As I was reading The Fifth Season, I thought about the sea and why Syenite had expressed disinterest in going near or in the water. I had originally thought that there was no moon so why would there be anything to fear, other than otherworldly sea creatures that is. I also had thought that since there was no moon, there were no waves or currents in the water. So I was especially confused once Alabaster and Syenite went to Meov and it was a community that thrived off of ransacking the Stillness’s ships. Then I did some research on the moon and how it affects our Earth.
I learned that the moon does have its effects on our oceans, but not as much as I had originally thought. I learned that the moon has a dramatic impact on our tides and tidal currents by trying to pull the water closer to the moon. The Earth tries to hold everything on its surface, and when everything on land is not making significant movements, it’s a relatively easy task. Water is constantly moving, so, therefore, it’s harder to hold in place. This is how the moon is able to try and drag some of the oceans closer to it, causing the tides and currents. This doesn’t exactly explain the making of big ocean waves, however. The big waves that we think about are caused by the currents and wind hitting the surface of the water.
So now that I’ve learned a little bit more about how our moon affects our oceans, I thought more about why Syenite was cautious around the water. Then I remembered that the Stillness is never actually still and if the continent is constantly moving then the ocean floor must also be moving too. Which made me think of tsunamis. The world that Syenite lives in must constantly be plagued by tsunamis as well as earthquakes. This would explain one of the reasons why an island in the middle of the ocean is not a place that you want to be. The reason why Meov had survived was that of the orogenes that lived there. They would quell the shakes close enough that would cause disaster and when Corundum was born he quelled any and every shake he felt. This would eliminate or at least greatly reduce the chance of a giant tsunami wave hitting Meov.
So long story short, in the absence of the moon, the tides would be way less dramatic, the currents probably would not exist, and big waves would be caused by big displacements of water.