This is for the Absolute Write June 2012 blog chain. The topic is 'Weird Worlds'.
My world is a very strange planet where almost a quarter of the population live without electricity and where 14% of the total planet's population have to walk just to fetch water. However more than half of the population have a real, active phone account, but the total reach of mobiles is even more than that reaching two thirds of the population, because people share their mobiles.
I am sure you can guess that I'm not very subtly talking about Earth.
Our wealth is unevenly divided - the richest 10% account for 85% of global assets. The bottom HALF own only 1% of global wealth (According to the World Institute for Development Economics Research quoted in that paragon of fact, Wikipedia).
I don't know about you, but I can write about hover cars or worlds the size of a pencil or worlds where cheese never existed, but I am continually reminded that there is no place weirder than our own planet. Setting aside the larger inequalities and injustices large and small that somehow happen and the reasons for them, some of the general weird facts give good fodder for stories.They help spark off ideas for those more fantastical worlds.
For example 100 lightning strikes occur worldwide EVERY SECOND. What if they happened in one place? To one person? And they survived?
The deepest hole ever made was 7.6 miles deep - what might have been at the bottom of it?
The largest eggs in the world are laid by a shark - okay, I can't think of questions about that other than SHARKS? REALLY?
There is nothing so strange as people either! When we're looking for inspiration the best place to start is right is front of us. (I am interested in how you then Brainstorm those into stories)
To celebrate: Tell me a Weird Fact about the World or You...
My sources for the above were this site For the initial percentages, Wikipedia On the Distribution of Wealth and general weird facts from here
As this part of a blog chain, please please do visit the rest of the wondrous participants:
Bartholomews blog - blog chain entry to follow
dclary blog - this months entry to follow