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Floating Continent

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"The weather in Glitzville today will be sunny with a chance of more sun. It's above the clouds, stupid."

An otherwise-normal place that's floating in the sky, often for no adequately-explored reason.

This is an extremely common trope in fantasy and video games. Nothing says "exotic" like a city floating in the sky. Outside of scifi settings, there's often no real effort to justify or Hand Wave it beyond saying A Wizard Did It and hoping that the Rule of Cool will carry the day. Or never mentioning it at all.

One thing's for sure, though: If you've got a floating continent, it's significant. There's no chance that it's just some random village. Even if it's not The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, something important is definitely going to happen there. These places tend to have a higher-than-normal failure rate as a result of this, often becoming more of a Falling Continent.

Waterfalls are often expected to fall from the continent. Even if there's an explanation for how the place stays in the air in the first place, how they can possibly not run out of water is never explored. (While it's not that hard, as long as there is some sort of world below and the continent doesn't permanently float above the clouds it can get its water the same way any mountain range does: rain.)

These settings may consist of a single floating landmass or of multiple separate ones. In the latter case, travel between distinct islands may necessitate the use of bridges or, among more distant ones, airships or other flying vessels — unless the natives can fly under their own power, of course.

Strangely enough, many such places go unnoticed by the common man, even though they should be perfectly obvious floating there in the sky. Sometimes they're cloaked by clouds, mist, or Applied Phlebotinum, but other times... well, you have to wonder how people can be so sure that the Floating Continent is mythical if they've heard of it at all.

Many video game levels from the early generations of 3D graphics tend to invoke this trope due to the limitations of the platform, and to prevent the player from going anywhere they want. See Floating Platforms for this kind of level design. How they're connected to other levels and how the protagonist leaves these areas often go unexplained.

The Ur-Example is the original Cloudcuckooland, from Aristophanes' The Birds, but the Trope Codifier is the City of Laputa, from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Swift also originated the Colony Drop: Laputa maintained control of its groundbound colonies by landing on any rebellious population centers, crushing them beneath its armored underbelly. The trope was popularized in modern popular culture by Hayao Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky. The Trope Namer is the Floating Continent orbiting Jupiter in Space Battleship Yamato.

If some cataclysm has resulted in the entire planet being broken up into a collection of floating continents, that's a Shattered World. If there is no landmass under these continents, then it's a World in the Sky. If the urban area is floating on water instead of air, it's a City on the Water.

Ominous Floating Castle is its own trope. Characters who live on the ground and wish to reach a floating continent will likely need to undertake a Journey to the Sky. Conversely, those who are in the continent and want (or need) to go below the blue yonder will have to perform an Arduous Descent to Terra Firma.

A subtrope of Traveling Landmass.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Cowboy Bebop: There are floating islands floating in the atmosphere of the terraformed Venus.
  • Doraemon:
    • Doraemon: Nobita and the Tin Labyrinth has Nobita and friends ending up in the mysterious Hotel Burinkin, located on an island in the middle of nowhere which contains both beaches and snowy mountains at the same time. Turns out the island is an alien spaceship, which then flies off much to the gangs' horror.
    • Paradapia, the titular location of Doraemon: Nobita's Sky Utopia, is depicted as a series of floating islands in the clouds, each holding a small city.
  • .hack: Most of the series of animes and games have floating rocks, islands and the like. Makes sense, seeing most of the animes and all of the games are set in a fictional MMORPG called "The World".
  • Chrono Crusade: In the manga version, the Sinner's home is a small floating town called Eden. It exists because (1) demons are actually aliens, who came to Earth on a fish-like spaceship — so the Sinners have access to technology that would allow for that sort of thing and (2) the Sinners are on the run and need to be in hiding, so a home base that's removed from people is probably a better idea than forming a colony somewhere on Earth.
  • Digimon:
    • The Green Zone/Forest Zone in Digimon Fusion has a number of floating islands to go with its hilly terrain and most are large enough to have waterfalls. The characters never go anywhere near these. The Disc Zone and Heaven Zone are also large floating landmasses. The Heaven Zone is a floating pastoral region whose central town is home to angel and fairy Digimon. The Disc Zone is a floating mountain embedded with discs that actually collapses due to Kiriha/Christopher fighting the Bagra Army so intensely.
    • Digimon Xros Wars: The manga once again has the Green Zone with its floating islands. The adjacent Snow Zone also has them, but they're frozen over and covered with icicles. They're little more than set dressing.
    • The children's first trip to the Digital World in Digimon Adventure: (2020) brings them to Cloud Continent, a region that is eventually revealed to be airborne when ElDoradimon breaks through the ground and falls into the ocean far below. A filler episode also takes place on a floating island home to a cannibalistic Tropiamon.
  • Dragon Half: One of the Plot Coupons needed to defeat Azatodeth is located on a Floating Island. Unfortunately it was only after the king of the Island gave it to the girls did he remember that said Plot Coupon was powering the Island's engines!
  • Edens Bowy is about two floating continents, Yulgaha (or Eurgoha), and Yanuess. The people below regard them as gods, and some places actively do something for them, like providing water, or becoming an industrial place. Eurgoha is the larger, having high-tech cybernetic technology but is somewhat high-strung, while the smaller Yanuess is industrialized to the point of constant pollution (plus ruled by a cat-eared woman). Eurgoha and Yanuess eventually collide together, and a good chunk of Eurgoha falls. Yanuess is more or less intact, but Eurgoha is messed up, in a whole lot of ways.
  • The Familiar of Zero: Albion. Called "the White Country" because of the clouds that gather around its underside.
  • In Idolmaster: Xenoglossia, the island where Turiavita's mansion and Elaborate Underground Base are located becomes this when Chihaya tries to merge herself with Imber. It's later destroyed by the orbiting Kill Sat.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: The Neo Nation colonies are a really odd example — not only are they space colonies, but they actually seem to be gigantic hunks of Earth which lifted off the planet and floated into space. Keeping with the show's Refuge in Audacity, most of the colonies (except Japan) are unusual shapes — Neo America is a star, while Neo Mexico is a giant sombrero.
  • Kyouran Kazoku Nikki: A floating island of devious monkeys appears. This one does have a reason for the hovering — Levistone, the same material that powers Hyouka, one of the main characters.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS: In the "After Days" chapter of the supplementary manga, a cluster of floating islands served as the battlefield for the mock air battle between Nanoha and Signum.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: The shrine of the air-elemental Mashin, Windam, is located on a solitary airborne mountain.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Magicus Mundus had a small but ancient kingdom known as Ostia, but at the end of the great war twenty years ago it fell from the sky and only isolated rocks and an old crypt remain floating where it once was. The death toll was actually surprisingly low, however, because the fall was planned in advance. What exactly happened is not entirely clear, but it's implied that Asuna was somehow used in order to cancel out a massive and dangerous ritual in the area, which caused Ostia to fall soon after as the magic holding it aloft failed.
  • One Piece:
    • An entire saga revolves around how to get onto one of these, where different types of clouds serve as both land and sea (called both "Skypiea" and "Sky Island") and the Straw Hats' adventures on it.
    • Following the events of the Sabaody Archipelago arc, Nami was sent to another Sky Island, named Weatheria.
    • Another example is Merveille, a group of islands from One Piece Film: Strong World. The islands float in the air because of the Big Bad's Devil Fruit power...and come crashing down as soon as he's defeated.
    • In the Wano arc, Kaido decides to quite literally relocate his base of operations, Onigashima, to the Flower Capital by using his dragon form's Flame Clouds to rip the island out of the water and gradually float it toward the mainland.
  • The enormous floating city of the Mu in RahXephon, large enough to obscure Tokyo. And that's just one of thousands the Mu possess (they built them out of necessity: having only one continent on their world meant overcrowding set in pretty quickly).
  • Reborn to Master the Blade has Highland, the floating island that is home to the technologically advanced Highlanders. Aside from their being the sole source of powerful Magitek like Artifact weapons, Flygears, and Hieral Menaces that help the Midlanders below survive against the threat of magicite beasts, mythology and superstitions have also sprung up about them. For example, seeing Highland passing over you is believed to grant you a wish, much like seeing a shooting star.
  • Rebuild World: To demonstrate how, the farther to the east you go in the post-apocalyptic setting, the more advanced the Lost Technology there is to discover, when Akira goes on an Escort Mission of a Cool Train headed east, he can't believe his eyes when he sees an Artificial Gravity created floating continent.
  • Romeo × Juliet: Neo Verona and its surrounding lands float up high in the sky, which becomes quite relevant later in the series when it's revealed just what it costs to keep them floating.
  • Sky Wizards Academy: Because of the devil beetle threat on the surface, humanity has had to live in the sky, resulting in aerial floating cities. The series mostly takes place in the one called Mistgun, which houses the sky wizard academy.
  • Space Battleship Yamato: One of these exists in the atmosphere of Jupiter, until the crew (unintentionally) obliterates it the first time they use the Wave-Motion Gun. They had no idea how powerful the thing would be, and were expecting to only hit the enemy base on the continent. This may also count as World in the Sky, Jupiter being a gas giant.
  • Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Humanity finds one the size of Australia floating on Jupiter of all places, populated with lush verdant forests that are also poisonous to humans. The Gamilons placed it there in order to speed up the terraforming of Earth once humanity had been destroyed, in kind humanity destroys the whole continent with its prototype Wave-Motion Gun.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: Set in a Science Fantasy World in the Sky where Unobtainium float stone makes islands and Cool Airship vehicles fly. This is a future earth subject to Hostile Terraforming by the "New Mankind" Abusive Precursors.
  • Trigun: Vash got his coat, artificial arm and third gun from a massive colony of SEEDS that never hit the ground, and so remain peacefully isolated from the Crapsack World, comfortable with their future tech. When Vash goes back for repairs and upgrades, naturally trouble follows him.
  • Whisper of the Heart: Floating castles and jewel-like planetoids feature in a fantasy sequence.
  • WorldEnd: What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us?: A collection of floating islands make up civilization's last refuge. Everything below them is an ashen wasteland ruled by the creatures that destroyed all life on the surface.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Yukina comes from a floating island of ice apparitions like herself, and so does Hiei.
  • In Tenkuu No Shiro O Moratta No De Isekai De Tanoshiku Asobitai has the main character use his New Life in Another World Bonus to ask for a flying castle.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The plane of Zendikar, due to its high levels of wild, chaotic magic, has a weird shifting gravity that makes floating continents not uncommon. Most of its land cards show chunks of the plane's landmasses floating high above its surface, sometimes with waters flowing off their sides. Zendikar also held Emrakul, the Aeons-Torn, a floating, rocklike Eldritch Abomination the size of a mountain range.
    • On Ikoria, some humans live in the makeshift dirigible city of Skysail, which can break apart into individual balloon fleets and scatter in the event of an aerial monster attack.
  • Magi-Nation: The realm of Arderial is built on a series of floating islands flying high above the rest of the setting, and is home to many flying creatures.

