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Terra Cascus: The Official Project
Topic Started: Jun 2 2017, 05:38 PM (1,162 Views)
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An Awesome Reptile
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In 2109 a human cargo starship known as the ISS Alaskan Stallion was ambushed by Lurrkullian pirates that attempted to board the ship and steal highly valuable power cells for a colony. The Alaskan Stallion was able to make it to an SDS bridge but it was unmarked and lead to an unexplored star system where the ship crash landed on a habitable world. Three weeks later a distress signal reached Earth and a rescue team arrived to save the survivors. However as it turned out the planet not only had almost mirrored conditions and attributes of Earth but the ecology consisted on animals originating from Earth; specifically the long extinct dinosaurs and every other animal, plant, fungi and microbial species at the end of the Cretaceous.

As it turned out the world was discovered by the Tremphasi over three million years ago but the conditions of the planet were unsuitable for them so they abandoned the planet for colonisation. This lead to the human government GCF to demand ownership rights to the planet, dubbed by the media “Planet Dinosaur”, seeing that it was inhabited by the extinct mesozoic titans. The Tremphasi agreed to hand over all entitlements and ownership of the planet to humanity if they could prove the ecology was of Earth origin. In 2111 an expedition was sent to the planet that consisted of numerous scientists in several fields to gain as much information as possible in the six month window they were given.

Once the expedition proved the ecology originated from Earth the Tremphasi government handed over all rights to the GCF and immediately set to study more about this planet, as well as answer many questions that arose; how did this planet come into existence, why was it populated with Earth species and what happened before the K-Pg Extinction on Earth which previously wiped out all non-avian dinosaur species, along with 75% of all life?

Now in 2125, a permanent research colony of over 400 researchers covering many fields has been established to study the planet in closer detail from the microbial world to the forests that span thousands of years and are home to a rich biosphere of what life would like if the K-Pg Event never occurred.


To follow up on Foundation: the journal updates of the first expedition to Terra Cascus, click the title
Edited by CaledonianWarrior96, Jan 16 2018, 12:35 PM.
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The Ecology of Skull Island: An Open Project for the Home of King Kong (Alternative Universe)
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I'll cut ya swear on me mum
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Terra Cascus is set in the same universe as Beryoni? Huh. I'm looking forward to this.

Paradisa: Paradise Off Earth


Just a regular person with an unhealthy obsession with Halo for no apparent reason, and a desire to remove my own limbs :)
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An Awesome Reptile
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Terra Cascus: Planetary Stats

One of the most extraordinary features of Terra Cascus, the home of the descendents of all surviving species of the K-Pg Extinction Event, is it’s near identical traits to Earth. The positioning in it’s star system, diameter, density, material composition, atmosphere, land/ocean coverage and even the position of the continents themselves mirror that of Earth. There are two theories as to why this is; one is that Terra Cascus is the result of an almost impossible chance of a planet developing exactly the same as an unrelated planet and therefore being a ‘twin’ of the other world. The other is that the planet was artificially constructed to mimic that of Earth in order to support the life extracted from it and ensure it evolved naturally as it would on Earth without changes to gravity, atmospheric pressure and other environmental features which could heavily alter any species eventually. Given that Earth-born life was brought to the planet the second theory is favoured more, but no conclusive evidence has been discovered to support it. Regardless, this is an extremely incredible occurrence and one of the greatest discoveries made by humans; possibly even one of the greatest discoveries in the galaxy.

Planet Statistics
Age: 4.5 billion years
Star System: Quroponan System
Star Type and Size: Main Sequence/1,005,000 km diameter
Distance From Star: 150.4 million km
Diameter: 12,700km
Orbital Period: 1 years
Day Length: 24 hours
Atmospheric Pressure: 1.000003 atm
Surface Gravity: 1.00007 G
Mean Surface Temperature: 17.4oC
Axial Tilt: 23.44'
Density: 5.514g/cm3
Atmosphere Composition:-
73.29% Nitrogen
26.2% Oxygen
0.092% Carbon Dioxide
0.62% other gases
(Methane, Hydrogen, Helium and trace elements also found in Earth’s atmosphere)
Satellites: 1
Ocean Coverage: 78%
Land Coverage: 26%

Terra Cascus’ atmosphere is very similar to that of Earth’s but there is a higher percentage of oxygen and carbon dioxide present. The higher CO2 is due to the volcanic activity of the planet but also due to the larger animals which produce a higher volume of CO2 which escapes into the atmosphere. The higher CO2 levels have also enabled the overgrowth of plant life, causing the spread of more dense and species rich forests and grasslands, which also provides food for a rich biosphere of animal life.

Because of the overgrowth of plants there is a higher percentage of oxygen as the plants produce an excess of the gas as waste. The higher oxygen levels have also allowed a thicker ozone layer to develop which provides the planet a higher form of protection against UV radiation from the sun; more so than Earth before the industrial period. The high oxygen levels have also had an effect on the arthropod life of Terra Cascus as they are able to grow to larger masses. The very largest arthropods can reach the size of a small chicken.

There is also methane present in the atmosphere which is being produced by the massive herbivores of the planet as they consume large masses of food which through digestion produces a high volume of methane which escapes into the atmosphere. The excess methane encourages the greenhouse effect of the planet and together with CO2 is the reason for the planet’s warmer climate than Earth.

Terra Cascus’ climate is similar to what Earth’s but it is slightly warmer and much more humid in the tropics and equatorial zones of the planet. The regional climates differ as generally they become more arid and colder towards the poles where ice can be found.

Terra Cascus is noticeably warmer than Earth was before the industrial period began. This is largely thanks to the higher levels of CO2 and methane which contribute to a greenhouse effect which traps more heat and has caused an increase in the planet’s surface temperature so that it is 1’C higher than Earth now. There is also much less ice on the planet than on Earth so there is less light and heat being reflected back into space.

The climate is also very wet thanks to certain parts of the planet receiving more heat which cause atmospheric pressure differences that result in erratic wind patterns that shift rainfall from the oceans over land and drowse the continents in water. Not all parts of the planet receive high rainfall and there are many deserts and grassland regions as well as forests, but by percentage of area coverage there is more land covered in forests than on Earth.

One of the most striking features of Terra Cascus is that the continents resemble those on Earth. From a simple glance they mimic all the continents on Earth and the tectonic plates themselves appear to be moving in the same direction and speed as our continents are now. Because the landmasses so strongly resemble the ones on Earth they have also been named the same, with the identity tag TC over it. For example the continent on the south pole in TC Antarctica and the largest landmasses is TC Afroeurasia (Africa, Europe and Asia). However when inspected more closely the precise bordering of the shores between dry land and water is different. These differences are minute but this shows that the continental layout of Terra Cascus does not perfectly match Earth’s. Examples of these differences include the shape of the British Isles on Terra Cascus and Earth, with the TC isles being slightly further away from Continental Europe and some islands being absent while others are new. Again these differences are only seen when looking closely between the two planets, but the fact the major layout resemble each other is significantly interesting and a main focus of study on the geology of Terra Cascus.

There is not much known about the geological aspects of Terra Cascus that is different from Earth. Both planets have an iron/nickel core and extremely similar layer thicknesses of crust, mantle, inner and outer core. The oldest rocks so far found on Terra Cascus date back to 3.4 billion years ago. Whether this means that the planet is this old is unclear and it's possible Terra Cascus is the same age as Earth, possibly older.

There also appears to be a lack of fossil evidence older than 70 million years old found on the planet; suggesting the theory of the planet being artificially constructed being more likely. That being said there appears to be evidence of microbes dating around 66 - 70 million years ago, with the rocks they were found in containing various levels of CO2 and oxygen, with the older air pockets containing a high ratio of CO2:O2. This suggests these microbes were photosynthetic or at least produced oxygen as a waste product which altered the atmospheric composition. Considering beyond 70 million BCE any other air pockets found had high levels of CO2 this proves that before 70 million years ago life on Terra Cascus was different than what it is now before the colonisation with Earth life. But this could simply mean pioneering organisms were first introduced to establish a biosphere with nutrients present and provide conditions for higher forms of life to develop. Whether life prevailed on Terra Cascus for billions of years or was introduced some 70 million years ago is still a mystery.

There is a high lack of evidence supporting what the tectonic activity of the planet was in the past and other evidence like volcanic activity, impact craters and other related events. It seems extremely unlikely that the continents almost exactly match Earth’s and even continue to develop the same way naturally, but researchers have found no evidence to provide a theory as to why this is. The leading theory is that in order for the continents to match each other there must be some link that informs the Terra Cascus continents to ‘copy’ the movement and formations of the ones on Earth. No one knows what this link is though and despite it being a leading theory it is still not widely popular or supported by the majority of the scientific community.

Like Earth and most other life-sustaining planets, Terra Cascus is largely covered in water. Much of the planet is dominated by large oceans that can reach three miles deep, but there are also shallow seas which only reach 200 metres in depth and cover regions like TC’s Amazon Basin in South America, Australia, parts of India and Europe to name a few places.

On land the planet is covered in mountainous features where they can be found on Earth, such as the western parts of the America’s, the collision point between India and Asia, Europe and other locations. These mountains however not the same as Earth’s as they vary in height and range coverage. For example the tallest point above sea level on Earth is Mt Everest at 8,848 metres, while on Terra Cascus that is Mt Bonaparte which is located 754 miles west from where Everest would be and is 8,903 metres above sea level.

