Traveling Landmass

A landmass (usually an island) that is always on the move, making it difficult to find. Because of this, it's thought to not exist by most people, until one of the main characters finds it.

See also The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday. Supertrope of Floating Continent.

Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Shimaru homeland in Futaba-kun Change!, which floats around because it is really a crashed spaceship that let the moss grow on the hull a bit over the years

    Comic Books 
  • Professor Semo's island base in the Mexican Fantômas comic book series.
  • Marvel Comics has Krakoa, The Island that Walks Like a Man!!! And to a certain extent Spragg, the Living Hill.
  • Justice League International: Kooey Kooey Kooey isn't always on the move, but sometimes it decides to wander for a bit.
  • The Doom Patrol is allies with Danny the Street, a sentient talking mobile transvestite street, able to move from city to city, including at one point getting the team into the "city-like" base underneath the Pentagon.

    Film 

    Folklore and Mythology 
  • Greek myth gives us the floating island of Delos, birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.

    Literature 
  • Quofum, a planet in the Humanx Commonwealth universe, has an annoying habit of not being there when one goes to look for it. It turns out that the entire planet is some kind of dimension-hopping starship.
  • In The Witches of Karres, the titular planet is one of these. The residents like it that way.
    • The residents control where it goes.
  • The 51st state of Ar, or Hoqhoq as they prefer to be known, according to John Hodgman. It's inhabited by shapeshifting thunderbirds.
  • The island of Leshp from Discworld which is a giant pumice dome that gets filled up with gas, rises to the surface, floats around a bit, then sinks again every couple of hundred years after causing a war or two.
  • Seastar Island from The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle. Explained as a freak volcanic bubble during island formation creating a huge air pocket to serve as a float. When the rock at the top of the volcano drops down it punches a hole in the bottom to fix the island in place.
  • The Children's Book Dinosaurus Klex takes place on two floating islands that broke from the ancient supercontinents Gondwanaland and Laurasia. On the islands, time flows differently, which is why today, dinosaur prince Klex is still searching for his princess on his adventures. The floating islands are steerable in a limited way, and are naturally inhabited by dinosaurs and extinct/endangered species.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Island from Lost is constantly moving, thanks to a strange pocket of mystical energy.

    Toys 

    Video Games 
  • Mirage Island from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire/Emerald.
  • The island in Tales of Legendia, although it turned out to be an alien spaceship.
  • The "Chocobo's Air Garden" in Final Fantasy IX will hover over 1 of 6 random locations on the world map. Once you've been there, it's current location can be found on the player's map, but before that it's identifiable by the circular shadow on the ground beneath it (hard to spot if it's over water). Getting there the first time requires the player to dig up all 6 pieces of the map to the island (which is really just a series of clues to the locations it might be found) by playing the Chocobo Treasure Hunt Mini-game and leveling up the Chocobo's abilities so that it is able to fly AND the use of a Dead Pepper every time the player wants to return to the Garden.
    • The Air Garden gets you access to last couple Chocobo treasure maps, the optional super-tough side boss Ozma (but not the ability to HIT it with attacks, that's a whole other side quest), and the most difficult but most rewarding area to play the treasure hunt minigame (helpful if one is trying to pick up some of the semi-unique rewards).
  • Though most remember Angel Island from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, the original Japanese manuals say that the (sea-bound) island of the first game also moved around.

    Webcomics 
  • In Tower of God TOG the forest wherein walkhaiksong HQ is located can be transported as Urek Mazino's Space Compression power. Multiple shineuh (heavenly god fish which look like space whales are speculated to be this trope. The sea cow on the 21st floor was able to contain Urek for long enough a time for him to be deemed a problem on the floor. Since TOG is such an expansive universe it's been said that there could be islands like this.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Candied Island in The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
  • A Saturday morning cartoon called Noah's Island; a polar bear called Noah travels around the world on a floating volcanic island, picking up lost, ostracised and endangered animals and trying to get them to live in harmony. The Animals of Farthing Wood meets Noah's Ark on a mobile island!
    • Also noteworthy as rare example of this trope that can be steered to a limited extent, using a sort of Bamboo Technology thruster system powered by the huge pool of molten lava in the centre of the island, which was left by the meteor that's responsible for it breaking off from a larger landmass in the manner of an iceberg. Well, it makes about as much sense as the rest of the show's premise.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television: Continental drift. It's just so slow only geologists notice.
  • The island of San Serriffe, from a famous April Fools' Day hoax.
  • Icebergs. Sometimes used as temporary islands.
  • Astrophysicists now suspect that there may be stray planets wandering around in interstellar space, which were pulled out of their orbits when another star passed near their own.
  • Terry Pratchett's Leshp (above) may be based in part on the Roundworld island of Ferdinandea, an island near Sicily that rises above sea level after periodic volcanic eruptions, only to disappear again after it is sufficiently eroded. When it made its most recent appearance in 1831, it was claimed as territory by four nations (The United Kingdom, France, pre-Italian-unification Naples, and Spain).
  • Phantom islands - islands which were reported to exist on maps, but which don't exist - have been noted for centuries. While most of these vanished by the early 20th century, Sandy Island, a purported possession of France, persisted until the 1970s, when it was noted by the French to be nonexistent. However, it had been entered into the World Vector Shoreline Database, and because that database was frequently used by scientists, it persisted in numerous maps into the 21st century. In 2012, an Australian ship sailed through the purported position of the nonexistent island and submitted new data. The island was then stricken from all maps and the various databases which it had been entered into. The nonexistent island had persisted on maps long after satellite imagery revealed there to be no island at that location.
  • Pumice rafts are large rafts of pumice produced by seaside and undersea volcanoes. As pumice is less dense than water, it floats, and can form large, temporary floating islands before they break up in the ocean. The largest recorded raft was 30 miles wide and 300 miles long.
  • Some islands only exist from time to time as islands, otherwise existing as shallow sub-surface mounds of sand and gravel. Tidal action can create and destroy these islands on the scale of mere years, making their existence very temporary.