Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

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TheInfiniteAeon
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Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby TheInfiniteAeon » Mon May 20, 2019 9:32 am

While generally agreed upon that Skull Island is located in the South Pacific, not many people seem know its exact location even though its coordinates have actually been spelt out in marketing materials. Because of the Monarch Sciences website there's also a subset of fans who believe that the Monarch icon in the Pacific Ocean pertains to Skull Island (something I'll touch on later).

These coordinates were provided by the (now-defunct) viral marketing website at discoverskullisland.com. Internet Archive Wayback Machine is apparently unable to reopen the website despite being logged there, so unfortunately it would seem that the site is lost. While I managed to track down the website of the web designer Shane Mielke to get some screenshots, unfortunately his images were of too low resolution to read the coordinates. Even the comic book Skull Island: The Birth of Kong had the coordinates on the cover. Although they may be too small to read on a physical copy, a scanned cover could conceivably make them readable. I have to thank Showa Gyaos here on the TK forums for having one high-res image of the webpage.

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The coordinates as labelled in that image are:
Latitude: -15.336000
Longitude: 157.797726

Typed into Google Maps, those coordinates lead me here, at the Coral Sea: Image

Now regarding the Monarch blip. According to this article from The Verge in 2017 (https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/4/14815006/kong-skull-island-google-maps-easter-eg), Skull Island was put on Google Maps as a marketing gimmick, but clicking on the link would send you to a different set of coordinates: Image

Here is a comparison of those coordinates alongside the Monarch Pacific icon. Despite the different proportions for the globes, they are largely in the same place. Note that I marked Hawaii, the Galapagos and Kiribati (more specifically Kiritimati) on Google Maps as reference points. Image

Speaking of Kiribati, Legendary's Script-to-Screen of Randa and Brooks' intro scene at DC (https://youtu.be/1EGEvOspCYs?t=93) mentioned in the script that Skull Island was located east of the Kiribatis, a detail that seems to be omitted in the final cut. Kiribati comprises over two dozen islands spread out over a long area, with the Line Islands just south of Hawaii. Piece this together with the Google marketing coordinates/Monarch icon, and yeah they are technically consistent with the script. Image

HOWEVER
The Google Marketing/Monarch icon is in my opinion inconsistent with what we see in Kong: Skull Island, where an American and a Japanese pilot manage to crash-land on Skull Island in 1944. The Japanese only occupied Tarawa of the Gilbert Islands and this was on the farthest edge of their occupation of the Pacific. There is no way the fighter planes could fly thousands of miles east from Tarawa to reach Skull Island; they simply would not have the fuel to do so. In addition; planes were not used at all at the Battle of Tarawa; it was mostly naval forces and ground troops. In comparison, the Coral Sea south of Papua New Guinea is much closer to the areas of conflict, and the planes don't have to travel as far to reach Skull Island. This article from Inverse (https://www.inverse.com/article/28764-k ... gy-monarch) also finds the Google marketing coordinates contentious from a geological perspective.

So yeah, I think Skull Island is canonically located in the Coral Sea because it makes more logical sense. As to the reason why this location is not given a Monarch blip on the Monarch Sciences, I have a few ideas:
1. The comic book Skull Island: The Birth of Kong states that Monarch left Skull Island to Kong's watch without interference, therefore there are no facilities/outposts on the island that would correspond to the icon. I can only speculate as to why they would omit Kong and Skull Island from the website; perhaps they are deliberately classified as top-secret even within Monarch's database. Given Skull Island's relative isolation from the world, the knowledge of its existence would be kept on a need-to-know basis (although this is already contradicted by Rodan's profile mentioning Kong as well as the profile for Dr. Stanton describing his inquiry into the 1973 Monarch expedition during his time working for Landsat).
2. They're planning to retcon Skull Island's location to the Pacific Monarch icon. Given the flimsy continuity of the MonsterVerse in non-film material, I wouldn't be surprised if the writers got confused and forgot where its location was.
3. The site is meant to market King of the Monsters. While it'd be great to have a Titan profile for Kong now, it would distract from the point of introducing Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah into the MonsterVerse. Maybe they'll give him one in the leadup to Godzilla vs. Kong.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby Living Corpse » Mon May 20, 2019 10:22 am

4. Kong and Skull Island, and indeed Skull Island superspecies are declassified, but the island chains location is kept top secret because they don't want anyone skreeonking with the ecosystem or dumb idiots getting killed trying to hunt the life there over some misplaced quest for glory.

