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This Fantasy World has very large monsters, intelligent humanoids, expansive unique biomes, ect. While I was making my fantasy world I realised how hard it would be to hide all of this from humans. I was thinking of a few ways this could work out, maybe the world is on another planet, maybe during this time humans are in a more early stage of development (think the middle ages). But I feel like these reasons wouldn't really suite my story, but I wouldn't be too opposed if they made sense. I was thinking of magic, but in my story magic is quite minor and not a very dependable art.

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  • $\begingroup$ Related? worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/197309/… $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Willk I was trying to avoid something like a different planet, but this would definitely help if I feel like doing it. Though I'm curious on how all that fantasy/legend stuff stays hidden in the Percy Jackson book series. I'm familiar with the series but I've never read it. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ China Miéville, The City and the City (2009). $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ Is this the loose "world" it reads like, as in culture, society or sphere of interest? JK Rowling never describes how the Wizarding World is hidden from us muggles yet which characters or readers question that, because of the way she wrote it. Men in Black agents wipe witnesses' memories but no-one questions where they got the resources to find all witnesses… If the stated reasons don't suit the story, why not? It must matter. Despite magic being generally minor and not dependable, why not have one strong and over-arching spell? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ @RobbieGoodwin I was definitely thinking of doing the whole string and over-arching spell, but I thought it would be more interesting to see other ways it would work and reading other people's ideas on how it could has been really fun and interesting. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 0:15

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Earth until 1500 AD

You can hide for Europeans.. but don't forget other peoples

You added a magic tag, plausibility may be less important, you could cloak the island with a magic spell.. but I can note on Earth, in Europe around 1350, most islands far away were myth. Any remote island would do. Out of reach for Europeans. However, for other people.. elsewhere.. that was not the case. Let's do a few candidates,

Pacific

Obvious, but better skip the pacific.. in medieval times, the Chinese had ships, peoples in the pacific colonized islands everywhere (1200), people able to read and write would find you and spread the news. Maybe Easter Island would be a candidate, near the Chilean coast but I'm not sure.

Caribbean

The Caribbean would be out of reach for you, if you don't want to be discovered: islands and areas up north were inhabited, they even received Maya and Inca colonists and there was Maya trade in the Caribbean.

Southwestern Atlantic Ocean, before 1500

Most of the Atlantic Ocean was unknown territory for Europeans. Thousands of years, Atlantis presumably existed as a large island west of Gibraltar. Beyond Atlantis.. the world was supposed to end.

Don't go too near the European continent, they would find you,even in Medieval times. Madeira was a known place, Vikings had explored the north.

So.. find something southwest in the Atlantic..

Malvinas / Falkland Islands would be a candidate ?

In medieval times, the Falklands would do fine. Kelpers claim they are native population, but it is not clear how many lived there in medieval times. The local population of Patagonia were nomadic hunters without ships, and European discovery expeditions had not reached that far. The Falklands were discovered in 1504.

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Antarctica until 1800 AD

If you put your story before 1800 AD, and your wizards can create some artificial heat, you'd be safe anywhere on Antarctica. It was unpopulated. With magic tricks at your disposal, there's a lot of options to build your world. You could e.g. melt all snow 200km around a lake inland, you'd have water, agriculture, fishery, domestication of penguins for their meat.. you could built cities there.. chance is, nothing would be discovered, until satellite images of Antarctica were published. Candidate..

Lake Vostok until 1960

The location of Lake Vostok was not discovered until 1959-1964

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Underground

Maybe it's underground, deep within Earth. It could be unearthed in a ton of ways (Sinkhole, volcano, oil dig, etc.).

Pros:

  • We in reality have never gone really deep into the Earth's crust, except for in specific deep dig sites.
  • The world would have no contact with surface humans, although it could have had attempts before.

Cons:

  • The magical/fantasy world would then logically not have access to the sun.
  • It would also be very difficult to get out of, although I'm sure you could figure out a way.

PORTALS

Portals, discovered either by accident or through scientific research.

