The idea that the Earth might be hollow has a long and fanciful history in mythology, pseudo-scientific circles, and science-fiction and fantasy writers alike.
The Greeks believed the land of the dead could be found deep within the center of the Earth, and in some rare cases, could be visited by the living. The Celts believed that it was home to the fairy realm. Some of North America’s native peoples believed that their ancestors had emerged from deep within the Earth.
In the 19th century, Americans John Cleves Symmes, and Jeremiah Reynolds, both proposed that the Earth was hollow. Reynolds came to gain the support of President John Quincy Adams, who nearly succeeded in funding an expedition to the antarctic to discover its opening.
While the scientific community eventually abandoned the theories of Symmes, Reynolds, and other hollow earth proponents, fiction writers were inspired by them to write fanciful tales of dinosaurs and ancient civilizations beneath the Earth’s crust. Thus, the hollow earth subgenre was born. Looking for a place to start? Here are five books that could be your tickets to the depths of the Earth.