In terms of terrain there are a variety of forests, grasslands and deserts which cover the land. As can be found on Earth tropical rainforests can be found at the equator, more temperate grasslands in the temperate zones and deserts and arid grasslands in the tropics and closer to the poles. These areas vary in their ecology and climate depending on the wind patterns which dictate how much rainfall different regions receive. Overall though as the climate is much more humid than Earth there are more rainforests and rain grasslands that exhibit more tropical features and higher levels of biodiversity. Rainforests exist on Terra Cascus where they don’t on Earth such as in Southern Europe, Southern and Western Australia, parts of Northern Africa and even closer to the Arctic Circle than you would think.

There is even ice present on the planet. Some of it can be found on high altitude areas like tall mountains where the conditions let water form into snow and have developed into small but present icelands. There is even an ice sheet present on Terra Cascus, on it’s version of Antarctica. Like on Earth, the southern continent is isolated and a circumpolar current has developed around the landmass which has encouraged a cold climate and made it possible for ice to develop. The ice sheet is not as big as the one on Earth though, since the global climate is warmer than Earth. At most the ice sheet covers just half of the landmass, with the rest covered in tundra on most of the exposed land and a narrow border of woodland on the coasts.

By far the most interesting trait of Terra Cascus is the presence of an entire global ecology of organisms and ecosystems that are descended from all surviving species of the Cretaceous period. It’s clear they are from Earth as genetic tests have proven but how they got to this world is unknown. The most widely accepted and, to some people, obvious theory is that a now extinct/missing advanced species moved some of the planet’s inhabitants to this world after they created a suitable environment for them to thrive in and then breed in to establish a genetically viable population. Why they did this, how they achieved it, where they went and why specifically Earth is not known. What is known is that they visited Earth, had a civilization at least 70 million years old and somehow knew of the K-Pg Event before it happened and decided to preserve the planet’s ecology.

The most famous organisms are the megafauna of the planet; the dinosaurs. These are not the same species as the ones from 66 million years ago; evolution has allowed new species to evolve and natural selection has caused the majority of them to die out over time. While humans will still never see wonders like Tyrannosaurus rex or Velociraptor mongoliensis (the latter actually dying out before the K-Pg extinction), the descendents of other species can be found and this shows what Earth would’ve been like if dinosaurs never died out. Interestingly groups we though wouldn’t have evolved actually did in some form. Mammals like bats, shrews and cat-like carnivores can be found, a wide variety of birds can be noted; both familiar and alien and even invertebrate groups are different from those on Earth.
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The Beryoni Galaxy: The Biologically Rich and Politically Complex State of our Galaxy (Habitational Zone)

- Beryoni Critique Thread (formerly: Aliens of Beryoni)
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Since the first research colony was established on Terra Cascus in 2118 a myriad of projects have been created so that the planet can be studied in the greatest level of detail that human science can achieve. Being one of the most, if not then the most unique planet in the known universe, Terra Cascus has gathered a vast level of scientific interest which spans from studying the mechanics of the planetary processes to the interesting and astonishing biosphere that dominates the surface. The information gathered from these projects not only provide a clearer picture of how the planet came to be and how the ecology of the planet functions but can also be applied to Earth in terms of major issues such as studying how to treat or erase diseases, restoring the environment to a pristine and healthier state and even opening up prospects of terraforming planets so that they can be more easily inhabited by humans and Earthborn organisms like crops and livestock.

At the moment there are nine projects looking into mainly into the biosphere, geology and environment of Terra Cascus, but with an increase in funding and support from the public throughout HGCF space this can be increased and improve the studying of the planet with added interest and more help. Even HCGF allies have provided help with investigating the planet with alien scientists aiding in research and providing protection against illegal hunting and capturing of native lifeforms.

King of Beasts Project:
The project that handles the research on the megafauna of Terra Cascus, King of Beasts was one of the first projects to be commissioned and still continues to this day. This project’s objectives is to observe and note the behaviour, physiology and ecology of the largest species on the planet, notably the large dinosaurs but also other large animals on the land, in the air and in the water.

Eye from Above Initiative:
This is not so much a project but an observation technique that allows researchers to examine the environment they are studying from an elevated position. The researchers use large hoverships with technologically endowed observation platforms that enable them to view the animals and habitats below without disturbing them in any capacity.

Titans of the Undergrowth Project:
This project focuses on the invertebrate life of Terra Cascus and how the planet’s environmental conditions and atmosphere affect the physiology of the worms, molluscs, arthropods and other invertebrate groups. The name of the project refers to the fact many species of arthropods have grown to large sizes, with some surpassing the goliath beetles, however most invertebrates are still small and not much larger than Earth insects.

Lost Forests Project:
This project looks into the various plant species on the planet in the various forest and grassland biomes and how the ecology of plant species vary between localised regions and habitats.

Mysterious Blue Project:
Mysterious Blue analyses the oceanic environments of the planet and looks mainly at the shallow seas which are the most plentiful, but also studies the deeper oceans which can be as deep as eight miles in some places.

Strange Earth Project:
The Strange Earth project focuses on the geology and geography of Terra Cascus. This project is more concentrated on the matter of learning how this planet came to be and if there is any indication that it was artificially created; possibly by the same ancient, advanced beings that introduced the Cretaceous ecology to Terra Cascus.

Mesozoic Critters Project:
This project is often seen as a poster for Terra Cascus as a way to attract more attention and extra funding. Mesozoic Critters involves studying a small domesticated population of small dromeaosaurs and troodontids which have shown high intelligence, calm temper and even affection towards humans.

Dreaded Sickness Project:
Dreaded sickness is largely a pathology and virology project that investigates the various diseases that are found on Terra Cascus, with similarities made with Earth diseases. A wide range of illnesses and infections are covered in this project and it also looks into finding cures in some of the planet’s biosphere that can be used to treat illnesses both on Terra Cascus and Earth, as well as possibly other alien worlds.

Wondrous and Small Project:
Wondrous and small is a project that studies the microscopic life of Terra Cascus, from photosynthetic bacteria and diatoms to paraceriums and unicellular fungi. As well as further investigating the biosphere of Terra Cascus, the project has another goal of finding out what organisms were used for the initial terraforming of the biosphere for the planet and whether they can be cultured and used as a model for future planetary modification, with significant interest in whether they can be used to further modify the surface of Mars and make the planet more habitable.
Come check out and subscribe to my projects on the following subforums;

Future Planet (V.2): the Future Evolution of Life on Earth (Evolutionary Continuum)
The Meuse Legacy: An Alternative Outcome of the Mosasaur (Alternative Evolution)
Terra Cascus: The Last Refuge of the Dinosaurs (Alternative Evolution)
- Official Project
- Foundation
The Beryoni Galaxy: The Biologically Rich and Politically Complex State of our Galaxy (Habitational Zone)

- Beryoni Critique Thread (formerly: Aliens of Beryoni)
The Ecology of Skull Island: An Open Project for the Home of King Kong (Alternative Universe)
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An Awesome Reptile
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Geography of Terra Cascus

As has been previously stated about Terra Cascus, aside from the lifeforms on the planet the most interesting feature of the world is that the landmass layout is almost identical to that of Earth’s. As far as any sapient race knows two worlds with even a similar continental and oceanic layout have never been recorded, with the chances of such an event occurring being astronomically unlikely. Nonetheless though both Earth and Terra Cascus share an extremely similar geographical layout and this has been one of the most scientifically interesting parts of the planet, with both human and alien geologists and other planetary scientists figuring out how this could happen.

As well as the landmasses being similar, the landscape of Terra Cascus are also of interest as they show what Earth would have been like had cretaceous life not died out in the K-Pg extinction event. Forests and grasslands are home to a variety of both ancient and new plant species which are mostly absent from Earth, the oceans contain similar but genetically different groups of plankton, benthic ecologies and reefs which dominate the shallow seas and the biomes of Terra Cascus contrast greatly to that of Earth.

Below is the physical description of each continent (and their associated and neighbouring islands/microcontinents) such as mountainous regions, lakes and inland seas, coastline and significant landscape features, as well as the biomes which can be found on the surface. Because the continents are so similar to their Earth counterparts only differences in general layout will be listed.

Geographical Differences:

  • The Strait of Gibraltar that separate North Africa from Europe is wider than that on Earth, with the seaway being 23.2 miles wide from north to south.
  • Just south of the Strait of Gibraltar is a tall mountain range that extends from Southwest Morocco to Northeast Algeria, with the tallest reach three kilometres.
  • The northern coastline of Algeria and Tunisia is more smooth with the lining taking a more southeastern curve as it approaches Libya.
  • The land bridge connect Egypt to Israel is much more mountainous and has more land than the one on Earth does. The Red Sea is also more narrow with the widest point reach 171 miles wide.
  • There is a large mountain range that spans from Djibouti and curves southeast to a more southern direction until it reaches Central Mozambique. The Somalian Wall is 450 miles wide at the north but becomes gradually narrower the further south it extends.
  • The Horn of Africa is not as eastward facing as it is on Earth nor is it as prominent, with it being more rounded in shape and being 60% of Earth’s length from Djibouti to the very tip of the horn.
  • Running from the Southeast of Somalia to Central Mozambique is a mountainous region that varies between landmasses that are 1,000 metres above sea level and the seafloor being 300 metres deep on the continental plate. This has resulted in the Somalian Archipelago which has some 29,000 islands and stretches as far west as Mbeya in southern Tanzania. As a result of this formation Lake Malawi doesn’t exist on Terra Cascus.
  • Further inland where the other Great Rift Lakes are on Earth are similarly sized and located lakes, however water from Lake Victoria empties into eastern waterfalls that lead to the Somalian Archipelago. The western more inland section of the region is heavily brackish as the result of the freshwater mixing with the saltwater from the Indian Ocean.
  • The coastline of Africa from the southern end of the Somalian Archipelago is mostly identical to Earth’s until it reaches the Gulf of Guinea.
  • The western projection of Africa on the northside is 85% shorter than the one on Earth but is more similar in shape otherwise.
  • Like the Sahara region on Earth there are isolated elevated regions but they are not in the same locations as they are on Earth.
  • Much of the Southern African region is lower on Terra Cascus than it is on Earth, with some depressions distributed across the region that vary between a few miles wide to as great as 20 miles wide and 100 miles wide. They are not consistent with meteorite impacts and are more uniform in shape.

