Denmark Island Earth (Verdenskortet ala Ringworld)


(At home on Earth - in Hobro, Denmark

In Hobro, Denmark, you can circumnavigate the entire globe in under an hour. Or at least a scale model of it. At the Verdenskortet (translating literally as "world map" in Danish), visitors can visit a scaled map of the world, with a series of manmade islands built of dirt and rocks resting in a pond.

Built between 1944 and 1969, the map was the handy work of Søren Paulson, a farmer living on family land with an adjacent lake. It's about 300 feet by 150 feet in size, and 10 inches on the map corresponds to a scale of about 69 miles.

Larry Niven had the same idea in one of his novels. In his award-winning 1970 novel Ringworld, Larry Niven creates for us an amazing artifact - a ribbon of matter that entirely surrounds a star. Spin it up for artificial gravity, put some tall edges on it to hold in some atmosphere, and you have an incredible amount of real estate. The Ringworld was created from all of the non-solar matter around its sun, including all of the planets. Since you could create upon the surface of the Ringworld any shape continent or sea, wouldn't you choose shapes that are familiar?

"Hold it. I want a closer look at those groups of islands!"

"Why, Louis? That we might stop for provisions?"

"No... Do you see how they tend to form clusters, with wide stretches of deep water between? Take that grouping there." Louis's forefinger circled images on the screen. "Now look up at that map."

"..And that grouping in what you called a bay, and that map behind you. The continents in the conic projections are a little distorted... See it now? Ten worlds, ten clusters of islands. They aren't one-to-one scale; but I'll bet that island is as big as Australia, and the original continent does not look any bigger than Eurasia on the globe."

...The first generation -- they had to throw away their own worlds, but they wanted to keep something of what they were losing. Three generations later it would be funny. It's always that way."
(Read more about the Ringworld artifact, or see more technovelgy from Ringworld.)

Via PopMech.

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