    Comic Books 
  • The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw has The Seventeen Cities that float above the planet. Main character Dunstan lives in the floating Seventh City of Keneil in the proverbial Autumnlands.
  • COVEN: Paradise,note  the Illu-men's base of operations. It's a white, castle-like city on an island the size of a large town floating above the Mediterranean Sea. Saverio's nothingness powers keep it aloft...somehow. Like everything else about the Illu-men's aesthetics, Paradise's design is part of their holier-than-thou, Light Is Not Good theme.
  • CrossGen: Meridian features floating islands over a poisoned and barely-livable surface. They are held aloft by a substance called "floatstone" woven into the rock (and floating ships to travel between them, made with special floating wood). There was even a completely artificial island. Cities had to be careful about adding too much mass, though, or collect a type of floating coal to stay up. One such city ends up dropping.
  • Dollicious: In this Polish comic book series, the land of candy girls named Heavenly Delight is located on a floating island. Character must use special elevator to get there.
  • The DCU:
    • Superbia, the home of the International Ultramarine Corps, is a city that floats over the remains of Montevideo.
    • New Gods: The New Gods' city on New Genesis is a Shining City floating over the planet.
    • Supergirl: Argo City survived the destruction of Krypton for a while as a floating planet chunk.
    • Superman Family #215: "Crisis at the Crossroads in Time" features two floating cities, built on top of enormous masses of rock, and anchored to the surface by massive chains. In the 5,020th century this is all that remains of the ancient New York City.
      Yes, floating— floating like the twin cities built atop chunks of igneous rock, secured to the surface by enormous "mooring chains"! Floating like all that is left of the distant memory called New York!
    • Wonder Woman:
      • Wonder Woman (1942): The small land of the Rykornians functions as a floating continent, hidden within the earth's atmosphere by a constant cloud cover.
      • Wonder Woman (1987): Themyscira, the Amazon's island post-Crisis, is reinvented by the gods as multiple small islands that floated in midair, with Waterfalls into the Abyss, subsequently making the Amazons more dependent on the gods. The source of the floating islands becomes less clear over the years and is often handwaved as being either magic, high tech, or a combo of both.
      • Wonder Woman and the Star Riders: The Star Riders base is a castle floating in the clouds.
  • Hawkman: In some continuities, the cities of Thanagar float.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Cable & Deadpool: Cable converts his former base into a floating island.
    • The Mighty Thor: Asgard is always portrayed as a great landmass floating in extradimensional space.
      • Between 2007 and 2014 (with some detour back to its own dimension in the Fear Itself event of 2010), it was a great land mass floating over Broxton, Oklahoma. Until an incident with Roxxon Oil and some trolls that virtually destroyed Broxton and Asgard(ia) got moved to the moon for safety reasons.
      • Marvel 2099: In Crossover "Fall of the Hammer", "Asgard" was a floating city controlled by Alchemax, with security provided by a mind-controlled fake-Thor.
    • Weirdworld has the floating island of Klarn, homeland of the Elves.
  • Robyn Hood: The dimension where Robyn is imprisoned in The Hunt has floating islands.
  • Scott Pilgrim: In Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness, Ramona is revealed to have gone to college in the University of Carolina in the Sky.
  • Tooth and Claw: The Seventeen Cities are massive floating metropolises held aloft by magic.
  • The Warlord (DC): The Evil Sorcerer Motalla operates out of a flying sky-city: a remnant of the ancient Atlantean technology found scattered across Skataris.

    Fan Works 
  • Ages of Shadow: By the time Jade is encountered by the Shadow Walkers in the Shadow Netherworld, the Ominous Floating Castle she built for herself and has been gradually expanding for centuries is now a landmass roughly the size of a circular Manhattan.
  • Astral Disaster: The Stellmare Clan used to have their own flying city at the peak of their glory. Antarès is trying to find it and make it work again. In Chapter 18, he succeeds.
  • Celestina Shoukan: To Lieutenant Schutz's eyes, Celestina slowly but inexorably appearing in the airspace of the Rodenius Sea is very ominous. He quickly realizes it's an entire chunk of a continent approaching.
  • Dahlia Hawthorne Escaps From Prison: Brexit causes Britain to turn into one of these, followed by flying off into space.
  • Destiny Intertwined: While they don't appear in the comic itself, the schoolteacher Therris and supplemental material mention floating islands within a perpetual hurricane to the south, where the wind dragons live.
  • Everqueen: Alaris, the capital of the Pan-Pacific Empire, is a floating Domed Hometown.
  • Fenspace: Unreal Estate, chunks of land that have been handwaved to be mobile and occasionally spaceworthy, have a presence in the post-'Wave Solar System.
    • There are so far two true floating islands in space. The Island, which was formerly a piece of Nigerian countryside, was the first piece of landscape to be made spaceworthy and doesn't have a dome or an atmosphere, requiring all of its buildings to be vacuum-sealed. Grover's Corners, formerly a chunk of West Virginia farmland, is the largest piece of Unreal Estate in space and the only craft in Fenspace with a proper Spindizzy Drive.
    • There are also the Venusian Cloud Cities, chunks of sealed and terraformed land that float in Venus' atmosphere and serve chiefly as the home bases of the Magical Girl fandoms.
    • Most floating continents tend to be made out of land lifted from non-Earth planets, the Moon, or asteroids, as Earth governments are rarely thrilled at losing productive land to space — the launches of both the Island and Grover's Corners soured Earth-Fen relations for a good while each.
  • The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World has the Flying Island of Tipaan (a luxury resort). It travels over several of the provinces of Baravada.
  • The Knights Errant: This is the hidden secret of Morius' success: the heart of the kingdom itself is mobile, its flight magic powered by a massive Dust crystal.
  • Lost Cities: The pegasus city of Derecho was built of clouds, which were packed and condensed into a mountain-sized, floating mass on which the city itself stood.
  • The Parselmouth of Gryffindor: Hogwarts gets turned into one of these halfway through by Hermione as a ploy to prevent its invasion by Death Eaters.
  • Resonance Days has Cloudbreak, the capital of the New Life Alliance. Rather than the traditional design with a single landmass, Cloudbreak is made up of hundreds of smaller islands connected by a twisting network of rails and tubes, arranged in three discs revolving around a central axle resembling a thin white stone spire. The city is anchored through a transparent tube that pulls water from a nearby lake, giving the impression of an upside down waterfall. The city was built through collaboration between the four different species of the Alliance, combining human technology with the crystaline Organic Technology of the ai'jurrik'kai, the artistic skill of the jotts, and the enviromental preferences of the Calliopes.
  • Romance and the Fate of Equestria: The Bazaar, which serves as the centerpiece for a fairly large portion of the story, is a floating city that travels the world, returning to Equestria every few years.
  • Sharing the Night: Utopia, the ancient city of the first alicorns, was a mountain of shaped clouds, so large that an observer on its peak would not see its edge on any side, and covered in palaces and towers.