Pros:

  • It adds heavily to the fantasy vibe.
  • The fantasy world on the other side could have anything you want in it, even custom physics, without need to find how they got there and why it works.

Cons:

  • Portals are probably very energy consuming to use.
  • This may be difficult to explain as to how it was discovered.
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Awful Island

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The Fantasy world is on an island surrounded by horrible mangrove forests.

enter image description here

The people are on a different island. They don't want to go to the awful island.

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Humans do not notice the fantastic.

As far as I can tell in Percy Jackson, people confronted with something that does not make sense perceive at as something that does make sense.

I think a better way is to have an escort - a guide who can step between worlds and who can show you the fantastic world adjacent to and intertwined with ours. Eventually you can make the trip yourself.

I wish I could find my copy of Grimbold's Other World - Grimbold the cat can (like all cats) walk between the worlds and he brings the boy Muffler to the Night World. It is an echo of the day world but cats are huge and dogs are tiny; forests still have their ancient grandeur. A old mans shack on the mountain is revealed to be a castle. The fantastic coexisting unperceived with the real is more or less the premise for Mary Poppins, and Harry Potter, and the world of Spirited Away - the magical coexists with the real and the protagonist can move between worlds, somehow.

It is done so often you can assert it to be.


I am reminded of the story of the Fairy Ointment. As it turns out this type of fairy tale has its own category in the Aarne-Thompson-Uther fairy tale categorization system. Check them out! https://sites.pitt.edu/~dash/midwife.html#bray The human lady in the story is usually a midwife and she is given some ointment to put in the eyes of the baby. She gets some in her own eye and then can see Faerie from that eye. Note to anyone who finds herself able to see Faerie: keep that fact to yourself.

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  • $\begingroup$ This seems like a Frame Challenge, which is fine. You're saying that Percy Jackson books didn't even try -- they just hand-waved "oh, humans just don't notice us". Maybe that makes no sense, but those books sold very, very well, proving you can simply ignore the problem. But then again, they were children's books. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 15:51
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Metaphysics

  1. Extra-dimensional

Draw a 2-dimensional character on a piece of paper. Now pick up that piece of paper, move it to another room. Note that it remains a 2-dimensional character, but it has in fact physically traveled through a 3-dimensional world.

Likewise, while us 3-dimensional beings may not be able to perceive or understand the 4th-dimension, the existence of, and ability to travel through the 4th dimensional axis can be part of the nature of your world. Magic need not be used, it is part of the metaphysical reality of the world, and the fantasy world occupies a 3-dimensional world on a parallel 4th-dimensional axis. Only those who understand this principal may be able to open a portal to traverse between worlds. So this is ultimately a "Portal" method to separate the real world from fantasy, but may have different implications for your story to build upon.

  1. Intersecting Planes of Existence

One of the most common fantasy trope. Fantastical things are happening on another plane of existence, sometimes it influences the real world but we can't interact back with it, which might explain paranormal phenomena.

Harry Potter, Wynx Saga are arguably one of the above two.

Mundane, Physical

  1. Physical isolation, or shielded/masked isolation.

I'm sure this needs very little explanation. This is like Atlantis, Camelot, Wakanda, etc.

  1. Political isolation

Think North Korea.

Social

The fantasy population is limited, but held together by an organized structure and everyone mutually agrees to avoid letting regular humans learn of their existence due to the inconvenience or threat of a unified human response. This is employed in Vampire Diaries universe and many isekai Anime series.

A personal favorite Mahou Sensei Negima blends all of the above; The magic world is actually a literal underground world within the Martian core, connected through a massive gateway generated by the stonehenge. There's a whole explanation why that is the case and how it was necessary to sustain all the fantasy world people and the impending issues due to it.

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Magic is weakened if too many people tap into it.

There's an extremely limited and restricted supply of magic, from books, to monsters, to biomes, everything. There are locations where it's more common, but they're rare.

As such, most leaders made agreements to hide magic and so only the mega rich elites know of it or have access to it.

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