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Venus Unveiled: A Gazetteer
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USING THIS LIST
- FINDING NAMES: Ignore words like "the", "Mt.", or "Lake." Mt. Hathor is under H, Cape Juno is under J.
- EACH ENTRY: the title links to a tour with local maps. Links inside an entry get you simple definitions.
- CAPITALS--Large or famous places are in CAPITALS.
- EAST AND WEST: on Venus, longitude is always measured east, from 0 right up to 359.
Sabin Bay: 37 S, 275 E
- A bay on the west coast of Themis that nearly cuts off Parga from mainland Themis. Sabin's shores are rainforest, but merely Amazonian--not as tall or muggy as the Megazoic forests further south on Themis.
Sacajawea: 64 N, 335 E
- a large caldera, now filled by a lake, on the Lakshmi Plateau on Ishtar. Its twin Colette to the west is larger, with taller cliffs and a lake-level a kilometer lower, so Colette's water is much warmer. Scenery plus warm water equals tourists! In contrast, Sacajawea is nearly pristine, and its cold water sustains many species rarely found on Venus.
Cape Sakwap, Sakwap Bay: 35 N, 219 E
- A blunt cape on the west coast of Ulfrun (east Aphrodite). Cape Sakwap (properly Sakwap-mana) is an angular, cliff-edged plateau 200 km wide, rising over Sakwap Bay to the north, a narrow finger cutting into the Bellona Fossae inland. Sakwap Island, a wedge of forest 180 km wide, lies 200 km off the cape, near the larger isle of Kokyanwuti. The region's all dense rainforest.
Salika Range: 0 N, 95 E
- high mountains in north Ovda, in western Aphrodite, north of the lake-basin of Ovda Fluctus. Salika, named for a small crater in the region, is perhaps the jaggedest highland on Venus--a complex tangle of ridges and peaks rising to 4 km. Salika, and the even higher Zulma Highland to the southeast, have snowcapped peaks above alpine meadows and forests of pine and aspen. (Ovda is equatorial, and the rings cool this zone more than the torrid zones north and south of it.) Salika's northwest foothills tumble down to huge Lake Habonde and the fertile Unelanuhi Peninsula; to the northeast is a semi-arid coast, partly in Ovda's rainshadow.
Lake Salme: 58 N, 32 E
- One of the biggest lakes on Venus, in central Ishtar. Named for the Salme (sahl-meh) Hills just east of it. Lake Salme's basin is semi-arid, mostly grassland, though with wooded canyons and shorelines. Many streams feed it from the cold, wooded highlands all around. Lake Salme drains south into the Belisama Valley.
CAPE SALUS, Salus Bay: 5 S, 45 E
- The western tip of Aphrodite--the tip of the scorpion's tongue. Salus (sah-loose) is a warm, wooded peninsula the size of Spain. It's a tessera zone--a diagonal grid of ridges, with ponds in the holes, like a stretched rubber waffle with lake-syrup. (Not only does that simile leave a bad taste, it may be wrong. Salus may be the other sort of tessera zone--a grid of mesas amid a net of green canyons, not a grid of ponds with a net of ridges. Radar scans suggest it's an "innie" not an "outie," but I'm not sure.) The highest point of Salus is at its tip: volcanic Mt Ptesanwi. A few hours' flight north are the Farida Islands and then huge Pavlova. Due west lie Gbadu and Dzalarhons. Southwest lie the Vashti Islands. South is small, strange Nabuzana Island, and the huge Disani Peninsula sprawls to the east over Salus Bay, a tongue of shallow sea 200 km wide and 700 long.
Samdzimari Islands: 10-15 S, 340-345 E
- The Samdzimaris are a zigzag of four islands, from 80-150 km long, in the southern Guinevere Sea, just north of the Blue Hole of Bhumidevi. Unlike "Bhumi", Qetesh, and the other islands of the region, the Samdzimaris aren't on any flyway--they're a dead end, and thus surprisingly unvisited. And unspoiled! Quite Tahitian, with long beaches fronted by palms below rugged green hills, the Samdzimaris enjoy a mild warm climate. Easily reachable from Dione and Themis to the southwest, the Navka Archipelago to the northwest, Alpha to the east, and even Eistla to the northeast, these quiet islands are well worth visiting.
Samodiva Island: 13 N, 292 E
- Samodiva's the easternmost flyway between Beta and Phoebe. It's a diagonal ridge 300 km long, Hawaiian in climate: the west is lush, the ridgetop is rainforest, but the east shore has desert canyons like Waimea. To the north are the scalloped cliffs of Cape Centlivre, to the south, the tessera of Cape Nedolya.
