Episode 80: Dollop: Hollow Earth

. . .the Nina, the Pinta, and the I’M NOT FUCKING CRAZY!


Here we go again. No panic this time, but still, when Halley comes up, things tend to go sideways. Ready?

Edmond Halley with a diagram showing the multiple shells of his hollow Earth theory, because of course.

Edmond Halley with a diagram showing the multiple shells of his hollow Earth theory, because of course.

Just chillin’ with my Kinder Surprise Earth diagram. What you doin’?


And then there was John Cleves Symmes. Hooooo boy. (He’s not crazy. Read his flyer. READ IT.)


Symmes and Reynolds are depicted in fiction because of course they are. They are ripe fodder for fiction, yes indeedy do:

Symmes Hole * Ian Wedde

Our Plague: A Film from New York * James Chapman

The Hollow Earth * Rudy Rucker — I have to read this novel. It’s steampunk, it’s based out of Virginia, and a character is a mule named Dammit. A mule named Dammit. Plus, Edgar Allan Poe shows up. I am in!

The Map of the Sky: A Novel * Felix J. Palma

The Syme Papers * Benjamin Markovits



John Cleves Symmes’ grave, Hamilton, Ohio. His son, Americus Symmes, placed the Hollow Earth monument on top of the gravestone.

Um, does that look like the Death Star to anyone else, or it is just me?


I highly, highly recommend the audio version of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, narrated by Tim Curry. First of all, Tim Curry should narrate All The Books. Second, this book’s being narrated allows the reader to really get sucked into the story and suspend disbelief–in other words, without going wait-a-minute-this-isn’t-possible-earth-ain’t-hollow. I was in my car, on a sunny day, and was getting agoraphobic listening to it. I admit it.

And, yes, the Hollow Earth flag still waves. Want to watch a conspiracy theory documentary about it? Have fun!

Bands from this episode:

  • Darwin’s Golden Secret
  • Sanity Certificate
  • Earth’s Butthole
  • Polehole

Cultural references from this episode:




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About Carla

This Bluestocking bookworm is your friendly Dollop web-wrangler and digital library curator. In other words, pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. I'm just here to John Nash all this stuff together. It's all about connections. IT'S ALL CONNECTED. I live atop a mountain, geographically isolated for the protection of others. Yes, an American mountain.