“Hollow idea” (Concave Earth)

EARTHEGGAt various times, Alaska, oceans, and space have been presented as a last frontier for Mankind to explore. But while we’ve gone to, dove into, or rocketed to all these locales, we have yet to go down very far. The deepest drilling ever went down seven and a half miles, during scientific research done near the Russian-Finnish border. This got us .002 percent of the way to Earth’s core.

That leaves plenty of room for the imagination. Greeks and the Norse figured that’s where souls migrated to. Some still speculate that’s where Hell or purgatory might be. Dante, Jules Verne, and Rick Wakeman are among the many who have pondered the deep subterranean in entertainment form.

Edmund Halley proposed the idea that our planet is a series of spherical shells spinning in different directions and all surrounding a core. He suggested that Aurora borealis may be escaping gas. His name is still dropped by those who support ideas about something cool being underneath us all.

These ideas include the center having a miniature sun, a giant cavern, or being a lush paradise. In the 19th Century, an era when people had middle names like Cleves, John Cleves Symmes Jr., took it further, arguing the entire universe was hollow. Good luck trying to falsify that one. Closer to the modern day, some speculate inner Earth was the final stop on an escape route used by Hitler, Himmler, and Goebbels. Göring apparently showed up late for the ride and ended up at Nuremburg instead.

Admittedly, there is a little guesswork when trying to determine what’s down there. But most evidence points to Earth being a series of layers, crusts, and liquid magma, leading to a dense core of extremely hot iron and nickel. Seismic waves bounce around, changing direction and speed based on the material they pass through. By determining how fast a wave moves, geologists can calculate what those waves are passing through.

Another clue comes from above, as meteorites suggest iron is a common building block. And without a partially liquid core, convection wouldn’t occur, which would make it impossible for Earth to form a magnetic field and give us protective atmosphere goodness. Then we have gravity’s impact. Ordinary matter is too weak to support a hollow shape of Earth’s size against gravity, so an empty planet would collapse.

So some say Earth has layers and crusts, some say giants and lizards, still others say Holocaust perpetrators. Then we have Rodney Cluff, who argues inner Earth contains Big Macs, cricket teams, and polyester suits. That’s because we are inside the planet already.

Cluff’s ideas are driven mainly by an idiosyncratic interpretation of the Book of Mormon. He cites the book as the key to understanding science, and vice versa. Since he has gained these understandings, he knows the outer Earth inhabitants are the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, and that have achieved an ideal state. Specifically, “They have flying saucer technology, they live lives of perfect health for hundreds of years, and their science is much more advanced than ours.” They also enjoy a perpetually perfect climate and grow to 15 feet tall, with their trees reaching thousands of feet.

Cluff insists humans have traveled there, but that this has been hushed by an “international banking conspiracy.” That is normally code for “Jews,” but not in this case since he is presenting Hebrew descendants as the most enlightened and advanced. They are the ones promoting this ideal, not the ones trying to suppress it.

Besides relying on his interpretation of the Book of Mormon, other distinctions of Cluff’s work are highly speculative geology and a misuse of physics principles. He also gets in some unorthodox anthropology. To establish that the Ten Lost Tribes made their way from Jerusalem to north of the Arctic Circle, he selects groups of people, each a little more northerly than the last, and says each of them were actually those tribes in migration.

After making it to the North Pole, they went through a secret passageway out of inner Earth, and their descendants reside there today. He also claims descent from the tribes’ patriarchs, and for the last few decades has been trying to arrange a trip to meet them, in what would be the ultimate family reunion. He was once in the serious stages of planning, including selling $20,000 tickets for the expedition, but everything fizzled with the death of the man who was going to fund it. With his travel plans on hold, Cluff is free to  self-publish ideas such as gravity not pulling matter, but being pushed toward it.

Lost Tribe members share their world with wooly mammoth and others supposedly extinct creatures. Cluff said that when these animals are found in the Arctic, they are recently deceased, having floated from an icy river, through the mysterious pole opening, and out into the Arctic Ocean, somehow ending up under an ice sheet.

And while others are arguing if Christopher Columbus was a noble visionary opening trade routes or a genocidal monster, Cluff refuses to be pigeonholed. To him, the 15th Century Genoan seafarer was looking for the Garden of Eden. (Indies, Eden, get it? How could we have all missed it?) But Columbus didn’t get very close, since Cluff tells us that the Garden is 800 miles beneath Independence, Mo. Or, I guess that would be 800 miles above Independence. I lose my sense of direction easily.

People who create these types of bliss in their mind are allowing themselves to vicariously experience a utopia to make up for whatever is missing in their lives. But at least Cluff is cheery enough. An angrier version of Concave Earth Man is a fellow dubbing himself Lord Steven Christ. This may be the closest call I’ve ever made with regard to Poe’s Law, but I have concluded that he is genuine in his beliefs. His videos seem too voluminous, too detailed, and too much work (lots of him drawing by hand, plus video graphics) for it to be someone playing a joke.

Christ is not one for much dialogue. Most of his videos have a disabled comment section and he encourages those who disagree with him to, somewhat cryptically, “keep popping those blue pills.” You can check him out on YouTube, where you will be treated to titles such as, “Saturn is 50 feet wide,” “Stanley Kubrick knew there was glass in the sky,” and “Fuck you to people who believe Earth spins.”

While we haven’t made it very far under Earth, delving into the minds of those who think it houses giant creatures and tiny planets has been almost as interesting.

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