North Africa:-
Like the region on Earth, TC’s North Africa is mostly covered in a vast desert that is 80% the size of Earth’s Sahara Desert (however the TC desert is named the Stromer Desert). The desert is dotted with arid scrubland, xeric savannahs and rocky hills. On the north of the region is a narrow band of tropical forest that is supported by easterly travelling rains that keep the region moist. The actual forest is 80 - 150 miles wide from north to south and stretches from Northern Tunisia to Western Syria. As the forest extends further south into the Stromer desert is becomes dry savannah, then dry grassland and then hot desert.

West Africa:-
Much of the northern and central parts of West Africa are apart of the Stromer Desert. From the southern reach of the desert it gradually turns into arid scrubland, then into savannah and then it becomes tropical forest which is apart of the Central African forests. The western coast of this region has extensive mangrove forests as rains from eastern travelling winds drain westards into the Atlantic Ocean.

Central Africa:-
The entirety of the southern half of Central Africa is covered in massive forests that cover the equator and expand as far north as the forests on Earth reach, though Terra Cascan forests actually extend between 30 - 70 miles further north into the Stromer Desert. The northern half is dominated by the Stromer Desert with some scrubland and savannah present. Much of the forested section is lowland forests with some highlands closer to the west.

East Africa:-
East Africa is the most mountainous region of Africa with the tallest reaching five kilometres above sea level (the tallest mountain in Africa is Mount Asfaw at 5,203 metres), with a southern stretching mountain range covering around 10% of the continent, called the Somalian Wall. The easternmost part of East Africa (starting at the Horn of Africa) is the most mountainous with the size area larger than Madagascar. As the Wall extends south it becomes narrower and the mountains decrease in height, with the southernmost mountains only reaching just a kilometre above sea level. The northern section of East Africa is mostly covered in the Stromer Desert and a stretch of forests and savannahs. The entire southeastern section of the region is an archipelago made up of over 29,000 islands of various size and shape. Islands closer to the continent are mountainous and stick out as tall isles while those closer to the ocean are generally flatter. Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika are present (though in different forms) with Lake Malawi absent on Terra Cascus. Lake Victoria also drains its contents into a massive waterfall region that spans 90 miles long into the Somalian Archipelago.

Southern Africa:-
Most of Southern Africa is covered in forest, though it varies by the section of region. The Central African rainforest spills from the north and gradually turns into dry forests before eventually turning into savannahs on the eastern side and hot desert on the western side (called the Robbins Desert). The Robbins desert is smaller than the Kalahari that is found on Earth but is just as arid. The eastern forests continue to stretch all the way to the southern coast of Africa until it reaches the coastal border between South Africa and Namibia. Southern forests are generally drier than the northern forests with more scrubland present. The region is also lower towards sea level than it is on Earth.

North America

  • The region that is Alaska on Earth is more stretched out and slimmer in a north-south direction than and with an archipelago present in the Bering Strait that connects North America to Asia.
  • Hudson Bay is not as wide as it is on Earth from a west-east direction but it is similarly as long as it over halfway across Canada to the border with the US.
  • The section of land east of Hudson Bay is lower than it is on Earth but also more mountainous, which has resulted in the Great Eastern American Archipelago which has as many as 41,000 islands.
  • There is a large horn-like landmass protruding from the US east coast that extends as great as 280 miles into the Atlantic Ocean and at it's widest (connecting to the mainland) is 210 miles until it narrows to just 15 miles wide at the tip, ending in a small archipelagos.
  • Florida is entirely submerged as sea levels are higher on Terra Cascus than on Earth, with just the northern parts still above sea level.
  • What is considered Central America (down to the southern end of Panama) is mostly similar in shape on Terra Cascus as it is on Earth, however the Yucatan Peninsula is slimmer and extends further out into the Gulf of Mexico and partially connects to Cuba through an island chain (a shallow sea mostly covers this part of the Gulf). Central America’s form is also more straightened than it is on Earth with just an eastern forming curve connecting it to South America.
  • Baja California is actually separate from the continental mainland and is its own elongated island, though the seaway that separates the two landmasses is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point and 55 miles wide on average.
  • Like on Earth there is an extensive mountain range that runs from the very north down into Central America and extending further into South America (this range is called the Horner Mountains). The Horner mountains reach four kilometres high with the highest point being Mount Gay, reaching 4,561 metres above sea level. The mountain range varies in width, with the widest being 320 miles and the narrowest point being just 12 miles.

Northern North America (Canada and Alaska):-
The very north of the continent is covered in tundra which extends for thousands of miles from the east to west coasts and covers one third of the region. Closer to the pole sea ice forms, however it doesn’t reach as far south as it did on Earth before the industrial period. Further south the tundra turns into taiga which covers the rest of the region, apart from the east coast which is an archipelago and mostly covered in tundra or sparse woodland typically found on islets in Canada on Earth.

Western North America:-
West of the Horner mountains the land is lush and covered in temperate rainforest at the north but becomes drier and hotter further south until a hot desert forms that is dotted with scrubland. The Horner mountains themselves are covered in montane forests on the eastern side all the way down to New Mexico, while on the western side it is drier. The highest mountains are snow covered in winter, which causes spring floods which causes a seasonal boom in life on both sides of the mountains. Further into the continental interior the land is dominated by expansive grasslands and scrubland, with the area being called the Great American Prairies.

Central North America:-
Most of the continental interior is dominated by the Great American Prairies, however further eastward savannahs start to form until they develop into temperate rainforests on the east coast.

Eastern North America:-
Most of the eastern region of North America is covered in expansive temperate forest, with most of region consisting of lowland forests but a northern stretch of land being higher above sea level and containing highland forests. The American Horn is covered in temperate rainforests before ending in an archipelago that is mainly made of forest covered islands.

Southern North America:-
Most of the southern region is covered in wetlands, swamps, tropical forests and mangroves which drain a vast volume of freshwater into the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the Gulf is a shallow sea but the interior can reach four kilometres deep.

Central America:-
Much of Central America is covered by the southern extending Horner mountains but otherwise almost the entirety of the land is covered in tropical rainforest, ranging from lowland forests to montane cloud forests. The islands out in the Gulf of Mexico are also covered in tropical forests.

South America

  • Much of the northeastern coast of South America is mountainous as the North American Horner mountains turn into the Tavera Mountains (Terra Cascan Andes). Much of the northern area of the Tavera is a plateau and highland regions.
  • Instead of the extensive Amazon river system existing on Terra Cascus an inland sea exists in its place. Due to higher sea levels the Amazon basin was filled in significantly by the Atlantic Ocean until it became a large inland brackish sea, roughly the same size in area as Spain (called the Amazon Sea).
  • The eastern coast of South America is much smoother in curvature than the one on Earth.
  • The Rio De La Plata between Uruguay and Argentina extends much further inland into the border between the two nations, with the bay still reaching 40 miles wide as it reaches Concordia. The extent of the bay is enough to qualify Uruguay as a peninsula: the Uruguay Peninsula.
  • The southern tip of the continent is much more mountainous than it is on Earth, with the average mountain height reach five kilometres high and a large plateau existing where Santa Cruz is today, though it is only one sixth of Earth’s Tibetan Plateau.
  • Much of the western coast is mountainous terrain, like it is on Earth.
  • Like on Earth there is a large high altitude desert in the western region of South America, however the desert is more elongated latitude wise with it extending further south along the Tavera mountains until it ends halfway through Argentina (this desert is called the Suarez Desert).

Northern South America:-
Much of the north of the continent is covered in tropical forests and wetland plains. In the western side of the region is the northern end of the Tavera mountains which is a plateau that is roughly the same size area as Texas. The roofs of the mountains are cold and snowy but below three kilometres is lush forests, ranging from steep montane cloud forests to highland rainforest and even lowland valley forests. Heading eastwards the land varies in elevation due to tectonic movement, creating an uneven terrain of highland and lowland forests until it finally evens out nearer to the border of Guyana. The uneven terrain also has a vast river system where the Amazon Sea drains into the north.

Western South America:-
The entirety of the western coastline is dominated by the Tavera mountains which extend all the way to the southern tip. On the western side of the mountains in the northern range is arid scrubland, with the land turning into desert further south as it reaches the latitude where the Bolivian border starts. The coastal desert continues until one third the way south through Chile. On the eastern side of the mountains is a highly elevated plateau that narrowly extends southwards. The Suarez desert is the driest hot desert on the planet.