    Films — Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy: The Movie: The second half of the movie takes place on The Floating Island, which Klamkabot teleports to Earth along with himself to escape the Tengkotak. Its land pieces appear to be connected by vines, save for smaller pieces of rock. They carry alien wildlife (although besides constricting vines and red eyes glowing in the dark, nothing more is seen), and an abandoned Power Sphera factory is located further within. The prologue of the comic for the film explains that it was constructed by Kubulus aliens to make Power Spheras on, but when they got greedy and turned some of them into destroyer robots, Klamkabot dispersed the other Power Spheras via teleportation, and has been on the run ever since.
  • Castle in the Sky: Laputa is a castle-city built on an island floating high in the sky. The movie's opening sequence shows that many such islands once existed, but all but one fell to earth for reasons unshown.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie: Seemingly all of society lives on floating islands, most of them large enough to hold good-sized mountains, lakes or cities on their surfaces. Heavy cloud cover combined with the overshadowing effect of these islands makes the otherwise habitable regular ground more or less abandoned (and earns it the name "the Land of Darkness" to boot). The only ones who dwell there are Robotnik, who implicitly doesn't care that it's so gloomy so long as he has the place to himself, and his robots, who obviously don't care that it's so dark. Also, there's no threat of these continents falling to the ground — instead, the threat is that they'll be flung out into space, as the continents all join at massive glaciers that functionally anchor them to the planet's surface. If it were to be destroyed, the combination of the planet's rotation and their own anti-gravity would cause them to hurtle out of orbit, being torn apart in the process.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie:
    • Flying islands are a common sight in the Muchroom Kingdom and its surrounding areas' geography; one falls down and destroys part of Rainbow Road once it gets hit by a missile in the Koopas' ambush.
    • The film's version of Bowser's castle resembles a volcanic island capable of flight.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Avatar is set on a world full of such floating islands, held up by the Meissner effectUnobtainium is a high-temperature superconductor which does this without needing to be well below freezing like ones currently available on Earth.
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron's endgame involves using massive vibranium jets to lift a chunk of Sokovia high enough into the sky and then drop it, instigating an extinction-level event. The film's final act takes place in the floating city.
  • In The Giver, the Communities are suspended on a floating landmass. The Giver's residence is close to the edge.
  • The giants in Jack the Giant Slayer live in a floating landmass high above England, using bean stalks to descend to the lower Earth to prey on humans.
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: Cloud City is a huge floating city situated high in the skies of planet Bespin, which is otherwise an inhospitable gas giant, justifying the trope here.
  • Summerland (2020): Alice is a folklorist who studies the stories of mysterious islands in the sky that people have reported, positing they're the result of mirages. Frank sees two during the film.

  • Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor features the mysterious Megalous' Sky Castle, allegedly built by an ancient civilization.
  • Animorphs: Ket, home of Ketrans, has a volcanic surface and a very thick atmosphere filled with giant crystals. The Ketrans live on them, which each functioning sort of like its own city-state; at any given point most of its population are flapping its wings to keep the whole thing aloft. Since Ketrans can glide but not really fly on their own, being exiled to the surface is basically a death sentence.
    The estimates are that a crystal above half a mile in average circumference will crash. The atmospheric pressures and internal buoyancies will lose the battle to gravity at that point. Certainly the seventy-nine mile circumference of the Seed Crystal is a result of Ketran symbiosis.
  • The Areas of My Expertise talks about a 51st U.S. state, Hohoq (also known by its colonial name, Ar), a plateau surrounded by clouds that floats mysteriously around the United States, populated by thunderbirds, magical Native Americans, and Germans (who are not magical, just German). Soil deposits from Ar were combined with those from Kansas to synthetically create the hybrid state known as Arkansas.
  • Books of the Raksura: The Three Worlds are littered with floating islands, buoyed up by the lumps of magical rock found within. These rocks retain their properties when removed from the islands; one race of groundlings uses them to power flying ships.
  • The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny has the floating ... and usually ghostly ... city of Tir na Nog'th. It becomes solid, or at least more solid, in moonlight and is reachable by a set of (usually similarly ghostly) stairs, though since it desolidifies quickly if the moonlight wanes, if there's any chance of clouds it's still dangerous to visit.
  • Cities in Flight: The "spindizzy" — the Applied Phlebotinum that allows for Anti-Gravity, Force Fields, Artificial Gravity, and Faster-Than-Light Travel — works better with larger masses. As a result, eventually, entire Terran cities cut themselves free of the planet and soar out to the stars as independent, nomadic city-states.
  • The Culture, by Iain Banks:
    • In The Player of Games, one character, whose job is to build Orbitals (artificial ring-shaped worlds), talks about making Floating Continents because she thinks that orbitals are too mundane, having fairly standard planetary ecosystems and landforms. She was also a big fan of volcanoes.
    • In the same universe, there are the inhabitants of the Airspheres. The smallest independently sentient species found in the airspheres are floating creatures the size of large buildings, and the largest (referred to as Gigalithine Lenticular Entities) are effectively sentient floating countries.
  • Dragaera: Various flying castles. All of them fell out of the sky during the Interregnum, since they depended on sorcery powered by the then-unavailable Imperial Orb, but Castle Black was later raised again.
  • The Edge Chronicles has the floating city of Sanctaphrax, which is built on a floating rock. Unusually, the main problem isn't keeping it up, but rather keeping it down, with the help of one gigantic chain and a chest full of stormphrax.
  • Endless Blue: All sorts of islands float. When someone tells Mikhail that his warp drive won't work, this is what convinces him: a place with floating islands is not obeying normal physics.
  • Gulliver's Travels: Laputa is a magnetically floating island populated by Strawman scientists and philosophers with no common sense. The keep control over the lands below by dropping boulders on their heads when they don't comply with Laputa's rule.
  • Isaac Asimov: Shah Guido G concerns the existence and eventual destruction of a levitated city and its world dictator. Someone notices that the antigravs are straining at their limit because everyone keeps building and expanding the city, because society has become divided into the Higher Ones who live on the city and everyone else. So he convinces the dictator to bring in an entire division of his Amazon Brigade at once to crush a non-existant conspiracy by the technicians who run the antigravs. The sudden addition of weight turns out to be The Last Straw.
  • Jack and the Beanstalk: Perhaps the most well-known example and the trope codifier for many is the castle of the giant which floats on a cloud atop the titular beanstalk.
  • Kingdom Beyond The Waves: The eponymous kingdom is one of these. The previous book establishes that great chunks of land do this often in floatquakes due to uncontrolled magic.
  • In Life, the Universe and Everything, Arthur crash-lands on a giant floating cocktail party. It's been floating for over eleven years because some drunk astro-engineers thought it'd be cool; it's since survived by raiding cities on the surface below, and inter-generational inbreeding has started to occur.
  • Magic 2.0: Subverted with Atlantis in Spell or High Water. It's designed to look like it's floating above the sea. In fact, it actually stands on several very thick pillars that are highly reflective. Interestingly, the "sorceresses" could have made it float (levitation spells are fairly easy), but decided to avoid any problems that could cause. Of course, levitation works best on monolithic objects, and a city is anything but monolithic (although the main "bowl" on which the city stands is made of solid diamond).
  • Magnus has Dragylon the Imperial Fortress: a massive, invisible, sun-sphere and headquarters of Lucifer.
  • In Minlas Flower by Alastair Reynolds, a planet has a whole slew of floating continents, which are the shattered remains of a planet-encircling camouflage to disguise its civilization from the Huskers, which failed to fool them, though the planet's residents survived albeit losing almost all of their infrastructure and technology. The culture that Merlin first contacts resides on a continent that has been flipped "upside down", with its lowest point (and habitable area) in the center of the landmass. They rely on biplanes for transport.
  • In Perelandra by C. S. Lewis, all the continents of Venus/Perelandra float on water except one. There is one divine rule on Perelandra: never sleep on the fixed continent.
  • Revelation Space: The human inhabitants of Turquoise, an ocean world in one of the stories in Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days, live in "snowflake cities", giant vacuum-buoyed city sized airships. Boats are not an option, as the alien Juggler biomass that fills the oceans breaks down nonliving materials at rates far too quick to repair.
  • Ringworld includes floating structures ranging in size from buildings to whole cities and held up by advanced technology, most of which fell when bacteria ate their wiring. It's stated that most species in the setting possess the technology to build such things, but most choose not to for one reason or another (the humans and Puppeteers find them too unsafe, while the Kzinti detest heights).
  • Robert Silverberg: Crossing into the Empire is sort-of this trope; a section of a pseudo-Byzantium moves around in time AND space, manifesting periodically in Chicago. However it isn’t always quite the same area, or time period in the City itself. Traders cross into it (at considerable risk) and the phenomenon, although unexplained, is well enough understood empirically that Chicago can calculate the duration of the intrusion fairly accurately, although not predict it. In a [[spoiler]] ending, it develops that 20th Century Chicago isn’t the City’s only manifestation..
  • Rogues of the Republic: The capital of the Republic is Heaven's Spire, a city held up by millennia-old levitation crystals and filled with the wealthiest elites of the country.
  • Shadow of the Conqueror: Double Subverted. It's a World in the Sky setting, but the only major continent mentioned so far is Tellos (when Daylen at one point sits on the edge and gazes off into the distance, he mentions how, due to the setting being vertically looped, he can see copies of the same distant clouds stacked on top of one another, but no distant continents are mentioned), but there are several subcontinents floating above Tellos, so relative to Tellos, those fit this trope.
  • The Sky Village: The Sky Village is an airborne village that consists of a large collection of house-sized hot-air balloons connected with ropes and wooden hooks.
  • Svarog: The world of Talar has these flying islands, populated by the local uber race of wizard-nobles.
  • Tower Of Babylon: The protagonist is working on the archetypal Tower of Babel — which is literally built to reach the sky, a flat plate of rock, above which heaven is presumed to exist. The builders climb past stars of heated rock and tunnel into the sky, but unleash a local flood by drilling into a chamber full of water. The protagonist continues upward and emerges back on Earth, more or less where he started, because space is tightly folded — Earth is above itself.
  • Vampire Hunter D: One story takes place in a floating town, and at one point had to deal with a floating pirate fortress. The town ends up being overrun with vampires caused by a failed experiment, and the residents of the pirates were long dead run by an AI.
  • Vladimir Vasilyev: Several novels are set on a world whose surface is uninhabitable. Instead, people live on giant leaves that float on the strong air currents. Some of the stories deal with characters who find themselves on another leaf and are unable to return home when the winds separate the leaves.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Gorillaz: The videos for "Feel Good Inc" and "El Manaña" feature Noodle on a floating island with a windmill.
  • Yes: Roger Dean's album covers are absolutely packed with these.

