Water in the deep blue sea.
But water in a rock—Lord! That's a miracle!
Who's got the miracle? We!"
A Rock of Limitless Water is a rock, stone, or other similar object that emits a steady stream of water from itself. Such an item is generally held as an object of reverence, either from a deity, other mystical force, or perhaps something more sinister. These items are generally desired for their otherworldly powers by heroes and villains alike.
It doesn't have to be a rock, the trope can fit any object that breaks expectations as a water source. So it shouldn't have to be a bowl, cauldron, jar, etc. Rocks are popular due to the Elemental RockPaperScissors associations; their solid, dry lifelessness contrasted with lifegiving water.
Such an item can be found across media types, occurring in film, video games, and television alike. However, due to the nature of the trope, examples will generally occur in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and/or religious scripture. As this trope is at least as old as The Bible and Classical Mythology, it falls squarely into the realm of being Older Than Feudalism, and possibly is Older Than Dirt as well.
These items, due to their immense power, are almost always going to be a Plot Device or otherwise sought after at some point. A spring gushing from one of these is often a Healing Spring, or imbued with some other type of power. A related object is a Philosopher's Stone. Whereas a Stone of Limitless Water is generally the mark of power of a deity or magic, the Philosopher's Stone is the mark of the power of science or alchemy.
- A one comic in Disney Ducks Comic Universe had a solid stone bowl that gave away limitless water. Gyro Gearloose found out that the rock's surface turns normal evaporated water in the air into liquid water.
- Fallout: Equestria: The StableTech Stables all have water talismans that can produce unlimited amounts of clean, pure water. Nearly all other water in the Wasteland is irradiated or worse, making them priceless artifacts.
- A similar feature occurs in Avatar. The floating islands have waterfalls constantly flowing from out of them, despite not having a source for such water. In this case, there is a somewhat logical reason given for such behavior that does not justify the amount of water created.
- In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, the core city is elevated above a volcanic flow, its waters endlessly spilling over into the similarly inexhaustible magma (and creating a huge cloud of steam as a result). When the city's power source is stolen, the water ceases.
- In one of the earliest examples of this trope, the Book of Exodus has Moses strike a rock with his staff, and by God's power, a waterfall begins spewing out. This is later repeated in Numbers 20:11, where Moses once again taps a rock twice so water flows.
- The Discworld appears to be a giant one of these, as ocean water constantly pours over the edge of the disc.
- In The Miraculous Mellops, the Moonlings had limited water and created a pill that replenishes a container of water up to 50 times. It got into a bowl of fruit punch and they needed to clean it out.
- Greek Mythology:
- One legend involves Athena and Poseidon dueling over the patronage of the city that would become Athens. As part of said duel, Poseidon creates a sea from a rock.
- Another legend involves the winged horse Pegasus flying up to the top of Mt. Helicon and striking a rock with his hoof, creating a stream of water. It became known as the Hippocrene, literally the "Fountain of the Horse".
- A third legend involves a woman named Niobe who thought herself above the goddess Leto. To avenge this insult to their mother's honor, Apollo and Artemis flew from Olympus and smote each of Niobe's children. In her grief, Niobe turned into a stone constantly awash in tears.
- The legend of the Lourdes Spring in France states that the Virgin Mary appeared to a young Ill Girl by the name of Bernadette, and told her to dig in a particular spot. Bernadette did as she was told, and a Healing Spring began to come up where she dug with her bare hands. The spring is still there to this day, although the original spot is now protected by a sheet of Plexiglass.
- Jesus states that anyone who comes to him will never be thirsty again. Illustrated by the bible project as this trope.
- Call of Cthulhu supplement Terror Australis, adventure "City Beneath The Sands". The supernatural creature known as Power Boy can cause a spring to come out of a rock just by sticking his rangga (a ceremonial staff) into the rock.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- The Decanter of Endless Water mimics this trope. Though not the cheapest or most common of items, wizards can craft them without too much difficulty, making them less desirable than some on this list.
- In the 1st Edition supplement Oriental Adventures, the shukenja spell Create Spring would cause a stream of fresh water to bubble forth from natural rock. Each ten minute period, the stream would produce 1 gallon per Character Level of the shukenja who cast the spell.
- The Imaskari if the Forgotten Realms were masters of dimensional and planar magic, and consequently hit upon their own version of this — an inverted No Flow Portal to the Plane of Water (with a function for shutting it off and activating it again). The rock aspect of this trope comes in with that this is not how portals usually work in D&D (normally they would let creatures but not water through rather than the other way around) and so breaks expectations savvy adventurers would have. The Imaskari did this with air, too.
- The Aqualith in Legaia II: Duel Saga. A stone found in the protagonist's hometown, it is actually one of three stones needed to access the Source Forge, the beacon of creation in the world
- The Legend of Zelda:
- In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the town of Skyloft has a magic island spring that floats just above and supplies the river with an infinite amount of water.
- The top of Gerudo Town's palace in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a large boulder suspended over it, which dispenses water constantly into a series of canals. The water disappears when it reaches the wells at the ends of these canals instead of flooding them.
- The Crystal Stone in the first Paper Mario game is needed as part of a Fetch Quest in the Flower Fields.
- The Sacred Orb in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is a prized treasure of the Kingdom of Aquaria. As an exceedingly powerful artifact, it is desired by each of the warring factions in the galactic war. Later, it is revealed to be a debugging tool for use by the denizens of 4D Space.
- Played with in MouseHunt, where there is an item called the Oasis Bead. It can draw water from any water source to itself.
- In Dwarf Fortress, aquifers and to a lesser extent brooksnote work like this in game-engine terms, with the slight difference that they will also absorb infinite water. Unlike most examples on this page, aquifers are usually more hindrance than help as it's impossible to dig through them without building an elaborate pumping system or abusing a glitch that happens when a chunk of terrain collapses.
- Though they don't seem to have any special significance, there are a number of floating islands in Nagrand in World of Warcraft that have waterfalls continually coming off them.
- Tales of Vesperia: The lower quarter in Zaphias uses one of these, the Aqua Blastia, for their water source, building a series of pipes and fountains around it. The plot kicks off when someone steals the part of the pumping station that controls flow, causing the neighborhood to be flooded.
- In Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches, placing the restored cauldron in the right spot will cause a stream of water to pour our of a rock formation and fill it up.
- In Obduction, the stream in Hunrath flows from the top of a cliff without any source. This is taken by some as a sign that the sphere they're trapped in has a benevolent purpose.
- Played with in an odd and horrifying way in Jade Empire, wherein most residents of the Empire think that this is what the Emperor found to end the hellish drought that was destroying them. In reality? He found the Water Dragon goddess and cut her innards open so she bleeds out of the basement of his flying castle and into the aqueducts on the ground below forever.
- One example takes place in ARK: Survival Evolved on DLC map "The Center". Set centrally and to the east is a mysteriously levitating island with waterfalls that fall to a basin below that never seems to fill. This may be explained in that the players exist within a climate controlled, A.I. managed habitat created by technologically advanced humanity.
- The SCP Foundation
- Inverted by SCP-402, which is a Rock of Absorbing limitless water.
- SCP-045 is a straight example, producing water when exposed to nitrogen in an environment with less than 380 atmospheres of pressure.