Scientists have worked out the weather conditions in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings – with the Shire found to be like Lincolnshire and Leicestershire.
Experts used a climate model – similar to those used in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – to simulate and investigate conditions in Middle Earth.
Results showed the Shire, where Bilbo Baggins lived before his unexpected adventure described in The Hobbit, was similar to Lincolnshire and Leicestershire.
But Mordor, the land of the evil Sauron, was more like Los Angeles and western Texas, the University of Bristol team found.
Professor Richard Pancost, director of the university’s Cabot Institute, said: “Because climate models are based on fundamental scientific processes, they are able not only to simulate the climate of the modern Earth, but can also be easily adapted to simulate any planet, real or imagined.”
The results are presented in a paper, said to be penned by the wizard Radagast the Brown, a Tolkien character the team describe as “probably the first environmental scientist”.
In the paper, Radagast explains that the elves set sail from the Grey Havens as the prevailing winds were favourable for their journey for the West.
He claims the existence of a dry climate east of the Misty Mountains was because the mountains cast a rain-shadow.
Dr Dan Lunt said: “This work is a bit of fun, but it does have a serious side. A core part of our work involves using state-of-the-art climate models to simulate and understand our Earth’s past climate.”