Soaring among the clouds over an earth-like planet, islands... on which fortresses are built for strategic advantage, on which stations for the dragon air force are built, and which can be relatively steered by harnessing the wind, like a ship...

Floating Islands... 1. How did they get there? 2. How do they stay there? 3. What happens if they collide?

I don't want them too high. A few hundred meters from the ground would be sufficient. They need to be stable, as structures are being built upon them, however they do move over the land with the wind, drifting as lazy clouds of rock, casting shade on Sunday afternoons...

I have some badass ideas for sky pirates and cloud empires that I want to use, but the technical aspect is not my expertise, however I really do want a good explanation.

Magic is permissible, but rather than "a God or wizard did it,' I still would need their methods. My magic system is highly developed and incredibly complex, so your answers would have to be filtered through it if you use magic as an answer, and your answer in that case wouldn't necessarily work.

I would prefer a natural reason. Magnetism wouldn't work, as a magnet of that power would literally be strong enough to rip the blood from your veins. Perhaps some rock of peculiar properties....

Let me know what thoughts you have! I'm at a loss, I'm sad to say.

Edit: the reason my question is different than the one you recommended is because I'm not asking IF it is possible, I'm asking HOW it could be. I want some ideas on how it could be done, and also how it could occur, what caused the islands to come into the air. Also, the other question recommended deals with islands occurring after the destruction of a planet and perhaps orbiting like satellites and whatnot. I want my islands a few hundred meters from the ground, not even near a satellite, and also during the life of the planet, the islanders and ones on the ground interacting and warring.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not asking IF it is possible, I'm asking HOW it could be That's not different, but if you bothered to read the answers to the proposed duplicate you'd see lots of ideas on "how". $\endgroup$ – StephenG Feb 11 '19 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ The hard-science tag effectively makes the question impossible to answer (duplicate or not). $\endgroup$ – StephenG Feb 11 '19 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ I agree that the hard science tag should be removed, I disagree that it tis a duplicate. The question marked talks about some apocalyptic world with a different atmosphere close to the ground. This one does not $\endgroup$ – elPolloLoco Feb 11 '19 at 10:31
  • $\begingroup$ Floating islands is a theme of some popularity and there have been several questions about this topic (62 to be precise). Please use the search function to look if there's already an answer to your question. If not, please specify how your question differs from the existing ones and why existing answers don't apply to your question. $\endgroup$ – Elmy Feb 11 '19 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ Helium filled pumice rafts? bubble the helium through it as it forms, have some really big helium pockets in the larger pieces ~ or some sort of plant with lots of little float bladders that it fills with helium that grows in great tangled mats? $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Feb 11 '19 at 16:42

1. How did they get there?

The explanation is entirely dependent on the type of world and story that you want.

  1. It's just magic and some large pieces of land just float.
  2. It's science-ish, and there is some exotic-matter that under the right conditions enables the islands to float. The mechanism could gravitational or electromagnetic. Said material is likely a vital component for air ships.

2. How do they stay there?

Whatever phenomenon lifted them in the first place, keeps them aloft.

3. What happens if they collide?

That deepens entirely on how fast the islands are going at the time and the relative sizes of the colliding land masses.

It could be anything from a slight inconvenience to a cataclysm.

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