I have been asked what I expect to find in the interior of the earth. That, of course, is speculative, based on the little evidence found on earth. It is not like the question, "Is the earth hollow?" We know that it is, but do not know what will be found in its interior. It is like seeing an island afar off: we know there is land, but do not know what it is like till we get there. So many circumstances show the earth is hollow that the fact cannot be questioned; but its contents are not so easily determined till we look inside. From what I am able to gather, and from analysis, game of all kinds--tropical and arctic--will be found there; for both warm and cold climates must be in the interior--warm inland and cold near the poles. Sea monsters, and possibly the much-talked-of sea serpent, may also be found, and vast territories of arable
land for farming purposes. This theory is based upon the great quantities of pollen that finds its way to the exterior of the earth, and falls with the snow in such great quantities that it colors it, and thus produces the colored snow of the Arctic Circle. This would require millions of acres of land to grow. Minerals may be found in great quantities, and gems of all kinds. The earth contains minerals and gems, and they are as likely to be in the interior of the earth as on the exterior. We may succeed, too, in finding large quantities of radium, which would be used to relieve the darkness if it should be unusually dark. I do not think this will be the case, however, as there are two summers of four months' duration and two winters of two months', giving the interior eight months of summer and four months of winter in each of our years on earth. In other words, the years in the interior of the earth are but six months long, and every other year the summer becomes a little longer and the winter a little shorter. The two just make up the six months,
Why? Because the opening into the interior of the earth at the south, or Antarctic, is fifteen hundred miles in diameter, or forty-five hundred miles in circumference; while the opening into the interior of the earth at the north, or Arctic, is only one thousand miles in diameter, or three thousand miles in circumference. The sun would begin to shine in the interior of the earth from the south several days earlier than at the north, simply because the opening is five hundred miles wider; for the same reason it would disappear later. That would make the summer--supplied with light and heat from the Antarctic--longer, and the winter shorter than the summer which derived its heat and light from the north, as the opening to the interior of the earth is five hundred miles less in diameter than the opening to the south. The sun consequently would appear later, and disappear earlier, making shorter the summers deriving their heat and light from the north, and the winters longer. This seems to me reasonable and correct.
The dimensions of the openings at the poles are arrived at in this way: The magnetic poles, both north and south, have been reached, one five hundred miles from the supposed pole, and the other seven hundred and fifty miles, making one thou-sand and one thousand five hundred miles to the poles, as only one side is estimated. Timber of good size will be found, as shown by driftwood on the shores of the fiords, islands, and inlets of the Arctic. I also believe that the interior of the earth will be found inhabited. The race or races may be varied, but some at least will be of the Eskimo race, who have found their way in from the exterior. Camping places have been discovered, and relics that did not belong to the present Innuits; nor did the latter know for what purposes certain articles were used. The climate will be much more even than on earth, as shown by the winds coming from the interior, which are much warmer in winter and much cooler in summer than on earth. It is about such a climate as San Francisco, I should judge, where one
has to stop to think whether it is June or January.
I have been asked about the risk and manner of getting there. Some risks are to be taken, of course; and dangers are to be guarded against. For instance, an iceberg plunging into the ocean would swamp a ship, if near. This can be guarded against, however, by sending out scouts, or keeping away from the shore. To me it does not seem especially dangerous.
In going into the earth's interior special care should be taken to guard against all conceivable accidents; as no pilot can be had for the first trip to steer clear of breakers, etc. A ship should be well supplied with very fast auxiliary boats and powerful searchlights, in order that the ship have the best and safest course. Some plan should be found by which to steer a boat without a compass in foggy weather, which will have to be done when passing through and round the turn into the interior of the earth. Stations should be placed within a few miles of each other,
supplied with wireless telegraphy instruments, manned by able operators, so that hourly communications can be had when passing unusually dangerous points,--should any be found.
I have a plan for the strengthening of a ship, which seems a good one; but as I am not a shipbuilder there may be objections to it. A strong ship should be built in the usual way, then have from three to five large and strong timbers--not too heavy (Georgia pine)--placed across the ship,--not fastened to her, but held in position, so that in rough weather they could not move out of place. Each timber should be in two pieces, and put together by large adjustable screws, that when in the vicinity of bergs they could be extended several feet over the edge of the ship. When a berg approached the ship and she was crowded against another berg, the timbers would be pressed endwise and thus protect her from being crushed, as a piece of timber two feet square would resist a greater pressure when pressed end-wise than any ship's hull could be made to
stand. Take a small lead pencil, and note its resistance when pressed endwise. The object of not having the timbers fastened to the ship, is to keep them from straining or harming her.