Samsing I.: 23 S, 228 E
- Samsing is an island 250 km across, in the Felicia Gulf off western Chondi. Samsing's a low, gentle, wooded island with shallow, meandering rivers, much like the Forest of Thaukhud on the mainland--Samsing gets more rain from the south than the grassy Ndoi Coast just to the north. An island arc, the Inkens, leads to Cape Sirani, nearly a twin to Samsing, but larger, greener, and barely linked to Thaukhud.
Cape Sand: 41 N, 24 E
- It's not a bit sandy--the cape's named for writer George Sand. The northern tip of Kruchina, Cape Sand is covered with rainforest down to the beach. South of the cape are the Yaroslavna Hills and Cavell Corona.
Lake Sandel: 45 S, 212 E
- a lake 150 km wide, in central Imdr (yes, that's spelled right). Megazoic rainforest towers around the shores. Sandel's by far the largest lake in Imdr. It was named for a nearby impact crater, though it's not a crater lake itself. Fallen logs up to 125 meters long float in the lake, forming raft-islands that persist for decades.
Sanger Steppe: 34 N, 290 E
- The north end of the Hyndla Mts, in eastern Beta, swing inland to join the Devana Mts. near Mt Rhea. The wide grassy coastal plain east of the Hyndlas is called Sanger Steppe, after a crater in its center (now a round lake). Low coastal hills force the prairie to drain south into Aikhylu Bay, a chasma cutting into the coast. To the south is a second great prairie, Truth Steppe.
Sanija Bay: 29 N, 255-260 E
- A narrow sound on the coast of Asteria (western Beta). Sanija lies between the stubby, lake-dotted Zamin Peninsula to the north and long Cape Sudenitsa to the south. Sanija's shores are rugged and ridgy, but covered by unbroken forest..
Santa Bay: 35 S, 290 E
- No, not Santa Ana, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara... just plain Santa. A triangular bay 250 km wide in northern Themis, an arm of the Gulf of Angerona. The source of the name is a corona of low hills just west of the bay. The east side is a long promontory, the tail end of the Semiramus Mts.
Mt. Sapas: 8 N, 187 E
- a low, broad shield volcano in northeast Aphrodite, north of Mt Maat. Sapas is the heart of the Atla subcontinent. Its western slopes are green, feeding the Blackburne Lakes, but the east side of Mt Sapas is dry--the edge of the wide steppes around Lake Fossey. To the south, Sapas ends in a sudden scarp; below is the flat Rusalka Forest.
- Lake Sapas, H-shaped and 200 km long, fills and links two lava-flow valleys on the mountain's north flank. Craggy islands dot this scenic lake, which is the source of the Blackburne River, longest in the region.
SAPPHO: 15 N, 15 E
- an island the size of Madagascar, south of Ishtar, between Eistla and Pavlova; one of the larger Eistla Islands. Its central shield volcano, Mt Irnini, has a caldera 100 km wide with dark lava cliffs reflected in serene Lake Sappho. The entire island is fertile: forests in the north thin to open woods and savanna in the southeast. Nehalennia Corona creates a knot of hills and an island 200 km long on Sappho's northwest coast. Sharp, straight Cape Badb is to the north. In the east, Virtus Chasma creates twin capes 200 km long. The highest point's in the south: Mt. Anala, a volcanic cone. Off the south shore near Anala is a blue hole 150 km wide: Sunrta Hole.
Cape Sarpanitum and Sarpanitum Bay: 52 S, 14 E
- A cape and bay near the northern tip of West Lada. The cape curls east from the Lhamo Penininsula, sheltering a shallow round bay on its south side. The terrain is spectacular and unearthly: large tessera (a regular pattern of mesas and canyons) are covered in thick, misty jungle, with red cliffs sprouting emerald ferns and trees from every crack. Manatum Tessera in west Aphrodite also has this combination of desert-like mesas and forest, but Lhamo is much hotter and wetter--so rainy that every mesa generates waterfalls, like Roraima on Earth, though lower. Its only real rival is the Cocomama Tessera on south Otygen, which isn't quite as lush (though Terran and Martian tourists may find the cooler, drier climates of Manatum and Cocomama more bearable).
Sasha Bay: 39 N, 281 E
- A bay 100 km wide and deep, near the north tip of Beta, west of Capes Daphne and Aigul. The shores aren't quite as hot as Daphne, but this is still tropical rainforest--the wettest part of Beta. To the west is Lida Bay.
