Due to Melting, Superman Relocates Fortress of Solitude to South Pole

December 7, 2013


New Scientist:

An ominous cloud rises over Superman’s icy man cave, the Fortress of Solitude, perhaps indicating that Lex Luthor is up to his dastardly tricks again.

Actually, it is completely natural, and nothing to do with supervillain antics. It is a lenticular cloud, which can be produced when air near the surface gets pushed upwards as it flows over peaks in the landscape, creating pressure waves. The clouds form at the top of the wave, where the air is coolest.

That’s not all. The jagged outcrops of the fortress are bulges of sea ice caused by two ice floes crashing into each other, similar to the way collidingtectonic plates form mountain ranges.

This picture was snapped by a scientist on a flight from McMurdo station in Antarctica as part of NASA’s Operation IceBridge. The missions aims to combine radar data taken from aircraft with satellite images, like the one below, in an effort to track changing ice conditions in Antarctica and the Arctic.

(And yes, we know the Man of Steel’s home-away-from-home is normally found at the other end of the planet in the Arctic, but he’s also a fictional alien who wears his underwear on the outside, so how about allowing us some poetic licence?)


11 Responses to “Due to Melting, Superman Relocates Fortress of Solitude to South Pole”

  1. omnologos Says:

    It’ll all be over when we’ll be served videos of polar bears doing a Bollywood dance

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    The movie was “fun” but a disappointment in many ways. The “final fight scene” was one that got this old grunt muttering. We were taught to shoot the enemy when they were as far away as possible (one shot-one kill), and thereby never have to resort to hand-to-hand—that’s for the movies or for “last stands”. My reaction when SM snapped GZ’s neck was “Why didn’t he just do that the first time he had the chance and avoid all that work?” (as well as danger to bystanders and destruction of property).

    (Got a great chuckle from the title of the post)

  3. […] New Scientist: An ominous cloud rises over Superman's icy man cave, the Fortress of Solitude, perhaps indicating that Lex Luthor is up to his dastardly tricks again. Actually, it is completely natu…  […]

  4. I guess Superman needs to learn a thing or two about the Parable of the broken window, before he picks his next fight.


    No doubt Bastiat’s ideas are constantly disputed by economists that think we live on an infinite resource planet. Industrial civilization has its fair share of stuff that follow the “law of unintended consequences”.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      A thought-provoking link. Thank you.

      And it immediately leads one to thinking about the ever growing income-wealth inequality in the U.S. (but not in Norway, which has one of the best GINI numbers in the world, along with one of the highest standards of living and satisfaction levels among its citizens—how did you do that?). Is there not a parallel in the siphoning upwards of so much money into the non-productive pockets of the greedy rich? Are not the legislators and lobbyists who facilitate that “trickle up” very much like the little boy who breaks windows for the glazier?

      • daveburton Says:

        If Norway’s so much better than the USA, old guy, and their citizens are so very satisfied, then why is their suicide rate higher than ours?

        • dumboldguy Says:

          IS their suicide rate higher than ours, Dave? Not in 2011, where we were 11.9 and they were 12.0. And the long term trends have us close, although we have generally been somewhat higher.

          A better question would be why does Greenland have a suicide rate that is ~700% that of either Norway or the U.S. Or which country has the greatest per capita occurrence of ingrown toenails? About as relevant. An even better question is why do you ask such an inane question? Is that the best you can do to get attention—play the fool?

          And did you even read the link that JCL posted? Doubt it.

    • daveburton Says:

      Superman’s not the only one. The hotshot economists of the Obama Administration, who dreamt up the Cash For Clunkers economic stimulus program, also apparently never heard of Bastiat.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Of all the things that the O’Bama administration has done (including some that they CAN legitimately be taken to task for and that DO fit with Bastiat’s ideas), Dave picks CASH FOR CLUNKERS as an example of a Bastiat “broken window”. Lord love a duck, Dave—you are either “talking goofy” to pull our leg or you ARE actually certifiably “goofy”. Which is it?

        You should stick to sea level, Dave, because your attempts to inject politics on this forum are not the product of any “hot shot” thinking on your part.

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