26 April, 2009

The Hollow Earth

26th April 2009

The previous chapter dealt with earth as being possibly flat, this one will deal with its possible hollowness, and the theories around it. In fact, it will be more about the theories around it than its potential hollowness because I’m no geologist and don’t really have any arguments either way.

Be ready for some serious unprofessionalism as I will do everything by memory here, and it will be very general, abstract, all over the place, and it won’t even cite its sources. If you need a good reason for that unprofessionalism, feel free to imagine that I’m writing this chapter on a desert island, where dinosaurs start chasing me if I dare look up Wikipedia or other links on Google. And if I plunge my nose into a book, an evil deity of said desert island steals me a limb. Otherwise you can just assume that I feel lazy about this chapter.

So where to begin? That’s indeed a problem because I could start this from any end. Let’s begin with Hitler and the Nazis, as this is always interesting. At some point, these gentlemen thought that the earth might be hollow, but not the way we think of it. Imagine an infinity of earth – the matter – and in this earth, imagine a spherical hollow. Now, Nazis thought maybe that’s what the earth is like, and we’re living on the inner sides of this hollow bubble in the earth. With this in mind, they thought that if you aimed telescopes into the sky, you could perhaps spy on Great Britain. If this sounds obscure, just draw a circle, then draw a stickman inside it, with his feet on the edge, and then another stickman 90° to the left or right, and that should illustrate my point. Yes, I’m too unprofessional to actually draw it myself. And I wouldn’t want to deprive you from some stickman fun. Nah, I’m just unprofessional.

The usual model, though, is that the earth is as we imagine it, but hollow inside. Pleonasm? Likely. Problem? No. You can’t be hollow outside exactly, or everything is already, and this is more thought than I bargained for. So back on tracks. The thing is that we really don’t know a lot about what lies beneath our feet. We know more about deep space than we do about our inner earth. What do we actually know of that? According to science, our earth is divided into 4 zones: the crust, the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core. How did they find out about that? They didn’t go there. If I remember correctly, they sent sounds and analysed how these sounds came through at the other end and deduced what the stuff of the earth was like (in this sentence, I use a different meaning of “stuff” that you might be accustomed to, meaning material, what something is made of, etc.). And that’s how they came up with this idea of the earth’s innards.

I don’t think we actually went through the crust. As said before, we explored space far more than we did the underground. This becomes really fascinating when you start thinking about the gargantuan proportions of the inside of our planet. If that place was hollow, and/or inhabited, think of the space! Entire civilisations could live in there. We only live on a surface.

And now let’s plunge into the fancy theories people have about the hollow earth. These are the good, crunchy bits. There’s this fantastic theory that the Nazis somehow escaped to Antarctica and possibly found an entrance to the inner earth. Flying saucers and aliens are often involved in these, but it would take its own chapter to go into details about that one.

Edgar Allan (not Allen) Poe wrote a story called “MS. Found in a Bottle” (and for general information, you put short stories or poems or anything that’s only part of a bigger piece between quotation marks and any stand-alone volume in italics; for instance, a song from an album would be between quotation marks, while the album would be italicised; “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from Nevermind) Poe’s narrator ends up falling into some black hole of doom. Poe was inspired by old maps of the world which showed two giant black holes in lieu of the poles. In fact, I think Poe adds a note to this story, in which, perhaps, he says he didn’t know about that fact before he wrote the story and only found this out afterwards, which is interesting. And yes, I can’t go check my Poe book. Remember, the evil deity who’d steal my limbs. I like my limbs.

This idea remains in some people’s theories. Why didn’t anybody suddenly fall into one of these pole holes? Simple. The curvature of that hole would be so slight and over such a long distance that if you walked towards the hole, you’d never actually notice that you’re walking into a giant hole. The idea here is that the center of gravity of the earth does not reside in its exact core, but rather inside the earth layers, if I may call them that way. And I’ll correct myself right now, that’s not the actual center of gravity, that’d be just what pulls you “down”. We understand each other. Well, mostly you me. So you’d walk off this side of the earth and into the hollow, and you’d not even notice it because, apparently, the sky is blue there too. And they even have an inner sun. Or so say some theories.

