Hollow Earth theory is really pretty simple. It goes like this:
The world is not really solid after all. The core is not superheated. Instead, after one drills down through the crust one discovers that other beings exist underneath our feet… some say they are alternate civilizations, some say dinosaurs thrive in giant underground caverns, some say that is where some of the monsters we hear about exist (they are able to reach the surface on rare occasions, causing fears and panics.)
If this sounds familiar, you probably read something like Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne, as it was a major plot point for the book. You might also have run across, in your readings of American history, the story of Captain John Cleves Symmes and the way he convinced John Quincy Adams to send an American expedition to the South Pole to find the hole to the Earth’s interior lands that he’d calculated must exist. (Smithsonian) Maybe you’ve read about the occultist Madame Blavatsky. The story has found many promoters.
The current incarnation was spurred to life by Richard Shaver, who detailed extensively his “Shaver Mystery”, a series of articles published in the pages of Amazing Stories during the 1930s. He explained that the Earth had giant alien beings inside of it who regularly kidnapped and ate human beings. With the help of Ray Palmer, the editor of Amazing, Shaver (who had first heard about the stories when, he said, he welding gun started talking to him – because its inner coils happened to pick up the communication frequencies used by the aliens, naturally) fleshed out his beliefs and attempted to rationally explain them. (Mysterious Universe)
You may remember Ray Palmer from Debunking The Men In Black. The same views and desires that prodded him to promote the MiB were on hand for the Shaver Mystery.
Certainly, though, nobody TODAY believes this stuff. Science has consistently refuted any possibility of it.
Well, science has refuted it… but there are still some believers. Here’s one, from the website Our Hollow Earth.
The owner of the web site mixes positive messaging with uncertainty about meanings and certainty about the Earth’s hollowness. In an interview with The New York Post:
“More and more people are coming to terms with the fact that the Earth is hollow. I get emails from people learning about it every day,” Cluff said.
“It’s definitely growing in popularity — certainly not in the millions but maybe in the thousands.”
Again, the science is simple on this one. Scientific American provides one of dozens of articles and books on geological science. When the answer is simply that “Scientists are lying”, though, it is possible to “disprove” almost anything.
Deep-drilling oil rigs, however, should be enough to show the fallacy, if you happen to know anyone who ascribes to this one. That’s about the only chance you have.