Moving toward the 20th century, the idea lost a little bit of its steam when it was essentially debunked for the first time by some meddling scientists. As these theories often do, however, hollow Earth managed to carry on. The theory was still around, yes, but it was essentially taken over by the science-fiction community—think Jules Verne's A Journey to the Center of the Earth and the like.
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Authors like Verne and William R. Bradshaw thrust an inhabitable vision of the internal world into the mind of the public.
The Inner Earth also known as Hollow Earth, Shambhala, Agartha and Hyperborea.
This idea coagulated with Halley and Symmes ideas into a hybrid idea that persists to this day. The theories range, but a typical description of what modern-day hollow Earth theorists believe is that the interior of Earth consists of multiple environments that are punctuated with exotic and extinct animals, and, sometimes, aliens. In many of the theories, there are inner-world inhabitants that are either super advanced or have achieved some form of utopia.
Others say that the world has been colonized by missing explorers—in almost all of the theories, the inner worlds are presented as strongly superior to ours. It's not surprising that some still clutch to hollow Earth theory because, for many, the modern theories have a religious theme connected to them. In these theories, it is typically put forward that the Lost Tribes of Israel inhabit the hollow Earth.
An author by the name of Rodney Cluff wrote in his book Our Living Hollow Earth that the tribes were taken to the hollow Earth that is where, luckily enough, heaven and hell are also located. In order to understand his ideas a little better, I gave Cluff a call. He told me that he came to the theory as a young man when he was introduced to a book by Raymond Bernard called The Hollow Earth.
This set Cluff off on a journey of analyzing "scientific, spiritual, and historical evidence" from which he believes he found proof that Earth and most bodies in space are hollow.
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Furthermore, Cluff believes, without any doubt, that there is another sun in the center of Earth and there are people who inhabit Earth's core. It's not easy being a hollow Earth theorist—according to Cluff, the numbers of true believers have been slowly going down. This most likely comes from the fact that conspiracy theories have become plentiful as of late.
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While the hollow Earth has the old school vibe—few theories can battle its longevity—it's just as not as sexy or timely as some of the conspiracies you'll find on, say, Infowars. Who wants to search for an internal world when you can rally against a president setting up FEMA death camps in parking lots, or try to expose a child sex—trafficking ring that is being run out of the basement of a DC pizzeria? There exists no real place for hollow Earth theorists to organize and recruit as they don't have massive forums on the subject—they've been left behind by time. Cluff told me that the group typically talks to one another through emails and that they do have a presence on YouTube.
Aenean euismod bibendum laoreet. Proin gravida dolor sit amet lacus accumsan et viverra justo commodo. Proin sodales pulvinar tempor. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. This essay revisits Edmond Halley's schema of a multi-sphered, hollow earth, presented to the Royal Society in as a hypothetical resolution to the problem of magnetic variation.
My essay has the goal of enhancing our appreciation not only of Halley's aptitudes as a theorist of the earth sciences, but as the dexterous practitioner of a language felicitously attuned to the early development of that field. Today, Dahl's painting gestures simultaneously to Halley's conception of a habitable inner earth and to a literary tradition that embraced that idea as its central imaginary novelty.
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The Ancestral Myth of the Hollow Earth and Underground Civilizations
Edmond Halley, brilliant scientist and hater of smiles. Image: Wikimedia.
There is the problem, though, of cracks forming in the outer shell, with gravity sucking ocean water and debris toward the center of the Earth. In a time when science had not yet divested itself of religion, there was the question of why exactly God would arrange things this way. What use could the empty spaces between the circles within our planet be? For Halley, who believed that all of the other planets in our solar system were inhabited, it was just another place for God to stash life. Earth, he argued, was essentially a giant building made by the Almighty.
There is of course then the problem of the light required for such life. No problem, really, said Halley. Halley's imagining of the interior of Earth, which proves he didn't do nearly as much mescaline as Athansius Kircher. Quite the contrary: Over 40 years later he sat for his official portrait as Astronomer Royal , and in his hand was the illustration of Earth and its three concentric circles, shown at left. But Halley was on the right track: Earth is indeed composed of layers, from the inner core to the crust we tread. We know this thanks to Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann , who monitored an earthquake in and determined that the different kinds of waves it produced, which behave differently in liquids and solids, had deflected off of a liquid outer core and solid inner core.
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And appropriately enough it's the churning of the outer core that not only produces our magnetic field, but causes it to vary over time. Halley had actually been close to finding the right answer.