  • Cool Kids Table: The Heavenly City in Small Magic, which was once inhabited by the Tenshi, literally floats in the heavens.

  • Journey into Space: In The World in Peril, each of the Martians' asteroid ships are populated by hundreds of people and are essentially self-sustaining flying cities.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons settings frequently have more than a few floating continents or cities of various sizes.
    • Dragonlance has a floating fortress, a relic of more powerful magics in antique times. There were actually several flying citadels in the setting, one of which got Mist-napped and is now a pocket domain in the Ravenloft setting.
    • Forgotten Realms:
      • The ancient empire Netheril had a host of magical floating cities. Most were destroyed thousands of years ago when the mage Karsus accidentally caused magic to stop functioning. A few survivors landed safely but never flew again. One escaped into the Plane of Shadow, to return thousands of years later and start refounding the Netherese Empire.
      • In 4th Edition, the magical structure of Faerun went completely bitchcakes when the god of magic got killed. As a result, there are zones of wild magic where large chunks of the landscape sits above the landscape.
      • The ancient cloud giants lived in floating cities and castles that drifted among the clouds. A few are still aloft, but they're rare and the secret of their creation has been lost.
    • Mystara:
      • In the Known World, one of the sub-kingdoms of the magical Alphatian Empire consists entirely of floating islands. Amusingly enough, during the metaplot, the mainland of Alphatia is one of these, recreated after it sinks by the setting's gods as a literal Floating Continent.
      • There's also a large number of floating landmasses in the world's hollow interior.
      • Mystara also features the gnome-built (and mobile) Flying City of Serraine and its magic-powered biplanes.
  • Eclipse Phase has these on Venus. Thanks to the incredible air pressure and the advent of super-light materials, humans managed to build enormous flying cities called aerostats in the upper atmosphere of Venus before the Fall.
  • Exalted:
    • Mount Metagalapa tore itself loose from the earth and began floating around at the same time as the foundation of the Realm. Savants theorize that the combination of Wyld Essence from a Fair Folk invasion and the aftereffects of firing the Realm Defence Grid screw it they have no sodding idea why it floats. This is because they don't realize the heart of the mountain is a Titan-class citadel from the First Age. Basically, we're talking an Ominous Floating Castle fitted with a city-destroying mile-wide Wave-Motion Gun, forgotten for thousands of years, and encased in stone. When it rose into the air, the mountain trapped several people in the sky with no way back down. The Metagalapans eventually took to breeding the giant hawks that came to roost on the island, which in recent times have become big enough to ride and serve as their primary way to contact the surface. There is also a population of hawkmen living there, whose innate flight allows them to come and go as they please. Due to it already having been firmly alpine before it rose, and now lying high up and above most rain-bearing clouds, Mount Metagalapa is very cold and arid. It has no aquifers to speak of, and thin and rocky soil; water comes only from infrequent fogs. The Metagalapans thus rely on extensive cisterns to gather what rain falls, and on herding goats, sheep and alpacas, growing mushrooms and trading with and raiding surrounding lands for food and resources.
    • Deep in the Northern Wyld, the mingled influences of chaos and elemental air can lead to large clusters of land to rise into the sky. These grow larger and more numerous the further one heads from Creation, sometimes bearing rivers that either cascade off their sides or flow off into the air to connect distant islands. Some areas go as far as being a full-on World in the Sky as the ground breaks up into a swarm of islands floating through bottomless air.
  • Fabula Ultima: One of the sample locations described in the Fabula Ultima Atlas: High Fantasy sourcebook is Seraphim, an entire city and its surrounding landscape which float high above the clouds thanks to ancient magic.
  • Godforsaken: The shoum, a type of elemental spirits native to Flevame, live in the Ephemeral City, a magical island that floats high in the clouds and only lowers to let on visitors if the shoum wish it.
  • Maps Book 1: Cities: The island of Roos Havanos floats through the skies of the gas giant moon Ahijad. It is propelled by steam bursts using water heated by a giant Glowing Gem named Dios Diablo.
  • Sundara Dawn Of A New Age has Archbliss, a haven for sorcerers. They levitated it (using a special stone in the foundations as a battery) to protect themselves from the prejudices and concerns of ordinary people. When an earthbound region is in danger, the sorcerers often fly over to offer aid...and negotiate a price for it.
  • Warbirds: In 1804, after surviving a massive storm, the islands of the Caribbean and parts of Mexico find themselves floating in an endless sky known as Azure. A couple hundred years later, the nations have reached 1930s level of technology, with the players as daring mercenary pilots.
  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar:
    • Floating islands/mountains called Metaliths are common in all eight realms, and appear to be natural phenomena. They can be moved, though it takes a lot of horsepower to achieve, with various cities using cogwork constructs, beasts of burden, or just armies of volunteers on foot. They're very useful for expansion purposes: instead of going to a potentially Chaos-dominated location and building your fortifications while under attack, you can build them before you leave your home city atop a Metalith, than pull it to the location where you want to build a new one, and lower it to the ground.
    • The Kharadron Overlords live in floating sky-port cities in the skies of Chamon, the Realm of Metal, held aloft by the mystical science of the aether-endrins. These sky-ports are centres of commerce and culture with the six greatest ports of Barak-Nar, Barak-Zilfin, Barak-Zon, Barak-Urbaz, Barak-Mhornar and Barak-Thryng forming the Geldraad, a council of representatives that act as the Kharadron government.
  • Wasteland 2010: The evil Malevolokk controls a floating city in the episode seed "Danger at 2,000 Feet". He kidnaps people with a transporter beam to use them as slave labor.


