I've come up with an idea of building a fantastical continent inspired by the climates of Scandinavia.

It will be shaped similar to a crescent, and based on two tectonic plates that go over each other (the side of the crescent is basically a mountain range that rose from the interaction between the plates). As for north and south it will work just like in the real world, colder north and a bit less chilly south.

The farther you move from the mountains the lower the land gets (obviously). There are plenty of fjords as a result of a previous ice-age as well.

So, my questions are:

  1. Is this idea realistic? Could such a continent actually form?
  2. How would the climate be affected by the given situation? Could it actually be a not!Finland?

Any other tips are very much welcome, I'm very new to world-building and would love some help with this.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding Mellow! If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Have fun! $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Dec 20, 2017 at 22:49

2 Answers 2


How about this crescent shaped land? From Google maps.


Your tectonic plates, as ordered. tectonic plates kamchatka https://volcanohotspot.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/image006.gif

Very Scandinavian climate looking.

hiking kamchatka source

Well, except for the volcanoes. Finland freaking wishes it had more volcanoes like this.

kamchatka volcano source

This is from my favorite terrain generators, Google maps and google image. I hid the sources in hopes someone might think it was fun to figure out where this is. Soft pitch: not even rotated. If you like, post your guesses in comments using rot13 code

In any case Mellow: your idea is very plausible because it exists. Once you figure out where it is you can steal the whole thing and then you will not need to build anything else and you can go to work on the stories. Bonus in case you become enraptured with the idea: you can visit the place and they will be happy to host you.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot! I suppose I can study how it works in reality and move on to my own setting now. $\endgroup$
    – Mellow
    Dec 20, 2017 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ That's (rot13) Xnzpungxn. It's kind of obvious. $\endgroup$ Dec 21, 2017 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Keith Morrison: I wanted a soft pitch for the yunguns. Try this: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/8896/… $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Dec 22, 2017 at 13:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ arne Zvyxbifxl Qvfgevpg, Xnzpungxn Xenv, Ehffvn $\endgroup$
    – Stephan
    Dec 22, 2017 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Will, you mean that map showing Fcnva, Senapr, and the Onyrnevp Vfynaqf? $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2017 at 21:00

Stealing Will's idea and moving about 500 miles east...

enter image description here

I won't pretend to be hiding what this place is, but it has a downward facing crescent of mountains and volcanic islands along a plate boundary.

To the north, the terrain levels out into taiga and tundra, to the south the mountains drop right into rich polar seas across steep valleys covered with temperate rainforest.

enter image description here

To be honest, the climate and wildlife is basically identical to Will's answer: conifer forests, active volcanoes, lots of salmon, brown/grizzly/Kodiak bears, giant fish eagles, etc.

But I figured I'd add it for completeness.

However, I will offer something novel: a climate comparison.

Anchorage, Alaska, and Helsinki, Finland are at nearly the same latitude. Summer average temps are similar, but Anchorage has much more variation: mid-day highs are 5F hotter and nights are 5F cooler. Alaska'a winter is also much colder: january temps average almost 15F less in Anchorage. Anchorage gets less rain, but that is because of its location relative to the mountains. On the other hand, a city exposed to wet oceanic winds will be much wetter: Juneau, Alaska gets 2.5 times as much rain.


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