Central South America:-
Eastwards of the Tavera mountains and Suarez desert is the Amazon sea which is a shallow inland sea that at its deepest is just 109 metres below sea level. The interior of this region is bowl shaped in terms of tectonics which allows seawater from the Atlantic to spill into the continent. The sea is surrounded by a vast ring of mangrove forests which steadily turns into tropical evergreen forests at higher altitude.

Eastern South America:-
Most of this region is covered in tropical forest, both lowland and highland. On either side of the Amazon seaway are shallow plateaus covered in highland forests that gradually turn into flattened lowland forest at lower altitudes. There are river systems from each plateau that empty into the seaway.

Southern South America:-
On the western side of this region is the end of the Tavera mountains, which end with a large plateau. The coastline of the tip is an archipelago covered in temperate forests in the north but gradually turns into tundra islands. On the eastern side the tropical forests turn into temperate then tundra southwards. The mountains are covered in glaciers which move eastwards and eventually melt into large lakes that eventually find their way into the archipelago.

Differences (starting on the coastline east of the Weddell Sea):

  • Coastline of Antarctica is similar to that on Earth until it reaches Prydz Bay as it only extends inland at half the length it does on Earth, but is wider at the opening, 180 miles wide. The bay’s coastline is more circular in form.
  • The coastline remains similar to of Earth’s up to the coast of the Ross Sea with the exception of a scar-shaped bay that extends 350 miles inland towards the South Pole in a wavey form.
  • The coastline encompassing the Ross Sea is similar to that of Earth’s, however on the western side a stretch of land extends over the opening on the sea into the Southern Ocean, with the land measuring 310 miles eastwards.
  • The coastline of West Antarctica extends further out into the Amundsen Sea than it does on Earth.
  • The Antarctic Peninsula is the same form as it is on Earth and ends in an archipelago, but is shorter in length.

Western Antarctica:-
The first 10 - 30 miles of land from the shoreline to the continental interior is covered in austral snow forest dominated by coniferous trees. The tree line ends at the 28 - 35 mile marker from the shoreline and the land turns into tundra which extends a further 70 - 100 miles.

Eastern Antarctica:-
The land in this region is similar to that of Western Antarctica except the forested range is wider than in the west, with it reaching as far as 50 - 80 miles away from the coast and the tundra range extending a further 220 - 290 miles. There is also a shallow polar sea that covers the region that extends from Victoria Land to Queen Mary Land, though it does not surpass the 80o latitude line in the south.

Central Antarctica (within the 80o latitude circle):-
A massive ice sheet covers this area that is up to two kilometres thick and has depressed the terrain to as much as two kilometres below sea level. The ice sheet extends out of the latitude line but thins out until it eventually ends some 1,100 miles from the South Pole on the eastern side, 800 miles on the west and partially covers the coast and sea of the Ross Sea.


  • The land south of Cenderawasih Bay actually curves further south than it does on Earth to form a U-shaped landmass that connects the West Papua to Papua.
  • Papua and Papua New Guinea are much narrower than they are on Earth with a taller mountain range running along the southern coast of the island. There is also a landmass that connect Papua New Guinea with New Britain to the east, cutting off the Bismarck Sea from the Solomon Sea.
  • Because of the narrower form of the northern island, the Arafura Sea appears larger on Terra Cascus than it does on Earth. Consequently though, the coastline that borders the sea in Australia is much further north than it is on Earth so while it is wider from a north - south direction, its not as wide as it would be if Australia’s form were the exact same on Terra Cascus.
  • The northern tip of Queensland is much shorter and not as narrow as it is on Earth, with it actually reacher less further north than the northern coastline of the Northern Territory, with is similarly shaped as its Earth counterpart.
  • Australia’s eastern coastline remains mostly the same until it reaches Melbourne.
  • The landmass that is Tasmania on Earth is an extended archipelago with some 8,000 islands that loosely connect to the mainland. Otherwise the outline of the outer islands matches that of Tasmania connected to Australia.
  • In South Australia exists an inland sea that is filled in from a seaway that is next to Adelaide and extends as far north as 560 miles where the northern coastline ends. This is the Eromanga Sea.
  • The coastline of Australia from the western coast of the Eromanga seaway matches that of Earth’s until the section of land where Cape Arid National Park is. Westwards from there the southwestern part of Australia extends further south until reaches the latitude line where Melbourne sits at. The land bends to an eastern section as the coast continues until it hits the very south and travels north as starts to match Australia’s western coast.

North Australia:-
Most of this region is covered in forest until it turns into savannah, scrubland and then desert as it approaches south. The northern forests are tropical rainforests which cover the first 350 miles of land latitude wise, which it then turns into tropical arid savannah, then arid scrubland and then the Kear Desert.

West Australia:-
Much of this region is covered in the Kear Desert apart from some of the northern coastline and the southwestern corner of Australia, which is covered in temperate forest and scrubland.

Central Australia:-
Most of this region is also dominated by the Kear, with the Eromanga sea covering the Eromanga basin and supports an edge of forest that is mangrove at the coast but more tropical lowland further away. There are also short mountains in the continental interior that are less than a kilometres above sea level, like the australian mountains on Earth.

East Australia
Most of this region is covered in tropical rainforest and vast grasslands that reach as 600 miles westwards away from the coast. Pass this mark the grasslands turn into the Kear. The whole of New South Wales is covered in forest and grassland and is the most densely forested part of the continent apart from the Northern Territory.

Southern Australia:-
This region supports rainforest along much of the coast and along the Eromanga seaway, but on the eastern side of the Eromanga sea is desert. All of the southern coast supports forest but the narrowest band is just ten miles wide and extends for some 90 miles.


  • Like how Alaska in North America is stretched out as an archipelago, Eastern Russia is also stretched out and has an archipelago that connects to Alaska’s, forming the Bering Archipelago.
  • Japan is closer to the continental mainland and actually connects with the Korean Peninsula, separating the East China Sea from the Sea of Japan and effectively making the island a peninsula.
  • The Yellow Sea has a more round shape in general with no projections from the surrounding landmass.
  • The island arrangement of Indonesia is similar to Earth’s but East Malaysia and East Indonesia join up to form an extension of Southeast Asia, the Great Indonesian Peninsula.
  • India is slightly further north than it is on Earth and Sri Lanka is connected to the Indian mainland.
  • The Persian Gulf is wider than it is on Earth and extends further inland to an northwestern-then-northeastern direction towards the Caspian Sea, which itself is actually a section of a much larger inland sea that connects to the Mediterranean, known as the Gromova Sea
  • The southern coastline of Europe (which is the north of the Mediterranean Sea) is similar to what it is on Earth, except Italy doesn’t exist, the Mediterranean connects to the Gromova via the Aegean Sea and the Adriatic Sea extends further north into where Italy and Austria are.
  • The British Isles, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Denmark are partially submerged and are an archipelago with some 21,000 islands, known as the McIntyre Archipelago.
  • Norway, Sweden, Finland and parts of Northwestern Russia are an isolated island with several thousand islets on the northern coastline, known as New Scandinavia.
  • The Alps of Europe and Himalayas are roughly similar to their Earth counterparts, except the Terra Cascan Alps are called the Cuvier Mountains and the Himalayas are called the Deng Mountains. The tallest point in the Deng Mountains, and the highest point above sea level is Mt Bonaparte, which is 754 miles west from where Mt Everest is on Earth and reaches 8,904 metres high.

North Eurasia:-
Most of the very north of this region is tundra that stretches across the entirety of the Russian northern coast and extends as far south as Estonia is on the latitude line. The tundra becomes uneven in terrain and forms the Guthrie Steppe that stretches from the Russian border next to European nations to as far east as as the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as extending as far south as Kyrgyzstan.

West Eurasia (Europe):-
Most of Europe that isn’t shallow sea or apart of the McIntyre archipelago is tropical rainforest, tropical scrubland, montane cloud forest at the Cuvier mountains or extensive wetlands further north. The landscape of the archipelago is mostly tropical islands and some mountainous isles. New Scandinavia is tundra at the north and temperate rainforest for the rest of the landmass.

Central Eurasia:-
Much of Central Asia is the Guthrie steppe, however there are some isolated sections of temperate woodland and scrubland. The land surrounding the Gromova seas is extensive wetlands, swamps and mangroves.

East Eurasia:-
Most of this region is forest, varying from northern temperate forests to southern tropical rainforests. Southeast Asia is particularly thick in tropical rainforests. The Guthrie steppe also ends on the coast of East Asia.

South Eurasia:-
The Arabian peninsula is mostly desert with some savannahs closer to the coast. The middle east is also mostly desert but there are arid woodland and grasslands present in the region. Further eastwards to India and most of the landmass is covered in vast tropical forests, wetlands and swamps. Further north is the Deng mountains and Terra Cascus’ largest plateau: the Black Plateau. The plateau is very arid and cold with glacier present both on the plateau and through the Deng Mountains.

Other Landmasses
New Zealand

  • New Zealand is much larger than it is on Earth as not all of the Zealandia continent sunk into the ocean. In fact Terra Cascus’ New Zealand is named Zealandia with a continental status. Zealandia extends from New Caledonia southwards as a narrow chain of islands, with the chain being 30 miles wide on average and consists of 42,000 islands. The landmass becomes more singular around 40 miles south of Burnt Pine as a narrow stretch of land and then widens exponentially along the latitude line 50 miles north of where New Zealand starts on Earth. The main body of Zealandia is where it is on Earth but it resembles a large ball with a 300 mile tail extending south while curving east, ending with an archipelago. There is also an eastern narrow stretch of land that is sword-shaped and reaches 280 miles from the main body. The coastline of Zealandia is very rugged with a total of 80,000 islands encompassing the landmass’ edge.