    Video Games 
  • In The Adventures of Rad Gravity, the planet Vernia has a floating city.
  • AkaSeka has the Ten country, which literally means "Heaven country" and houses stand-ins for mythological deities.
  • Apex Legends has the city of Olympus. First teased in Season 4 cinematics, the city appeared as a new map in Season 7. According to the game's lore, it was originally a utopia for intellectuals in arts and sciences until an accident at a research facility created an unstable Phase Rift. As the rift became more unstable, the citizens and visitors evacuated, and the city became a new battlegrounds for the Apex Games.
  • Ara Fell might be one of the most prominent examples in all of video games; the entire game except the epilogue is both named after AND takes place on islands floating in the sky. Ara Fell is also notable because it deconstructs this trope, particularly as regards its long-term viability:
    • It's pointed out that it's pretty cold up that high, and magic is used to keep people warm and the land livable.
    • In defiance of this trope's spirit, Ara Fell does explore how the place can keep water, despite the constant waterfalls commonly seen pouring off of these floating landmasses in fiction. The short answer? It can't. Books in-universe make an explicit note that Ara Fell is drying up, and will eventually run out of water, unable to support life. This isn't even a plot twist; it's openly stated in the first town. While Ara Fell does get some water replenishment from falling snow (which melts on touching the land), it's not nearly enough, given how much they lose each year.
    • Life on a floating continent also affects the people's spirituality and wolrdview. The people on Ara Fell, who believe they are the only survivors of a divine war, believe the world beneath them to be the land of the dead.
    • Stone is a rare and precious resource, and metal even more so, since the floating continent can only be mined so much. This is seen in gameplay as well; Unlike most games of this type, simple iron is the most powerful metal around, and it's noted that a full suit of iron plate mail is a nigh-on mythical treasure, totally unheard of.
    • This all culminates in the ending; Ara Fell simply isn't livable long-term, so the party ends up wrecking the magic keeping it stable deliberately, and tries to maneuver for a soft landing. It works, and now the races of Ara Fell can try again on the ground.
  • Awakening: The Skyward kingdom. After an evil sorcerer attacked the humans living in the magical realm, they fled to the sky.
  • Baten Kaitos:
    • The duology is set on chunks of floating land that got that way due to a cataclysmic application of magic in a "War Between the Gods". However, it turns out they're floating above the surface of a normal planet of indeterminate shape from which they separated, and eventually float back down at the end of the first (chronologically second) game.
    • Baten Kaitos Origins has Tarazed, a flying fortress that completely pops out of one side of one of the floating continents and can blow up other floating continents.
  • In Battleborn, the upper castes of the Jennerit live in floating cities above the Jennerit throneworld Tempest's surface, collectively known as the "Echelon." Here, visitors can view the opulent artistry of the Jennerit culture, featuring ornate gold and red spires and spikes among the spacey-gothic architecture.
  • Most stages of Battle Axe is set on various floating worlds with their own vegetation, where you'll travel from one area to another via bridges. Don't worry about falling though, it's impossible to walk over the side.
  • The penultimate of the Into the Future sage of The Battle Cats is a level literally called "Floating Continent", which takes guess on, you guessed it, a floating continent. In fact, on the world map, it appears to be a reference to Laputa from Castle in the Sky.
  • BioShock Infinite takes place in a floating city named Columbia.
  • Breath of Fire:
  • Borderlands 2: The main mission hub, Sanctuary, is eventually revealed to have been built on top of a giant mining ship. When the crap hits the fan and the city is under bombardment, the inhabitants turn to the only solution they can think of - lift the whole damn thing into the sky and reposition it somewhere Jack's cannons can't reach. From that point onward, the mission hub effectively becomes a floating city.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II features Colossus, essentially a floating, futuristic Las Vegas. Unsurprisingly, the anarchistic Raúl Menendez wants to send it and all its decadent wealth (and targeted advertising) to the bottom of the sea. Especially since it's also the current location of Chloe "Karma" Lynch, a former employee of his dummy corporation and the only one who can stop his impending cyberattack. But while Menendez's henchman DeFalco does massacre a whole lot of civilians (and may escape with Karma, depending on how fast you are catching up to him), he fails to sink Colossus itself.
  • Cave Story: The entirety of the game takes place on (or more accurately inside) a floating island. Depending on the ending you get, it either falls from the sky or starts falling but stops. The nature of the place as a floating continent is kept hidden from the player for quite some time. The extensive cave network and the references to "The Surface" are pretty good at convincing you that the game is taking place underground. Turns out that the surface refers to below the island. And while the actual mechanics are more-or-less of the A Wizard Did It variety, the root causes of the island's flotation are very much a part of the game's plot. In fact, the truth of the matter seems to be a mystery to the island's denizens. The stated reason, while functionally true, is not inherently necessary.
  • Child of Light has the Temple of the Moon, which is suspended above the Cliffs of Erin and surrounded by many smaller floating islands that once made up an aerial city.
  • Chrono Trigger features a series of floating islands called Zeal in 12,000 B.C. that house the Enlightened Ones. All of the people there can use magic, and the place is portrayed as a utopia. But, it's under the iron-fisted rule of Queen Zeal, who has gone insane from the corruption of Lavos's power. On top of that, those who can't use magic are thrown out to become the Earthbound Ones, who live in caves, scrounging for food. Zeal doesn't stay a floating continent forever, as it eventually falls out of the sky and forces the Enlightened Ones and the Earthbound Ones to coexist.
  • City of Heroes: The Mu have their city floating high in the sky, an island raised from the sea by their goddess Hequat to save her followers from destruction by the Orenbegans (Circle of Thorns). It can be accessed in some late-game CoV content.
  • Clonk: Harder settlement levels often take place on floating islands to make life harder for the player. The backstory for one scenario off-handedly mentions an entire continent rising out of the ocean for no given reason.
  • Crystalis for the NES has the floating fortress as the The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, where you receive the eponymous sword.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns: The Golden Temple is a floating continent.
  • Dragon Age: The Fade features the so-called Black City (formerly Golden City of the Maker) floating ominously in the sky. According to the lore, it is seen from every point of the Fade (Euclidean geometry be damned) and it actually is from every Fade level in the games. On the other hand, it is completely unreachable by the player as of part two. Still, one DLC features a character strongly implies to have been to the Black City.
  • Dragon City: The main setting of the game takes place on floating islands, with nothing but sky all around. You can unlock different types of floating islands that match the different habitats, like a big ice or lava island, as you progress.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Zenithia, a floating castle inhabited by a god dragon and a race of winged humanoids, features prominently in Dragon Quest IV, Dragon Quest V and Dragon Quest VI.
    • Dragon Quest VIII has two of them: first is the Lord High Priest's residence, a glorious mansion atop a rock held aloft by what many assume to be holy power; second is the Black Citadel, the Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
    • Dragon Quest IX has The Observatory, base of operations for the Celestrians.
    • Dragon Quest XI: Yggdrasil rests on top of one... or more accurately, it makes most of the landscape of one. There is also the Battleground and Havens Above, though the latter gets almost completely decimated by Mordegon.
  • Dragon Vale: Your dragon zoo is located on a floating island. As you level up, you can get a whole archipelago of islands for your zoo plus the epic breeding island and the gemstone island.
  • Ecco the Dolphin: The Good Future of Ecco: The Tides of Time features several levels that require Ecco to jump into and out of floating pools of seawater. The flying future-dolphins say that "the floating islands were born of the great eruptions," which is never followed up on. Later, the Vortex Future levels feature Ecco having to navigate through abandoned alien cities in the sky.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind features a prison island floating over the capital city of Vivec. Originally, it was one of Nirn's moons but a Daedra ripped it from its orbit and dropped onto Vvardenfell. Vivec, the Physical God after whom the city was named, managed to stop its fall but he couldn't neutralize its momentum, so he more or less froze the moon in time. Early in the Fourth Age, Vivec dies as a result of the player's actions in Morrowind, and the moon resumes its fall. A machine that Dunmer engineers build to keep it up is eventually destroyed, as well. The moon hurls to earth with the entire momentum from its orbital fall centuries ago and wipes out the city. The seismic shock causes the nearby supervolcano Red Mountain to erupt, killing everything still clinging to life on Vvardenfell. The moral of the story being: gravity is one mean mother.
  • In Epic Mickey, the Cartoon Wasteland is basically a model of Disneyland sitting on a table in Yen Sid's tower. But to an observer actually inside the Wasteland, it seems to be a group of floating islands.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy has the floating city of Lufenia.
    • Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls: One of the Bonus Dungeons, the 40-floor underground Whisperwind Cove, has a random floor where you travel around a floating continent, complete with clouds below. Yes, a floating continent in the sky in a cave. Have fun making sense of that.
    • Final Fantasy III has the Floating Continent. The first quarter or so of the game is spent there without you even knowing it. It's almost as big as the world map when you're on it, but very small when you're on the world map itself.
    • Final Fantasy VI features another area named the Floating Continent. It averts the "unnoticed part", since it rips out of the world when the Emperor and Kefka enter the Sealed Realm, and the city below it gets shadowed and the people on the streets comment it.
    • Final Fantasy VIII gave you a floating military academy. Two of them, actually, with the bad guys seizing one. A third was bombed to rubble before ever actually becoming mobile.
    • Final Fantasy IX had the Chocobo Sky Garden. It's possible to encounter its shadow on the ground before you are actually able to access it.
    • Final Fantasy XI: The Tu'Lia region, as well as the Riverne peninsula, which is now a flying archipelago. When a giant explosion blew the peninsula into tiny bits and threw it into the air, it just simply never came back down.
    • Final Fantasy XII:
      • There is an entire sky continent made of purvama, floating landmasses kept aloft by a high quantity of a magic crystal called magicite. The biggest purvama houses the city of Bhujerba, and the Lhusu magicite mines below it. In the lower levels of the mines, you can look down and see the sky.
      • Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings takes place largely on the floating archipelago of Lémurés.
      • Mt. Bur-Omisace, the Kiltias' sacred mountain, is surrounded by countless floating islands. Some are large enough to support man-made structures and shrines. They say that these islands are remnants of a Floating Continent which fell and broke apart long, long ago.
    • Final Fantasy XIII: The moon-sized Cocoon is unique in that, rather than being a flat strip of land with a definite surface and bottom, it's actually a miniature Dyson Sphere complete with its own "sun", the Fal'Cie (robot god) Phoenix.
    • Final Fantasy XIV:
      • The game has Sea of Clouds, and Churning Mists. Also Azys Lla, which is aesthetically inspired by the one from Final Fantasy VI, and even includes Proto Ultima (ultima but colored like Ultima Weapon in FFVI) flying around, as well as statues and boss fights with the Warring Triad. All three are from the first expansion, Heavensward.
      • Shadowbringers has Mount Gulg ripped out of the ground by the final Lightwarden. It stays disconnected until a giant talos - essentially a golem - is built and grasps it with its hand.
    • Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light: Spelvia, the Floating City. It's the home of the original Hero of Light, as well as the location of the Climax Boss which splits the first half of the story from the second. Its golems describe it alternately as "a fortress to conquer the world" or "a fortress to protect the world."
  • Fly FF has a few of these, but they're mostly empty and seem to be mostly there to make the flying a bit cooler.
  • Freedom Planet 2 features a floating island simply called Floating Island, home to the sky city of Paradise Prime.
  • Fury³: The sequel, Hellbender, has planet Eyrie, which is full of floating mountains.
  • Ganbare Goemon: Kyushu, where this trope is played straight. It becomes the final dungeon, and after you kick some ass, it becomes the Falling Continent, until it lands safely back in Japan.
  • Golden Sun has frequent mentions of a floating continent, and you can even visit the location it was in before it took to the sky, yet you never get to go there. The fact that there's an edge to the world that you could fall off of (if the game didn't prevent you from doing so, anyway), which will eat away at the world if power isn't restored to the four lighthouses, suggests that the world itself is a floating continent.
  • The Granstream Saga has not one, but four floating continents as the sum total of its world. The quest to save the rapidly failing technology that keeps them floating is what motivates the initial quest by the hero. And which gives us a pretty kick-ass opening cinematic...
  • In Gruntz, High Rollerz world is basically a casino flying high in the sky, with a dash of Pinball Zone. Viva Las Vegas!!
  • Guild Wars: The asurans build giant floating cubes and then live in them. That is explained by their use of magic and fear of living on the surface, rather than underneath as they used to. However, they apparently got inspired by all the chunks of earth floating above ground for no reason whatsoever.
  • In Heart of Darkness, there is what looks like an upside-down mountain floating above the world, where live the "Amigos." Weirdly, it has inverted gravity compared to the main land — if you fall from the mountain's edge, you go UP into the sky. If you reach the mountain's "top" (its bottom from a non-inverted viewpoint), then you're claimed back by the gravity of the earth and fall down.
  • Hero of Sparta have a stage set in the Floating Gardens, a lavish garden in the clouds on suspended platforms.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic:
    • Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen has the Clouds of Xeen, which are stationary cloud banks connected to the world by the towers. They're not solid enough to support people, but levitation magic can support you over the clouds. In the game's counterpart, Darkside of Xeen, the area above the towers is primarily connected by skyroads, but there's also the city of Olympus, which is situated on a true Floating Continent.
    • Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen: The Academy faction's towns are all of this type. However, it only serves an aesthetic purpose as these cities can be sieged and captured by a non-flying army perfectly well — they land to meet the attackers instead of throwing something heavy on them, or, better still, landing ON them. The Academy cities seen before the Tribes of the East does not actually fly, even though the town screen quite heavily suggests this — the first truly flying city seen in the series is encountered in Zehir's Tribes of the East-campaign, and serves the role as a campaign-specific game mechanic wherein Zehir can land the city in tactical locations large enough to hold the city for the price of a sum of his experience, thus allowing him some manner of logistical flexibility.
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia: The four main nations of Gamindustri are portrayed as this in the first game and its remake. This is however dropped in newer games (which feature a new continuity) in favour of having them on a single continent surrounded by oceans (with the exception of Leanbox, which is now an island separate from the mainland).
  • Illusion of Gaia: The Nazca Sky Gardens, which float above the huge drawings on the Nazca Plains.
  • Jade Empire: The Emperor's Palace is made of a special rock with magical properties that floats. The cutscene showing your approach is quite impressive.
  • Jiu Xiao takes place in one resembling some ancient Chinese palace, after the surface world was destroyed by a weapon called the Heaven's Wheel.
  • The Journeyman Project: The temporal agent Gage Blackwood lives in the flying city of Caldoria.
  • Jumping Flash! is entirely based around this trope. This is usually explained by the plot, where the Big Bad tries to dismantle the world. Strangely, while all the levels in the third game, Robbit Mon Dieu, are implied to take place on the planet itself, the levels are still of the floating continent type. Why this is is never adequately explained.
  • Katamari Damacy: While rolling up a new universe in We Love Katamari, several floating islands appear somewhere above the ocean. Of course, they are just there to make it harder to run from the 1,000 Meter+ Octopus until you get big enough to roll the islands (Or the octopus) up.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • At the end of Kingdom Hearts, Sora and friends find Destiny Islands in the depths of the End of the World, where it quickly gets reduced to a single ruined floating island. The door to Kingdom Hearts is also situated on a tiny floating island.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, what little landscape exists around Castle Oblivion is floating in a dark, cloudy void.
    • Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- shows that multiple worlds have become these after being pulled into the Realm of Darkness:
      • Castle of Dreams has been reduced to a few large floating landmasses containing the forest, the castle town, and the castle itself respectively. The first two are connected by a floating stream of water that collapses when Aqua crosses it. She then has to restore the landscape between the half-destroyed town and the castle by rewinding the castle's clock to before it collapsed.
      • The opening cutscene to the World Within shows that Dwarf Woodlands has been reduced to a couple of islands containing the cottage and the surrounding forest. Everything else has been sucked into the Magic Mirror, including the dwarfs' mine which has broken up into even more floating islands.
      • Finally, the game expands the ruins of Destiny Islands in the End of the World into a couple dozen floating islands with the final boss arena at the center, right below where Sora fought Ansem in the first game.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby Air Ride's City Trial mode has a structure floating above the city called the Sky Garden. Besides flying up to it with an air-capable ride (assuming it has high enough stats), it's also accessible via the volcano's hidden launching pad.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe takes place on a series of floating islands known as Floralia.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords features "Citadel Station" that by its size qualifies as a floating continent, although it is an artificial construct and not so much floating over the planet as in orbit around it.
  • In The Labyrinth of Time, the center of the eponymous labyrinth sits on a tiny piece of concrete in a void of blue sky and clouds, stated to be outside of time and space itself. Because of the insane mishmash of time zones throughout the rest of the construct, it can be seen everywhere.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Hyrule Warriors has the Land in the Sky stage, which is based on Skyloft and the various other islands from Skyward Sword.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: There's a palace in the sky, which is a (very large) mansion floating in midair. It is there where the Wind Tribe has lived after moving on from the now-decayed Wind Ruins. Located upper still is the Palace of Winds, where the Wind Element lies, though it has been overrun by several monsters, including the gigantic Gyorg Pair. Link has to make his way through the Palace by jumping chasms with the Roc's Cape, making frequent use of his duplication ability to press multiple switches and move heavy objects, and travel around with moving platforms while avoiding obstacles that may make him fall down.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • The City in the Sky is a floating continent and the final regular dungeon in the game. It seems to float using massive fans/rotors on the bottom, and everywhere else.