Other theories suggest that there are giant cities underground, but that there is no giant hollow in our earth, just that it’s inhabited, massively. Who lives there? Why, aliens of course. Or “ancient astronauts”, or Reptilians. Or Nazis! Who the duck knows, I did my research on the Internet. Let’s go wild. “Ancient astronauts” is a term that originates with the phrase “the ancient astronauts theory” which is a theory that suggests humanity has been visited by superior species in the past. This was one of my first serious interests in life, when I was a kid. (And before I go on, let me emphasise that I do know that this is a digression that has little to do with the subject (NICOLAS, PLEONASM AGAIN!) – I am fully aware of that, but I, like Holden Caulfield, enjoy digressions, and so I indulge in them.) So, when I was a kid, I one day found a couple of paperbacks in the basement. One of them was entitled La Théorie des Anciens Astronautes, in French, please, because when I was a kiddo, that’s all I could speak or read. I don’t think you need a translation, thanks to the French invading England some centuries ago and injecting so much of their language into yours. Don’t feel violated, it’s all right. So, as a kid, I thought this was going to be a book about spacemen and all that cool stuff. I thought they were “ancient” in the sense that maybe they were just old spacemen. Boy, was I wrong. A whole new perspective on the world was exposed to me and I shat bricks of excitement at the idea that maybe there was such an enormous truth out there, waiting for us to discover it. I don’t remember what age I was, somewhere between 7 and 10. My interest in this never entirely faded, and it culminated when I was about 15 and gave an impressive presentation on that very topic to a mesmerised class of 8th graders. (And I’m never sure about that American way of counting the school years, maybe I erred with this, so just think of the year when most kids are 14 or 15. That’s the year I mean.)

I read lots of Erich von Daniken – which I probably misspell, but remember the dinosaurs who’d start chasing me if I dare check it on Google – and later on found out that this author wasn’t very professional. Like me. And, like me, he’s Swiss. Hey, maybe he was writing from a desert island filled with anti-intellectual dinosaurs too. You never know. Switzerland might be quite different from what you thought it was.

Now I totally lost track of what I was saying. Ok, ancient aliens visiting us from outer space, or inner space, as some suggest. Some of you might know about Reptilians already. According to some interesting folks I heard on the radio (Art Bell’s radio show, yes), there are megapolis(es?) underground inhabited by Reptilians. If you never heard of that term – Reptilian – they’re thought to be humanoids of daunting proportions compared to us, very strong, scaly all over, and none too hot. Theorists typically link every serpent image in ancient history to that species, whether it’s the serpent of Adam and Eve, or traditional representations of dragons, demons, etc.

I stop here to say that I’m not discussing the veracity of these claims. That’s another topic entirely. I’m just disclosing this stuff to you, because stuff like that thrills me, whether it’s completely retarded, has some truth to it, or is factual. It makes the mind exercise in terms of world perception, and that’s what I’m into with this chapter and the previous chapter, about the Flat Earth Society people.

I recommend googling the “Dulce base”, provided there are no dinosaurs around you. You’d find more about Reptilians and conspiracies with this one. I don’t know if there is any truth to all this, but it sure makes for a good read.

Some people claim that we humans already have a massive network underground, made of tunnels and high tech metros and what not. In fact, and this is indeed fact, the USA have a very vast series of giant underground bases. Those bases were mostly built during the Cold War, to face the advent of a nuclear catastrophe. That’s where people would have saved their asses in case of a conflict. Supposedly, every state has at least one such underground base. Stories of people exploring underground structures and meeting weird stuff abound. But then again, what to make of them is anyone’s best wild guess. That huge underground network would be used by “those” too, meaning the aliens/Reptilians/whatever they are in any given theory.

On a more factual basis, we do know that pockets of worlds do exist inside our earth, as in Jules Vernes’s novel Voyage au Centre de la Terre, pardon my French. We didn’t find dinosaurs – dinosaurs! – exactly, but we found life that evolved on its little own for quite some time. Who knows how many such pockets exist? I heard rumors, or news, of some underground lake below the ice of Antarctica, in which there might be life, and which didn’t have any contact of any sort with anything outside its reaches for millennia, or more. Fascinating.

And I think that’s it for this unprofessional chapter about the hollow earth theory. I hope it served as a nice introduction, if anything. There are tons of information on the subject out there, including very serious books about the actual possibility of a hollow earth written by geologists (which don’t actually suggest our earth is hollow, just how a planet could be hollow).