Northern Zealandia:-
This region is mostly tropical islands that are covered in isolated forests, however past Burnt Pine the land becomes higher in elevation and more mountainous, becoming the extensive Scarlett Mountains that range 70 south of Burnt Pine to just 40 miles north of the southern tip of the South Tail of Zealandia. The mountains average two kilometres in height but the highest, where the South Island is today, can reach close to six kilometres above sea level.

Western Zealandia:-
Most of West Zelandia is temperate forest but the terrain is dominated by the Scarlett mountains so from the coast to the mountains the forests change from lowland wet forests to highland cloud forests. The South Tail is mostly highland scrubland and lowland forest that have snowy tops and generally have a cold climate.

Central Zealandia:-
Past the Scarlett mountains the continental interior is mostly made up of vast tropical grasslands streaked with rivers from the Scarlett mountains that eventually form large freshwater lakes and flow eastward to Southeast Zealandia.

Eastern Zealandia:-
Much of this region is temperate forest in the north and tropical scrubland in the south. The centre of the terrain, specifically the East Tail, is hilly terrain with cascading grasslands in the centre.

Southern Zealandia:-
On the very south of the main body of New Zealand is dry grassland, while in the southeast there is a vast wetland network that forms into estuaries closer to the coast as easternly flowing rivers from the western mountains make the land more wet and water clogged. This region is the flattest of all of Zealandia, relatively speaking.


  • Madagascar is mostly the same as it is on Earth, except for the northern tip of the island is narrower due to higher sea levels than on Earth.

North Madagascar:-
This region has the most densely forested sections of the island which are covered in tropical rainforests. The western side however is more dry and has arid scrubland.

West Madagascar:-
Much of this region is covered in grasslands and scrubland, which become more arid towards the interior of the island, with scrubland on the coast and grassland towards the eastern edge of the region.

Central Madagascar:-
Almost the whole of the centre of the island, which is central highland, is covered in hot desert, with some localised small patches of savannahs present.

East Madagascar:-
The most lush and forested region on the island, the rainforests of Madagascar cover all of the eastern coast and end with the eastern edge of the central highlands which prevents most of the moisture from the Indian Ocean reaching further inland; drenching the east coast.

South Madagascar:-
The rainforests that cover the eastern coast curve across the southern tip of the island; with the forest band taking a J-shape. Further north though the forests become savannahs and then desert.


  • Greenland, like Madagascar, is mostly the same in shape.

Around 80% of Greenland is covered in a two kilometre thick ice sheet, with just the edges left bare. The edge of the island is entirely coastal tundra and boreal estuaries that occasionally have ice tearing through the land.


  • Iceland is mostly the same on Terra Cascus as it is on Earth, except for the bay on the north-northeast of the island which extends further south into the island; around twice the length as on Earth.

Most of Iceland is tundra with some arctic marshland and small patches of forest in the south. There is also a small ice sheet present in the southeast of the island. Volcanic areas on the island tend to be barren rock or ash-covered regions.

Hawaiian Islands

  • Instead of there being eight islands as there are on Earth there are six islands on Terra Cascus and are spread across a distance of 370 miles in a northwesterly pattern.

The Hawaiian islands are largely tropical forests, montane forests and shallow sea between the individual islands. Some islands are still forming from volcanic activity and have no life sustaining habitats on them.

Galapagos Islands

  • The Galapagos islands are actually much larger on Terra Cascus than on Earth. The main island has a diameter of 78 miles and is surrounded by thirteen other islands that range from 15 miles to less than a mile wide.

The Galapagos are covered in tropical forests, scrubland and grasslands. Some islands are still forming from volcanic activity and have no life sustaining habitats on them.
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An Awesome Reptile
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Climate of Terra Cascus
Terra Cascus is often seen a tropical hothouse planet with its lush and warm rainforests filled with a rich and diverse biosphere, however in reality this hot world has deceptive appearances. Terra Cascus has varied regional climates that have a strong effect on the landscape and environment, resulting in regionally diverse life groups. The studies into Terra Cascus’ global climate is complex and extensive with both current and prehistoric climates being intensely studied and how they differ from the climates of Earth.

The first thing to know about Terra Cascus’ climate is that surprisingly the planet is currently within an Ice Age; like Earth is in right now. Also like Earth, Terra Cascus is specifically in an interglacial period of an ice age, where the planet is temporarily warmer and wetter than what is typically imagined in this type of climate. Just like Earth there is ice at the poles which can measure over a kilometre in thickness and unlike a true hothouse world there are expansive open environments on the landmasses which are similar in size area to some of Earth’s largest nations.

Paleoclimate of Terra Cascus
To first understand how the current climate of Terra Cascus became what it is, a look into the past has to be examined to paint a picture of the climate since the end of the Cretaceous period 66 million years ago. There is still much to learn about how the climate has changed throughout the tens of millions of years on Terra Cascus but what has been learned so far has provided substantial insight into the planet’s paleoclimate. While they are differences in where the planets turned in terms of climate formation, there are also similarities which seem to prove that the planet would’ve changed regardless if dinosaurs died out or not.

All recorded information of Terra Cascus’ paleoclimate has been organised in chronological order from the beginning of the Paleocene epoch in the Paleogene period to the end of the Pleistocene epoch in the current Quaternary period.

Paleogene Period
Paleocene epoch:-
If it’s assumed life on Terra Cascus developed to the point it was exactly as it was like on Earth some time before the K-Pg Event actually occurred (estimates of time period range from 50 to 3,000 years prior to the impact event) then it can be assumed that climatic changes occurred naturally from the point before the impact to afterwards where it resembled that on Earth.

Based on that idea, during this transition between periods (and eras) the climate became steadily drier and cooler for several millions of years with a reduction in CO2 levels being one of several likely reasons why this occurred. The climatic changes were neither dramatic or extremely varied as the planet was still warmer than Earth today. However towards the end of the Paleocene the climate became much hotter and wetter due to a substantial increase in CO2 levels which caused global temperatures to soar and produce a hothouse world which caused an explosion in evolutionary diversity and was the origin point of many Terra Cascan species still around today, but caused an extinction in terrestrial megafauna that weren’t suited to dense forests and couldn’t adapt.

Eocene epoch:
The sudden arrival of a hothouse climate persisted in the Eocene and continued for several more millions of years, resulting in a widespread appearance of lush tropical forests which covered much of the land and even reached the arctic and antarctic. However some point between 52 - 47 million years ago when the Arctic ocean was more like a giant anoxic lake than a typical ocean and actually had a thin layer of surface freshwater covering most of the ocean, the ocean surface became colonised by aquatic plant species that relied heavily on a high CO2 and nitrogen level atmosphere (as well as macronutrient sources like phosphorus which could originate from large rivers whose ejecta from the coast could reach a long distance) to grow rapidly to the point it spread across most of the ocean and caused a sharp drop in CO2 levels over the course of 1.6 - 2.8 million years; resulting in a cooler and drier climate which persisted for the rest of the epoch.

This ultimately gave way to open forested and plains environments becoming the dominant terrestrial habitats and allowing terrestrial megafauna to diversify and increase in abundance. However this cooler climate led to the formation of ice at the poles, especially at the Antarctic, which caused drastic changes in ocean current patterns and disrupted to global ocean ecosystem; resulting in a mass extinction of marine life. It’s suspected that this event, while mirroring an near identical event on Earth, occurred over a longer period as terrestrial megafauna were still present and contributed to the production of methane (which was not extracted by Arctic plants during the event) and CO2 into the atmosphere and slowed down temperature decreases.

Oligocene epoch:
The cool and dry climate formed in the Eocene continued into the Oligocene and cemented the foundations of the open woodland and plains that covered much of the surface at the time. While climatic changes were more erratic at this time with fluctuations in temperature and atmospheric composition, overall the climate remained steady throughout most of the epoch. The planet became even cooler though as Australia and South America separated from Antarctica and caused both permanent ice to form at the continental interior and further delved the planet into an icehouse climate. Even with the cooling the Oligocene, like the rest of the Paleogene period, was warmer than Earth is today, though it is only slightly warmer than Terra Cascus is today.

It should be noted that the presence of large megafauna at this time, which increased in abundance with more spacious environments developing on the surface, are likely to have affected the climate by adding more CO2 and methane into the atmosphere compared to the output of these gases that occurred on Earth during this time period. The higher levels of the gases in the atmosphere also means Terra Cascus was warmer than it was on Earth at this time.

Neogene Period
Miocene epoch:
The Neogene period overall maintained the cooling and drying trend that began in the Paleogene, however during much of the early and middle Miocene epoch the climate was temporarily much warmer and resulted in a more arid climate which lasted for six to eight million years. The warming of the climate was likely caused by tectonic forces as many mountains started their formations in this epoch and likely caused an increase in volcanism which would’ve released greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However towards the end of the epoch the climate cooled slightly and grassland environments became more widespread. Even so open woodland and even dense forests were common at this time in certain regions, appearing to recover from the cooling trend with help from the initial warming period at the start of the epoch.