      • The Twilight Realm is built on large slabs of rock just hovering in a trippy amazing technicolor Eldritch Location.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Skyloft, where the game starts, is a group of islands floating in the sky above Hyrule. A goddess did it to ensure humanity would survive a war on the surface. Something of an inversion for Skyloft's residents, because they all consider hovering islands mundane; to them, the ground (concealed below an impenetrable cloud layer) is an impossible mythical entity. Nonetheless, Skyloft does have The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, and said dungeon falls to earth after you complete it.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes has a floating castle within World 8, the Sky Realm.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom revisits Skyward Sword's concept of islands floating in the sky by adding said islands in the sky above the existing map of Breath of the Wild, though thanks to its console's increased power, Link can seamlessly float up and fall down between the two "tiers" without any transitional loading phase.
  • Lineage 2: The (remains of?) the continent of Gracia after the Zealots of Shilen used the Seeds of Destruction and Seed of Infinity to destroy and mutate nearly all life on the continent, turning nearly everything there undead. The only way to get around is by airship or turning into a flying creature.
  • The Little Tail Bronx universe is set upon these islands, with Steampunk air travel being used to travel between. While Tail Concerto indicated that there was an ocean and possibly some uninhabited land beneath these islands (said by the game's manual to be uninhabited due to the dangerous monsters lurking there), Solatorobo: Red the Hunter retconned this by stating that the islands instead floated above an electrified "Plasma Cloud Sea", with following supplementary material stating that the setting of Tail Concerto floated above a large lower-altitude "floating island sea". Solatorobo also explains the origin of these islands, and it is absolutely a spoiler: the series is set on a far-future Earth following a world war that nearly devastated the planet's biosphere. The supercomputer-like information system known as Juno proceeded to raise the planet's landmasses to the sky and blanket the world below them with the Plasma Cloud Sea. As the Plasma Cloud Sea began purifying the oceans and lower atmosphere of pollution (as clarified by the Solatorobo art books), Juno restarted life on the floating islands.
  • The Lufia series has Doom Island, the floating island/castle where the Sinistrals resided.
  • Luna Online takes place in Blueland, a Floating Continent unto itself. There is a lower world, but it's inhabited by demons and sealed apart from Blueland to keep them from causing trouble — although the seal has cracked, causing some problems.
  • In Lunar: The Silver Star, all the mages lived in Vane, a floating city/school of magic. They crashed, but ended up relatively intact. Made one heck of a crater, though.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: One of the first things people notice upon landing on Habitat 7 are the flying mountains. Unusually, there actually is a mundane explanation for this: a massive lightning storm across half the planet is triggering Element Zero nodes in the landmasses, producing a natural mass effect field.
  • Mega Man X: There are multiple floating continents in the series, including Sigma's fortress, Sky Lagoon, and Giga City (although technically a collection of islands). The first two inevitably fell, especially Sky Lagoon which was deliberately dropped onto a city.
  • Meteos: The inhabitants of Megadom live on huge chunks of rock that float atop the extremely dense atmosphere of their planet.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has Skytown, a hemisphere-spanning system of flying buildings in the skies over Elysia. As Elysia is a gas giant, it makes perfect sense.
  • Minecraft:
    • Floating islands are rarely randomly generated, being actually rather mundane relative to the world's physics system, but can be made without too much problem. Since only a small number of blocks are affected by gravity, most blocks — including those arranged in very large structures or landmasses — will simply float where they are if their connection with the ground is mined out.
    • There used to be a planned dimension filled with these, known simply as the Sky Dimension. It made it as far as a terrain generator hidden in the 1.6 and 1.7 betas, and it was accessible through hacking until some time in 1.9 beta. It was then replaced with the End, a floating mass of white stone in an endless black void where the final boss is fought.
    • The mod The Aether is exactly this. As opposed to the Nether, which is a dark empty space surrounded by land, the Aether is composed of bright and sunny landmasses surrounded by empty space in the sky. It also features new mobs, new soils/rocks, new items, and 3 boss encounters whom, even with all the right equipment (even weapon mods), will invoke a violent, hellish wrath upon you. The third boss, the Sun Spirit, even keeps the sun eternally locked at high noon, and uopn his defeat, day/night cycles will return to how they are down on the surface.
  • Minetest can produce floatlands too, depending on the map generator. These can exist because no node ever falls upon creation, rock never falls at all, and even dirt needs a mod to fall. The blobby landscapes created by the v5 mapgen include frequent floating islands of various sizes due to the nature of the map generator. For the v7 mapgen, there is a setting that produces vast floatlands at height 1280 and above which are therefore invisible from the ground; this is still experimental, though. The other map generators don't produce floatlands unless a mod is involved.
    And there is a number of mods for floatlands which is not surprising since Minetest is essentially a modding platform.
    • Watershed is an entire map generator that also includes floatlands.
    • Floatindev produces rather bizarre floatlands that may be so thin that they have holes in them, so be careful where you step unless you have fly mode on. The same goes for Skylands which is a more advanced fork.
    • Fracture adds floatlands to existing map generators in such a way that they can sometimes reach down to the ground so that they can be climbed onto.
    • Hallelujah Mountains adds floatlands to any existing map generator. If used with the singlenode mapgen, it creates a world that consists of floating land only with no ground below.
  • Myst:
    • Certain Ages contain these, including Saavedro's home world in Myst III: Exile and Sirrus's prison Age in Myst IV: Revelation.
    • Your Relto in Uru seems to be this, and one of the Ages from the "Paths of the Shell" expansion pack is built to simulate this.
    • Success in Myst III: Exile's Age of Voltaic requires you to use electromagnetic forces to invoke this trope on a chunk of the landscape, then ride an airship to the levitating location.
  • Neverwinter Nights: The climactic sequence of Shadows of Undrentide takes place on an aforementioned Netherese floating city as it rises into the sky again.
  • No Man's Sky: Planets of this type are justifiably rare, and are typically hemispherical in shape.
  • Nexus Clash: Purgatorio is an archipelago of pieces various past universes hovering in an infinite void. It's a rallying point for the forces of Free Will, despite existing solely because one of the gods is a massive packrat and can't bear to part with interesting pieces of the universe every time it ends.
  • Obsidian plays this straight in one of the balconies of the Spider Realm. After solving a sound synchronization puzzle involving a small square of waves in an ocean, the waves rises upwards in a perfectly smooth cube of water and Oil-rich mud.
  • Ogre Battle has the sky islands, which mostly function as bonus stages.
  • Persona 2: In both Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment, around two thirds into each game, a gigantic spaceship emerges under Sumaru City and take it flying with it, effectively cutting contact with the rest of the world. You can thank the resident Apocalypse Cults and the Eldritch Abomination that backs/uses them for that one.
  • Phantasy Star series:
  • Pokémon:
  • Project Nomads lets you control the single buildings on your floating fortress, and you can tell the fortress to move between waypoints, but you cannot control it directly. You can also use your jetpack (or your legs, if you have time to waste) to get off your fortress and visit other large masses of floating land, some much bigger than yours.
  • Prop Cycle: An unusual twist on the concept is a central theme. The town of Solitaire becomes one of these after someone accidentally turns on some Lost Technology, and the player must leap astride the titular pedal-driven aircraft, fly back up there and somehow bring it safely back down to the ground before they run out of loo roll and incur ruinous cellphone roaming charges... or something like that, anyway.
  • Ragnarok Online has the floating city of Juno, only accessible by airship and one very narrow bridge from the mainland, powered by magical shards.
  • Rainbow Skies starts on the floating continent of Arca. People on Arca believe that the world below is an uninhabitable wasteland, and dump their rubbish over the side. Unsurprisingly, they are mistaken.
  • Rockman No Constancy has Air Man's stage, a sort of floating palace.
  • RuneScape:
    • Clan Citadels are located on giant floating sky islands. They are the lost bastions of Armadyl, who is worshiped by the aviansie and is often aligned with the element of air. The clan citadels are also introduced by having large chuck of rocks falling from the sky.
    • Lore indicates the Aviansie homeworld, Abbinah, is a series of similar floating continents over an uninhabitable core. The quest to actually go there ("Rite of Passage") has been in Development Hell for years.
    • The Stormguard Citadel Dig site, introduced with the Archaeology skill.
  • Sacred Earth Series: The main location of the setting, Miltiades, is described as a floating continent, which becomes a problem when the continent starts crumbling in New Theory.
  • Secret of Mana: The Mana Fortress. Destroyed in the backstory. Floated again late in the game. In the end, it's destroyed again.
  • Septerra Core: The entire gameworld is a concentric series of floating continents around the eponymous core. There are six layers.
  • In Serious Sam 2, numerous floating islands are found in the Ellenier chapter.
  • Skies of Arcadia is set on a series of islands floating in midair, as befitting a game about Pirates In Flying Ships. It turns out that there is a contiguous ground underneath all the flying continents, but nobody yet had the technology to reach it due to pressure and wind issues. Soltis, the lost Silver continent that rose from the planet's actual surface, is closer to the classic version of this trope, but it sinks again.
  • Skylanders literally has it in the name; the entire game series takes place in a realm called the Skylands, a place of many different floating sky islands.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has several such examples of this trope throughout the years:
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Angel Island is the home of Knuckles the Echidna and the Master Emerald, whose power is responsible for keeping it in the air. Whenever the Master Emerald is stolen or broken, Angel Island will inevitably fall out of the sky. Luckily for Knuckles, Angel Island is a tough old home that's usually none the worse for wear after crashing back into Earth.
    • Sonic Adventure: The second half of Windy Hill takes place on bridges and landmasses floating high in the sky.
    • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed: All of the racetracks appear as Floating Continents on the game's menu. Temple Trouble, Rogue's Landing, and Sanctuary Falls are the only racetracks that actually are floating continents.
    • Sonic Lost World has the eponymous Lost World, the Lost Hex.
    • Sonic Riders: The Babylon Garden is the ancient home/converted spaceship of the Babylon Rogues' ancestors.
    • Sonic Rush Adventure: Sky Babylon is essentially the Sol Dimension's equivalent to Angel Island.
    • The Night Palace, from Sonic and the Secret Rings, is the home base of Erazor Djinn and the final zone in the game.
    • Sonic Unleashed: After Eggman shatters the world, the landmasses orbiting the planet's core become floating continents until the Chaos Emeralds set them back into place.
  • Soulcaster II: One of the levels is set in the ruins of a flying city.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • With a few exceptions in the form of valleys and marine islands, nearly every level in the first three games is a floating continent hanging in the sky.
    • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: The last level in the game takes place among the chunks of ruins and landscape torn from the ground by Malefor's magic, now floating in a loose archipelago high in the sky. In this case, the danger of falling to one's death is non-existent, as Spyro and Cynder can fly.
  • In Star Fox Adventures a catastrophe occurred turning four areas of Dinosaur Planet into floating continents and Team Star Fox is called in to make the planet whole again.
  • In Star Ruler 2, one of the artifacts allows you to create a floating continent on any world. The continent can have buildings placed on it, and it can be relocated by expending energy. For example, one might cover it in orbital defense lasers to turn any world into a fortress in a jiffy.
  • Stratosphere: Conquest of the Skies has flying fortresses that you control directly. The game is divided in between a building interface, where you get to build the fortress of your dreams, and the actual action, where you control the fortress as if it were a ship and blast enemy fortresses out of the sky while you try to minimize damage to yours. Everything is explained away with the presence of magical minerals of some sort.
  • Super Lesbian Animal RPG has the Celestial Wasteland, a floating desert island in the sky off the coast of the normal Sapphire Islands. The Wasteland's existance is unknown to most of the Sapphire Island's residents due to the Wasteland being surrounded by a field of magical energy that both visually obscures it and interferes with navigation equipment, causing pilots not familiar with the island to avoid it.
  • Super Mario Bros. has featured a number of such continents.
    • Super Mario 64: Whomp's Fortress and Cool Cool Mountain are large landmasses with nothing around or under them. Bob-Omb Battlefield also has a small floating island that Mario has to reach via cannon.
    • Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2: A large portion of the galaxies are more "groups of small Floating Continents in space" than actual galaxies, with many of the early game galaxies being visibly surrounded by clouds and blue skies rather than other space.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has Glitzville, a giant New York pastiche that can only be reached by blimp, and provides the page quote.
    • Mario Party 6: The board Clockwork Castle takes place in a large citadel suspended in the cloudy skies, and is divided into four distinct areas: The courtyard at the south, Twila's airship at the west, Brighton's temple at the east, and the eponymous castle at the north. This is by far the most time-sensitive board in the game: During day, players move across the paths in clockwise order, Brighton will give gifts to whoever lands on his Event Space in the temple, and Donkey Kong will move in each turn like the other players would, selling Stars to whom he reaches along the way (and to those who reach him while he's resting in his current space). During night, players move across the board counterclockwise, Twila gives gifts to whoever lands on her Event Space in the airship, and Bowser will replace DK and move in each turn like any player, giving Ztars to whoever he finds along the way (and to any unfortunate player who reaches to him while he's resting on his current position). The availability of the Warp Pipes located in the courtyard and the castle also changes depending on the current time.
  • Super Smash Bros.: Most battlegrounds, especially in the first game, are on floating platforms of some kind (or else atop mountains, large hills, or tall buildings). The stage editor in Brawl doesn't even allow anything else. Also, there's an actual Floating Continent in The Subspace Emissary, as well as the labyrinth in the 3DS iteration's "Smash Run" mode.
  • Tales Series seems to really like these.
  • The Talos Principle: The Messengers' resting places.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project, Shredder issues a challenge to the Turtles by airlifting the entirety of Manhattan Island into the sky. It's up to the Turtles to get it back down.
  • Terraria has floating islands, which contain a building with some rare items inside. It is not hard to make your own: build a small wall, mine out all but the top, and the top will just float there. This can be important in "hard mode", when the Corruption and the Hallow begin to spread, since they will not spread through a thick enough air gap — so if they become or are completely surrounded by these, they are contained. Or just mine out below the spawn point, so that anyone joining the world or respawning starts off somewhere safe.
  • In Toe Jam And Earl, each level is a floating chunk of land. Falling off one lands you in the previous one, implying that they're arranged in a vertical stack. For what it's worth, you do take an elevator to go from level to level.
  • The last level of Tomb Raider II consists of vivid green floating islands. Even more inexplicable is that they're apparently deep underground, somewhere beneath the Great Wall of China.
  • Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy have the Wind Planet stage, set in the skies filled with floating islands, several which have Waterfall into the Abyss flowing from them.
  • Total War: Warhammer III:
    • Grand Cathay has some locations like this, considering it's lore is based on Chinese Mythology, this includes the throne of the Dragon Emperor.
    • Since the main story is about going To Hell and Back for one reason or another, said hell, an amalgamation of four very different domains, is presented as an otherworldly floating continent, with the Tzeentch domain having multiple floating islands amongst.
  • Treasure of the Rudra: Sion's chapter visits a series of floating islands, home to the four races that came before humanity.
  • Unreal:
    • Unreal has several islands in the sky, one of which ("Na Pali Haven") the player visits after travelling to the top of the Sunspire.
    • Unreal Tournament has several such as "Orion's Barricade" and the recurring "Facing Worlds" maps for Capture the Flag mode: floating asteroids with a pair of towers acting as each team's base.
  • An Untitled Story features SkySand, a desert-themed tower floating above SkyTown, and IceCastle, a glacier floating high above the LongBeach. Both areas contain a gold orb.
  • Vernal Edge takes place in Haricot, a kingdom made up of floating islands that mysteriously rose into the skies years ago. It turns out that they were raised by Asphodel as part of his greater plans, as it turns out that Unreality has more influence in the sky.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: The Lydian continents, as well as MUB-5, the Flying Mountain. Unlike many examples, these are truly continent-sized, with Terasu and Balfur in particular each requiring three separate world maps in order to display even just their accessible portions. Logos-3 used to be an example, but ended up becoming a Colony Drop instead.
  • Wild Blood has the Hanging Gardens, a series of gardens built on various platforms in the clouds.
  • Windforge is set in Cordeus, a planet that is basically nothing but floating continents.
  • World of Warcraft; besides Outland, which has no ground below it and thus belongs in World in the Sky, there are:
    • The zone Nagrand has small islands floating high above the seemingly solid ground.
    • The Undead scourge use a fleet of floating necropolis citadels as bases, which acts as their town halls in Warcraft 3, and act as Dungeons, instanced or otherwise and cities in World of Warcraft.
    • With the Lich King expansion, the city of Dalaran was uprooted and now floats above the northern continent(Later moves to the Broken Isles in Legion). But then again, considering who lives there...
    • Cataclysm introduced two instances that take place in the Skywall: Vortex Pinnacle and Throne of the Four Winds. While Skywall is presumably much larger than what was seen, they both qualify as being sky cities.
  • Xenogears: While Solaris is definitely indeed located high in the sky, according to Perfect Works, it's "anchored" by a massive pillar going all the way down to an island in the middle of the ocean, so it technically wasn't "floating". Shevat however does float and is capable of moving about at the direction of its inhabitants.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has the Eryth Sea, which features a large number of "floating reefs" far above the water, as well as the High Entia city of Alcamoth, which similarly floats in the sky. The Definitive Edition's extra story, Future Connected, also takes place on a flying landmass (formerly the Bionis' Left Shoulder), which is explained as the land containing large concentrations of "hoverstone". This is used to retroactively explain Eryth Sea's reefs and Alcamoth, both of which were built using hoverstone mined from this landmass.

