The Elder Scrolls

How large is Nirn?

TheElderScrolls14 - How large is Nirn?

Skyrim's world is roughly 14.8 square miles, Oblivion's world is roughly 15.9 square miles, and Morrowind's is roughly 9.3 square miles. That gives a total of 40 square miles. As a rough estimate, those 3 areas are roughly a third of Tamriel's total land area, giving Tamriel a total area of 120 square miles. Now, we know Tamriel is one of several continents on Nirn, and judging from these figures we can safely assume it's the smallest.

Let's compare what percentage of Earth's land area it's smallest continent (Oceania) is. Oceania has an area of 3,291,903 square miles, and Earth has a land area of 57,268,900 square miles, meaning Oceania is 5.75 percent of Earth's land area. If Tamriel is 5.75 percent of Nirn's land area, this gives Nirn a total land area of 2,087 square miles.

We haven't factored in the area of water yet though. Earth's surface is roughly 71 percent water, and if Tamriel is the same it means that Nirn's total area is 7,197 square miles.

That's right in between the sizes of Connecticut and New Jersey. Definitely NOT planet sized. Nirn wouldn't even have enough gravity to pull itself into a sphere shape.


But wait. The default timescale in both Oblivion and Skyrim is 20. That means that for every minute that passes in real life, 20 minutes pass in-game. What if this scale factor of 20 applies to the whole planet as well? The developers have stated that the game is supposed to be larger than it really is, what if it's 20 times larger? That give Tamriel a land area of 2,400 square miles, and Nirn a total area of 143,940 square miles. That's a bit smaller than the state of Montana.

If Nirn was a perfect sphere, it would have a diameter of 214.06 miles with the scaled-up version, or about 350 km. This means that Nirn would likely have the gravity needed to pull itself into a sphere, but not enough to maintain a significant atmosphere or enough gravity to stand, unless it was comprised of significantly denser material than anything in the known solar system (I am NOT doing the math for that one, sorry.)

What about the smaller planet size, the one that's not scaled up 20x? That gives a diameter of 23.93 miles, meaning that Tamriel would have to be more than 5.75 percent of the area we just calculated to make sense. I'm not sure if there's an error in my math or what, but we'll assume the 23.93 figure is right for now. This equals 38.5 kilometers. This is nowhere close to enough gravity to pull itself into a sphere, much less to support an atmosphere or be able to even stand on.

Conclusion: Nirn is really, really, really small.

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