Kong is an endangered species, one of, if not the last of his kind, and the Paperback version of Skull Island: The Birth of Kong adds a note to the Sker Buffalo would be a target for big game hunters cause it's horns would be seen as a trophy.

That's my take anyways. While a lot of things have been declassified, some things like some locations have to be kept top secret for safety reasons to make it harder for those with nefarious intentions to plan something that will be very bad. You mentioned Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidorah's locations were public knowledge at least if we go by the marketing sites, even so, they probably have armed guards, Monarch isn't just a bunch of scientists anymore, they've become a partly governments backed military organization now. Heck even back in 2014 they had armed guards.

Skull Island's exact location is not listed cause it's too dangerous to even guard and it's easier to just not tell idiots and bad people where it is so they don't get themselves killed or harm the ecosystem. Where Godzilla and Mothra are sort of out of time, creatures from an ecosystem long gone, Kong's ecosystem still exists and can be studied, it's the one monster ecosystem that still exists and can be observed that isn't a magma ecosystem like Rodan's.

EDIT:

I think that Pacific Monarch site is Castle Bravo, it's mentioned in Godzilla's profile on the site that it's an underwater observatory to study Godzilla.
Last edited by Living Corpse on Mon May 20, 2019 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby TheInfiniteAeon » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:23 am

Welp, this is all pointless now. They went the retcon route and put Skull Island in the Pacific Monarch blip. Castle Bravo confirmed to be located at Bermuda. Although it's not out of the question that there are Hollow Earth tunnels between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans that Godzilla could navigate through, you gotta wonder why place Castle Bravo in Bermuda when all previous sightings of him were in the Pacific. You could argue however that since Emma catalogued Godzilla's bioacoustics they could track him and determine his territorial patrol routes and found him popping up away from Pacific but this is all speculative. Maybe I'm a little miffed because the Monarch Sciences website always kept Godzilla patrolling around the Pacific up until release week.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby HannibalBarca » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:02 pm

The location depicted on the big map in KOTM makes absolutely zero sense. Even the original post's location (somewhere in the Coral Sea) makes very little sense as the site for a dogfight between a US and Japanese pilot in 1944, but the KOTM location (somewhere Southeast of Hawaii!) just takes suspension of disbelief and breaks it over the knee.

This oversight is designed to only bother me, specifically, but still.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby G2000 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:50 pm

HannibalBarca wrote:The location depicted on the big map in KOTM makes absolutely zero sense. Even the original post's location (somewhere in the Coral Sea) makes very little sense as the site for a dogfight between a US and Japanese pilot in 1944, but the KOTM location (somewhere Southeast of Hawaii!) just takes suspension of disbelief and breaks it over the knee.

This oversight is designed to only bother me, specifically, but still.


I’m with you on this one. It looks far closer to the US mainland than Southeast Asia, which turns a lot of Skull Island on it’s head.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby Living Corpse » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:59 pm

G2000 wrote:
HannibalBarca wrote:The location depicted on the big map in KOTM makes absolutely zero sense. Even the original post's location (somewhere in the Coral Sea) makes very little sense as the site for a dogfight between a US and Japanese pilot in 1944, but the KOTM location (somewhere Southeast of Hawaii!) just takes suspension of disbelief and breaks it over the knee.

This oversight is designed to only bother me, specifically, but still.


I’m with you on this one. It looks far closer to the US mainland than Southeast Asia, which turns a lot of Skull Island on it’s head.


Now Kong is too far North to see the Southern Lights on top of being too far south to see the Northern Lights.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby TheInfiniteAeon » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:05 am

I don't mind the auroras over Skull Island if we can attribute that to any geomagnetic anomalies, but such things are never mentioned. Keep in mind I only base that idea on the 2005 Peter Jackson Skull Island which mentioned magnetic anomalies in the World of Kong book (I don't remember if there was anything about compasses not working in the film itself).

But yeah stuff like the Sker Buffalo being related to Asian water buffaloes tells me they had given the Coral Sea location some level of thought so I really have to wonder why even move it further away unless they "kinda forgot" where Skull Island was.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby Pkmatrix » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:26 pm

I'm like 90% certain Skull Island is in the Coral Sea location, if only because I'm pretty certain we see these coordinates on screen at a few points in K:SI. Really, the only way we can be sure that the island has been officially moved and this not just being an flubbed detail in KOTM is if GvK repeats KOTM's version rather than K:SI's. So, we're just going to need to wait until we hear more about GvK, I think, since probably like half of that movie will be taking place on Skull Island again.

