WMG: The Fifth Elephant

On the Elephant plummeting to Disc:-
  • The Circle Sea is indeed circular. Very circular, in fact. A Wild Mass Guessing concept occurs to me here. On Earth, the Caribbean Sea also has a sort of irregular circularity to it. Enough geological exploration has occurred here for science to be reasonably sure a massive meteorite, or perhaps a comet or small asteroid, impacted here, off the coast of what is now Mexico, in one of those events Rincewind gloomily recorded for posterity in The Science of Discworld. You know, the sort of thing that in a well-ordered Universe only ever happens in Outer Space, which as we know begins a few planets away at a nice safe distance where our telescopes can watch the fireworks. This Snowball Event happened a billion or so years ago, apparently, but its mark can still be seen today - apparently the Caribbean can be viewed as one huge impact crater that eventually filled up with water. Now on the Discworld there is the legend of the Fifth Elephant that fell off and owing to the strange gravitational field of Great A'Tuin, fell to earth again. What if the greater mass of the falling elephant created an impact crater which then filled with water? After all, Uberwald is not far Hubwards and the Dwarfs are still mining the bounty... but a World Elephant must logically impact over an area at least a fifth of the size of the entire Disc... what if only the smaller part of it is available for mining under Uberwald? The rest of it had to go somewhere...
    • Uberwald is certainly a place where the veins run near the surface, and give rise to seeps. Perhaps there is a similar seep on the floor of the Circle Sea, and it is gases from the slow anaerobic decomposition of the exuding fat that provide for the periodic flotation of Leshp.
  • Why did the Fifth Elephant fall in the first place? Well, in The Light Fantastic, the story of the Disc approaching a strange red star eventually resolves itself as Great A'Tuin keeping an Eye on eight Space-Turtle eggs, which eventually hatch as eight tiny baby Discworlds, baby turtles carrying elephant-cubs on their backs supporting proto-Discs wreathed in volcanic fire, which swim away from the nurturing light of the Star into Deep Space. Why did Great A'Tuin care enough to want to see if the eggs were OK? Does this offer a clue as to the gender of the Space Turtle, a theme imaginative astro-zoologists have worried about since time immemorial? Could it be that She nipped back to check on the nursery and see the kids were OK? Which implies that there are other Discs out there, and at some point in the past, Great A'Tuin actually mated with a male astrochelonian (the event imaginative thinkers dreaded). This implies that the worst-case scenario has actually happened and the Disc survived. But what if the physical exertion of astro-chelonian sex caused something to give - ie, a hapless elephant was dislodged from the Disc and impact on top of it a while later...
  • Is it all a disguised Shout-Out to Douglas Adams, who famously invoked a whale plummeting to the surface of a planet with calamitous results for planet and whale? After all, Pratchett may have felt a need to go one better...
    • In which case, what is the disc equivalent of the small bowl of petunias? There is a constellation in the Disc sky with an interestingly similar name...Gahoolie, The Vase of Tulips. Is this the second shoe, poised to drop?
      • Oh no, not again.