Ancient Myths of a Hollow Earth

Theories of a Hollow Earth have been around for centuries, and even today some conspiracy theorists believe that the world governments are covering up the existence of subterranean civilisations. Scientists now almost universally believe that the centre of the earth is not hollow, but the possibility and speculation will remain until evidence proves beyond doubt that it is not.

Stories of a Hollow Earth are largely put down to being just tales from Science Fiction. Indeed one of the first science fiction novels was “Niels Klim;s Underground Travels”. Written in 1741 by Ludvig Holberg, the book tells of a utopian society living underground. This story was produced only fifty years after Edmond Halley, astronomer and geophysicist, suggested that the crust of the earth was 500 miles thick and hollow beneath.

Then of course there is the most famous of all science fiction stories that relates to a Hollow Earth, Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”.

Modern day Hollow Earth theories are pure science fiction to most people, but the basic idea suggests that within the centre of the earth are whole civilisations, aliens, and a sun that lights the interior.

It is perhaps not that far fetched to consider people living below the surface of the earth, after all every night during the Blitz thousands of Londoners descended underground, to live in the tunnels and stations built for the Tube. Today Montreal has its Underground City, where it is possible to live and work without coming into the fresh air. Historically of course there were also underground civilisations, the likes of Cappadocia in modern day Turkey. At the same time though as people were living in Cappadocia there were myths about the Hollow Earth.

Many of the oldest civilisations from around the world tell of cities beneath the earth, and the story of Agartha is a widely told one. The likes of India and North America have well established legends. In many cases though there is a link between the perception of a place, rather than civilisation. To this end Greek mythology had the realm of Hades situated underground with a number of entrances spread around Greece. Hell from Christiantiy is similarly placed underground, as is the Jewish Sheol.

Some of the ancient myths of Hollow Earth though come from some of the most famous writers of antiquity. Pliny, Cicero and Virgil all make comment on a civilisation underground. Pliny in particular tells the tale of who the privileged amongst Atlantis escaped the city before it was destroyed, to make a new society underground. Linked to Hyperborea, this city was said to be a place where people did not age nor suffer from disease.

Arguably the most famous stories of ancient myths about the Hollow Earth come from Tibet. This though is not because the Tibetan tales are particularly well known, but because of the impact that they have on modern theories, and associated conspiracy theories. The Tibetan myths are closely linked to the Thule Society which had a great impact upon the occultist beliefs of senior German Nazis, and in particular Adolf Hitler. The story goes about how in the latter days of World War II many of the Nazi leadership, and its leading scientists, and a million others,  escaped to an Antarctica base, and then went deep underground.

Either with, or without, the assistance of other underground inhabitants, the Nazi party continued to thrive, and developed great advances in technology. It was from here that the Nazi party developed UFOs. This is the conspiracy that the world’s government covered up, as despite expeditions to destroy the Nazi base after the Second World War, the advancements in technology meant that the attacks were easily driven off.

It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to think of people living underground, it is something that happens today. The belief in Hollow Earth theories may be a huge leap from these thoughts, especially the belief in advanced civilisations, and an internal sun, but until it is totally disproved then there will be people who believe.