Pliocene epoch:
This is where the paleoclimate starts to diverge differently on Terra Cascus as it occurred on Earth as the climate became warmer during the Pliocene than it was on Earth, as well as wetter, which meant forests once again became more widespread (though not as extensively as compared to the Paleogene). This was likely caused a by a reduction in ice that covered the surface and allowed more heat to be absorbed by the surface of the planet. Furthermore less ice-covered water in the oceans and seas meant that the surface held more heat from the sea and surface temperatures steadily rose. This caused sea levels to rise as much as 40 metres above sea level as they are on Earth today and shallow seas were slightly more widespread. The warmer ocean surfaces underwent evapouration and turned into water vapour, of which some went into the atmosphere (adding to the formerly thinning greenhouse layer) and some condensed into liquid water and dispersed as rain over the continents, encouraging the spread of forests.

While on Earth the Pliocene eventually became cooler and was closer to the development of the Quaternary ice age, Terra Cascus still remained warmer and wetter and only gradually cooled as a decreased rate. The planet remained wet and warm as the Pleistocene arrived.

Quaternary Period
Pleistocene epoch:
While the Pleistocene is technically the beginning of the ice age that continues to last to the modern day on Terra Cascus, by the beginning of the epoch the planet was still warmer than it was on Earth. The ice age only really became fixed as ongoing continental drift resulted in the formation of the Isthmus of Panama and closed off the Pacific ocean from the Gulf of Mexico; cutting it off from the Atlantic and prevent easternly warm currents entering the ocean, therefore disrupting ocean current patterns. This caused a sharp drop in global temperatures and encouraged the growth of the ice sheets at the poles, however even so the climate was warmer than on Earth and forests were still more widespread than on Earth at this time.

Like on Earth the Pleistocene is made up of numerous glacial and interglacial cycles which have occured in 100,000 and 10,000 year periods with the planet becoming cooler and drier, and then warmer and wetter. Ice coverage has grown and shrunk in this time, sea levels have dropped and risen, global temperatures have fluctuated in becoming lower and higher between cycles and this has resulted in a dynamic on the environment with cyclic patterns of the expansion and reduction in grasslands and other open environments and vice versa for forests and closed environments.

Holocene epoch (present):
The Holocene marks the end of the last glacial cycle and the continuing interglacial that has been ongoing for an estimated 14,000 to 9,800 years. Terra Cascus is warmer and wetter than Earth with forests covering a higher percentage of the land, sea levels being higher and covering more of the continents and global temperatures being a few degrees higher than on Earth prior to the industrial period that began in the 19th century.

Modern Climate of Terra Cascus
As previously stated, Terra Cascus is currently gripped by an ice age that has been ongoing for some 2 - 2.5 million years, since the closure of the Central American Seaway that connected the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This can be proven by the presence of ice on both the poles that measure hundreds of thousands of square miles in area size. While Antarctica is partially covered in a permanent ice sheet which the edge reaches 900 miles on average away from the South Pole. While the Arctic ocean does have ice all year round in the North Pole this is in the form of sea ice as there is no land on the actual pole.
Although Terra Cascus is in an ice age it is currently in an interglacial period, where the climate is warmer and wetter for a period of time before the ice at the pole expands again and causes global temperatures to decrease, sea levels to drop and reduce rainfall in certain regions. The glacial/interglacial cycle patterns appear to occur due to the same reason they also occur on Earth; fluctuations in Terra Cascus’ orbit around its sun where the planet shifts further away from the star (causing a glacial) and gradually closer to it (interglacial). Changes in Terra Cascus’ orbit over millions of years, as well as Earth’s orbit, are known as Milankovitch cycles as the planets naturally change their orbit distance as they do not perfectly remain at the same exact distance from their stars or even orbit in a perfect circle. Both planets’ orbit around their stars tends to become elliptical and during a single year get closer to their stars before moving further, which is another cause for seasonal changes (the other reason being primarily the planets’ tilted axis). The planets tend to move some tens of thousands of miles away and closer to the sun over periods of some 100,000 years which induce climatic changes.

Even though Terra Cascus is in an interglacial cycle it is still warmer than Earth naturally is. There are countless reasons why Terra Cascus is warmer than Earth which could relate to the star system and positioning of Terra Cascus. While Terra Cascus is proportionally the same distance from it's star as Earth, the star is nonetheless smaller than ours. There also the fact the star system has fewer planets which effectively have an effect on each other’s orbits, especially if there is a large gas planet present in the system which significantly affects even the orbit of a star (Jupiter of the Sol System is an example of such a planet capable of this).

Ignoring the effects the positioning and stellar contents of Terra Cascus’ star system has on the planet, other factors responsible for a warmer planet include those on the planet itself. One such is because of a thicker greenhouse layer in the atmosphere that traps more heat from the sun as it hits the surface. The greenhouse house consists of heat trapping gases, mostly CO2 and methane which come from a few sources. Some CO2 comes from volcanic activity as ongoing eruptions and intensely active volcanic regions release material such as ash, dust and gases formed in magma chambers and deep within the Earth. Methane actually partially comes from the megafauna of Terra Cascus, mostly the giant herbivore dinosaurs that roam the planet. As the herbivores consume a vast mass of plants a single large individual can release hundreds of litres of methane a day which escapes into the atmosphere and mixes with the greenhouse layer. With many giant herbivores existing on Terra Cascus the combined volume of methane produced in a year counts up to estimates from 350 - 600 million tonnes of methane. Methane also originates from the environment itself such as the ocean, swamps and wetlands as biological matter is broken down and methane is produced by decomposition which escapes into the atmosphere. Methane can also escape from the seafloor and tundra after being contained by clathrates and permafrost and gradually becomes released due to changes in pH or temperature. Methane has a stronger heat trapping capability than CO2 so it has a more potent greenhouse effect.

Another reason for a warmer and wetter planet is the ocean and its ability to retain heat. Water is naturally a good heat conductor and is able to hold any heat that strikes it for a certain period of time before it eventually becomes lost. This is more so true in large bodies of water which can hold a significant level of heat given off by the sun. Typically only surface waters hold heat as deeper water is further away from the sun and increasing water density makes it difficult for heat to reach the bottom, so naturally deeper oceans are colder than the surface. Even so warmer waters, especially at the equator, can spread to the rest of the planet via ocean currents. Warm water tends to evapourate into vapour over time and it has the potential to reach high into the sky. Some water vapour actually becomes apart of the greenhouse layer and is contributing gas to the warmer climate, but some also condenses once it reaches lower temperatures at high altitudes and forms into rain which falls back down on the ground. Rain can travel hundreds or possibly thousands of miles from the ocean over land and brings moisture and much needed water to environments that need a high volume of it, such as rainforests dispersed across the planet. While this occurs on Earth as well, it's much more prevalent Terra Cascus as sea levels are higher (37 - 42 metres) and there are more shallow seas that cover the continent. Shallow seas could retain a higher volume of heat and go through a higher rate of evaporation which could encourage higher rainfall and water vapour entering the atmosphere.

Other reasons that could relate to a warmer Terra Cascus include tectonic movement, a higher rate of volcanism which releases more CO2 (as previously stated) and less ice-covered surfaces than Earth which would mean less light and heat from the sun is deflected back into space and is kept on Terra Cascus. Debates of the most significant factors contributing to the planet’s warmer climate and the complexity of how they interact and affect each other continues today and is likely to last for many more decades as more evidence is brought to light and a clearer picture of the causes of the climate is made.

What can be summarised from this is that Terra Cascus is warmer and wetter than Earth due to a complexity of causes, with the surviving dinosaurs and their effects on their surrounding environment possibly being one of the highest contributing causes for it. The effects of Terra Cascus’ dinosaurs on the planet have shown to have changed the course of the planet’s climate compared to Earth and seem to show that had they continued to survive on Earth may have resulted in the planet being warm and wet too. This can’t be certified though due to difference in the planets’ stellar composition and structure as Terra Cascus’ sun and neighbours may have had an effect on it's global climate which could have also caused it. Nonetheless, the contrast of Terra Cascus’ climate to Earth’s is a fascinating one and one that has provided a rich source of study that keeps scientists busy and will likely keep them busy and continue to invest further interest for decades or centuries to come, possibly even millennia if humanity persists that long.

Note from Author
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A Brief Modern History of Terra Cascus
For most of its existence as a world sustaining Mesozoic life, Terra Cascus has mostly been isolated in the galaxy and free from the interference of sapient life. Even when the Tremphasi discovered the planet three million years ago they left the planet alone as it provided little use for them, which allowed life on the planet to live on undisturbed. This changed however within the last several millennia as the expansion of BUAC and more species joining the galactic government have allowed the spread of pirates, poachers and illegal hunters to further isolated parts of the galaxy until the planet started to become myth and legend before it started to become a source of rare and extraordinary species to sell, hunt, keep and experiment on. More so the transference of ownership rights from the Tremphasi to Humans have brought the planet into the limelight and has resulted in
Terra Cascus being one of the most well known planets in BUAC space that has a short but complex history.

Virtually all information regarding Terra Cascus was kept secret by the Tremphasi government from the rest of BUAC, however every report involving the planet was shared with the HGCF once humans were able to obtain the ownership rights of the planet and by law were also given reports related to the planet. Both governments agreed to keep some reports secret from public viewing as per the wishes of the Unified Worlds of Tremphas (UWT), but what has been made public knowledge to BUAC is explained below. Everything that is public extends from the discovery of the planet to the present day in 2125.

