The floating continent is a landmass suspended in the upper atmosphere of the gas giant Jupiter. The Australia-sized object and the verdant plant life on its surface were originally part of the planet Garmillas, but were cut from its crust and transported to Jupiter by the Great Garmillas Empire during its war with Earth. The environment is protected from Jupiter's lethal natural conditions; calm winds, lighter air pressure, and temperatures warm enough for bodies of liquid water are maintained, although the atmospheric content (67 percent methane, 21 percent carbon dioxide, and 6 percent nitrogen, along with acetaldehyde and ethanol) differs sharply from the air of Garmillas. Similar to "Garmillasforming" operations in other star systems, the floating continent is a storehouse of native life used by the empire to seed Earth and transform it into a more Garmillas-like world. Operations are managed from a small, lightly defended resupply base located deep in the continent's interior ("Escape from the Jupiter Sphere").
In early 2199, the Earth battleship Yamato discovers the floating continent hidden beneath Jupiter's cloud tops when a warp error brings the ship perilously close to the planet. Yamato navigates through the levitated rocky debris surrounding the continent and comes to rest in a small lake. The crew collects plant samples, matches their DNA with alien plants that have invaded Earth in recent years, and correctly determines the purpose of the floating continent. The continent is completely vaporized soon thereafter in the first firing of Yamato's wave motion gun ("Escape from the Jupiter Sphere").