Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, Fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations, and Marvelous Machines Below the Earth's Surface

Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, Fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations, and Marvelous Machines Below the Earth's Surface

David Standish

Language: English

Pages: 242

ISBN: 2:00070732

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Beliefs in mysterious underworlds are as old as humanity. But the idea that the earth has a hollow interior was first proposed as a scientific theory in 1691 by Sir Edmond Halley (of comet fame), who suggested that there might be life down there as well. Hollow Earth traces the surprising, marvelous, and just plain weird permutations his ideas have taken over the centuries. From science fiction to utopian societies and even religions, Hollow Earth travels through centuries and cultures, exploring how each era’s relationship to the idea of a hollow earth mirrored its hopes, fears, and values. Illustrated with everything from seventeenth-century maps to 1950s pulp art to movie posters and more, Hollow Earth is for anyone interested in the history of strange ideas that just won’t go away.</Div>














through the whole movie. And 1991 saw the release of the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the Earth’s Core, which is probably enough said about that one. The dated feel of the title alone is a reminder of how quickly kid culture fads come and go. In the past fifteen years or so there’s been a minor resurgence in hollow earth novels. As a literary device it lands entirely in the realm of fantasy adventure—the utopian hollow earth novel is apparently a thing of the past. The most notable

about magnetism, he says, practically chuckling, the truth is, “Gentlemen Philosophers, the MAGNET has quite puzzled you.” And its mysterious force leads directly to God. We “see much of Him in such a wonderful Stone as the MAGNET. They have done well to call it the Loadstone, that is to say, the Lead-stone: May it lead me unto Thee, O my God and my Saviour!” Though Halley’s paper was reprinted in the century or so after its appearance, The Christian Philosopher seems the likeliest place for

relation to astronomy, navigation, and surveying. Clocks before the seventeenth century were large, crude devices that never kept anything close to true time. The minute hand wasn’t added until 1670. In 1582 Galileo had observed the timekeeping properties of pendulums, and in 1656 Dutch astronomer and physicist Christian Huygens applied this principle to clock making with notable results. In 1675 he had one of those eureka! moments, thinking of a way to regulate a clock using a fixed coiled

living well beyond one hundred years. Everyone’s kind to everyone else and nobody’s rude—not even the kids (truly utopian!). The economy is a sort of laissez-faire socialism. They’ve moved beyond base, lowest-common-denominator democracy, which they consider a barbaric social structure. You can be rich and have vast estates if you feel like it. But most don’t bother, preferring to live modestly, kick back, and smell the roses. Working as an obscure artisan is as valued as being a muckety-muck,

watery abyss, and the relentless sun. “Consider the effect that the heat of the Sun would have upon it, and the Waters under it; drying and parching the one, and rarifying the other into vapours.” At the hottest latitudes it would be “continual Summer, the Earth would proceed in driness still more and more, and the cracks would be wider and pierce deeper.” Eventually the sun boiled our earthly egg until it cracked. “When the appointed time was come, that All-wise Providence had design’d for the

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