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Hallelujah Mountains
Location Information


Behind the scenes
First appearance

James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

Last Appearance

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Hallelujah Mountains (Na'vi name: Ayram alusìng meaning "Floating Mountains")[1] is a major site on Pandora full of floating islands.

It is important to note that floating islands are not exclusive to the Hallelujah Mountains area, as they can also be seen on the Western Frontier.

These floating islands circulate slowly in the magnetic currents like icebergs at sea, scraping against each other and the towering mesa-like mountains of the region. On Pandora, huge outcroppings of unobtanium rip loose from the surface and float in the magnetic vortices due to the Meissner Effect.[citation needed]

In 2154, the mountains were the site of the major battle which ended the First Pandoran War.

When the RDA returned to Pandora, Jake Sully encouraged the Omatikaya clan to move away from the forest and into the Hallelujah Mountains to a site known as High Camp.

Physical Description[]

Sully Kids climbing Iknimaya 1

The Sully children on a beanstalk

They are overgrown with foliage at the top and straggly beards of vines hang down beneath the mountains like the roots of air-ferns. Their sides are sheer cliffs. Beanstalks allow people to traverse between the mountains. Waterfalls, originating on the mesa-like tops, stream down the sides and disperse into spray at the bottoms, like upside-down geysers. The mist then condenses on other floating mountains and flows over the side and disperses, renewing the process. The local peaks and mesas actually project above the level of the craggy undersides of the few floating mountains Jake Sully can see, so it seems obvious that collisions are inevitable.


A Samson in the Hallelujah Mountains

It is also the place that Norm Spellman wants to visit the most on Pandora - his wish is fulfilled when Grace Augustine decides to move her avatar program operation to the region when she realizes Jake is being manipulated by Miles Quaritch. Most human detection instruments are useless amidst the large magnetic fields. The mountains float like clouds among the fixed mountains and swirling cloud structures. When they are in clear sunlight they cast distinct shadows on the land below.

In Na'vi Culture[]

The mountains are home to several clans, including Ni'awve and the Tipani. The latter reside in the settlement of Vayaha Village. In 2154 the Omatikaya fled to the mountains, seeking sanctuary at the Tree of Souls which is on the ground near the mountains. The tree is one of the most sacred sites on Pandora.

Iknimaya 4 HD

Mons Veritatis, one of the largest of the Hallelujah Mountains

The Hallelujah Mountains are also where mountain banshees choose to roost. This location atop the 2,600m high Mons Veritatis makes the final challenge on the path to becoming a Na'vi hunter (known as Iknimaya) even more difficult and dangerous, as the route taken to the top of the mountains is treacherous. One wrong move will send a candidate plummeting to his or her death. The danger of wild mountain banshees is also present. The local Tipani also refer to the entire region around their village as Iknimaya.

How the Mountains Float[]

At first, scientists assumed that it must have something to do with the intense magnetic fields in the area, but they had no explanation for their source. It was not until the microstructure of unobtanium was elucidated and the billions of voids in the quasi-crystal matrix were found to contain trapped magnetic flux lines. This accounted for the strength of the magnetic fields, but it still did not explain the manner in which the floating mountains maintained their stability over the eons with the changes in weight distribution brought about by plant growth and material erosion caused by weathering.

The answer was found as a result of site surveys conducted by RDA geologists. When accurate maps of ground magnetic isobars were studied, they revealed a magnetic field gradient that surrounded each floating mountain with a perimeter of increased field strength that acted like a "magnetic fence." This explained their stable positions, but raised the new question of how this situation came about.

Two schools of thought arose. The first, and by far the largest, originally propounded by Dimitri Pekhta of Luna's Armstrong University, was that some sort of positive feedback mechanism during Pandora's molten phase attracted large areas of like magnetic fields in an unobtanium deposit, and their mutual repulsion finally pushed a large chunk of unobtanium-containing matter away, to hang in the air until it cooled and solidified. The ordinary non-magnetic rock was denser, and settled to the bottom of the molten mass as it cooled, forming the necessary ballast, like the heavy keel of a boat. The crater left behind was therefore deficient in the superconductor and its associated magnetic field, resulting in a ring of stronger field in the ground around the crater that restrained the floating mountain. In time, surface flows of rain runoff water carried in dirt to fill the holes.

The second, and minority, opinion held that this was an ad hoc theory created after the fact, and merely deferred the prime cause to the unspecified positive feedback mechanism. This group believed that the finely-balanced floating mountains required some sort of conscious supervision during their creation. They directed their attention to the worldwide links between the various lifeforms and the satellite's ecology, as represented by the phenomenon the Na'vi refer to as Eywa.

New studies have raised more questions than answers. The individual mountains have been observed to float considerable distances from their initial position, and to bump and rub against one another. Both of these behaviors are at variance with the field gradient theory. Many of the mountains have dangling vines that have anchored themselves to the ground below, and changing amounts of water in lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. All of these factors alter the weight and balance of the formations, yet they appear to maintain a relatively constant altitude. Other floating mountains are completely unencumbered, but remain invisibly bound to a fixed location.

The only factor found to date that upsets this stability is the advent of mining operations in the shadow of one of the mountains. A score of personnel were killed during initial excavation, when a ship-sized formation suddenly inverted and crashed down on the workers. While most people accepted that the removal of unobtanium disrupted the magnetic fields around the mountain, a few believe that it was an act of "balancing" initiated by Eywa.[2]

Behind the Scenes[]

The mountains bear a similar appearance to the Chinese Huang Shan[3] Mountains. James Cameron said that it was the Huang Shan mountains that inspired him to create the Hallelujah Mountains, which would explain the similar appearance.[4] On January 25, 2010, in China, hundreds of locals in ethnic Tujia costumes "officially" renamed the Qiankunzhu mountains after the Hallelujah Mountains as a tribute to Avatar.[5]


  • In Project 880, the non-canon original script to Avatar, Grace mentions the names of other mountains:
    • Mons Prometheus (aka Big Rock-Candy Mountain) - the largest of the floating mountains
    • Mons Tiburon
    • Mons Damocles
    • Icarus
    • Daedalus
  • According to James Cameron's Avatar: The Game, the mountains are located in the Iknimaya region, which is located in the Nathothart territory on the northern part of the globe. However, whether or not all aspects of The Game are canon is unclear. It also mentions the mountains are considered sacred to the Na'vi.
  • According to Avatar: The Game and Avatar: Collector's Vault 3D, the Na'vi have a name for them meaning "thundering rocks" due their tendency to sway and crash into each other.

See Also[]