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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby Living Corpse » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:28 pm

TheInfiniteAeon wrote:I don't mind the auroras over Skull Island if we can attribute that to any geomagnetic anomalies, but such things are never mentioned. Keep in mind I only base that idea on the 2005 Peter Jackson Skull Island which mentioned magnetic anomalies in the World of Kong book (I don't remember if there was anything about compasses not working in the film itself).

But yeah stuff like the Sker Buffalo being related to Asian water buffaloes tells me they had given the Coral Sea location some level of thought so I really have to wonder why even move it further away unless they "kinda forgot" where Skull Island was.


It has a storm around it at all times, I imagine it does.

Pkmatrix wrote:I'm like 90% certain Skull Island is in the Coral Sea location, if only because I'm pretty certain we see these coordinates on screen at a few points in K:SI. Really, the only way we can be sure that the island has been officially moved and this not just being an flubbed detail in KOTM is if GvK repeats KOTM's version rather than K:SI's. So, we're just going to need to wait until we hear more about GvK, I think, since probably like half of that movie will be taking place on Skull Island again.


The easiest way to fix this is to say MONARCH had false information out to protect Skull Island from the outside world.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby TheInfiniteAeon » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:29 pm

Living Corpse wrote:The easiest way to fix this is to say MONARCH had false information out to protect Skull Island from the outside world.


I would be fine with Monarch still having secrets to keep, they mention that Ghidorah's Outpost 32 was still off-books by the events of the movie. Still though, the maps where we see Skull Island are for use by Monarch and have no reason to falsify information. It would be a situation where information is falsified only to the audience and not the characters in-universe.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby Living Corpse » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:59 pm

TheInfiniteAeon wrote:
Living Corpse wrote:The easiest way to fix this is to say MONARCH had false information out to protect Skull Island from the outside world.


I would be fine with Monarch still having secrets to keep, they mention that Ghidorah's Outpost 32 was still off-books by the events of the movie. Still though, the maps where we see Skull Island are for use by Monarch and have no reason to falsify information. It would be a situation where information is falsified only to the audience and not the characters in-universe.


Monarch has reason to not trust their own workers, besides Emma, there was the lady in the novel who helped Behemoth escape.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby TheInfiniteAeon » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:47 pm

Living Corpse wrote:Monarch has reason to not trust their own workers, besides Emma, there was the lady in the novel who helped Behemoth escape.


We can make that assumption but I don't see any evidence to support this idea that Skull Island is treated to be as hush-hush classified as Outpost 32. Monarch explicitly mentions Kong at the Senate hearing and a random operative points out Skull Island being affected too. But none of that matters by the end credits when Monarch makes its records public and the world knows about Kong and his home.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby Living Corpse » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:53 pm

TheInfiniteAeon wrote:
Living Corpse wrote:Monarch has reason to not trust their own workers, besides Emma, there was the lady in the novel who helped Behemoth escape.


We can make that assumption but I don't see any evidence to support this idea that Skull Island is treated to be as hush-hush classified as Outpost 32. Monarch explicitly mentions Kong at the Senate hearing and a random operative points out Skull Island being affected too. But none of that matters by the end credits when Monarch makes its records public and the world knows about Kong and his home.


It's pretty frustrating that they wanted to actually take the world building more seriously in these films, where as Toho tends to introduce things and quickly forget them after one film, only to retcon where Skull Island is. That is a huge deal. I'm don't claim to know poop about WW2 and even I know the battle between Gunpi and Marllow makes even less sense with the new local.
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Re: Skull Island's location in the MonsterVerse

Postby TheInfiniteAeon » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:14 pm

UPDATE

This is a promotional poster that was distributed at New York Comic-Con back in 2016. Note the bottom right which says "East of Kiribatis". Combined with the script-to-screen mention of the Kiribatis, I think that East of Kiribatis was the original intended spot for Skull Island and then changed it midway through the viral promotion campaign to the Coral Sea location for unknown reasons. They left the island's exact location vague in the final movie, and then backtracked to the Kiribati location again for KOTM.
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