Saskia: 29 S, 337 E
- Saskia Island was formed by a large impact crater, off the east coast of Ushas, in Dione, the small continent east of Themis. Saskia is a ring of debris 100 km wide, with a blunt tadpole-tail to the south. The crater forms a wide central lagoon. Only half a dozen such ring-islands exist on Venus, yet another's next door: huge Aglaonice to the east. And to the north is an almost-third: Danilova, a crater-lake-cape linked to Dione. Saskia looks Polynesian: wooded ridges with coral reefs offshore. Saskia's on the flyway from Dione to Alpha in the east; Aglaonice is the next island out.
Scarpellini Bay: 23 S, 35
- A wide, squarish bay exactly like the Bay of Biscay (only subtropical!) on the west coast of Umay-Ene, largest of the Alpha Islands.
Schumann-Heinke: 75 N, 217 E
- The largest of the Surupa Islands, west of Metis and Ishtar. Schumann-Heinke is just off Metis; it's nearly the size of Ireland, but with a drier Mediterranean climate--just fog and light rains.
THE SCORPION: 0 N, 45 (head) to 51, 220 (tail)
- Slang name for Aphrodite, the immense equatorial continent, which is vaguely shaped like a scorpion. Aphrodite winds halfway round Venus and holds half the world's dry land. From west to east, its main regions are: the Jaws (two ranges with mixed country between), Ovda (rugged highlands), then Thetis (nearly as high) in the north and Artemis (a bulging belly of concentric ridges and rifts and lakes) in the south, then Dali (a narrower ridge-rift-lake zone), Atla (savanna plains studded with great volcanoes like Mt. Maat), and trailing off to the north, Ulfrun (a long cape with lower ridges and smaller peaks) and the Tail Islands. Central and East Aphrodite are dry, though with many green highlands; and Aphrodite's west, south shore, and northeast are quite fertile. Before terraforming, most researchers saying "the tail" meant not Ulfrun but the Nokomis Mts of Atla, which stood out much better on radar scans. Once oceans were added, Ulfrun and the Tail Islands stood out more, and took over the role of stinger, making the scorpion even longer.
SEDNA SEA: 45 N, 320 E
- A northern ocean, between Ishtar, Beta and the Eistla Archipelago. Sedna's west arm is called the Kabel Sea, its east the Bereghinya Sea. To the south, Sedna blends indistinguishably with the Guinevere Sea; together they form Venus's largest ocean. Sedna is the Inuit sea goddess--a good name for a northern sea, though of course Sedna never freezes.
Seiusi Hills: 63 S, 240 E
- The southernmost part of Ishkus, Seiusi Corona forms a rounded peninsula--a modest central lake, oak hills and meadows, a few coastal valleys with redwoods. The climate's cool, mild, sometimes foggy--like Central California's coast. Northwest is the Dou Mu tessera zone; due north, Lake Ishkus.
Sekhmet Island: 42 N, 240 E
- Sekhmet is a lonely round island east of Ulfrun, south of Metis, northwest of Beta. 200 km long, 100 wide, Sekhmet's roughly thrice Hawaii's size, and has a hot rainy climate.
SELU: 43 S, 5 E
- One of the largest of the Alpha Islands, 1200 km long and shaped like a sperm whale, Selu is just north of West Lada. Its west end has a great round lake, the eye of the whale. Selu is nearly the size of Sumatra--but with an even hotter, rainier climate, and huge trees--in the lowland plains, larger than any on Earth. Selu's north coast is a cliff a thousand km long, the Vaidelute Rupes, dropping into a deep azure rift offshore. To the south is Selu Gulf, shallow and convoluted, with mangroves and similar buttressed trees rising from brackish water for miles offshore--if you can pin down anything like a shore. South across the Gulf is the equally jungly Isle of Astkhik.
Lake Semiramus: 37 S, 294 E
- A narrow, deep mountain lake 300 km long in central Themis, nestled between the north and south arms of the bizarre Semiramus Mts, which march straight as soldiers for 500 km, turn as tight as a paperclip, and march right back, pinning the lake between them. So the lake is ambiguous--halfway between two classic Cytherean types: 1) the lake filling the center of a sunken corona, and 2) the long narrow rift-lakes, found in chasmas. Semiramus seems to be both. It's one of a chain of six great lakes winding 1600 km through the mountain chasmas of central Themis, called the High Lakes. The region is hot and rainy, though being an upland somewhat sheltered by mountains, it's less steamy and stormy than the Themis lowlands--but that just means six meters of rain a year instead of 12.
