Monday, September 3, 2012

Accretionary Wedge #49: It's just out of this world! Hollywood and the Cosmos

It's time for an Accretionary Wedge! Specifically Wedge #49, hosted by Dana at En Tequila es Verdad. The topic is essentially anything exogeologic, that is, beyond the confines of planet Earth. I'm taking the broadly interpreted topic and turning my contribution into a quiz.

Lots of Hollywood movies take place in space and on other planets, and since the director can't go to the other planets, locales on Earth have to suffice. As geologists know, there are landscapes on our planet that do a good job of looking otherworldly, and so geology became a central part of the movie plot.

Sooo....how well do you know your planet, and how well do you know sci-fi movies? Name as many localities as you can in the pictures below, and name the movies in which these landscapes starred.
1) Sand dunes and dark ridges in the distance....
2) A very deep valley in a dry place....
3) Very strange knobs of sandstone...
4) And more sandstone. All the action took place among the red rocks in the foreground. A famous captain bought it here....
5) A glacial lake and alpine peaks...
Picture by Doug Dolde (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ghosts_of_Trona.jpg)
and 6) Some strange towers of calcium carbonate...

And what places did I forget? What would you add to a quiz like this?

10 comments:

Lockwood said...

I'm not going to sweep through and spoil this for everyone else, so I'll just say #6 is the only one I don't recognize, though 3, 4 and 5, I don't know the real-earth locations. Golden Canyon is one that occurs to me right off that should be included- though that iconic film is already well-represented here.

Rock Head said...

#1 Looks like Mesquite Dunes in Death Valley and #2 is looking out over Badwater in the same park.

aHunkaHunkaBurningLove said...

my answers=
1 death valley
2 still looks like death valley maybe Badwater
3 goblin valley movie=starship troopers
4 dont know maybe upheaval dome in canyonlands NP
5 glacier NP maybe Kintla or waterton lake
6 mono lake

Rock Head said...

#4 is Valley of Fire S.P. in Nevada. It was Captain Kirk that gave it away.

Randy A. said...

#6 is the Trona Pinnacles. They were featured in Star Trek 5. This picture was borrowed from Wikipedia.
#5 is the Sierra Nevada, featured in Star Trek Insurrection. I remember hearing that the actors were helicoptered in daily.
#4 was featured in Star Trek Generations, but I don't know exactly where it was set.
#3 is another one that I don't know the real world location, but it looks like the alien planet in Galaxy Quest, a Star Trek spoof.
#2 is definitely the view of Death Valley from Dante's View. I seem to recall that this scene was in Star Wars 4 (the original Star Wars).
#1 could be a lot of places, perhaps Death Valley as others have suggested. And several movies have featured sand dunes, including Star Wars again.

Where else should be included?

* Vasquez Rocks, seen in several episodes of the original Star Trek TV show, plus several Star Trek movies, and countless other movies, TV shows and commercials.

* Red Rock Canyon, California, which was in the opening scene of the movie Jurassic Park, and many other westerns through the years.

SciGuy315 said...

Perhaps the most obvious omission (at least in the eyes of Lone Pine residents) would be the Alabama Hills. The spheroidally weathered granite has been seen in approximately 156,392 movies, one million commercials and one video game since 1920 according to the BLM. Movie Flat Road is a fun place to see where John Wayne indulged in too much red meat.

soliussymbiosus said...

What of the censors at FTB? What a poor choice for a host!

Tom P said...

Isn't #4 Red Rock Canyon SP?
#5 - Convict Lake, Ca

I believe the others have been nailed. However, sadly I don't know ANY of the movies specifically.

As a Central Valley transplant from the Colorado Plateau, I feel bound to mention just about any location in southern utah or northern arizona, perhaps coyote buttes (aka The Wave)?

Randy A. said...

#4 is not Red Rock Canyon SP, which is in Kern Co., California. It might be Red Rock Canyon NCA, which is in Nevada (I haven't yet visited the Nevada Red Rock Canyon).

Tom P said...

#1: If it's not Great Sand Dunes NP/Reserve, look at how similar this picture is to one posted on Wayne Ranney's blog at:

http://earthly-musings.blogspot.com/

(Sun Aug 12 post)