Exploring the Hollow Earth Hypothesis: Fact or Fiction?

By Sarah Norman | November 13, 2023

What's Down There?

While modern science has firmly established that our planet isn't actually hollow, we respect that some of our readers may, um, hold different beliefs. So, with a sense of wonder and an open mind, let's embark on a fascinating exploration of this enduring hypothesis that has captured the imaginations of generations.

Along the way, we'll uncover intriguing legends, historical accounts, and adventurous tales that have contributed to the enduring fascination with the idea of a Hollow Earth. So, whether you're a curious skeptic or an enthusiast of unconventional theories, join us in this fun and enlightening adventure. Let's begin our journey and continue to unravel the mysteries together!

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Getty Images

At some point during grade school, most likely elementary school, students are taught that the earth is made up of four layers: the crust, the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core. The crust is the part we live on and consists of dirt and rock. The mantle is part solid rock and part liquid. The outer core is liquid metal and the inner core is iron and nickel. Students are taught this and most of them accept it, even though no one has ever actually seen any of these layers except for the crust. But, throughout history, there have been people - scientists even - who were convinced that the earth is actually hollow. 

Not only did they believe it is hollow, but they believed it to be inhabited. The ancient Greeks believed it to be the location of the Underworld, where the souls of the dead spent eternity. Similarly, while the Christian bible does not specify the location of hell, it is often referred to as “down there” indicating that it is far beneath our feet. There was enough association with this idea for several news networks to spread the hoax that the 1970 drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole, the deepest borehole in the world at over seven miles deep, had ceased after microphones picked up the sound of human screams coming from the center of the earth.

Edmond Halley Believed In Multiple Spheres Inside The Earth

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telegraph

Christians and ancient Greeks weren’t the only ones to believe in a hollow earth. In the 17th century, Edmond Halley, the scientist who discovered Halley’s comet, first proposed the Hollow Earth Theory to explain abnormal compass readings. According to his theory, the earth is a series of spherical shells spinning in alternate directions around a central core.