world is hollow, you say? An absurd idea! But at one time many believed
this to be the case. Some still do.
Edmund Halley is most famous
for the comet named after him. He also thought the earth was hollow, a
theory he proposed in 1692. The biggest push for the idea, though, came
from John Cleves Symmes, who published a pamphlet in 1818 describing how
access to the interior could be achieved by traveling through openings
at both the north and south poles. Symmes even petitioned the U.S. Congress
to fund an expedition to "Symmes Hole"! Alas, Congress wasn't interested.
By 1913 scientists were pretty
much in agreement that "the earth is neither hollow nor stuffed with sawdust"
(as one of them wrote) but the idea of another world beneath our feet was
too good to let die, so in that year Burroughs resurrected the hollow earth
in At the Earth's Core. David Innes and Abner Perry build a giant
mechanical prospector with which they hope to uncover vast mineral deposits
far beneath the surface. On the "Iron Mole's" first trip, however, they
discover that their vehicle can't be steered! Death seems certain, for
doesn't everyone know that the center of the earth is a molten mass of
Instead what Innes and Perry
discover is that the earth's crust in only 500 miles thick and that the
inner surface is inhabited. This is the land of Pellucidar, a place where
dinosaurs roam through the jungles, and where saber-toothed tigers hunt
the mastodon and mammoth. A tiny sun, the molten core of the earth, hangs
in the center of the heavens, shedding perpetual daylight upon Pellucidar.
Because the sun never sets, because it is always* now*, there is no such
thing as time in Pellucidar! Stranger still, because Pellucidar rests on
the inner side of the earth's crust, there is no horizon. The land curves*
upwards*, as if you were standing on the inside of a gigantic bowl.
Humans dwell in Pellucidar as well, stone-age men and women who must fight
to survive in this savage world. Even worse, these people have been made
slaves of the Mahars, a race of intelligent but sinister reptiles who look
upon humans as nothing more than beast of burden ~ or as tasty snacks in
one of their ghoulish ceremonies!
The struggle of David Innes
and Abner Perry to free humanity from the Mahar tyranny is only the beginning
of their adventures in Pellucidar. There are a total of seven books in
this exciting series, in which Edgar Rice Burroughs takes you on journeys
across savage seas infested with plesiosaurs and other hungry creatures,
to mountains where pterodactyls roost, and to lands where every waking
moment is a struggle to survive. Even Tarzan visits Pellucidar, taking
a ride on a dirigible through "Symmes Hole" at the North Pole! So take
a journey, via Iron Mole or dirigible, and discover for yourself the wonders,
the terrors, and the excitement of Pellucidar!
The complete Pellucidar series!
At the Earth's Core
Tanar of Pellucidar
Tarzan at the Earth's Core
Back to the Stone Age
Land of Terror