• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

Sister Trope of Space Is an Ocean. In this case, it's the sky being used to make visual/stylistic parallels to the ocean, but the same basic principles apply. As with space, the metaphor can easily be taken a little too far (although the presence of gravity might explain parts of it). Often runs on the Rule of Cool.

May involve:

Contrast Water Is Air, Sand Is Water.

Examples of The Sky Is an Ocean include:

Anime and Manga

  • One Piece takes it literally in the Skypeia arc, where the clouds are considered an ocean. Luffy tests whether it works like in the world below...and yeah, it still gives him Super Drowning Skills.
    • It's explained that the sea and island clouds are created when an element called 'pyrobloin' (ejected from volcanoes into the sky) reacts with water vapor. The type of cloud created depends on the density of the water vapor. The pyrobloin accounts for the Super Drowning Skills effect, since it's found in Seastone which can de-power Devil Fruit users.
  • Simoun, pretty much all of it.
  • In the Ah! My Goddess manga, the Schroedingers swim through the air... but it's mainly in a conceptual space so it might not completely count. Still evokes the trope, though.
  • Laputa: Castle in the Sky
  • Last Exile
  • Discussed in Trigun: Vash compares the large open sky to "the deep blue sea"... even though he's never seen the sea or even been close to a large water point.

Comic Books

  • The Cross Gen series Meridian was set in a world of floating islands and airships.



  • The Dreamlands of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos feature boats that float on the sky and can sail to the moon.
  • Airborn has Sky Pirates and an airship that's basically a luxury cruise liner.
  • The Nameless Castle in Xanth sits among the clouds, upon which (magical, one presumes) boats can be floated.
  • In The Integral Trees by Larry Niven, which is set in a thin, orbiting band of breathable air the sky literally is an ocean, since there is no actual planet one can set foot on.
  • Older Than Radio: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle penned a short SF piece entitled The Horror of the Heights featuring an aviator who has a nasty run in with a swarm of flying jellyfish.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs uses this trope throughout his Martian tales, especially when The Hero is being chased by Sky Pirates.
  • Karl Schroeder's "Virga" series takes place inside a Hollow World filled with air, where people, ships, and entire cities float around.

Live Action TV

  • In A Christmas Carol of Doctor Who, the sky above a planet was full of fish (including sharks).

Tabletop Games

Video Games

Western Animation

Real Life

  • When the Captain or First Officer of your airliner turns off the "Fasten Seat Belts" signs you may move about the cabin. Flight Attendants were once stewards and stewardesses, and they still serve food and drinks from a galley. Very large airliners have upper and lower decks. Aircraft are steered to port or starboard by pilots and one of the control-surfaces they use is the rudder.
    • Ooh! Ooh! Airport!
      • Specifically Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix.
    • Not to mention terms in other languages, such as "embarque" and "desembarque" in Portuguese, used for boarding and unboarding airplanes (as well as busses, subway, train and other transportation).
  • While modern day aircraft my not invoke this trope that much the airships of the early 20th century most certainly did. Not only were they large and slow moving but there interiors often wouldn't look out of place on an ocean liner. The Hindenburg for example had private passenger quarters, public areas, a mess hall, and even an old ship's wheel used for steering in the cockpit.