Semuni Mts: 73 N, 5 E
- a tongue of highlands sticking 500 km north from the Maxwell Mts, in Ishtar. The Semuni highlands divide the Vires-Akka Valley (to the west) from Lasdona Valley, two chasmas with chains of lakes on their floors. The Semunis are not lush: mostly sparse pine forests, with alpine meadows and stony barrens along their central spine, and oak savanna at their feet.
Seo-Ne Island: 67 S, 28 E
- a low island in the central Lada Archipelago, Tsects is 250 km long and 120 wide. The climate's rather Californian, with mild sunny days and night fogs feeding drip-forests. Seo-Ne forms a bridge to West Lada; to the north lies spectacular Cocomama, to the south, Okhin-Tengri, and to the east, Cape Demvamvit.
Seoritsu Farra, Seoritsu Reefs: 30 S, 12 E
- Those sound more respectable than the Seoritsu Pancakes, don't they? But that's what farra means. This region, southeast of Alpha and north of Sophia, is a shallow sea studded with giant pancakes--flat round lava mesas, 1-10 km across, with 100-meter cliffs at the edges. The name's not just whimsical: they formed like pancakes, from frothy upwelling lava that solidified first at the edge. Pancakes aren't rare, but Seoritsu's had the strange luck to end up right at sea level, so as the slow solar tides rise in the morning, a circular tidal bore rushes in, sometimes creating a noon "tidal spout" as the concentric wave crashes together. The pancakes become mere reefs for three days or so, then drain to become low islands full of pools at sunset. The pools turn fresh in the evening rains, until the sea returns at midnight... The channels between pancakes teem with sea life, being lined with caves from gas bubbles in the lava. But diving's risky, as the porous rock's unstable; only their living coral skins hold these soggy pancakes together.
Sephira: 45 S, 25 E
- An island 450 km long in south-central Alpha. Sephira's like a green leaf floating in the sea--a narrow, rugged stem begins just offshore from the Vaidelute Cliffs and leads north to the wide, flat leaf surface--a hot, steamy tropical megaforest with trees well over 100 m tall and a biomass denser than anything on Earth.
Serova Islands: 22 N, 248 E
- The Serovas are a trio of islands west of Asteria, in the tangle of east-west capes and gulfs north of Hecate Chasma. The three range from 100 to 200 km across; they're mostly open subtropical woods, with rainforest on some northwest slopes. The climate's warm and mild. Serova Island in the southwest is the smallest but the tallest too--essentially, a small Fuji rising from a shallow sea. The other two, dubbed Nuriet and Ul'yana, are coronas--wide, low, and so undramatic they're officially nameless; Nuriet and Ul'yana are small craters nearby.
Cape Seseg, Seseg Island: 36 S, 310 E
- Cape Seseg, 120 km long, is the southwest tip of Nepthys, in Dione. Seseg looks like a small chasma stretched between Mt Tefnut on Themis to the west and Mt Nepthys to the east. Low green Seseg Island, 150 km long and 60 wide, is just to the south. Just visible from the west end of Seseg, across Persephone Gulf, is Cape Vovchok on the continent of Themis.
Seymour: 18 N, 327 E
- Seymour is a mountain standing alone in the Guinevere Sea, so isolated that none of my local tours come even close. Seymour's the last eastern gasp of the Central Navka Islands, off Phoebe. The nearest land's 600 km southwest: the Gudrun Islands. To the north, it's over 1000 km to the even lonelier Beiwe. Seymour has a mild dry climate, shaded by the equatorial rings. The mountain slopes have some trees, but the shores are grassy on the west, arid on the east. The population's low, mostly hermits. Tribes of winged antelope (see Peoples of Venus) visit from the Gudruns to feed now and then, but the island's too small to sustain them permanently. Marine species do congregate alongshore, where the seamount forces deep water to the surface.
Shimti Islands: 26-36 N, 92-103 E
- The Shimti Archipelago, about the size of Cuba, contains four large and many small islands. The Shimtis lie east of Tellus in the Niobe Sea. The largest, South Shimti, is a wedge of wrinkly tessera 600 km long and up to 150 wide. Between the three largest Shimtis is a tiny but deep blue hole. 400 km to the northeast are the equally huge Kutues. The western Shimtis trail off into the Zumrad Is; the southern arm leads to the small Manzolinis. The climate is hot. Rainforest covers most of the land, though the cliffs of South Shimti show ribs of bare red. Narrow coral reefs drop quickly into relatively deep sea.
