Inside Planet Earth: Modern Belivers in Hollow Earth Part 1

About the theory that the Earth is composed of concentric spheres and is actually hollow, a theory of Capt. Symmes, modern followers of this belief.


Concentric Spheres. In the early 1800s, Capt. John Cleves Symmes, hero of the War of 1812, came up with a theory that the earth was hollow and composed of a series of concentric spheres, one contained within the other so that they all had a common center. He had arrived at this conclusion after studying the works of 19th-century scientists, whose theories ranged from the idea that the earth was an oil-covered mudball picking up dust, to one that proposed the earth was something like a soft-boiled egg. Symmes was an original thinker. He rejected the laws of Newton. To back up his hollow-earth theory, he pointed to other things in nature that were also hollow--bones, reeds, hair. He thought the interior of the earth could be reached through large holes, a few thousand miles in diameter, to be found at the North and South Poles. In a circular he sent to numerous prominent people, including various heads of state, he asked for funds to finance an expedition to one of the Poles, where, he wrote, "We will find a warm and rich land, stocked with thrifty vegetables and animals, if not men, on reaching one degree northward of latitude 82."

Before Symmes was through he had got a good deal of backing, probably because he exuded such a fervid belief in his idea. He almost got Congress to provide money to place "Old Glory on those interior planets."

Symmes's Idea Takes Fire. Professor W. F. Lyons published a book based on Symmes's theory; however, he did not mention Symmes's name in it. To set the record straight, Symmes's son, in 1878, published The Symmes Theory of Concentric Spheres, Demonstrating That the Earth Is Hollow, Habitable Within and Widely Open about the Poles. Though he faithfully outlined his father's ideas, the son added an embellishment of his own: that the inhabitants of the inner earth were the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

There were others besides Lyons who climbed on Symmes's bandwagon: Cyrus Read Teed, who founded a religion based on the hollow earth, and William Reed, who wrote a book to prove that there were holes at the Poles, were 2 of these disciples.

But then, in 1908, Dr. Frederick Cook reached the North Pole. And in 1909, Admiral Peary reached the South Pole. These expeditions should have ended forever any conjecture about the "holes-in-the-poles" theory. They didn't. Marshall B. Gardener, who made his living as a maintenance man in a corset factory, wrote a book on the holes in 1913. And the believers in the theory said that the explorers never really reached the Poles, or if they did, they had entered the polar openings with out knowing it.

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