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Solid Clouds

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In fiction, people can sometimes treat clouds as solid platforms to walk and stand on. It might be an intrinsic property of the clouds themselves, and so they're solid for everyone; other times, it's a special ability of the cloud-walker himself that somehow allows him to treat these floating bunches of water droplets as if they were hard rock.

They might be used simply as transport or platforms to get high up. Sometimes people or gods and blessed souls live on them, removed from man's sight. Others use them as Cool Airships.

It's not difficult to see how this trope might have gotten started — clouds certainly look nice and solid from the ground level, like big fluffy pillows (or big grey rocks, weather depending). You need to get quite close to them to see the only difference between clouds and fog is altitude.

See also Bubbly Clouds, Fluffy Cloud Heaven and Flying on a Cloud. Contrast Fake Platform.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Flying Nimbus from Dragon Ball, which Goku rides around on before he learns to fly on his own, would probably apply. In a variation, its magic is such that it is solid only to the pure of heart. Impure people, like Master Roshi, fall right through.
  • The sky islands in One Piece use various kinds of clouds, some of them solid (most notably the islands themselves).
  • Doraemon has a gadget in his four-dimensional pocket that transforms ordinary clouds into this.
  • The intro of the 1974 Anime series Heidi, Girl of the Alps shows Heidi lying on a cloud and gazing at the landscape below.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In Pleasant Goat Fun Class: The Earth Carnival episode 7, the goats learn about the five layers of the atmosphere. When they visit the first three layers of the atmosphere, they walk around on a bunch of clouds gathered below them.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Disney comic "Zio Paperone e i 'quattro passi' tra le nuvole", Uncle Scrooge seeks to heal his sore feet by learning the art of cloud-walking from a hermit master living in the world's tallest mountains. He actually succeeds at this, at first with special training shoes and finally without, and hereafter takes up regular walks in the clouds.

    Films — Animation 
  • "Mickey and the Beanstalk", a segment of the Disney film Fun and Fancy Free. The giant's castle rests on a solid cloud.
  • On Dumbo, the Delivery Stork carrying Dumbo sits on a cloud to rest and get his bearings. The bundle with Dumbo inside is a little too heavy, though, and the stork has to keep stopping it from falling through.
  • The cupids from the "Pastoral Symphony" segment of Fantasia sleep on clouds. Also, Zeus and Vulcan are seen working on them. After Zeus has some lightning-chucking fun, he wraps himself up in a cloud and takes a nap.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The first shots of Mary Poppins feature Mary sitting on a cloud in the sky of London. There she powders her nose, puts her bag in place and re-pitches her umbrella on the cloud.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Handwaved in "The Snowmen" Christmas special of Doctor Who. They can stand on the cloud because it's specially made of "super-dense water vapor".

    Puppet Shows 
  • The French puppet TV series from the '80s Le Village dans les nuages ("The Village in the Clouds") has for setting small village on solid clouds, inhabited by two old Frenchmen and two families of extraterrestrials (although the village existed before the aliens landed on it).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Some cloud giants live on magical cloud islands.
    • In early editions, there was a potion that could make clouds it was poured onto solid.
    • Module WG7 Castle Greyhawk, Level 4 "There's No Place Like Up". If the PCs climb up a magical rope, they can walk on solid clouds floating high in the air.
    • Deities And Demigods Cyclopedia: Several deities are depicted as riding around on clouds.
      • The Chinese mythos deity Chih Sung-Tzu rides a storm cloud that can support up to ten beings of any size.
      • The Japanese mythos deity Susanowo can often be found riding a storm cloud.
      • In the Sumerian mythos, all of the deities have clouds that they can ride on. The clouds can teleport to any place that has clouds in the sky, are immune to all attacks and can carry anything the controlling deity wishes.
    • The Epic Level Handbook states that characters with a ludicrously high Balance skill level can attempt walking on liquids and, yes, clouds (although the Difficulty Class of the skill check is a whopping 120.)
    • Silver dragons have the innate supernatural ability to walk on clouds as though on solid ground whenever they so choose.
  • Pathfinder:

  • Angel Bunny: Going with the Fluffy Cloud Heaven trope, the decals on the toys often depict this, with Angel Bunny and her friends playing among the clouds.

