Star Wars set threatened by sand dune

Star Wars set threatened by sand dune


A migrating sand dune is threatening to bury a film set used in the Star Wars prequel, The Phantom Menace, in Tunisia.

The Pacman-shaped sand dune, known as a barchan dune, faces downwind and has been observed on Earth as well as on Mars, where the thin atmosphere produces winds strong enough to move sand and dust.

Star Wars set threatened by sand dune



The fictitious city of Mos Espa is a major tourist attraction in Tunisia and sees thousands of fans making the pilgrimage each year via the nearby town of Tozeur.

In the film it is the childhood home of the future Darth Vader.

According to the Independent, US scientists have been observing the film set from space to compare the speed of the sand dune migration on Earth to that of Mars.

Star Wars set threatened by sand dune



The barchan is said to be moving at a rate of 15 metres a year - 10 times faster than those on Mars.

According to the BBC, scientists visited the site in 2009 and noted that part of the set had already been overrun. Earlier this year, the front edge of the barchan appeared to have made contact with some of the Mos Espa buildings.

The sand dune will eventually pass over Mos Espa but there is no telling what damage it will cause.

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10 PHOTOS
Holiday at film locations...
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Star Wars set threatened by sand dune
Film: THE BEACH
When Leonardo DiCaprio's character discovered the idyllic island of Ko Phi Phi Le in The Beach, we all wanted to go there. It's part of the Phi Phi Islands in southern Thailand, and, although you can't actually stay on it because of its small size, you can catch a boat there for a day trip from Krabi or Phuket. The island's beautiful Maya Bay is a great diving spot with crystal clear waters and exotic fish for you to discover. It's surrounded by 100-metre cliffs and has gorgeous white sandy beaches.
Film: LORD OF THE RINGS
If you're a fan of the fantasy adventure films, you'll have dreamed of going to New Zealand to see the set. It was mainly in its national parks and conservation areas. Milford Sound in the South Island's Fiordland National Park is a top attraction and was used for its breathtaking mountains. Elsewhere ,New Zealand's highest mountain peak, Aoraki Mt Cook became the Misty Mountains of Middle-Earth, the eerie Tongariro National Park with its volcanic landscape in the Central North Island became Mordor (the home of the dark lord Sauron), and the Kawarau River where you can go rafting, was used as Argonath.
Film: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
The iconic red cliffs of Wadi Rum in Jordan are a must-see if you're a film fan. It's the place of Prince Feisal's camp in the classic film, Lawrence of Arabia and is perfect for adventure-seekers and families alike. Hikers and rock climbers can explore the Wadi with its sky-scraping rocks and 4,000-year-old rock drawings. For an authentic cultural experience, sleep under the stars at the Wadi Rum campsite where you can arrange to travel by camel and have a traditional campfire meal and Arabic entertainment in the evening. A 4x4 can be hired for the day to discover the Wadi and the surrounding desert.
Film: AMELIE
The French rom-com was filmed mainly in Paris's arty Montmartre district. Canal Saint-Martin is where Amélie enjoys skipping stones and is the ideal place to spend the afternoon people-watching from one of the cafés or restaurants that line the canal. The café where Amélie works, Café des 2 Moulins is real and located on Rue Lepic. You'll even find a poster of the film inside. Other places in Paris that you may recognise from Amélie are Rue Saint-Vincent, Abbesses metro station, Notre Dame Cathedral where Amélie's mother is killed by a tourist jumping off the building and Sacré-Coeur Basilica.
Film: LOST IN TRANSLATION
Set entirely in Japan, Lost in Translation's story of love and adapting to a foreign way of life takes place in the vibrant Tokyo districts of Shinjuku and Shibuya. Characters Bob and Charlotte meet at the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel where a lot of the film takes place. The New York Bar at the top of the building is where Bob spends most of his evenings and THE place to go for amazing views of the city, amazing cocktails and great food. Some landmarks outside Tokyo where the film was shot are Heian Shrine and Nanzen-ji, both visited by Charlotte.
Film: THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Most people think of Julie Andrews singing in a field of flowers when they think of Austria as it was the set of the 1965 classic musical, The Sound of Music. Head to Salzburg today and you can see some of the attractions that were made famous by the film. Felsenreitschule is where the Trapp Family performed its farewell song, the Mirabelle Palace and Gardens are known for being where Maria and the children sing Do-Re-Mi, and The Sound of Music Pavilion at Hellbrunn Palace is where the love scene was filmed.
Film: DIE ANOTHER DAY
Remember the ice chase scene that took place on a frozen lake in James Bond's Die Another Day? It was shot on Jökulsárlón Lake in Iceland, which had to be dammed before filming so it could freeze over completely for evil Zao to chase Bond across the ice. The lake is one of Iceland's most stunning attractions and can be easily accessed by car or bus. Once you arrive you can take a boat trip (between May and August) to see the icebergs on the glacial lake. If you're looking for a real adventure, go snowmobiling or take a SuperJeep trip nearby on the largest glacier in Iceland, Vatnajökull.
Film: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
The five unspoilt and uninhabited islands of Tobago Cays in St Vincent and the Grenadines were used for shooting the Pirates of the Caribbean films. The stunning islands are surrounded by lagoons and coral reefs and were the perfect setting for Captain Jack Sparrow and his adventures in the Caribbean. On visiting the islands you'll find thousands of exotic fishes, as well as dolphins and sea turtles. Some scenes were filmed in Walliabou bay on St Vincent where you can still see some of the films' set.
Film: BRAVEHEART
The 1995 epic drama about Scottish knight Sir William Wallace's battle to overthrow the English rule was filmed in some of Scotland's most dramatic locations, Glen Nevis, Loch Leven and Glen Coe. Glen Nevis, located under Ben Nevis is where the opening scene is shot. It's a walker's haven and home to Scotland's three highest waterfalls. Glen Coe (pictured) is a fantastic place for climbers and skiers in the winter and was used for filming scenes on its eastern edge close to the 3,345-foot high mountain, Buchaille Etive Mor. Other locations from the film are Loch Leven in central Scotland and Fort William town in the Highlands.
Film: VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
Follow the trail of American tourists Vicky and Cristina from Woody Allen's film based in Barcelona, where you'll get to see some of the city's most stunning sites and Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi's best works. The iconic Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família and quirky Casa Milà buildings are just a couple of the attractions you'll recognise from the film. Parc Güell was also used and is one of the most unusual parks that are great for an afternoon walk. Don't miss out on a visit to the vibrant street La Rambla, where Cristina takes photos of the flower stalls and the Parc de la Ciutadella with its beautiful fountain designed by Gaudi, where Cristina learns about photography.
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