Shishimora: 35 N, 298 E
- a long rugged island east of Beta, 450 km long and only 100 wide. Shishimora's climate is Hawaiian, though turned around--the spine and north side are rainforest, the south side is semi-arid. Shishimora's in line with Aikhylu Chasma to the west, and the gulf on its south side may be part of the chasma. East of Shishimora, and similar, are the Breksta Islands. Between Shishimora, Breksta and huge Zirka to the south is Omutnitsa Sound, dotted with islands. To the north is empty sea--Shishimora is the abupt end of the Navka Archipelago, 6000 km long.
Cape Shiv-Amashe: 55 S, 55 E
- A wide, irregular peninsula thrusting south from the Loo-Wit Mountains on East Lada. Shiv-Amashe has warm wooded hills and an indented coastline. Aside from central Lake Loo-Wit, there are few lakes or deep sounds such as break up most of East Lada. To the east is Mugazo Gulf; a flyway along the islands in the gulf leads to Cape Ambar-ona and Mt Lanig in far eastern Lada.
Shiwanokia Hills: 43 S, 275 E
- Highlands dominating western Themis. Shiwanokia is a large corona and higher than most, but only one of dozens in the overlapping mass of coronas forming Themis. Like its sisters, it's covered with huge trees forming a steamy Megazoic strip 3000 km wide.
Lake Shulamite and the Shulamite Range: 40 S, 283 E
- A deep, L-shaped mountain lake 320 km long in western Themis, nestled between the Shulamite Mts and Shiwanokia Corona. One of a chain of six great lakes winding 1600 km through the mountain chasmas of central Themis, called the High Lakes. The Shulamite range is one of the highest on Themis; together with its eastern arms, Latta and Tacoma Coronas, the Shulamites create a plateau 500 km across, dropping sharply into chasmas both east and west. The lake's shores are hot and rainy, though being an upland somewhat sheltered by mountains, it's less steamy and stormy than the Themis lowlands--but that just means six meters of rain a year instead of 12. The Shulamite plateau is notably cooler, though hardly dry--the forest shrinks from Megazoic to merely Amazonian.
Lake Sidney, Sidney Marshes: 15 N, 200 E
- A shallow lake 300 km across, Sidney is merely the largest of a chain of saltmarshes and lakes stretching some 600 km north along the coast of the Vinmara Sea, in east Aphrodite. Scattered islands rise from the marsh, outliers of the Nahastsan Hills to the east, mostly dry grass and scrubland. Trees are few and small. The region's bounded by the Ardwinna Hills in the north, the Tkashi range in the south, and the high Nokomis Mts to the west, whose snowmelt feeds the marshes--though it's coastal, the region is not that rainy, and without the mountains, it'd be veldt.
Lake Siduri: 43 S, 293 E
- A lake 400 km wide in southern Themis, one of the Low Lakes, a chain of three great lakes. Siduri is the easternmost, largest, and lowest; Lakes Meiboia and Nzambi drain into it. Siduri in turn drains into the Helen Sea. The shores of the lake are Megazoic rainforest. The lake's named for the low Siduri Mts to its southeast, which shape much of its eastern shoreline.
Mt Sif: 22 N, 354 E
- The shield volcano dominating western Eistla; about 2800 m (9000') high, and very massive. Sif and its eastern sister, Gula, divide the grassy plains and open woods of the south from the rainforested valleys of northern Eistla.
Sigrun Islands: 50 N, 25 E
- a rugged stretch of fossae (cracks) and ridges in southeast Ishtar, flooded by Belisama Bay and turned into a chain of long, shiplike islands. The islands sink into the sea at the south end, but re-emerge to the west as the barrier islands around Belisama Gulf--Parma, Sulis, Kostroma, Chubado. It's about the nearest thing to a Terran island arc you can find on Venus.
Silvia Island: 11 N, 355 E
- Well, things change on Venus! Until the last update, Silvia was a mere islet 500 km south of Eistla--just the tip of a corona mostly below sea level. But closer examination of better altitude scans shows it's much higher than I thought; there are two islands, one 200 km long and half as wide, with central hills at least 500 m high, and a smaller southern island nearly 100 km long. Both islands have grassy dry coastal flats, but the hills catch more rain, supporting open woods. Only the largest streams are permanent; many dry up by afternoon, replenishing only with the night rains. Most of the inhabitants are winged antelope (who can fly elsewhere if the water fails), with a few villages of megaparrots and gliderwolves along perennial streams. Intelligent octopi and dolphins frequent the extensive reefs around the islands.
