At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 19

were indeed standing upon the inside surface of a
sphere?"

"But the sun, Perry!" I urged. "How in the world can the sun shine
through five hundred miles of solid crust?"

"It is not the sun of the outer world that we see here. It is another
sun--an entirely different sun--that casts its eternal noonday
effulgence upon the face of the inner world. Look at it now, David--if
you can see it from the doorway of this hut--and you will see that it
is still in the exact center of the heavens. We have been here for
many hours--yet it is still noon.

"And withal it is very simple, David. The earth was once a nebulous
mass. It cooled, and as it cooled it shrank. At length a thin crust
of solid matter formed upon its outer surface--a sort of shell; but
within it was partially molten matter and highly expanded gases. As it
continued to cool, what happened? Centrifugal force hurled the
particles of the nebulous center toward the crust as rapidly as they
approached a solid state. You have seen the same principle practically
applied in the modern cream separator. Presently there was only a
small super-heated core of gaseous matter remaining within a huge
vacant interior left by the contraction of the cooling gases. The
equal attraction of the solid crust from all directions maintained this
luminous core in the exact center of the hollow globe. What remains of
it is the sun you saw today--a relatively tiny thing at the exact
center of the earth. Equally to every part of this inner world it
diffuses its perpetual noonday light and torrid heat.

"This inner world must have cooled sufficiently to support animal life
long ages after life appeared upon the outer crust, but that the same
agencies were at work here is evident from the similar forms of both
animal and vegetable creation which we have already seen. Take the
great beast which attacked us, for example. Unquestionably a
counterpart of the Megatherium of the post-Pliocene period of the outer
crust, whose fossilized skeleton has been found in South America."

"But the grotesque inhabitants of this forest?" I urged. "Surely they
have no counterpart in the earth's history."

"Who can tell?" he rejoined. "They may constitute the link between ape
and man, all traces of which have been swallowed by the countless
convulsions which have racked the outer crust, or they may be merely
the result of evolution along slightly different lines--either is quite
possible."

Further speculation

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Land That Time Forgot

Page 4
Close to the boat's side floated the figure of a girl.
Page 13
The first thing I heard was Nobs barking furiously; evidently he had missed me and was searching.
Page 17
After that I kept a guard pacing the length of the narrow craft.
Page 22
God only knows how far south we have run.
Page 26
Only two of us were armed; but the heart seemed to have gone out of the boches, and they put up but half-hearted resistance.
Page 30
Should I swim until exhaustion claimed me, or should I give up and end the agony at the first plunge? From below came two muffled reports.
Page 34
Straight from the ocean's depths rose towering cliffs, shot with brown and blues and greens--withered moss and lichen and the verdigris of copper, and everywhere the rusty ocher of iron pyrites.
Page 38
There was a very light off-shore wind and scarcely any breakers, so that the approach to the shore was continued without finding bottom; yet though we were already quite close, we saw no indication of any indention in the coast from which even a tiny brooklet might issue, and certainly no mouth of a large river such as this must necessarily be to freshen the ocean even two hundred yards from shore.
Page 41
I had a vision of wide, distended jaws, and then all was blotted out.
Page 45
Lys was coldly polite to me and sweetly gracious to Bradley and Olson.
Page 55
The others hesitated a moment and then broke for the trees, some running nimbly among the branches, while others lost themselves to us between the boles.
Page 58
You are a laughable incident or a terrifying one as you happen to be less powerful or more powerful than some other form of life which crosses your path; but as a rule you are of no moment whatsoever to anything but yourself.
Page 59
Then she looked away across the weird moonlit landscape and sighed.
Page 60
It is not quite clear to us what he means.
Page 62
I can scarce believe the truth of it.
Page 65
Though I knew she could not be in camp, I searched every square inch of the compound and all the buildings, yet without avail.
Page 75
1916 R.
Page 79
I asked her what a Kro-lu might be, and she tried to explain, but I do not yet know if I understood her.
Page 81
Thus far have you come--there is no returning.
Page 85
Two abysmal beasts sprang at each other's throats that day beneath the shadow of earth's oldest cliffs--the man of now and the man-thing of the earliest, forgotten then, imbued by the same deathless passion that has come down unchanged through all the epochs, periods and eras of time from the beginning, and which shall continue to the incalculable end--woman, the imperishable Alpha and Omega of life.