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Giant Corpse World

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Land made of a giant corpse

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
PistolsAtDawn on Aug 29th 2017 at 6:52:10 PM
Last Edited By:
PistolsAtDawn on Sep 9th 2017 at 11:31:32 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bd5_6.JPG

Land made out of a huge corpse. The dead body of a creature or giant so immense, people can live, grow crops and build houses on it.

A landscape made of just the skeleton would probably be a Monster-Shaped Mountain- a stone mountain either shaped like a creature, or made of a creature. Typically a far less squicky variety.

For the still-living version, see Genius Loci, Turtle Island or Womb Level. Probably involves Body Horror and Squick. Not the same as Corpse Land, a land full of corpses.


Examples

Comic Books

  • The classic 1980's X-Men Brood storyline. The Death World surrounding one of the alien bases is in fact the semi-decomposed corpse of one of the Space Whales they had enslaved as Living Ships. To give an idea of the scale, the tips of the ribs poke out of the planetary atmosphere.
  • Beautiful Darkness is about a community of fairies living in the corpse of a little girl who got lost in the woods and died. (Provides the page image)

Film - Live Action

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: the mining colony of Knowhere, built in the decapitated head of an ancient celestial being.
  • The Bone Slums in Pacific Rim are shanty towns built in and around the remains of a Kaiju.

Literature

  • The protagonist of Angel Notes lives in a city built in and around the corpse of the Ultimate Life Form of Venus, which came to Earth to punish humanity for destroying Earth's spirit, Gaia, and with it, Earth's capacity to support life. Humans managed to kill it, however, and discovered that while Earth cannot support agriculture anymore, Venus still can, so they settled the alien's corpse and grow crops on it in order to survive.
  • Played with in Alan Dean Foster's short story "Gift of a Useless Man", in which a space traveller who crashes on an alien planet and is left almost completely paralysed enters a symbiotic relationship with a telepathic, sentient, insect colony, which could have been played for Body Horror but ends up sweet.
  • The protagonist of Ender's Game accidentally creates one of these, with the corpse of a giant he killed in a video game eventually becoming a village.

Live-Action TV

  • The Farscape episode "Home on the Remains" is set in a space "mining" colony that is actually looking for valuable substances in the corpse of an asteroid-sized Space Whale.

Mythology

  • Ymir, the Father of the World in Norse Mythology. The entire world is made from his dead body.
  • In Mesopotamian Mythology, the god Marduk slew the goddess Tiamat, and he created the world from her corpse.
  • In Chinese Mythology, after the death of Pan-gu, his body was made into the earth, his blood the sea, his eyes the sun and moon, and the lice around his body was turned into people.
  • In Aztec mythology, after Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl slayed the primeval sea monster Cipactli, they created all dry land from its body.

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • One of the setting's nastier abominations is Atropus, the world born dead, a planet crawling with undead whose arrival in a system heralds disaster and that only leaves dead worlds in its wake. It's fairly consistent that it's the remains something huge and (un)dead, but its exact nature varies — sometimes it's an enormous atropal (the undead corpse of a stillborn god), while other times it's the head of a colossal primordial being.
    • The current incarnation of the sixth layer of Hell, Malbolge, is formed out of the corpse of its former ruler, Malagard the Hag Countess. Its mountains, for instance, used to be the Hag Countess' bones, and there is a tunnel that used to be her throat that still contracts and expands rhythmically.
    • The Githyanki capital of Tu'narath is a metropolis built on — and into — the colossal, petrified corpse of a forgotten god, adrift in the timeless Void Between the Worlds of the Astral Plane.

Toys

  • BIONICLE: In "The Kingdom" Alternate dimension, Mata Nui, who is usually a Genius Loci, dies after Matoro fails to revive him, causes a large exodus nearly every being inside him to the island above due to Pit Mutagen flooding most domes inside.

Video Games

  • Fallen London is in "the Neath", which if the story can be believed, is inside the skull of a dead god.
  • Brütal Legend is set in a world created from the remains of the Eternal Firebeast Ormagoden, who was killed by the primordial First Ones and whose flesh/bones and blood became the landmasses and the oceans of the world, respectively.
  • Masser and Secunda, the moons of the world in Elder Scrolls. Not mentioned in lore as inhabited but are halves of Lorkhan's corpse.

