The Hollow Earth 2
From Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollow_Earth_theory
The phrase hollow Earth refers to the esoteric idea that the planet
Earth has a hollow interior, almost invariably including the idea
that it has a habitable inner surface. Although at one time adventure
literature made this idea popular and even commonplace, the notion
now receives little support; substantial geodetic evidence has long
controverted it and the scientific community dismisses it as
Newton's shell theorem mathematically implies a gravitational force
of zero everywhere inside a spherically symmetric hollow shell of
matter, regardless of the shell thickness (ignoring other masses such
as the Moon). Thus, contrary to popular belief, persons on the inside
of a putative hollow earth would not experience an outward pull and
could not stand on the inner surface; rather, they would experience
weightlessness (with some slight residual gravity arising from the
fact that the Earth does not have a perfectly symmetrical spherical
shape). The centrifugal force from the Earth's rotation would pull a
person outwards, but even at the equator this force exerts only 0.3%
of ordinary Earth gravity.
1 Hollow Earth claims
1.1 Conventional Hollow Earths
1.1.1 Early history
1.1.2 19th century
1.1.3 Recent history
1.2 Concave hollow earths
2 Hollow Earths in fiction
3 See also
4 External links
Hollow Earth claims
Conventional Hollow Earths
In ancient times, the idea of subterranean realms seemed arguable,
and became intertwined with the concept of "places" such as the Greek
Hades, the Nordic svartalfheim, the Jewish Sheol, and the Christian
Edmund Halley's theory.Edmund Halley in 1692 (Philosophical
Transactions of Royal Society of London) put forth the idea of Earth
consisting of a hollow shell about 500 miles thick, two inner
concentric shells and an innermost core, about the diameters of the
planets Venus, Mars, and Mercury. Atmospheres separate these shells,
and each shell has its own magnetic poles. The spheres rotate at
different speeds. Halley proposed this scheme in order to explain
anomalous compass readings. He suggested that the atmosphere inside
was luminous (and possibly inhabited) and that escaping gas caused
the Aurora Borealis.
Leonhard Euler's purported hollow-earth thought-experiment, featuring
openings at the poles, with an internal star.Some have claimed
Leonhard Euler also proposed a hollow-earth idea, getting rid of
multiple shells and postulating an interior sun 600 miles across to
provide light to advanced inner-earth civilization. This may be a mis-
reading of a paper that simply involved a thought experiment.
Sir John Leslie expanded on this idea, suggesting two central suns,
which he named Pluto and Proserpine.
In 1818, John Cleves Symmes, Jr. suggested that the Earth consisted
of a hollow shell about 800 miles (1,300 km) thick, with openings
about 1400 miles (2,300 km) across at both poles with 4 inner shells
each open at the poles. Symmes became the most famous of the early
Hollow Earth proponents. He actually proposed making an expedition to
the North Pole hole, thanks to efforts of one of his followers, James
McBride, but the new President of the United States, Andrew Jackson
(in office 1829 - 1837), halted the attempt. Symmes died in 1829.
However, another follower, Jeremiah Reynolds, also delivered lectures
on the "Hollow Earth" and also argued for an expedition. Eventually
he would drop talk about a hollow Earth after the death of Symmes.
Reynolds apparently went on an attempted expedition himself, but the
outcome remains unclear. (Information on Reynolds remains sketchy and
contradictory: we even lack an image of him. Some say he only had
pecuniary interests, that his claimed 'expedition' consisted of an
attempt to defraud and that he disappeared following it. Others say
he did try to conduct his own expedition and failed, then missed out
on joining the Great U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838 - 1842, and
later faded into obscurity).
Reynolds' agitation did result in an expedition: the Great U.S.
Exploring Expedition of 1838 - 1842. This expedition also became
known as the Wilkes Expedition. Reynolds did not participate because
he had offended too many in his call for such a trip.
Symmes himself never wrote a book of his ideas but others did.
McBride wrote Symmes' Theory of Concentric Spheres in 1826. It
appears that Reynolds has an article that appeared as a separate
booklet in 1827: Remarks of Symmes' Theory Which Appeared in the
American Quarterly Review. In 1868, a professor W.F. Lyons published
The Hollow Globe which put forth a Symmes-like Hollow Earth theory,
but didn't mention Symmes. Symmes's son Americus then published The
Symmes' Theory of Concentric Spheres to set the record straight.
The next proponent for the Hollow Earth, William Reed, wrote Phantom
of the Poles in 1906. He propounded the idea of a hollow Earth, but
without interior shells or inner suns.
Later came Marshall Gardner (distinct from science writer Martin
Gardner) who wrote A Journey to the Earth's Interior in 1913 and then
an expanded edition in 1920. He placed a interior sun in the hollow
earth. He even built a working model of the hollow earth and patented
it (#1096102). Gardner made no mention of Reed, but did take Symmes
to task for his ideas.
