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The Dead Continent is the destroyed landmass of North America. It was best known as the center of the American Empire which was destroyed during the Sixty Minute War. By the time of the late Traction Era, it was regarded by many as a barren, irradiated and unhospitable region.


Prior to the Sixty Minute War, the dominant country of North America was the American Empire which was once said to "rule the world". It was bordered by Canada to the north and its major cities included San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Milwaukee. The American Empire's existence as a nation came to end during the Sixty Minute War when much of infrastructure and population was obliterated by nuclear weapons, orbital strikes, slowbombs and potentially biological and chemical weapons.

By the time of Predator's Gold, North America's landscape was largely covered in barren deserts, poison swamps and nuclear craters. Giant creatures roamed the destroyed landscape. The Plain of Craters was located on the vicinity of the former cities of Chicago and Milwaukee. However, its northern regions known as Vineland had managed to recover and regenerate into lush forests and grasslands dotted with lakes and rivers, then small pastures and eventually human settlements (such as crop fields, viewed from the air). Unlike the rest of North America, Vineland was able to sustain life but its existence was considered to be a rumour by many until its discovery by Anchorage (which went static there) - with the assistance of one of the former Lost Boys, Caul. Though the region's size was revealed to be far smaller than originally thought.

To the south lay Nuevo Maya (South America) which was the domain of the Nuevo-Mayan ziggurat cities during the Traction Era. The isthmus which linked South America to North America in ancient times had been destroyed by Slow Bombs during the Sixty Minute War, sparing the former the destruction and devastation inflicted on the latter (afterwards). Craters were also found nearby the strike zone, then called the Crater Sea, hence the amount of strikes required to blast the land apart.

The Dead Continent proves very hazardous to aviators in particular with strong winds like the Manhattan Harmattan can drag airships into the continent from the eastern seaboard (as well as some other flights on the west coast) and often wrecking them, it is quite plausible this unnatural weather could be the remains of a weapon from the Sixty Minute War. The same area also contains giant mutant squid and ants, and further to the west, ancient statues (really, icons of pop culture mistaken for ancient religion or royalty. For example, the statues of Elvis, [died 1977 AD], Pluto and Mickey, the Minions, etc.).

Further more to this the land proved detrimental to surviors living though the Black Centuries with winds carrying incubated plauges and viruses though jet streams to Europe and Asia prolonging the Black Centuries.



Due to the destruction of many historical records during the Sixty Minute War, little details were known about North America by the rest of the world by the time of the Traction Era. According to Professor Nimrod Beauregard Pennyroyal, it was discovered in the year 1924 (AD [pre TE], 1492 in reality) by the famed explorer and detective Christopher Columbo. Over the following centuries, its most dominant nation was the American Empire which was said to rule the world.

Towards the end, the American Empire had developed several superweapons including the directed-energy weapon MEDUSA, the orbital particle cannon Orbital Defence INiative or ODIN and quantum energy beams that drew their power from parallel universes (Though this is just a hypothesis by traction era historians). During the Sixty Minute War, the American Empire was embroiled in a cataclysmic exchange with the rival superpower Greater China which devastated both nations and much of the world.

Much of North American's population was wiped out in the short-lived conflict, natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanoes, and the aftermath due to exposure to various tailored plagues and radiation. A group of survivors fled the original Anchorage just prior to the outbreak and established a new settlement on a nearby island. They gradually developed over the following millennia into the small Traction cities of Anchorage. Apart from Anchorage, it is possible that the Canadian Whaling Towns escaped as well, as it is mentioned latter in the series.

Fever Crumb Series

A Web of Air

It is theorised by Arlo Thursday and Fever Crumb that the Angels of Mayda at World's End migrate to the Dead Continent and back based off their map on Thursday island. It is unknown why the birds do this but may possibly be from when the birds had greater sentience and their reasons fell into habit of the descendant birds.

Mortal Engines Quartet

Mortal Engines

Around the time of Mortal Engines, London's Guild of Engineers had retrieved and rebuilt MEDUSA and its computer, and mounted it on the top tier of London. It was used to destroy Panzerstadt-Bayreuth. London even attempted to use it to destroy the Anti-Traction League's Shield Wall and invade Asia. However, its computer was damaged by Katherine Valentine; subsequently causing it to overload and misfire, incinerating the weapon and London itself.

Predator's Gold

The Dead Continent plays a much larger role, being the destination and ultimate home of the city Anchorage. Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw went there in order to escape the attacking Green Storm fighter airships. It is also mentioned in two of Professor Nimrod Pennyroyal's books: Journey to the Dead Continent and Predator's Gold.

Infernal Devices

There was a brief cameo appearance at the start whith Wren Natsworthy living in Vineland.

A Darkling Plain 

The Dead Continent is only mentioned at the very end, while Wren mentions wanting to return to Vineland, while the weapon ODIN is mentioned lots.

Illustrated World

The Dead Continent is given a map showing the inconsistencies with the various attempts by historians to map the continent as well as the trips taken by various aviators such as Snøri Ulverson or Reykjavik, Thaddeus Valentine on his American expedition and the accidental course the Jenny Hanniver took when it was blown over the east coast of the continent over the former states of Oregon and California.


Below is a list of known visits by aviators to the Dead Continent for exploration, archeology and accident.

  • 883TE - First Ishiwara expedition
  • 890TE - Second Ishiwara Expedition (lost over Washington or British Columbia)
  • 892TE - Vega expedition (abandoned up on reaching South Mexican coast)
  • La Rochelle Incident (approximately lost over Florida Keys, unknown if expedition continued or lost)
  • 910 TE - Lefaucheux expedition (lost over Florida)
  • 914TE - O’toole expedition
  • 961TE - Flight of Snøri Ulavaesson
  • 990TE - Valentine expedition (this trip ran to inland east coast and brought back plans and fragments of MEDUSA)
  • 995TE - Pennyroyal expedition (debunked as fiction, Pennyroyal in fact wrote his story from a hotel in Paris and none of the information can be considered reliable at all)
  • 997TE - Flight of the Jenny Haniver (accidental, Anna Fang in the Jenny Haniver was blown off course over the west coast of the Dead Continent over old California and Mexico)

Although not given a date, Pandora Shaw took an expedition after 910TE and found the computer core to MEDUSA. This may be 1000TE as it was the year she was murdered by Valentine.