Cape Sinlaku: 17 N, 259 E
- A cape 200 km long, thrusting into the Hecate Sea from Asteria (western Beta). It's a hilly oval corona with wooded heights dropping to a warm sea--a bit like the French Riviera. In place of the Maritime Alps are the ridgy heights of Zverine Chasma, which marches on into the sea just north of Sinlaku, forming huge Taranga Peninsula, 1000 km long.
Cape Sirani: 28 S, 228 E
- Sirani is a peninsula 400 km long in the Gulf of Felicia, off southwest Chondi. Sirani's a tangle of low, zigzag ridges, with shallow coral sounds between. Solidly wooded, it's much like the Forest of Thaukhud on the mainland. West and north of Sirani are the Inken Islands; By far the largest is Samsing.
Lake Sitwell: 15 N, 190 E
- A lake 300 km long, shaped like a guitar whose neck points east (it even has a sound-hole, a grassy island). It lies above much larger Lake Fossey, in east Aphrodite. To the east rise the pine-dark flanks of the snowy Nokomis Mts; a low, jagged lava dam runs along the south shore--without it, the lake would just be golden grass--high prairie like the lands north and west. To the southeast below the dam lies Lake Bashkirtseff; to the southwest, Zamudio; due south is Lake Fossey itself. All four lakes are named for small craters nearby.
SNEGUROCHKA SEA: 90 N!
- the proper name of the Arctic or North Sea. Snegurochka (Snowgirl) is a friendly Russian folk figure, harbinger of a sort of winter the North Sea never sees--one reason the name is little used. The Arctic Sea is much the size of Earth's, but shallower. Cool dry winds blow from the pole in all directions, as on Earth, but Snegurochka has always been ice-free, so the winds gradually pick up moisture and become something like Earth's trade winds--never as wet as tropic storms, but generators of light rains and fogs, particularly during the long nights, making Arctic coasts rather Mediterranean--mild near the sea, semi-arid inland.
Snotra Reefs: 23 N, 132 E
- I was afraid this long ridge would become the Snotra Isles, a major flyway in the Niobe Ocean, but fortunately Snotra is just under the surface, forming a large (500 km), flourishing, but unremarkable coral reef instead. So we can ignore it. We won't have to discuss the committee that approved this name. We don't have to speculate on the goddess it's named for. Mothra's little sister, the one with the disgusting habit of...? Never mind. We don't have to go there.
Sobra Flow: 7 N, 245 E
- Sobra, an old lava flow, is a low point or "blue hole" in the shallow northern Hecate Sea east of Ulfrun. As is common with these blue holes, islands ring the lip of the abyss. The Sobras range from a few km wide up to Sobra Island itself on the south rim, 150 km long. The islands are drier and less lush than Polynesia, but with an equally mild, warm climate--savanna and dune-grass behind the long beaches, and mixed woods inland, with small streams on the larger islands--they're flat but not really coral, after all. While the geology's quite different, Sobra does look astonishingly like a Terran atoll. To the north is Akeley, a near-island linked by a spit to Cape Gashan-Ki and the mainland. Northeast is a second blue hole and archipelago: Rind.
Sogbo Islands: 47 S, 247 E
- The Sogbos are a lonely archipelago in the Aino Sea, east of Imdr, west of Themis. No larger than Hawaii, the two islands are steamy Megazoic rainforest with mangroves wading a mile offshore, and coral barrier reefs beyond.
Somagalags Islands: 9 N, 348 E
- A cluster of hilly islets and reefs 500 km southwest of Eistla. Somagalags is the tip of a larger undersea range. The islands are small, grassy, and too dry to sustain a permanent land population. Nomadic herds of sentient winged antelope who call nearby Cunitz home (nearby as in 400 km away) do graze the islands regularly, along with similar Silvia and the Changko Islands to the east. The tiny archipelago's only permanent residents are marine--sapient octopi and dolphins.
Sophia: 35 S, 15 E
- One of the larger Alpha Islands, just southeast of Alpha itself. Most of Sophia, shaped rather like a fat, flying parrot, is dense tropical forest on low plains. But in the southeast, Sophia Crater rises dramatically from the green jungle-plain like some Roraima plateau--it cups a crater lake 50 km across. Southwest Sophia is strange: the parrot's "wingfeathers" are narrow parallel capes and sounds, many of them lined with low cliffs. The grooves go inland, holding lakes and marshes, climbing over the northern ridges to sink into the sea, where they continue over 1000 km. They look like miniature fjords, but the Brynhild Fossae are really cracks formed by stretching. It's a huge formation, but this is the only part on land.