Other writers have proposed that "ascended masters" of esoteric
wisdom inhabit subterranean caverns or a hollow Earth. Antarctica,
the North Pole, Tibet, Peru, and Mount Shasta in California, USA,
have all had their advocates as the locations of entrances to these
subterranean realms, with some advancing the theory that UFOs have
their homeland in these places.
A book allegedly by a Dr Raymond Bernard which appeared in 1969, The
Hollow Earth, exemplifies this idea. The book rehashes Reed and
Gardner's ideas and totally ignores Symmes. Bernard also adds his own
ideas: UFOs come from the interior, the Ring Nebula proves the
existence of hollow worlds, etc. An article by Martin Gardner
revealed that Walter Siegmeister used the pseudonym `Bernard', but
only with Walter Kafton-Minkel's Subterranean Worlds: 100,000 years
of dragons, dwarfs, the dead, lost races & UFOs from inside the earth
in 1989 did the full story of Bernard/Siegmeister emerge.
The pages of the science fiction pulp magazine Amazing Stories
promoted one such idea from 1945 to 1949 as "the Shaver Mystery". The
magazine's editor, Ray Palmer, ran a series of stories by Richard
Sharpe Shaver supposedly claimed as factual, though presented in the
context of fiction. Shaver claimed that a superior pre-historic race
had built a honeycomb of caves in the Earth, and that their
degenerate descendants, known as "Dero", live there still, using the
fantastic machines abandoned by the ancient races to torment those of
us living on the surface. As one characteristic of this torment,
Shaver described "voices" that purportedly came from no explainable
source. Thousands of readers wrote to affirm that they, too, had
heard the fiendish voices from inside the Earth.
Fantastic stories (supposedly believed as factual within fringe
circles) have also circulated that Hitler and some of his followers
escaped to hollow lands within the Earth after World War II via an
entrance in Antarctica. (See also Hitler's supposed adherence to
concave hollow-Earth ideas, below.)
In 2001 the Australian father-and-son team Kevin and Matthew Taylor
self-published the book The Land of No Horizon (direct link National
Library of Australia ISBN 0646410571). Among other things it proposes
(through reasoning) an expanding and hollow Earth (as well as other
planetary bodies) which eventually reached equilibrium. The book also
looks at a range of topics including but not limited to evolution,
human physiology, impact craters and other geology in light of such a
Kevin & Matthew Taylor's view of a hollow planet envisages a hollow
globe with a small (depending on planet size) central sun ignited by
radiation from the inner surface. They use this view both to explain
Earth's magnetic field (replacing the dynamo theory) and the origin
and ignition of stars.
Concave hollow earths
Example of a concave hollow earth. Humans live on the interior; with
the universe in the center.Instead of saying that we live on the
outside surface of a hollow planet, sometimes called a "convex"
hollow-Earth theory, some theorists have opined that our universe
itself lies in the interior of a hollow world, calling this
a "concave" hollow-Earth theory. This would resemble a Dyson sphere.
Generally, scientists take neither type of speculation seriously.
Cyrus Teed, a self-described alchemist, proposed such a concave
hollow earth in 1869, which he called "Cellular Cosmogony". Teed
founded a cult called the Koreshan Unity based on this notion, called
Koreshanity. Their main colony survives as a preserved Florida state
historic site, but all of Teed's followers have now died.
Rumors suggest that Hitler, influenced by Teed's hollow-Earth ideas,
actually sent an expedition in an unsuccessful attempt to spy on the
British fleet by aiming cameras up into the sky. But the accuracy of
such rumors remains questionable.
At least one proponent of a concave hollow Earth theory actually
proposed new laws of physics to deal with the gravitation problem.
Martin Gardner discusses the new model in one chapter of his book On
the Wild Side. According to Gardner, this theory states that light
rays travel in circular paths, and slow as they approach the center
of the spherical star-filled cavern. No energy can reach the center
of the cavern, which corresponds to no point a finite distance away
from Earth in the widely accepted scientific cosmology. A drill,
Gardner says, would lengthen as it traveled away from the cavern and
eventually pass through the "point at infinity" corresponding to the
center of the Earth in the widely accepted scientific cosmology.
Supposedly no experiment can distinguish between the two cosmologies.
Martin Gardner does not accept the concave hollow Earth theory, and
suggests that whoever proposed it may have had religious motives.
In a trivial sense, of course, one can always define a coordinate
transformation such that the interior of the Earth becomes "exterior"
and the exterior becomes "interior". (For example, in spherical
coordinates, let radius r go to R?/r where R is the Earth's radius.)