    Video Games 
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, in one of the later dungeons, there are clouds you can walk on. Also, there are such clouds you need to explore in order to get to the dungeon in the first place, and you obtain a special set of shovel-like claws to dig through some of them.
  • Common in the Super Mario Bros. series, where clouds can serve as platforms and even modes of transportation in the case of Lakitus. Double subverted as well as invoked, at least as far as the playable characters are concerned, in Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2. Mario and Luigi can't stand on clouds without first acquiring a Bee Mushroom or Cloud Flower, but once they have it, they can spawn their own temporary clouds to be used as platforms. In Super Mario Sunshine, cloud increase their volume when Mario sprays them with FLUDD's water.
  • In Sky Sanctuary in Sonic & Knuckles, solid clouds serve as trampolines in order to reach higher areas. This is carried over into its appearance in Sonic Generations.
  • In Mega Man 2, there are solid clouds in Air Man's stage. Subverted because you can blatantly see a propeller under it and there is a solid platform one layer behind the cloud. Mega Man 7 has similar platforms that will freeze and then shatter when hit by the Freeze Cracker, revealing the hovering platform underneath.
  • Some, but not all clouds in Secret Agent. Other times, you need to find goggles that let you "see invisible platforms" so that platforms appear under the clouds and allow you to walk on them.
  • Clouds are solid in Eversion, but only on the third layer. They're decorative on all other layers.
  • Atlantis no Nazo has boots that let you walk on clouds.
  • Averted in Glider PRO, where clouds aren't solid objects. Of course, that would be a bad thing in Glider.
  • Might and Magic: World of Xeen has a downplayed version on the top of every tower on both sides: The clouds aren't actually solid — you'll fall down and take a lot of damage if you just try to walk out on them — but they do count as ground for the purposes of the Levitate spell.
  • The cult-founded town of Meriloft from Broken Age is situated on an assortment of clouds, but several characters do mention the important of maintaining a large surface area while staying light, at least.
  • In the Dizzy series of computer games by CodeMasters, Dizzy can walk on clouds, but he sinks into them right away.
  • The Floating Islands in Terraria are made of clouds that you can walk on and mine into Cloud Blocks.
  • The Trader of Stories features clouds that are not only solid (they can be caught in nets and broken apart and sewn back together), they're used as a food source by the Cloud Eater (an elephant/giraffe/brachiosaur ...thing) and have sleep-inducing properties. This is due to them being the dreams of a gigantic oak tree worshipped as a god.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has clouds that form around Zol, a solid mineral that floats when exposed to Jupiter Psynergy. With a big Psynergy injection, they allow the player to cross a mountain range.
  • Moshi Monsters has an entire village made of clouds, which can be visited and lived in no problem.

    Web Original 
  • In Phaeton with the right powers you can not only make clouds solid, you could make air solid, but this generally doesn't last longer than a second or two.
  • SCP Foundation, SCP-1784 ("Skywriter Sloths"). The sloths can fart out clouds. They can subsequently interact with the clouds as if they were solid objects, including forming them into forests and nests.
  • Dreamscape: Anjren can create a cloud to ride around on.

    Western Animation 
  • Clouds in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic are a strange example. The only ponies who can interact with them as if they are solid are pegasi, whose job as a race is to manage the weather, although griffons and flying animals can sit on clouds as well. Clouds also serve as an Empathic Environment for flying creatures, e.g. parting to allow ducks to hide in them or a pegasus to swim through them as though they were a pool of water, and a white cloud may become a Personal Raincloud if landed on by a depressed pegasus. For most other ponies, clouds act as they would in real life without magical assistance. The implication is that the ability to interact with clouds as if they were solid objects is specifically part of the pegasi's inherent magic, and that other ponies cannot do this without outside magic being cast. Many pegasi are shown to make their homes directly in the clouds, ranging from individual floating cloudhouses like Rainbow Dash's to entire cloud cities such as Cloudsdale.
  • Care-A-Lot, home of the Care Bears, is a land of clouds that are solid enough to stand on, but soft enough to poke one's head through to observe the world below.
  • The Avatarverse:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Lampshaded in the Water Bending Scroll. Katara mentions that she would love to walk on the clouds passing by. Aang tests this, concluding that "Clouds are made of water."
    • In The Legend of Korra, ancient airbenders apparently were capable of standing on clouds and fly around in them, in a clear refference to chinese traditional art. Also invoked when Zaheer first flies. After falling from a cliff, he is seen standing on clouds, which Lin and her sister assume to be solid terrain, before he ascends upwards...
  • 1973/74 Superfriends episode "Menace of the White Dwarf". The villain Raven has his aerial base on a solid cloud.
  • On Animaniacs, when the Warners try to persuade the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk to try gold eggs and meat:
    Yakko: Eat them, eat them, on a cloud.
    Giant: Oh, all right, for crying out loud! [eats it] Mmm! Gold eggs and meat I do not hate.
    Yakko: But now that cloud won't hold your weight [Giant falls through cloud]
  • The Pixar short "Partly Cloudy" features not only solid, but sentient clouds, capable of holding (and creating) the new-born creatures they produce, and all manner of other objects.
  • The Ready Jet Go! episode "Fact or Fiction?" has Jet, Lillian, and Mindy all believe that clouds are made of cotton candy, although at first Jet thought that clouds were made of cotton balls and wanted to take a nap on them. However, a trip to the clouds proves that they aren't solid.

Alternative Title(s): Nimbus Firmus, Solid Cloud Land


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