In the story I'm making that takes place on an alternate reality of earth in the 1300s, there is an all powerful being that makes all humans immortal. later on he gets angry that not everybody is worshipping him, so he turns everyone but a city of his closest followers into demons and causes disasters around the world. Assuming he can do anything at all, what could he do that would cause the continents to move around the world freely, or the earth move in a way that disregards its axis so that Russia would end up where Mexico is within 100 years?

For more context: After awhile a portal is opened between two alternate realities, the one with this version of Earth that's being destroyed and one where earth had different stuff happen but geographically its perfectly fine. The portal on the Earth being destroyed is on the continent of Russia, and the portal on the Earth that's normal is in central America, but its only between realities so the portal is technically in the same place on both versions of earth.

Back to the main question I'm asking, the all powerful being can do anything, but for story purposes he's only causing problems to punish everybody else on earth. He's not purposely moving the continents, the unstableness of the earth causes it. If so, I'd like a way for it to happen without completely destroying every living thing, but anything is good because the immortal humans will survive either way. As a side note, if a planet had two suns, would that be enough to cause it to ignore its axis?

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    $\begingroup$ they already do, plate tectonics just takes a long time to do it $\endgroup$
    – OT-64 SKOT
    Sep 13, 2021 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "ignore its axis"? Are you trying to get the whole planet to tumble around or move the continents while keeping the earth stable? $\endgroup$
    – legio1
    Sep 13, 2021 at 21:30
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    $\begingroup$ We need some more details. I can claim that Russia ends up where Mexico is simply by redefining the poles such that what we call the "south pole" is considered "up" on a map and then creating a new longitudinal reference (aka, the Greenwich Meridian) that runs through St. Petersberg. You'll note nothing moved at all, but it met your conditions for a successful answer. Are you looking for something like a floating island on the scale of a continent? Would the god expect to keep the continents together? $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2021 at 22:17
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    $\begingroup$ I think once you have an omnipotent being directly manipulating the reality of this world, the need for a scientifically plausible reason for land masses moving huge distances is irrelevant. "The continental plates are floating on a subterranean sea of mercury, and the oceans lay directly over the mercury pools." But you'd get some pretty massive bang-ups when continents collide. Continental position is based on faulty memory of your god, and changes because he recalls them being elsewhere when distracted by his rage. The possibilities are endless. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Sep 13, 2021 at 23:33
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    $\begingroup$ @JoinJBHonCodidact I just assumed if they were alternate realities with the only differences being stuff that happened on earth, everything would still be going in the same direction. It would be easier to say it was just on the same longitude and latitude but directly over wherever the ground was because continents will definitely have different heights above sea level. $\endgroup$
    – sociocat
    Sep 18, 2021 at 21:00

2 Answers 2


You can't move the continents. Everyone would explode.

Plate tectonics works by rocks melting and being pushed by magma.

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This process is inevitably slow, because the convection cells are made of molten rock and can't move that fast, and it's molten rock floating on the mantle so there's massive amounts of friction everywhere.

This causes earthquakes.

Continents are massive slabs of rock which are moving around with massive force. You want russia to move around 10k kilometers in 100 years. Normally, continents move around 10 cms a year, and you want them to move 100 kilometers a year. That means you need them to move a million times faster.

This would cause massive earthquakes that would wreck human civilization, as the massive slabs of rock move at incredible speeds and stressors increase. If the god just causes this to happen by pumping up the mantle with energy it would cause enough damage to scramble the immortals for millenia.

You can make the planet tumble

Another star would do it, or having another planet fly past earth. If the god had a bad idea of how astronomy worked and they changed where other stars were or where planets were they could shift the planet.

It would just spin in a weird way depending on what was nearby. Stars aren't great at this, because they tend to be pretty powerful and may also wreck your planet if you get them close to them. Lots of smaller objects over a centuries flying near the planet would work. You'd have a lot of meteor showers and a lot of tectonic activity, but it wouldn't be as chaotic as just shifting around continents.

  • $\begingroup$ That is very helpful, I think having another star affect the planet would work very well. However, another star would change where the earth would move so a portal to a specific place in the universe wouldnt work but I can just forget that and have it be based on something else. $\endgroup$
    – sociocat
    Sep 18, 2021 at 21:31

this may be to simple of a answer.

protect the city from harm. then stop the earth from spinning. to rotate the part of Russia to where mexico is. wait before the would align to finally speed the earth back up again.

none of the actual plates have moved. but the map may be near unrecognisable if you twist it a bunch so that the length of Russia runs more north south rather than east west. the stopping moving then speeding up again would mess up everything if done fast enough. it would concentrate most of the devastation at the old and the new equator.


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