Although science and technology continue to advance, Antarctica is still a distant and mysterious place for humans. This has also triggered countless science fiction works to raise various questions about this bizarre continent, trying to put forward their own thoughts in the wonders of Antarctica. , give your own answer. People have always believed that there is a more mysterious world hidden under the thick ice, which contains long-lost information about life on earth.
Hollow Earth and Ancient Civilizations
In 1820, the first science fiction literary work about Antarctica, “Simzonia: A Voyage of Discovery”, was officially published. The novel tells the story of Captain Adam Seaborn leading his crew on a sea voyage and an exploration of the center of the earth. After driving along the coastline and reaching the place where the sky flipped, the expedition successfully entered the interior of the earth and encountered an ancient civilization called “Simzonia” in the center of the earth. Although the Simzonians look different from humans, their technology is far ahead of humans, and they hate violence and love peace. The author of “Simzonia: A Voyage of Discovery” is still unknown, but the general guess is that it is John Cleeves Sims, Jr., a die-hard supporter of the Hollow Earth hypothesis.
As early as 1818, Sims had announced his Hollow Earth Hypothesis, which believed that the Earth was a hollow sphere, and that there were huge and hidden caves at the north and south poles, through which one could enter the earth’s inner civilization. At that time, Sims was a failed businessman. Neither his scientific theories nor this piece of fantasy literature attracted public attention. Some magazines even directly satirized it as boring.
In fact, the Hollow Earth theory stems from very serious scientific research. The first person to propose the Hollow Earth hypothesis was the British astronomer Edmund Halley. Yes, it was the discoverer of the famous Halley’s Comet. He believed that the earth was composed of three layers of crust, which were nested within each other and rotated at different speeds, separated from each other by the atmosphere. Under the joint influence of Halley and Sims, the Hollow Earth hypothesis gradually gained popularity, and some fanatics even revered Sims as “Newton the Second.” People believe that the inner earth world is not only suitable for human habitation, but is also likely to be home to certain civilizations. As long as you enter the inner earth passage in Antarctica, you can find the remains of ancient civilizations.
However, after a century-long search, some explorers feel they have been deceived. They have found no so-called huge cave and no trace of the ancient civilization. Especially after the Norwegian expedition led by Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole for the first time in 1911, it seemed that humans were about to conquer this white desert. However, reaching the South Pole and conquering the South Pole are two different concepts. Just like after the Apollo moon landing to this day, the moon is still not human beings’ backyard. A 16th-century map has easily rekindled people’s myths about Antarctic underground civilization.
In 1923, an ancient map from Topkapi Palace in Istanbul was revealed to the world, quickly attracting widespread attention from the international community. This map was created by Piri Reis, a naval admiral and oceanographer of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, so it is also called the “Piri Reis Map”. Surprisingly, in addition to accurately drawing the outlines of each continent, the map also features Antarctica, with mountains, rivers and coasts covered in ice and snow clearly marked. This means that Antarctica was mapped long before any documented human discovery of Antarctica. Where does such advanced technology come from? Scientists and historians have a lot of controversy about this. After long-term research, American scholar Professor Charles Hapgood also published the book “Ancient Neptune Maps”, claiming that the Lacey Map proved the possibility of ancient civilizations on the earth. To this day, people have different understandings of the fragments, and many people still firmly believe that the corner of the map is today’s Antarctica.
Mountains of Madness and Human Origins
The continued exploration of Antarctic explorers and the suspicion of the “Piri Reis Map” have ignited a new direction of thinking for people: Will Antarctica be the original birthplace of human civilization? In 1931, the Cthulhu-themed novel “At the Mountains of Madness” written by the American writer Lovecraft answered this question. Lovecraft uses a first-person narrative to tell the story of the dangerous events experienced by geologist Dr. William Dyer when he led a scientific expedition team to explore the Antarctic continent. In the novel, the first civilization on earth was a group of alien creatures called the “Ancient Ones”. They came to Earth shortly after the moon formed. For life and entertainment, they created the multi-cellular substance of “Shoggoths” for heavy labor. The “Shoggoths” experienced tens of millions of split and evolution, and finally evolved self-awareness and launched a rebellion, leading to the originally highly prosperous The civilization of the “Ancient Ones” fell into decline and eventually died out, and countless animals and plants on the earth, including humans, are all products of the evolution of the “Shoggoths”.
The prototype of multicellular biological remains first discovered by biologist Lake in the story “At the Mountains of Madness” is extremely close to the “Ediacaran Biota”. This group of organisms is regarded as the oldest ancestor of modern animals. They are the earliest multicellular organisms on earth and lived roughly at the end of the Precambrian period 630 million to 540 million years ago.
