Alternate History

Sideways Earth

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Eurasia -SE

This is a gateway to a "whole new world." With a point of departure at the dawn of history, this could be properly called a "parallel history" rather than an "alternate history." This is a parallel world in which the poles ended up 90 degrees from where they are in our world. The North Pole is off the coast of Africa in what we know as the Indian Ocean. The South Pole is on the equator near we call the Galapagos Islands. The earth has its same tilt, so seasons would continue as we know them, but with radically different results.

Civilization arose in what we call "Southern Europe" (in this world " Eastern Europe") and spread around what is the "North Atlantic" and "Arctic" Oceans - in this world, the "Mediterranean Sea" - which surrounds the equatorial region of the main land masses of Eurasia and North America.

Three Seas

See main article: Three Seas

Anthropologists suggest that modern man began in the rain forests of the Sahara along the shores of what is today known as the Oceania Grande. Evidence also indicates that a gradual migration from the northern regions of the Eastern Sea (ancient records called it the "Middle Sea") and then down between the two northern seas known today as the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The forests of the north were teeming with life which kept the early wanderers well fed for millennia. However, as the weather changed with the Ice Age, the tribes were forced south, but not back into the Sahara. They migrated down into what is now Eastern Europe.

Settling down along the shores of the Eastern Sea, hunter-gatherers began to grow crops along the rivers of present day Turkey. From there, anthropologists claim, civilization spread in many different tribes. Hardy herdsmen herded sheep, camels, and some cattle across the great plains of the northern shore of Eastern Sea and back into the northern Sahara of Africa. It was there that the great Egyptian civilization thrived, later to be emulated by the Greeks and then the Romans as the world that we now know began to take shape.

Western Expansion

See main article: Western Expansion

As mankind grew, each tribe, and even some smaller families, spread out to new frontiers. Many followed the abundant game across the interior of the great continent. Others were less adventuresome and sought land along the shores of what proved to be the "new" Middle Sea (or "Mediterranean Sea"). To the early explorers, though, it was the "South Sea."

The great plains of the central and western areas became known as "Asia" and those that hunted the forests and grasslands were called "Asians." To the south, near the "South Sea" a band of seafaring warriors known as "Vikings" began exploring the islands along the coast. Still others, it was learned, had found passage southward across a narrow strait south of the equator in the tropics.

Over a thousand years before the Vikings had built their huge boats, these ancient tribesman had hollowed out trees to make smaller vessels that opened a whole new world to mankind. Later the continent would be called "America" by a map maker from Germany.

Maintaining a simple lifestyle

See main article: West America

Faced with lush tropical forests, and large grassy plains, the settlers of the southern shore of what would become known as the "Mediterranean Sea," the wandering tribes came to be referred to as "Australians." This word means "people of the South." These tribes would live peaceably for over a thousand years - until the coming of the Vikings to the tropical paradise some had found on the largest island, which they called "the green land" in their native language. The Vikings and later the English would indeed call this land "Greenland," for there was no other land greener.

Long Boats and New Lands

See main article: East America

The Vikings were the first from Europe to find the lush mountains and coastline of Greenland. Its shores had beautiful white beaches that would one day be lined with vacation homes of the wealthy from all over the world. Its forests held enough wood to build everyone in Europe a new home. Fortunately, though, there was not a demand for wood homes in those days, for rock and mortar worked well enough.

It would be over four hundred years before an Italian by the name of Christobal Columbo would seek permission to explore the shores of new lands for Portugal and Spain. He would discover what would become known as East America which strangely was free of human inhabitants. The tribes of West America had no need to brave the icy seas and mountains of the antarctic regions to their south, and no one had ventured south from Africa until Columbo found it by accident, seeking a better way to get to the far west of Asia.

The natives of West America, then would be left mostly undisturbed until the coming of the English who sailed south into the balmy tropics to found a nation around what would become known as the Hudson Bay. By modern times, the tundra of the southern plains of West American became the refuge of the surviving bands of American aborigines.

The Final Frontier

See main article: Final Frontier

As central Asia developed civilizations in China and Japan, the colder temperatures to the north forced tribes there to always be on the move. The northern seas, though, proved to have a plentiful supply fish and marine mammals. The fish provided most of the food (augmented by the fats of the mammals). The fat of the whales proved to be excellent for lamps in the long winter nights as well. As their counterparts in the far south, these Asians developed seafaring vessels, gradually migrating to the southwest across the countless islands that had progressively warmer weather and a diverse ecology that enriched their lives. By the time the Vikings had discovered Greenland, the primitive hunters and fishers had filled the islands of the northern Pacific and reached the large island they called "West Land" (OTL = Australia). For a time they thought they had found the fabled homeland of Mankind that some of them had concluded could be reached if the world was actually round (as the horizon seemed to indicate). Over the decades, though, they found that the continent ended with shores in the west. The northern shores of Westland had proven inhospitable to all but the most hardy of the tribes. There were those, though, who had returned to the way of their ancestors on the mainland and claimed the region as their inheritance.

Over time, the inhabitants of the southern end of Westland had ventured out once again. By the sixteenth century AD they had developed vessels capable of long distances. They ventured towards the sunset as well as south into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. In the south, the multitude of islands - called appropriately "Polynesia" - ended in a series of islands they called "Southland" (OTL = New Zealand). Southland was on the equator with weather much like that the southern islands of distant Japan. To the southwest of Westland, though, the equatorial paradise of "Wonderland" was discovered! They could not call it anything but "Wonderland," for the land had lush shores that surpassed any of their ancestors' grandest tales. An interior of mountain ranges created a diverse environment - from rain forests to a desert, but overall it was ideal for colonization. Within a couple of centuries, of course, the Europeans would discover the island by accident and claim it as their own. In the present day colonies continue to squabble over rights to the continent's resources.

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