Web Comics

  • 1/0: In the beginning, the webcomic consists of an infinite blank white void. Then Teddy Weddy (a character from Sluggy Freelance) falls out of the sky, and dies. The rest of the story focuses on the strange, tiny creatures who find him and build a village on his corpse.

Feedback: 16 replies

Aug 30th 2017 at 1:12:07 AM

Aug 30th 2017 at 1:20:26 AM

  • Brutal Legend is set in a world created from the remains of the Eternal Firebeast Ormagoden, who was killed by the primordial First Ones and whose flesh/bones and blood became the landmasses and the oceans of the world, respectively.
  • The protagonist of Angel Notes lives in a city built in and around the corpse of the Ultimate Life Form of Venus, which came to Earth to punish humanity for destroying Earth's spirit, Gaia, and with it, Earth's capacity to support life. Humans managed to kill it, however, and discovered that while Earth cannot support agriculture anymore, Venus still can, so they settled the alien's corpse and grow crops on it in order to survive.

Aug 30th 2017 at 1:52:48 AM

The Farscape episode "Home on the Remains" is set in a space "mining" colony that is actually looking for valuable substances in the corpse of an asteroid-sized Space Whale.

Played with in Alan Dean Foster's short story "Gift of a Useless Man", in which a space traveller who crashes on an alien planet and is left almost completely paralysed enters a symbiotic relationship with a telepathic, sentient, insect colony.

Aug 31st 2017 at 1:47:28 AM

  • In Chinese Mythology, after the death of Pan-gu, his body was made into the earth, his blood the sea, his eyes the sun and moon, and the lice around his body was turned into people.

Aug 31st 2017 at 5:17:19 AM

Compare Genius Loci, where the world is still alive.

  • In Mesopotamian Mythology, the god Marduk slew the goddess Tiamat, and he created the world from her corpse.

Aug 31st 2017 at 5:49:17 AM

BIONICLE: In "The Kingdom" Alternate dimension, Mata Nui, who is usually a Genius Loci, dies after Matoro fails to revive him, causes a large exodus nearly every being inside him to the island above due to Pit Mutagen flooding most domes inside.

Aug 31st 2017 at 11:41:41 AM

Turtle Island could be another still-living variant.

Aug 31st 2017 at 2:00:13 PM

Do undead examples count for this, or just actual dead corpses?

Aug 31st 2017 at 2:56:02 PM

^ sure, undead counts. List it as a variant

Aug 31st 2017 at 3:58:57 PM

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons And Dragons:
    • One of the setting's nastier abominations is Atropus, the world born dead, a planet crawling with undead whose arrival in a system heralds disaster and that only leaves dead worlds in its wake. It's fairly consistent that it's the remains something huge and (un)dead, but its exact nature varies — sometimes it's an enormous atropal (the undead corpse of a stillborn god), while other times it's the head of a colossal primordial being.
    • The current incarnation of the sixth layer of Hell, Malbolge, is formed out of the corpse of its former ruler, Malagard the Hag Countess. Its mountains, for instance, used to be the Hag Countess' bones, and there is a tunnel that used to be her throat that still contracts and expands rhythmically.

Sep 3rd 2017 at 2:33:54 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNfYUsDSrOs

is still living, but some other comments offered living examples too ;)

Masser and Secunda, the moons of the world in Elder Scrolls:

http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/The_Lunar_Lorkhan

(not mentioned in lore as inhabited but are halves of Lorkhan's corpse)

Sep 3rd 2017 at 12:33:00 PM

  • In Aztec mythology, after Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl slayed the primeval sea monster Cipactli, they created all dry land from its body.

Also, my memory's a bit foggy, but didn't Pacific Rim have a Bone Slum in Hong Kong, which sprung up around a kaiju corpse?

Sep 4th 2017 at 10:01:57 PM

The protagonist of Ender's Game accidentally creates one of these, with the corpse of a giant he killed in a video game eventually becoming a village.

Sep 5th 2017 at 8:38:32 AM

^^^ Long Pinky Toes, can you write out the example for the youtube link one? i havent seen it

Sep 5th 2017 at 10:02:02 AM

  • Another one for Dungeons And Dragons:
    • The Githyanki capital of Tu'narath is a metropolis built on — and into — the colossal, petrified corpse of a forgotten god, adrift in the timeless Void Between The Worlds of the Astral Plane.

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