In the Fifth Element, we see a great shot of future NYC which shows the statue of liberty and other recognizable elements sitting way up high on small mountains, with the sea line far below present day.

enter image description here

Is any reason given for this low sea level in the film or any other sources?

  • 7
    Are you sure the sea level dropped? I'd image they raised the statue and other land marks to bring them above the fog.
    – Xantec
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 16:13
  • 4
    Was this actually in the film? Do I have such an awful memory that I forgot such a great shot or was it concept/promotion art?
    – bitmask
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 18:52
  • 2
    @bitmask it is in the film! with Dallas's ship racing away from it towards the screen. later I think also Zorg's ship over the same exact scene (IIRC, sun in the same place... :)
    – zipquincy
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 19:54
  • @zipquincy: Shame on me, then.
    – bitmask
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 20:14
  • I watched the film on Blu Ray, and realized that the Statue of Liberty, is now located at a height of 300 meters, means that they dug a lot, much more land. And if the sea level dropped so much, the coast would be located hundreds of miles away, the Upper Bay will no longer exist. The quality of this image is excellent cdna.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/000/787/268/large/…
    – Bebop
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 3:11

1 Answer 1


This view of New York city is the creation of Wayne Haag, aka Ankaris, you could see some of his works related to the Fifth Element on his website. Here is a view of the Brooklyn bridge taken form his site, so no, New Brooklyn was not raised to escape the fog:

New Brooklyn

According to an intervention from Ankaris here :

Luc Besson said the lowered ocean level was because we had shipped water off world for terraforming other planets. But he didn't want it explained anywhere.

  • 8
    Interesting. So based on the quote and the paintings it isn't so much that the city rose up to escape the fog, but that the fog rolled in sometime after the city built down to fill in the drained river beds.
    – Xantec
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 18:15
  • 4
    @Donald.McLean Well, Luc Besson is not known for is Ph.D. in Engineering of Planetary Environments.
    – DavRob60
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 17:56
  • 1
    @mps A siphon works when you are moving water to a lower container, not to a higher container. A pipe would work, but it would still take a lot of energy - water is heavy stuff. DavRob60 We're talking basic science here. A scientific consultant should have called him on this. Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 18:39
  • 4
    @Donald.McLean: Can't argue with that. However, I still enjoy many aspects in scifi works that are blatantly stupid, often intentionally. Especially in the Fifth Element 'verse everything is a bit quirky, which adds flavour. This requires silly pre-conditions. I like that.
    – bitmask
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 19:36
  • 6
    @Donald Can't get too scientifically picky about a movie which is centered around the idea of 5 elements. If it was called "the 119th Element", the rest of the movie might warrant more scrutiny!
    – zipquincy
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 20:41

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