Although “At the Mountains of Madness” is mixed with many imaginative elements and mysterious pictures, it also has scientific basis. Geologists infer that Antarctica was not the “cold pole of the earth” it is today. About 170 million years ago, Antarctica was part of the ancient continent Gondwana, located in the mid-latitudes of the southern hemisphere. At that time, the Antarctic continent had a mild climate, humid air, and dense vegetation growing everywhere, which was very likely to give birth to prehistoric civilization. Therefore, many scientists, including Einstein, regard Antarctica as an important place of origin for mankind. Only as time went by, the crustal plates gradually moved southward, eventually leading to serious changes in the climate of Antarctica, and prehistoric civilization was thickly of ice buried forever.
To a certain extent, Lowe’s choice of Antarctica as the novel’s setting was due to the “real qualities” behind it. In other words, we can’t prove it to be true, but we can’t disprove it either.
Skyfall and Aryan City
Although “At the Mountains of Madness” was enthusiastically sought after by readers upon its publication, it could not prevent the decline of the Hollow Earth hypothesis. Human beings never lack the curiosity to explore the unknown and the courage to take risks. With the advancement of science and technology, scientists in the 20th century began to use more advanced instruments to explore the geological structure of the earth. From the perspective of seismic waves, they measured the propagation time of seismic waves and proposed that the time it takes for seismic waves to propagate through the earth is inconsistent with the hollow earth theory, proving that the earth is composed of mantle, crust, outer core and inner core. However, just as the mainstream scientific community characterizes the Hollow Earth theory as pseudoscience, Aryan City has once again aroused people’s imagination.
In 1939, the German Nazi government sent a large number of scientists to the Antarctic and built a large number of unknown buildings in “New Swabia”. According to German files declassified by the United States and the Soviet Union after the war, Germany sent more than 2,000 scientists to the Antarctic throughout World War II. However, after these people completed the construction of eight fully equipped giant submarines, they all mysteriously disappeared. Some people also believe that after the Soviet Red Army captured Berlin, it was not Hitler himself who committed suicide. He had evacuated to the Antarctic in a “saucer-shaped aircraft” after being disguised, and built a military base under the Antarctic ice, deep in the earth’s core. A military base was established – Aryan City.
If the declassified files only gave the public a reason to doubt, then the subsequent US operation code-named “High Altitude Landing” added a bit of authenticity to the existence of Aryan City. At the end of 1946, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Richard Byrd led a large number of warships and aircraft to the Antarctic and launched an operation code-named “High Altitude Landing.” At this time, World War II had just ended, and all countries were facing the task of reconstruction. The United States was so mobilized, and the official explanation given was just ordinary geographical exploration. In the last “survey operation”, multiple U.S. military planes were dispatched at the same time. However, after surveying and returning according to the predetermined route, Byrd’s plane returned 3 hours later than other planes, and the plane was empty, as if it had been looted. . What is even more surprising is that the “high-altitude landing” operation ended quickly in February of the following year amid suspicion, and all relevant data was classified as top secret. Bird, who retired in 1949, suddenly revealed information about the Aryan City and the Underworld to his friends one day. He became “mentally insane” and was soon imprisoned in the mental ward of the Naval Hospital. He accidentally slipped and fell to his death. After the military determined it to be suicide, the case was dropped. All the doubts about the “high-altitude landing” have aroused suspicion. Some people believe that the real purpose of the US military is to find the legendary Aryan City underground in Antarctica.
From science fiction fantasies to scientific answers
From “Simzonia: Voyage of Discovery” to “At the Mountains of Madness”, from the Hollow Earth hypothesis to the Aryan City, the myths about ancient Antarctic civilization are always lingering in people’s minds. According to the latest progress in modern scientific research, the so-called white desert is not a forbidden zone for life. In other words, Antarctica has an ecosystem that is completely different from other places.
In Antarctica, glaciers and volcanoes coexist. The Antarctic Volcanic Belt is the largest volcanic belt in the world, even exceeding the largest known volcanic ridge in East Africa. Under the thick ice in Antarctica, there are as many as 150 lakes buried deep underground. The largest of them, Lake Vostok, is located under an ice layer about 4 kilometers thick. Although the temperature near the lake surface is as low as minus 89 degrees, the freshwater lake remains liquid. After obtaining lake water samples, the scientists were also surprised to find a bacterium called w123-10. This bacterium is 86% genetically similar to organisms known to modern science. This may also prove from the side that the origin of human beings in Antarctica is not groundless.
Since the discovery of the Antarctic continent, humans have never stopped exploring Antarctica, but today we still cannot get a glimpse of the full picture of this land. At present, the only way we can understand the interior of the earth is to infer the internal model through seismic waves. The deepest underground hole currently dug is only 12 kilometers, which started in the Soviet Union’s Kola ultra-deep drilling project in the last century. What secrets are buried under the snowy ice caps of Antarctica still challenge the limits of human imagination. In the future, those imaginations about “lost civilizations” that exist in science fiction literature may get final answers from a scientific perspective.