Shnakepup on Sep 18th 2013 at 8:40:59 PM
Last Edited By:
Morgenthaler on Jul 12th 2016 at 4:50:56 AM
Page Type: Trope
This is a trope, mainly in science fiction, where a ship or vessel of some kind is literally made out of a tree. Not merely made out of wood, or that a tree was used in the construction, this ship actually looks like (and possibly functions as) a giant tree. A key element is that the tree should be living, and was grown/created/transplanted specifically for the purpose.
Most often used in Science Fiction, though not necessarily limited to it. In certain cases it may be used to show a race as basically Space Elves who have both high technology and still are in tune with nature.
Anime and Manga
- Juraian ships in Tenchi Muyo! are all sentient, giant trees that just happen to look and function like spaceships. This also means that after being shot down, they can be regrown.
- The Tree of Life in the "space traveler" sections of the film The Fountain.
- In the Hyperion Cantos, the Ouster "Treeships".
- In Raft by Stephen Baxter, one of the strange lifeforms in the high-gravity universe is a species of mobile floating trees. Humans turn them into vessels and steer them through space.
- Alastair Reynolds has a version of this in his Revelation Space Series. The "Greenfly" infestation that is depicted taking over the galaxy in Absolution Gap is shown to be billions of self-contained biospheres containing trees and tree-like plants.
- The Last Continent does this with a tree that's been made into a boat by the local god of evolution. The leaf is a sail, the hull is a floating seed, etc.
- Animorphs: Pemalite ships use huge trees as computers for their spaceships. Even Ax (whose species' ships have giant biodomes filled with forests and plains) finds it ridiculous.
- Space vessels created by elves in the Dungeons & Dragons Spelljammer setting are grown, not built, from living, leafy trees.
- Orion's Arm has what are called "Dyson Trees". They grow into vast orbital habitats. They're genetically engineered giant plants that can survive in vacuum and synthesizes nutrients from ices found in a comets or icy asteroids, into which they're rooted. Inside there is a sealed hollow filled with air, inside which other lifeforms, including humans, can live.
- Non-space example: In Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, the animals have to find a boat at the end of the valley before the ice dam breaks. The "boat" turns out to be a gigantic hollow log.
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