.
- Possibly the only event to top it was the 24-hour global coverage of the New Year's Eve celebrations on the night of January 31st, 1999. Every time zone, every major city, and every outpost of humanity from isolated Pacific islands to Antarctica got in on the festivities that rung in the year 2000, burning through more fireworks in one day than have probably been manufactured on Earth in all the years since.
- Freezing rain can be treacherous, but have you ever seen the aftermath of an ice storm out in the country? Every branch and leaf in sight is encased in crystal, and when the sun comes out, the whole landscape sparkles. It's breathtaking.
- On the opposite end of the size scale, sights like the rainbow of swirling colors on the fragile surface of a soap bubble or the sparkling intricacy of a dew-dotted spiderweb.
- Sitting on the shore at night on Bahia Honda (one of the Florida Keys), far enough away from city lights that your view of the sky is unhindered by light pollution, with the inky blackness of the Altlantic Ocean all around you, can make person feel either pretty small in the face of an infinitely large universe, or make you feel pretty huge, knowing that you're connected to that universe in a unique and individual way.
- Witnessing a birth, hatching or sprouting. Whether human, animal, plant or otherwise. Sure the result is currently a tiny fragile being that's barely able to do anything, but there's a huge amount of potential there.
- Maui is one island-sized concentration of natural awesome. Places like Big Beach, Haleakala, Honolua, and Pailoa Bay are just the start.
- As is Hawaii's Big Island. Places like Akaka Falls, Kohala, Ho'okena Beach, and Pololu Valley are absolutely stunning.
- Getting the window seat on any plane ride. For example: The US/Mexican border at 38,000 feet.
- Much of California's coastline. For example: San Francisco's Land's End, about 3 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge.
- If you don't believe in this trope, Google Earth will make a believer of you after an hour.
- This video does a good job showing the sheer wonder and awesomeness of the known universe.
- Coral reefs filled with colorful fish. Glass-bottom boats were invented for a very good reason.
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