Discovery of Terra Cascus
Terra Cascus was first discovered by the Tremphasi around 3.22 million BCE as they began exploring the system cluster the planet resided in. The Tremphasi named the planet (and its star system) Quroponan, which is simply Tremphasi for “Distant”, as the planet is located near the edge of the galaxy and is much further away than any other star system, roughly 4,000 lightyears away from the closest star and its planets. The Tremphasi analysed the environment and biosphere of the planet and found it was unsuitable for their biology due to the organic composition of the soil and life which they wouldn’t be able to extract nutrients from efficiently and could actually result in a severe (possibly fatal) allergic reactions.

According to the Tremphasi government the planet was abandoned but labelled as a planet of government interest. There’s been no evidence found on the planet to suggest the Tremphasi have performed tests on the surface or used it for storage, however some conspiracists on Earth and other BUAC worlds have noted that the impact crater found in Western Australia, dating back 1.6 million years ago, appears to be unusual and not consistent with impacts caused by natural spacefaring objects like meteors or comets. While the region has been investigated, very little has been discovered at this time and more research is required to learn the cause of the impact. The Tremphasi have denied any knowledge about the impact zone.

Prehistory of Reported Incursions on Terra Cascus
For most of the time Terra Cascus has been apart of Tremphasi space it has been untouched and seemingly no research has been done by it. However this changed firsty around 89,000 years ago when the Tremphasi discovered the PUSR had discovered the SDS bridge that leads to Terra Cascus and entered the system. The PUSR did not land on the planet but they placed a war fleet on the planet’s moon to serve before moving onto another star system that had Tremphasi colonised planets. The war fleet remained in the system for three weeks before the Tremphasi sent their own fleet to counterattack them as they illegally entered a star system of Tremphasi interest. Both sides received heavy losses in a space battle that last for four days, but it eventually ended with the remainder of the PUSR war fleet retreating back through the SDS bridge. The event became known as the ‘PUSR Quroponan Incursion’.

Around 60,000 years ago during the Skrex Wars the Tremphasi feared that the Skrex would find Terra Cascus and invade it, expanding their growing empire and possibly use it as a reproductive planet that could create billions of more of themselves. The Tremphasi kept a careful guard on the SDS bridge to prevent anything entering the star system, however despite the effort a small transport ship was able to sneak by the defences and reach Terra Cascus. The ship wasn’t Skrex however and it was identified as being Raquenian but had a Rhuninian crew upon later investigation. It’s unclear if the Rhuninians on board were a generic criminal band or PUSR agents working with illegal Raquenian bioengineering companies, as has been recorded in the past.

As it turned out the group abducted several species of animals from the planet and gave them to the Raquenians for the purposes of genetic engineering. Like most other sapient species during the Skrex Wars the Raquenians were under threat from them and produced dozens of projects to create the perfect biological weapon against them before settling for the Desolation project. This was not found out until after the wars and the Raquenian attempted to entirely dismantle the project and make it as if it never existed.

A Tremphasi warship encountered and boarded a Raquenian transport ship that was suspected to be transporting biological weapons. The Tremphasi found that while there was evidence of living animals being transported there was nothing onboard when they arrived. The crew was arrested for transporting property originally belonging to the Tremphasi. The creatures being transported were never recovered and likely either delivered to their destination or spaced from the ship once the crew discovered the warship.

For several more tens of thousands of years the planet was left alone until 16,000 years ago when the first recorded instance of illegal abduction occurred. Prior to this event there were rumours within BUAC that the Tremphasi had a secret world they used to test weapons on and was home to the descendents of genetically engineered beasts of war the Tremphasi dumped onto, but this had little backing and no one knew where this planet was. This changed however when a small transport ship of PUSR origin arrived on the planet and abducted the large carnivores found on the planet, possibly to be bred and used for the purposes of hunting or genetic engineering into war beasts.

Following this event there were more recordings of aliens illegally entering the system, landing on the planet and abducting, poaching or hunting the native lifeforms. Most of these incursions ended with the arrest of caught individuals or being executed on sight, usually by Tremphasi warships that intercepted them with the alien ships attempting to escape the system. The Tremphasi government reported that there were 1,598 known incursions of aliens illegally landing on Terra Cascus, with 87% being apprehended or executed by the Tremphasi. Those that escaped were able to sell off, kill or genetically engineer the species they abducted.

Humanity’s Discovery of Terra Cascus
Humans first discovered Terra Cascus accidentally in 2109. At the time a human transport ship, the ISS Alaskan Stallion, was transporting materials to the human colony of New Victoria While travelling through the Purple Shroud Gas cloud in between SDS bridges the ship was ambushed by Lurrkullian pirates which were able to shut down the weapon and defence systems of the ship. After a three hour standoff the stallion was able to locate the entry point of an unregistered SDS bridge and went through, despite the law stating unexplored SDS bridges should not be entered. The stallion escaped the pirates and crash landed on Terra Cascus. The crew suffered some injuries, a few fatalities and the ship was unable to take off from the planet. The communication system was still functioning however and the captain of the ship, Adrian Lyon, was able to send a distress message back to Earth with coordinates of the planet on the message.

A rescue ship was sent to the coordinates of Terra Cascus two weeks later and a team was able to locate the crashed crew several hours after landing. The group noted that the planet was extremely similar to Earth and the animals encountered looked very similar to that of the dinosaurs of the Mesozoic era. The rescue team returned to Earth with the crew and the crew of the stallion reported their findings to the government, the Human Global and Colonial Federation (HGCF).

Two days after the landing on Earth the UWT contacted the HGCF to inform them that one of their ships illegally entered a region of interest of Tremphasi space. After the crew explained their situation at a hearing some weeks later the case was dropped and both the transport and rescue crews were not arrested. One person however, Elizabeth Rosenthal, was being charged for illegally obtaining property from the planet. Elizabeth revealed she took a deceased rodent-like mammal back to Earth after the stallion crew realised how similar the planet was to Earth. She then sent the mammal to a genetics lab to identify the DNA. While the DNA was distantly related to modern species of mammals of Earth, it was found to be related to Earth species regardless. While Elizabeth ended up having to pay a 50,000 credit fine for her crime this opened up a massive discussion about the fact that the UWT own a world populated by Earthborn life.

News of Terra Cascus on Earth
The story of the Tremphasi having a world populated with Earthborn life was not released to the public on Earth until four months after the incident occurred. During that time the HGCF was in heavy discussions with the UWT over why they had the planet and their plans for it. The UWT revealed they merely discovered the planet and initially refused to state any history of the planet after its discovery. As far as they were aware though Terra Cascus was another planet they had discovered that was not unusual among life-inhabited worlds. Regardless of what the UWT has done with Terra Cascus the HGCF wanted to launch an investigation into this situation which would focus on how this planet came to be, but more so they wanted to obtain ownership rights to the planet.

While the HGCF and UWT discussed heavily about the situation, the story was eventually leaked by an information retrieval agent (Info-Thief) who was able to extract information by various means and sold the story to the Earth media giant the Global Broadcasting Network (GBN) who released a short but revealing story on the situation. The HGCF was eventually forced to release a statement on the situation and explain the crash landing and the planet owned by the Tremphasi. Both governments spent three weeks looking for the info-thief who was charged with crimes relating to illegal information handling and sentenced to nine years in prison and given a 400,000 credit fine. The unfortunate incident brought the situation to light though and caused a public outrage on Earth that the UWT had a world with Earthborn life and didn’t hand it over to the HGCF.

By October of 2109 both governments came to an agreement of what to do with Terra Cascus, which at the time was unofficially named on Earth as “Planet Dinosaur”, “Cretaceous World” and “Terra Nova” by the media. Before an announcement was made the HGCF had included the Human Exoplanetary Biology Society (HEBS), a human-based scientific organisation that is funded by both the HGCF and various private funders whose main goal is to study life found on other worlds and provide more insight into life in the galaxy. While HEBS mostly deals with life-inhabited worlds owned by the HGCF it occasionally focuses its attention on other worlds owned by different races. HEBS announced to the galaxy that both governments came to an understanding and finalised on a deal that would satisfy humanity; the UWT would handle all ownership rights of the planet and even make the Quroponan system apart of HGCF galactic space if HEBS could prove that the entire planet’s ecology is of Earth origin. Although the small mammal brought back by Elizabeth was proven to be from Earth, that alone was not enough to sway the UWT into handing over the rights of the planet to the HGCF.

Later that month HEBS revealed details about the expedition that would land on the planet and that it would be a six month long project (named the Doyle Project) that consisted of both HEBS scientists and mostly applicants from various fields of science that were both human and alien. The project was mostly handled by HEBS but it had supervision from the HGCF and UWT to ensure nothing went wrong. The HGCF also included the GCDO to oversee security of the expedition and ensure the team would be protected against both the environmental and inhabitant dangers of the planet, as well as ensure no other beings would illegally land on the planet, such as poachers or hunters. HEBS eventually revealed that the entire expedition costed 50 million credits and was mostly funded by the HGCF, with other funding coming from the various private funders who wished to see this project succeed and even received public funding, with public funds totalling 2.6 million credits collected in a four month period.

