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Climate study reveals that Tolkien’s land of Mordor is a lot like Los Angeles


Director Peter Jackson may have been able to recreate all of Middle-earth in New Zealand, but the land as described in J.R.R. Tolkiens novels stretches across a wide variety of landscapes and climate types. A tongue-in-cheek study from the Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol takes a look at those climates, and how they compare to some locales modern humans may be a little more familiar with. Credited to Radagast the Brown — the eccentric wizard portrayed by Sylvester McCoy in Jacksons recent films — it describes how a climate model simulation was run based upon the weather and topography described throughout Tolkiens works. That was then compared to a prehistoric version of Earth, as well as a simulation based on our current era, dubbed Modern Earth. Among the discoveries were that The Shire so fancied by Frodo Baggins has an annual climate very similar to parts of New Zealand (not a complete surprise), and that the ships setting sail for the Undying Lands depart from Grey Havens because there are actually strong winds present in that region.

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