Hollow Earth Theory: What’s All That About?

On August 30, 2014 by Tim Newman

Evidence Against Hollow Earth Theories

It seems so contrary to most people’s world view that it almost seems needless to put in reverse arguments. But, humans are often wrong and science makes mistakes, so if you’re going to refute something you’d better back it up with some facts.

The flat earth theory worked fine and dandy for ages and the idea that we were walking on a massive ball probably seemed like madness back then. So it’s always good to know why you disagree.


Hollow Earth Theory - seismic data

Seismic waves travel across the planet on a frequent basis. By measuring these in detail, the picture that develops is not that of a planet with a hole in it. Rather it fits the bill of a solid rocky outer shell, a liquid nickel-alloy outer core and a solid nickel-iron inner core.


Hollow Earth Theory - gravity data

Gravity tends to clump stuff together and the bigger the clump gets the bigger the act of gravity upon it. So something smaller than the earth has less gravity than something bigger.

So, a hollow shape wouldn’t naturally develop from the forces of gravity. Also, a hollow earth would be likely to crumble with the forces of gravity trying to pop it over millennia.


Hollow Earth Theory - density data

From the earth’s size and gravitational pull, its density can be inferred and the numbers that come out don’t leave any room for a hollow core.


Direct Observation

Hollow Earth Theory -  Z-44 Chayvo oil well

The deepest hole drilled to date is the Z-44 Chayvo oil well which is 12,376 m (40,604 ft) deep. So that means, if nothing else, that the hollow bit of the earth can’t start until after that point.

So there’s a fair bit of evidence against the theory but that doesn’t stop people wanting to trek to the North Pole to check for an entrance themselves. The evidence against hollow earth isn’t quite damning enough for those that want to believe.

The evidence against is, to a certain extent, circumstantial, and humans only need one seed of doubt to allow theories grow, which isn’t a bad thing at all for the advancement of knowledge.

Arguments For…

Admiral Richard Byrd 1940’s

Hollow Earth Theory - Richard E Byrd

In the 1940’s Admiral Richard Byrd gave the theory a well needed modern chunk of gravitas. This decorated military man, an officer of the US Navy with one of the highest medals of honor made claims that pushed hollow earth theorists back into the glare of respectability.

Byrd claimed to have flown over the North Pole’s entrance to the centre of the earth and to have actually climbed on into it. He reported seeing lush vegetation, lakes and rivers within. He even claimed to have been picked up by a flying machine and met the occupants of this land called “Agartha” (or Agharta).Hollow Earth Theory - Agharta

Byrd was of the opinion that the earth’s poles are convex rather than concave and, as such, ships or planes could just fly/float right into one of the many openings.

The story was very popular at the time and even National Geographic covered it. As with all good conspiracy stories the government suppressed it, possibly because it made them look like a bunch of Grade A loons, but that was fuel to the conspiracists fires.

Byrd’s son, who accompanied him on this mission, aged 6, also added a macabre and textbook twist to the tale. He was found alone in an abandoned warehouse, in dirty clothes, dead at aged 68.

Oh, and Byrd the elder was a Freemason too. Another box ticked…


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