The Doyle Project
The Doyle Project is the name of the expedition that travelled to the planet in order to investigate the ecology and create a report to state whether the lifeforms on the planet truly originate from Earth. The project was headed by Sandra Moon, the head project manager at HEBS who organised the expedition and was apart of the recruitment team that assessed the applicants for the expedition. The team itself was headed by Oliver Worthington, an astrobiology professor who works with HEBS and whose prior work included working on various projects of investigating the origin and evolution of life on human colony worlds. Oliver was the head researcher of the expedition and was in charge in organising the teams and working on the more important tasks of the expedition.

Of the 92 members of the team (not including Oliver Worthington, the starship crew, medical staff, security team and a representative from UWT to oversee the team’s actions, which total to 176 members overall), they were split into 17 groups that specialised on a field of science (zoology, botany, geology etc) that had a group average of five members and led by an experienced researcher that oversaw their own group’s tasks. Most of the teams’ main tasks were to compare genetic and organic composition of organisms and matter to that of Earth and conclude their relatedness.

During the application process, which lasted between the 20th October to the 29th December in 2109 there was a total of 1,838 applications (deadline for applications were due in 2nd December) which were assessed by a recruitment group of 50 people, some of which were HEBS member but all being well acclaimed scientists and professors. The recruitment process was intensive and precise as the best were chosen to be apart of the expedition. Of the 1,838 applicants 72% were human and 89% had done their studies on Earth. Applicants had to have been graduates that had both sufficient field and lab experience that could handle working close to environmental and biological hazards and could properly perform the right tests. Applicants did not need to have field experience on alien worlds but they were more favoured and as a result 93% of the applicant chosen had field experience on at least one world that wasn’t Earth/their homeworld.

Because the Doyle Project had a great amount of support from the HGCF and was arguably one of the biggest projects HEBS had done at the time it was organised by a massive coordinated team that were able to organise the expedition within a period of four months. Organisation included creating the perfect expedition team, choosing the best sites to research, getting the best equipment, setting out dates and deadlines and ensuring the entire expedition had everything it needed for the project to work efficiently. Even the security team was carefully put together and consisted of soldiers/government hired mercenaries that had experience in working in alien environments, handling danger biological threats and protecting the people they were assigned to.

While the project was being carried out HEBS announced that they would taking in names for the planet, as the transference of ownership rights meant that the new owners could legally change the name of the planet, should the project prove successful. HEBS created a poll that lasted for four months and took in suggestions of the most popular names sent in, which would compete against each other. While the names would be voted by the public the name would be officially selected by a group of HEBS officials and sent as a proposal for a possible name change to the HGCF. By the two week deadline for the official name there were ten names that made it to this point, listed below in alphabetical order;

Captain Planet
Earth IITM
Savage World
Terra Cascus
Terra NovaDT
Worldy McWorldfaceLN

By the end of the poll the name Worldy McWorldface was the most voted, receiving 982,000 votes out of a total of five million votes, however the committee that decided on the most suitable name went with Terra Cascus and sent the name proposal the HGCF pending approval. On 12th November 2111 the planet was officially renamed Terra Cascus.

The Terra Cascus Expedition and Result of the Findings
The six month expedition lasted from the 23rd February 2110 to the 2nd September 2110 and was largely focused on the region that on Earth would be Idaho, USA in North America. The main base was stationed there but each week a smaller ship would transport a few teams to another region on the planet for a few days that would make a temporary base and collect samples to bring back to the main base. In total 23 locations were visited; four in Africa, four in North America, three in South America, two in Antarctica, three in Australia and seven in Eurasia.

The starship made landfall on the 1st March 2110 after travelling six days through the galaxy. After the main base was established the expedition immediately set to investigating the planet and performed dozens of genetic and organic composition tests on various animal, plant, fungi and microscopic species and compared them to samples from Earth. Throughout the expedition the team documented thousands of new species from soil-inhabiting bacteria and fungi to giant trees and sauropods and recorded significant events that occurred during the expedition.

During the course of the expedition all members of the expedition produced audio journals that documented their experience and what they found on the planet. Recordings were also made by the ship crew, medical crew and security team.
Once the expedition was complete and all the results from the tests were collected and taken back to HEBS headquarters they were assessed and produced as a 125 page report that took two months to complete before it was handed over the the HGCF which read the report and then handed it over to the UWT unaltered. The UWT reviewed the report and responded to the HGCF three weeks later, stating they were satisfied with the findings and agreed the commence handing over ownership rights of the planet to humanity. One month later the two governments completed transference of the ownership rights of the planet and on 2nd February 2111 the HGCF officially announced it had gained all rights of the planet.

The HGCF, HEBS and Terra Cascus
Almost as soon as the rights of the planet were handed over to the HGCF it had already began plans for establishing a research colony to find out as much about the planet as possible. Given the fact the planet is home to species extinct on Earth the HGCF declared the planet a conservation world that would only house research colonies and would not currently be mined for resources for the foreseeable future. HEBS prefer if the planet remained untouched and left in a pristine state with the exception of the research colonies and for now doesn’t need to worry about future plans for resource extraction of fossil fuels, metals or other minerals abundant on the planet.

The HGCF worked closely with HEBS which themselves created a division based on Terra Cascus which entirely focused on studying on the planet. The government and society set to creating a colony dome that would house a small colony worth of scientists, engineers, doctors and other colonial maintenance staff which would have yearly residence on the planet initially. While a colony was being set up in TC North America HEBS set to work up plans for numerous projects that would study many aspects of the planet and also included other scientific organisations that would study the star system and planet’s geology.
While a ground colony was being constructed the HGCF placed a few orbital colonies that had their own functions, from acting as a spaceport to a military station and even as an orbital research station. The stations arrived in the planet’s orbit in 2114 in preparation for the ground colony. Construction for the research colony started on 2116 and was finished on 2119, with it becoming operational and inhabitable nine months later. Colonists arrived on the planet three months later and the Terra Cascan projects began almost immediately.

Initially the colony was built for a population of 180 people, 60 of which were researchers. Within the past five years though it has been modified to house a larger population and a smaller colony was even placed in Eastern Asia, with plans to add more colonies on the continents and islands so that as much of the planet would be studied as possible. As of 2124 there is a resident population of 432 people, with 241 being researchers and on field workers who perform a variety of tasks from ecological examination to recording the behaviour of the native wildlife. At the moment HEBS has no plans to allow the general public to visit the planet but the HGCF remains hopeful that in the future it can section of certain parks of the planet to serve as conservation parks and draw in more funding from the public which HEBS could rely on more.

The Terra Cascus Projects
As of 2125 there are nine commissioned projects on Terra Cascus that are funded by the HGCF and public. The aim of these projects to explore more about the environment, climate, history and biosphere of the planet with them studying specified parts of the planet. Most of the projects are of a biological nature and look into the various life groups of the planet, from the terrestrial megafauna species to the vital microbes that are highly abundant and unique to the planet. There are plans for several more projects that will further explore other parts of the planet such as one that will examine the very deep oceans, one that will study the moon that orbits the planet and even a project that will examine how evolution affected the survivors of the K-Pg event.

There is one unofficial project on the planet that has received masses of support from the public and actually adds a further 110,000 credits per year of funding to the division. The project, known as Raptor Puppies, focuses on captive reared small species of dromaeosaurs that were found injured or sick in the wild and taken back to the colony to be nursed back to health. The first raptors to be taken back were unable to be released back into the wild due to their young age and forming dependence and relaxed behaviour around humans, so they live at the colony. The people who care for the currently seven raptors have made videos showing the somewhat “domesticated” behaviour of the raptors and have released them to the public. They videos quickly gained a fanbase and on average receive 500,000 views in the first 24 hours and can reach as many as eight million on average. The project has its own video channel and due to demand in the second year has a small line of merchandise, which at the moment mostly consists of shirts, headwear and cups.

The project has however received some backlash from conservation groups who criticize it by stating it appears to be encouraging people to try and illegally obtain their own raptors to be kept as pets, which is contradictory to one of the division’s aims which revolve around conserving rare and unique life forms. Fortunately no raptors on Earth have been taken from Terra Cascus by human traffickers and pet trade hunters but attempts have been made, which have either ended with the arrest of those caught or executed by lethal response. The project has recently put emphasis that these raptors are not suitable for the public to keep as pets and have stated the problems of caring for them (mainly due to unpredictable behaviour, varying temperaments of the raptors and the expertise of care required to properly care for the animals).

Future of Terra Cascus
There are currently no plans for further colonisation of Terra Cascus for the purposes of agricultural and resource extraction but there are plans to create three more colonies on the continents of Africa, Australia and Antarctica between the years of 2130 to 2145 that will house an additional 600 - 800 people. Currently Terra Cascus has no official status as a planet that is protected for conservation purposes but HEBS has been attempting to get the HGCF to give the planet full conservation protection rights that would ensure the planet would not be publicly, agriculturally or militarily colonised and used to house a massive population of people, produce food to feed the citizen population of HGCF or BUAC and definitely not be used for weapons testing, military projects or to house war fleets.

Most future projects planned for Terra Cascus are of a nature of research and scientific curiosity but there have recently been talks of adding another orbital station to the planet that would act as a tourist station that would allow people to view the planet through the use of large aerial ships that are similar to the ones used in the Eyes from Above initiative. HEBS has been against the idea as they do not want the public to have access to the planet and cause potential harm to the environment, but those that are in favour of the idea have stated it could increase funds, gain a wider interest in conservation and allow the public to view a long lost world. The future of this idea becoming a reality is unclear.

Author's Note
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