    Web Animation 
  • Banana-nana-Ninja!: Haiku Melon's episode takes place on a chain of floating islands on a distant planet.
  • RWBY:
    • The sky castle variant known as the Amity Colosseum serves as the arena for the tournament during the Vytal Festival. It was designed to be able to travel to each kingdom in turn so that it can represent the best of a humanity that stands globally united. After the Fall of Beacon, General James Ironwood converted it into Amity Communications Tower to restart global communications again and inform the world about Salem. Before he can finish however, he learns Salem is on her way to the Kingdom and abandons the plan in order to just save Atlas. Because of this, Ruby Rose decides to finish the original plan instead.
    • Lake Matsu on the continent of Anima has quite a few naturally-occurring floating islands over the lake, thanks to the Gravity Dust that grows on them. Unfortunately, they also harbour deadly Creatures of Grimm and the gravity dust can cause dangerous turbulence for airships.
    • The city of Atlas is situated on a massive, artificial floating island above the continent of Solitas, and right above it's sister city of Mantle. Officially, it's held in the air by means of Gravity Dust like the natural islands above Lake Matsu. Or rather, so everyone believes. In truth, it's actually floating in the air due to the power of the Relic of Creation due to one of Ozpin's previous incarnations using it for that purpose to inspire hope in people, but that's not public knowledge. Near the climax of Volume 8, Team RWBY use the Staff to save Penny and the citizens of the Kingdom, causing Atlas to begin falling towards the ground and crashing on top of Mantle in the final episode.
  • Song in the Sky is set in a city held up by a giant crystal — one which is close to failure.


