Ancient myths about the hollow earth and underground civilizations

(ORDO NEWS) — Countless stories, myths and legends tell of underground cities and underground civilizations connected through a huge network of interconnected tunnels across the planet.

There are many rumors surrounding these underground portals. Suffice it to recall the mysterious stories that revolve around the tunnels and galleries of the Cueva de los Tayos in Ecuador, or stories about entrances to underworlds supposedly located in the Andes, the Himalayas, the Gobi Desert, Turkey, and even under the Sphinx of Giza.

Hollow Earth theory and expedition to the Arctic

The Hollow Earth Theory states that the Earth is a hollow planet with ancient entrances to the underworld scattered throughout its territory, including near both polar caps. This theory has been known since ancient times, and scholars such as Edmund Halley have championed it throughout history.

In 1818-1826, the American John C. Sims also ardently supported this theory. According to him, inside our planet there was an underground world, illuminated by a tiny sun, which included mountains, forests and lakes.

Sims started a national fundraising campaign to send an expedition to the Arctic in search of an entrance to the underworld. He even sent a proposal to the US Congress, intending to receive government assistance to find an entrance to the inner world.

Unfortunately for him, he died before the government provided funding for his cause, and the expedition set off in 1838, although, in fact, its goals were not so altruistic. It was, in fact, part of a ploy, as world powers tried to learn of the importance of the one land the world had not yet conquered: the two polar ice caps.

Despite everything, the expedition under the command of Charles Wilkes lasted four years. During the expedition, vast geographic expanses of the Arctic were discovered, but no signs of passage into the ground were found.

Ancient myths about the hollow earth and underground civilizations 2
The entrance to the hollow Earth, according to Sims, as he believed, we will see from the moon through a telescope. Illustration from Harper’s New Monthly Magazine October 1882

However, Sims’ idea has remained in the minds of a few writers (who tend to enjoy the quest to achieve seemingly impossible dreams). Thus, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, and H. P. Lovecraft, among many others, paid tribute to the fascinating theory of the hollow Earth.

Ancient myths about the hollow earth and underground civilizations 3
Illustration drawn by Édouard Rioux in 1864 from the original edition of Journey to the Center of the Earth by the famous Jules Verne

Interest in the Hollow Earth theory did not end there. In fact, in the twentieth century, when knowledge of the geography and geology of the Earth was still lacking, there were those who continued to try to gain access to this mysterious world under the earth’s crust.

For example, some Nazi leaders, lovers of ancient myths and the occult in Germany, showed a marked interest in such theories.

History of the Hollow Earth Theory

Edmund Halley (1656 – 1742), an English scientist who studied the comet that bears his name, may have been the first to develop the scientific hypothesis of a hollow Earth.

After a series of observations of the Earth’s magnetic field, Halley came to the conclusion that the observed anomalies can only be explained if the Earth consists of two spheres: an outer solid and an inner hollow, each of which has its own magnetic axis.

Ancient myths about the hollow earth and underground civilizations 4
Edmund Halley with a drawing showing the shells of his Hollow Earth theory. (1736)

Later, another American, Cyrus Teed, became convinced that it is mathematically impossible to determine whether we are inside or outside the sphere, so we could live inside a hollow universe.

The Sun would be at the center of it, and the planets and stars would appear bright to us only because they reflect sunlight on the surface of the concave Earth.

This land was named Koresh – which is the Hebrew translation of his own name Cyrus. Teed even founded a church, and its adherents remained active and championed these ideas until at least 1982.

With the advent of the twentieth century, other scientists such as William Reid and Marshall Gardner also believed they could provide evidence for the existence of an inner world.

One of the most curious facts that some Arctic explorers cited as an argument was that the temperature of the air and water warmed up as they approached the North Pole. Based on these and other observations, they also argued that mammoths are not extinct, but still live in the bowels of the Earth.

Ancient myths about the hollow earth and underground civilizations 5
Mammoth model on display at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, Canada. Some scientists thought that the warm temperatures around the North Pole could be evidence that mammoths lived… in a hollow earth

As mentioned earlier, there were Nazi leaders who supported the hollow earth theory. Adolf Hitler also believed in the Hollow Earth theory, but for him it was a meeting place for the “pure” and “perfect” Aryans who he believed dominated the world.

Moreover, the German Thule Society – the main esoteric circle of that time – held a very close hypothesis, although their hypothesis was connected with the myths of the lost underground kingdoms of Agartha and Shambhala.

Meanwhile, the first man to fly over the poles, Richard E. Byrd, reported in his report that he “looked about 26,000 km (16,155.7 miles) around and beyond the pole.”

This simple “beyond the pole” sentence is the basis on which many Hollow Earth proponents accuse the US government (which funded Byrd’s flight) of hiding information by claiming Byrd went to the Inner Earth.

Ancient myths about the hollow earth and underground civilizations 6
The Arctic Continent or Hyperborea, as shown in Gerardus Mercator’s 1595 atlas

Myths of Shambhala and Agartha

Myths are as old as humanity itself, as are myths about creatures that live in the depths of the Earth. Unlike the angels of heaven, tradition usually sent demons underground. A prime example is the Christian hell.

In contrast, Central Asian Buddhists believe in a miraculous land beneath our feet, which is known as Agartha (or Aghartta). Agartha is supposedly a place where beings more beautiful and much wiser than us live, and where there is a king who has the ability to read the human soul.

For thousands of years, Tibetan scholars, in addition to teaching about the inner world, say that they are in contact with this “King of the inner world” or the supreme ruler of the entire planet, for whom the Dalai Lama is the representative of the outer world.

They also talk and write about the tunnels connecting Tibet to the inner world (which they protect), claiming that there are many others scattered throughout the Earth, such as those under the great pyramids of Egypt and South America.

Entrances to underground cities are also said to exist around the vast Amazon Basin, for example, connecting the lost city of “El Dorado” with the rest of the ancient world.

It is believed that the capital of this inner world, and therefore of the whole world, is a city called Shambhala, where the King of the World lives, and his court, consisting of advanced beings, teaches part of humanity science, art, religion and philosophy.

Ancient myths about the hollow earth and underground civilizations 7
According to ancient Tibetan myths, the pyramids of Central and South America (pictured Tikal in Guatemala) are located on vast networks of underground tunnels connecting ancient cities to the sacred realm they call Agartha

The Tibetan headquarters of Shambhala, the “spiritual government of mankind,” may be in the vicinity of Balkh, a former Afghan settlement known as the “mother of cities,” according to authoritative Tibetan scholar Alexandra David-Neel.

The folk legends of Afghanistan say that after the Muslim conquest, Balkh was called Shams-i-Bala (High Candles), which seems to be a transformation of the Sanskrit Shambhala into Persian.


Contact us: [email protected]

Our Standards, Terms of Use: Standard Terms And Conditions.