Since such transformations change the forms of physical laws,
however, it does not follow that an observer could mistake the
interior for the exterior in practice, and thus such arguments tend
Hollow Earths in fiction
An early science-fiction work called Symzonia: A Voyage of Discovery
by a "Captain Adam Seaborn" was published in 1823. It obviously
reflected the ideas of John Cleves Symmes, Jr., and some have claimed
Symmes as the real author. One recent reprint of the work gives
Symmes as the author. Others disagree. Some researchers say it
deliberately satirized Symmes ideas, and think they have identified
the author as an early American author named Nathanial Ames who wrote
other works, including one that might have served as the inspiration
of Moby Dick (see Lang, Hans-Joachim and Benjamin Lease. "The
Authorship of Symzonia: The Case for Nathanial Ames" New England
Quarterly, June 1975, page 241-252.)
Edgar Allan Poe used the idea in his 1838 novel The Narrative of
Arthur Gordon Pym. He also touches on it in "MS. found in a bottle"
and "Hans Pfaal".
Jules Verne, who did not often stray far from the bounds of
scientific plausibility in his works, used the idea of a hollow Earth
in his 1864 novel, A Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Willis Emerson wrote another science fiction novel worthy of mention:
The Smoky God 1908. The novel claims to recount the true adventures
of one Olaf Jansen who traveled into the interior, found an advanced
civilization, and then left it. Some people regard The Smoky God as
Edgar Rice Burroughs, more concerned with entertainment than
plausibility, also wrote tales of adventure in the inner world of
Pellucidar (including, at one point, a visit from his character
Tarzan). Note that, although the inner surface of the Earth has an
absolutely smaller area than the outer, Burroughs's Pellucidar has
oceans on the outer surface corresponding to continents on the inner
surface and vice-versa, so that Pellucidar actually has a greater
land area than the "outer" continents combined. Primitive humans and
an exciting mix of all those large and dangerous creatures which have
unfortunately become extinct on the outer surface inhabit Pellucidar,
and Burroughs did not hesitate to add such improvements as the
Mahars, creatures vaguely resembling large intelligent pterodactyls
with dangerous psychic powers. For light Pellucidar has a central
miniature sun which never sets, so that its human inhabitants have
never developed the notion of time.
In the science-fiction novel Inhabited Island by the Russian authors
Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, an Earthling space traveller Maxim
Kammerer lands on a planet (Saraksh) where, due to extremely high
atmospheric refraction, the native population believes that it
resides inside a hollow earth. As a result, they cannot accept the
idea of Kammerer's interplanetary origin.
In the 1970s, comic book artist Mike Grell produced the comic book
Warlord, about a pilot who finds himself in Skartaris, a sword-and-
sorcery world reached through an opening at the North Pole.
The fantasy series The Death Gate Cycle, by Margaret Weis and Tracy
Hickman, also features a concave hollow world, beginning in Elven
Star, the second book in the series. This world, called 'Pryan the
World of Fire', presents a classic hollow world, in which the
constant light from its central sun has caused the plant life to grow
to such size that all of the people on Pryan live atop the highest
trees on a nearly rock-solid network of branches and leaves.
The Cthulhu Mythos stories of H. P. Lovecraft (et al) feature as a
common theme a subterranean gateway or labyrinth that serves as the
home of various Great Old Ones.
A hollow Earth featured in the children's Choose Your Own Adventure
novel The Underground Kingdom.
Rudy Rucker's novel The Hollow Earth appeared in 1990, and features
Poe and his ideas.
The novel Indiana Jones and the Hollow Earth by Max McCoy (1997)
expands on the legend of Hitler's supposed escape to the Earth's
Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series of novels has a population of
fairies living inside the Earth, under the mantle.
John Cleves Symmes Jr
unidentified flying object
Hollow and Habitable Within: Symmes's Theory of Earth's Internal
Structure and Polar Geography scholarly article on Symmes's theory
At the Earth's Core, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Cellular Cosmogony, by Koresh: full text of Cyrus Teed's book
about the inside-out earth at www.sacred-texts.com
The Phantom of the Poles, by William Reed: full text at www.sacred-
Crank.net - Hollow Earth: people who believe
Hollow Earths: a historical list of hollow-Earth proposals
Hollow Earths: page illustrating several hollow-earth proposals with
Stephen Wagner, Nazis and the Hollow Earth, Paranormal.About.com
(Jan. 11, 1999): (thinly sourced) discussion of rumors about the
Nazis and hollow Earth ideas.
Koreshan State Historic Site, official web page.
Unofficial Koreshan State Historic Site, unofficial web page.
American Communal Utopias and The Koreshan Unity: A Bibliography
Brief overview and great bibliography of works, if slightly dated.
Turning the Universe Inside-Out: Ulysses Grant Morrow's Naples
Experiment Examination of the Naples Experiment, and why it failed,
but also covers the major hollow earth theories and Koreshan beliefs.
The Smoky God, by Willis George Emerson. Complete novel
Voyage to our Hollow Earth, Journey to the North Pole and Beyond - 24
day Trip, June 26, 2006 - July 19, 2006. Expedition aboard the
The Hollow Earth - from The UnMuseum
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