Hollow Earth Theory Explained – Just a Conspiracy?

Hollow Earth Illustration
Illustration from Symmes’s Theory of Concentric Spheres … , 1878
Source: Wikipedia

Our world is filled with mysteries. Over the course of human existence scientists have struggled to explain all the different aspects of our surroundings, our planet, outer space, time. The struggle is ongoing, since to this day certain areas of the world we live in still continue to baffle Earth’s inhabitants.

Earth’s size and shape has been a source of constant argument throughout history and some far-fetched ideas came about in an effort to explain our funny little planet called Earth.

Is it flat? Do we live on the back of a gigantic turtle moving slowly and wobbling around? Or are we on a disc floating in the middle of the ocean?

One idea, which still provokes controversy today, proposed that the Earth we live on is hollow and came to be known as the Hollow Earth Theory.

The Hollow Earth Theory dates back to ancient times, where it was part of mythology and legends. Given the Earth’s long and deep unexplored cave systems, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people have projected so many ideas about what lies beneath the surface.

Ancient Greeks, among others, claimed that there were small caverns in their lands which were in fact entrances to the underworld. Numerous myths and legends mention portals to inner Earth and heroes living under its surface.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
Book cover: Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne.
Source: Epublib.info

But, not just myths and legends, even famous writers have referenced this theory in their works, most notably Jules Verne in his Journey to the Centre of the Earth in which the main characters travel to the very centre of the Earth and encounter an underground ocean and prehistoric creatures. So, the notion was always out there, but it hadn’t gained general approval.

However, that changed when the theory was presented in the scientific circles as well. It was first suggested back in the 17th century by none other than the renowned Edmund Halley, famous to us today for his Halley’s Comet.

Edmund Halley's Hollow Earth Theory
A 2D illustration of Edmund Halley’s “Hollow Earth” theory.
Source: Wikipedia

In 1692 Halley was trying to explain some strange compass readings he encountered and the only logical explanation he could come up with was that Earth was actually hollow. He even designed a model of the hollow Earth and published a paper defending his proposition. And that’s how it all kicked off. Soon enough, although the theory was rejected by the scientific community, Halley’s proposition of a hollow planet was not only accepted but expanded by enthusiasts worldwide.

So, what is the premise? Although there are some areas of disagreement among proponents of the theory, the basic ideas seem to be common.

First and foremost, the Earth is hollow, so about a mile down from the surface there is a whole new world. Halley envisioned two more inner shells and a core at the very center, all rotating at different speeds and directions.

Other followers of the theory disagreed. No shells, no core, but a vast new subterranean universe filled with strange, mythical creatures, diverse wildlife and a whole other civilization, most likely more advanced than ours.

In this spectacular universe, undisturbed by humans, there is another Moon and another Sun and life thrives without the world on the surface ever noticing. The inhabitants of this inner universe are descendants from ancient races. Their life span is greater than ours due to the perfect climate in the Hollow Earth which enables animals, plants and people to grow much bigger and healthier.

One ticket to Hollow Earth, please! But, wait, how do we get there? Of course, there are several locations which serve as entrances to the underworld. The two entrances generally accepted by adherents of this concept are located on the South and North Poles.

These were suggested in 1818 by John Cleves Symmes, Jr., who is one of the most famous early advocates of the Hollow Earth Theory and who even has a monument in Hamilton, Ohio to honor him and his ideas.
Some suggest other possible locations as portals to inner Earth – Paris in France, Staffordshire in England, Montreal in Canada, Hangchow in China and the Amazon Rainforest.

Portals, entrances, so, you can just go in and go out, right?

Well, not quite, given that many previous attempts to find the portals haven’t had much luck, but that doesn’t mean one has to stop trying.

Rodney Cluff, one of the most famous supporters of the theory today and author of the book World Top Secret: Our Earth is Hollow, was among those who were planning to organize an expedition to the North Pole and finally locate the entrance to Inner Earth, which has been so successfully covered up over the years.
The expedition didn’t happen in the end due to some financial and organizational setbacks, but Cuff remains hopeful that one day they’ll get there, find the hole and finally catch a glimpse of Hollow Earth and its inhabitants.

Rodney M. Cluff Book about Hollow Earth Theory
Rodney M. Cluff Book about Hollow Earth Theory

The cult of Hollow Earth is still strong today, as many followers cling to the idea of a world inside a world. Popular culture has also adopted this belief to an extent. Many popular movies and works of science fiction depict what the Hollow Earth universe might look like and deliver different perspectives on the species that might dwell there.

Science fiction and adventure genre films, television programs, as well as video games toy around with the theory and the in-numerous possibilities it offers. One of the most recent examples is the movie Godzilla vs. Kong which is set inside the Hollow Earth and successfully makes use of the theory.

Despite the disproval by the scientific community and failure to find the holes that lead inside, the Hollow Earth Theory isn’t likely to lose followers any time soon. The idea continues to intrigue and until such a time at which people are able to take a peak beneath the Earth’s surface and see for themselves what lies under, who is to say that there can’t be Moons, Suns, stars, mythical creatures, giant humans or animals or an entire advanced and prospering civilization.

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