Some people really do believe that the planet Earth is hollow and within it lies another world...

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Believe it or not, some people still cling to the view that the Earth is flat and that at some point you could reach the edge and fall off. But have you heard of another conspiracy theory, where believers say that the earth is hollow and that the inside of our planet holds an interior world that’s capable of supporting life.

Going Underground

Hollow Earth-underworld

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Belief in the Hollow Earth idea seems to have always been with us. For example, the Ancient Greeks believed that their version of Hell was ruled by the God Hades and was known as the Underworld which was a land beneath the earth.

Other people also believed in a Hollow Earth such as Native American. Various tribes such as the Iroquois and the Hopi believe that their ancestors came from underground and that a lost tribe still lived there.

Layers within layers

The man who Halley’s Comet is named after, astronomer Edmond Halley developed the first known scientific theory to explain the Hollow Earth in 1692.

Halley proposed that the Earth was made of a few layers. Each layer housed a smaller layer (like an onion), until you got to the core which was hollow and roughly 500 miles wide.

Halley believed that the core was capable of supporting life.

North to South

In America in 1818, a man named John Cleves Symmes, Jr delivered many lectures about the Hollow Earth. He wanted to mount an expedition to the North Pole to test his theory that there would be an entrance to the Hollow Earth there. He believed there would be an entrance at the South Pole too.

Although he never went on an expedition or published his theories, others books and articles that popularised Symmes, Jr’s Hollow Earth theory.

Inside out

Hollow Earth-sun

New York doctor, Cyrus Reed Teed, was interested in alternative therapies. In 1869, he suffered a severe electric shock and knocked himself out in an experiment.

The shock caused him to believe that he was visited by a spirit who told him that he was the Messiah. eed then renamed himself ‘Koresh’ and built a religion called Koreshanity and an organisation called the Koreshan Unity which he used to promote it.

One of Koresh’s main beliefs was in the Hollow Earth. His specific theory was that we all live on the inside of the planet, that the sun is battery-operated and the stars are just light waves bending from the sun’s light.

There were many branches of the Koreshan Unity all over America in places such as San Francisco, Florida and Chicago. The Koreshans believed that soon after Teed died he would come back from the dead. As this didn’t happen, the Koreshan Unity eventually faded away and with it, its particular take on the Hollow Earth.

When fiction takes over

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Around the same time that ‘Koresh’ had his revelation, an English author Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote a novel called ‘Vril, The Power of the Coming Race’.

The plot of the book is about an expedition to the Hollow Earth that results in the discovery of a hidden race of people called the Vril-ya who were descended from the population of mythical Atlantis.

These Vril-ya are superior to those from the outside world both physically and technologically and plan to eventually leave the Hollow Earth to take over our world.

The Vril-ya used an energy source called Vril which they used for healing, nourishing and for destructive purposes.

Although a work of fiction, there were many who believed that this book was actually factual and the word ‘Vril’ became a shorthand for energy. This is in fact where famous beefy drink Bovril got its name!

In the late 19th and early 20th century, there were many other authors that used the Hollow Earth idea for inspiration like Jules Verne with A Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs with his Pellucidar book series. Both of these added to the Hollow Earth the idea of the continued existence of Dinosaurs living underground.

While massively popular, these books were read as fiction, whereas Bulwer-Lytton’s book was regarded by some as an accurate portrayal.

Secret societies

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iStockphoto

German rocket engineer Willy Ley claimed Bulwer-Lytton’s book was so influential that a secret society was formed in Nazi Germany to search for Vril as a result.

There have been other allegations that Hitler and other prominent Nazis were members of a secret society who believed in Vril and the Hollow Earth.

There is a theory that UFOs are aircraft created by scientists working for the Nazis using advanced technology. Another states that these UFOs are in fact the creations of the Vril-ya who were also working with the Nazis. Proponents of both theories believe that these UFOs when not flying in the skies are stored to this day in the Hollow Earth.

So, a whole other world under our feet… are you convinced?