SOUTH SEA: 90 S
- common name for the Antarctic Sea, a shallow round sea about the size of Australia, centered on the South Pole. The Lada Archipelago reaches quite near the pole, but even these low, foggy, chilly islets never see snow. Cool dry winds blow from the pole in all directions, as on Earth, but since the sea is ice-free, the winds gradually pick up moisture and become something like Earth's trade winds--never as wet as tropic storms, but generators of light rains and fogs, particularly during the long nights, making Antarctic coasts rather Mediterranean--cool and foggy in the far south, and semi-arid but mild beyond 70 south.
Mt Spandarmat: 16 S, 260 E
- A volcano rising from the Gunda Sea on the northern shore Parga, west of Phoebe. Spandarmat is tall enough to be an ecological island, with cloud forests on the slopes and even occasional snows at the summit. Spandarmat has sister volcanoes to the east and west; the nearby Sumerla cluster, and Uretsete on Phoebe's Cape Rabie .
Cape Spidele: 72 S, 300 E
- Beautiful but lonely Cape Spidele, the southeastern tip of the huge isle of Neringa, jabs 600 km east like a spear into the Melina Sea toward the Lada mainland. It's a narrow, steep ridge dropping into deep sea. Halfway to the tip, a lone snowcapped volcano, Mt Neringa, rises from the sea like an Aleutian island on a leash. In the west, off the base of the cape, is a chain of big islands like Vesuna and Lyon. Spidele's nearly polar, so the climate's cool (for Venus--it still freezes only on the peaks). Pine and redwood fill the foggy valleys, below open, windy ridges. Rich kelp forests line the shores below spectacular cliffs.
Split Mountain, Split Tholus: 18 N, 265 E?
- An old volcano that's been split in two by a spreading rift, Zverine Chasma, in south Asteria. The two halves are now a good 15 km apart; the cliff faces, red and black, look quite spectacular--more Martian than Cytherean. The illusion's helped by the aridity of the region. Split Mtn is just a nickname for this feature, which has no official name yet.
Cape Stanton: 27 S, 197 E
- A peninsula 900 km long, off southeast Aphrodite. Stanton is semi-arid in the north, greener and more maritime in the south, where the land rises around the rim of the impact crater now called the Stanton Sea. Long, wooded splash-ridges radiate from this fresh, sharp crater nearly 200 km wide. To the south lies Isabella, even larger. Both are part of an impact/chasma complex (random targeting, or did the impacts open up the chasma?) stretching all the way to Imdr. North of Cape Stanton, at its base, is Aethlflaed Bay, a third impact-crater complex. East of the cape is Stanton Island, 200 km across, and many lesser isles, in Stanton Sound. Beyond sprawls Loretta, 1000 km long and just 50 wide. To the west across a shallow coral gulf is volcanic Payne.
Stein Is.: 30 S, 345 E
- Gertrude would approve of the Stein Islands, for there is no Stein there. Her memorial crater is well to the northwest and deep under the Lavinia Sea--but it's still the nearest object with an official name, so I've borrowed it for this unnamed complex. The Steins are due east of Eve Corona, on Alpha--at least ten pleasant subtropical islets with palm beaches and open woods inland. They're isolated--it's a grueling flight west from Alpha, or southeast from Menat over the drowned crater, with a rest stop on the lonely island of Mikhailova. The Steins are the tops of narrow undersea ridges flanking a small branched chasma, so the coral reefs drop off sharply. Deep water wells up, making the reefs unusually fertile, attracting many octopi and dolphins, who dominate the local culture.
Storni: 10 S , 245 E
- Storni is an island 120 km long in the Hecate Sea east of Dhorani. Storni's in the rainshadow of the deserts of southeast Aphrodite, so it's rather dry--just low grassy hills with few running streams. Dhorani's west, greener Ludjatako's east, and due south, over the Dziwica Channel, rise the spectacular Atete Cliffs of Chondi.
Stuart: 36 S, 19 E
- A wide, low peninsula 300 km long, the west end of Pachamama, one of the larger Alpha Islands. Cape Stuart is a hot lowland plain covered in dense tropical forest. Lake Stuart at the cape's tip is a flooded impact crater with steep walls and a central island. Stuart rises dramatically from the green jungle-plain like a Mayan pyramid.
Su-Anasy: 80 S, 30 E
- an island in the Lada Archipelago, about 500 km long--the southernmost large land on Venus. It has a cool, mild climate like the dune regions of coastal Oregon. The land is grassy, windy, and often foggy. Birds nest by the millions on Su-Anasy.