    Web Original 
  • Deviantart Extended Universe: DA-Land is a land mass roughly 250 thousand square miles contained inside of a magic bubble. The author even showed his work to see how big the land would need to be to sustain a certain population for a reasonable amount of time.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Alent was a floating continent in the First Age.
  • Looming Gaia: Alqamah, the Ethereal City, was turned into a floating, constantly moving city by minervae to hide it from Mankind's Disgrace.
  • In Mage Life, The capital city, where The Magocracy have its seat of power, floats high in the sky some lengths away from the shoreline.
  • Nerdcubed builds one of these in his Minecraft playthrough, on the back of a giant turtle.
  • To Rule: Al Sharai is a floating city.
  • Yogscast Minecraft Series:
    • Towards the end of Cornerstone, the titular base is less of a floating island and more of a small city in the sky. This happens in part after Hat Films expand the island significantly, setting precedents for the others to do the same.
    • Skyhold in Shadow of Israphel is a floating city accessible only by airplane.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears: "Top Gum" has Cubby learning how to fly Icarus-style and discovering the floating island of the Aerials; mythical Winged Humanoids of a fairy tale Grammi use to read him. Turns out the Aerials are really evil and were left there on purpose by the ancient gummies as they were Air Pirates.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Ra's al Ghul uses a flying island as his base of operations in "Sidekicks Assemble".
  • The Bears Island: Two islands are flying because one of the members of the four elements punished their inhabitants for offending him. Additionaly, gravity is heightened on one of the islands and lowered on the second.
  • Blackstar: Episode "The Zombie Masters" features a floating city populated by The Undead. Blue rays of light emerging for underneath seem to keep it afloat, while tearing off the ground below as it moves.
  • Dragon Flyz: The only remaining (massive) human city on Earth floats above the lava that covers the world.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "Flight to Cloud Castle", the titular castle is an airborne palace built on a chunk of floating rock, and capable of moving around the sky at great speed. It flies thanks to the magic of the wizard who created it, and when the spell is broken in the episode's end the whole thing falls like a brick.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • Cloudsdale is a city made of clouds, as the pegasi that live there are naturally able to walk on clouds, or simply fly if the clouds give way. The city itself has a number of free-floating buildings around it as well, in addition to regular and rainbow waterfalls cascading off its side, and moves around Equestria's skies.
      • Another floating cloud city is Las Pegasus. As it's a big tourist destination, unlike Cloudsdale, it has expanses of solid floor to welcome other kind of ponies.
      • In "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", during Discord's reign of chaos several buildings and associated chunks of land float off into the sky, ranging from single houses to the city of Canterlot.
    • My Little Pony: Pony Life: A fair number of airborne chunks of land appear as background scenery, floating over the body of water next to Ponyville and with giant, colorful crystals embedded in their undersides.
  • RollBots: Flip City is entirely above ground with structures held aloft by anti-gravity devices.
  • The Simpsons: Floating islands appear in an episode spoofing Avatar, though they turned out to be falling.
  • Steven Universe: A few gem ruins are landmasses floating in the air, including some above the Strawberry Battlefield and the Sky Arena (where Connie and Pearl practice swordfighting. In one episode, Steven and Connie fall down from the latter and are only saved by Steven's floating powers in the last second.
  • Storm Hawks: While most of the terras are just mountains jutting above the clouds, no floating involved, Cyclonia is eventually augmented into one of these.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): Beijing temporarily becomes one of these after the Triceratons install an engine that seals it off and sends it floating. "Mission of Gravity" involves an attempt bring it back down to Earth.
  • Transformers: A floating island full of death traps plays an important role in Beast Wars. Another episode has its plot centered around a floating mountain.
  • Vytor The Starfire Champion: Princess Skyla's home of Aerion is a huge floating city situated high in the sky. Myzor had been unable to find it thanks to it constantly moving around the skies of the planet.

    Real Life 
  • Buckminster Fuller provides us with plans for elaborate floating cities. For the curious, see this Wikipedia page for information on the aforementioned flying city plans by Buckminster Fuller
  • Actually a viable means for colonizing Venus. Oxygen floats at, conveniently enough, the area in the atmosphere that is a balmy 70 degrees Fahrenheit or so. An air-tight colony could use only the breathable air inside to remain bouyant. Also, since everything is in equilibrium, the colony would need no real structural strength, and so could be made enormous using current materials (the only major problem is the sulfuric acid rain, and all sorts of other horrible acids and toxic, corrosive vapours, and getting the materials there to make it, since mining from Venus's surface isn't very feasible). Said acids and toxins could be harvested and processed into construction material. Even if they were built on Earth or in Earth-orbit, they wouldn't be that expensive. Some NASA engineers have proposed inflatable habitats as cheap (relatively speaking) space habitats. This really wouldn't be that different. Venusian acids and toxins could also be exported off world, the profits of which could be used to recoup colonization costs to investors back on the Earth.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Flying Island, Floating Island, Sky Island, Floating Landmass, Floating City



A group of islands held aloft thanks to the power of Shiki.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / FloatingContinent

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