In what is easily the most mind-blowing Minecraft project yet, the dedicated builders of Minecraft Middle-Earth have created an almost-to-scale model of J.R.R. Tolkien's famed fantasy world - all of it.
Minecraft is one of the most powerful virtual building tools ever made and a lot of people have done some pretty amazing things with it, but I haven't seen anything that even approaches this. What we have here is Middle Earth - not just Rivendell or Weathertop or Moria, but the whole damn thing - inside and out, recreated at 1:3 and 1:4 scale, and built almost entirely by hand.
To give you an idea of how big this world really is, at around the 9:50 mark the host of the tour asks how long it would take to get from the party's present position to landmarks that casual Lord of the Rings fans would recognize. "We're only about 15 minutes away from Bree," is the reply. "With Rivendell, we're about three-ish hours away. Moria, we're about six hours away."
"You guys are sick," the host said. "You need help."
The first half-hour of the video shows off the amazing scale of the world but if you want to cut right to the really mind-blowing stuff you can go to Rivendell at the 29 minute mark, or the stunning Mines of Moria at 33 minutes. The Prancing Pony at 16 minutes is also worth a look, if only to get a sense of just how detailed this thing really is.
The Minecraft Middle-Earth team is now expanding its creation into the Northern Kingdom of Arnor, which will include Fornost and possibly Annuminas.
And you can consider my mind blown.