CAPE SUDENITSA: 28 N, 250 E-260
- A peninsula 1000 km long and only 150 wide, Cape Sudenitsa reaches west from Asteria (western Beta). It's mostly open woods, though its mountainous spine has dense conifer forests. Sudenitsa is tesserated--ridges running in two directions intersect, making a mesh of raised veins. In flatter lands like Tellus this creates a grid of lakes and ponds in the basins between ridges, but on this already tilted, rugged ground, the effect is partly masked. Sudenitsa has a southern finger, Cape Vlasta, and several large islands off its main (western) tip: the Serova Archipelago, the Dafinas, and Mawu.
CAPE SUDICE: 38 S, 115 E
- A rugged tongue sticking southwest from Artemis in south Aphrodite, Cape Sudice is 3-400 km long and 200 wide. To the north, it shelters Sudice Bay, nearly as large. The cape is covered in tesserae, regular mesas with an even grid of canyons between them, like streets in a fossil megalopolis--one swallowed by jungle. Mesas and canyons alike are carpeted in steamy rainforest. Red cliffs, green ferns, narrow waterfalls. The tessera end abruptly in sea-cliffs, as if Sudice is a remnant of an older, bigger tesseration zone buried under lava. But what sheared it off so cleanly all round? Was Sudice violently uplifted in some super-quake with a hundred-meter vertical slip? Having survived a billion-dollar California quake with a lateral slip of a mere foot or two, I find such a cataclysm difficult to understand. Geological conundrum! My personal theory: it's a waffle-maker dropped here by an absent-minded god.
Sullivan Bay: 0 N, 115 E
- A triangular bay around 1000 km wide with fingers poking into Bonnan Steppe on the north coast of Aphrodite between the Ovda and Thetis highlands. The coral sounds and grassy coastal hills quickly give way inland to dusty savanna, marshes, even small deserts on the back sides of ranges. To the south is the high desert of Ralk. The prevailing winds are unfortunately from the inland mountains and deserts, not the sea. 1500 km offshore in the Niobe Ocean are the scenic Gegute Islands.
SULUS SOUND: 13 N, 245 E
- Also called Hecate Sound, Sulus is deep, narrow and over 1000 km long, east of Ulfrun. Sulus Sound is due south of Cape Wyrd, where the Ixtab Mountains drop abruptly into the sea. It's quite spectacular from the water. The less dramatic (though more accesible) south shore of Sulus is the long green Gashan-Ki Peninsula. In the east, the sound forks into Taranga Strait, Beecher Sound, and Prthivi Strait. In the west, past Pamela Head, is Sulus's twin, Uotakh Sound, extending another 600 km. All these rifts are parts of Hecate Chasma. The Sulus region has mild, warm weather (it's shaded by the equatorial rings), sustaining savanna and open woods in the lowlands, and pine forests in the heights. Sulus and its western extension Uotakh were named for a small valley near the Isthmus of Pamela: Uotakh-Sulus Valle, now part of the sound.
Sumerla Mts: 14 S, 257 E
- A cluster of volcanoes rising from the sea, near the end of Parga , the long, tortured subcontinent stretching northwest from Themis, along Parga Chasma. The group's lava flows have built up a blunt peninsula, Cape Sumerla--the northern tip of Parga. Southeast, over Sumerla Bay, on the horizon, is a taller volcano, Mt. Spandarmat, and another rises to the southwest. If anywhere on Venus resembles Bali, Java and Sumatra, this is it.
Sunrta Hole: 9 N, 9 E
- A deep "blue hole" in an otherwise shallow sea, off Sappho's southeast coast. Sunrta ("Sooner, tah") is a sunken corona 150 km wide and quite round. Sunrta, like many features on Sappho, is on the north-south "Badb Line": first Cape Badb in the north, Mt. Irnini and Lake Sappho, then Badb Ridge in the island's center, then southern Mt. Anala and Sunrta. Such strings are common on Venus around chasmas; here they happen without a clear chasma structure.
SURUPA ISLANDS: 75 N, 210 E
- A triangular archipelago stretching halfway round the arctic, west of Metis and Ishtar. The largest islands are Schumann-Heinke (just off Metis, and nearly the size of Ireland), Nanen (in the southwest) and Surupa in between. To the west are the Molpe Islands and the tiny Dickinsons. To the south, and arguably part of the same complex, are still larger North and South Akuanda, Atira, and Cape Iris, the tip of Ulfrun. The climate's warm and rainy in the south, drying and cooling in the north to a Californian climate of fog and light rains.
- Sylvia Islands: see Silvia Is.
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