Journey to the Centre of the Earth, the Novel and the Modern Discoveries

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

“Journey to the Center of the Earth” is a science-fiction novel by the French writer Jules Verne, first published in 1864. It tells about a journey to the earth’s interior by a group of explorers. Jules Verne believed that the center of the planet can be reached even on foot, moving along the void of an extinct volcano.

The professor of geology Lidenbrock discovered the remains of organisms that disappeared from the face of the Earth thousands of years ago in lava samples near one volcano in the north of Iceland. Also, he finds in an old Icelandic book an encrypted parchment. The decoding gave an astonishing result: in this document, the famous Icelandic scientist-alchemist of the 16th century claimed that it is possible to descend into the crater of an extinct volcano and to reach the center of the Earth. Hence, the professor concluded that dinosaurs, pterodactyls, and other prehistoric animals could survive under the earth’s crust. The coordinates of the crater were detailed, and the professor, his nephew Axel and Hans the helper went through the muzzle of the volcano on a dangerous expedition to the center of the Earth. They went into the bowels of the earth, not suspecting what adventures awaited them. Deep beneath the ground, they discover enormous quantities of mushrooms, lower plants, living prehistoric animals, ancient humans, natural disasters and, most importantly, a lizard-inhabited huge underground sea called the Liedenbrock Sea. However, the heroes never reached the “center of the Earth” and they returned back through the crater of Stromboli volcano, located off the coast of Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea, as a result of crossing the whole of Europe underground.

This famous novel contains a lot of scientific predictions, for example, the huge crystals, described in the novel, were not known to the science at the time of writing the book. However, in 1999 in Mexico was discovered the Cave of Crystals, unique in the presence of giant crystals of Selenite. At present days, the US physicists Thomas Concannon and Gerardo Giordano of the Royal College in Pennsylvania have perfected the calculation of the time a person travels through the tunnel to the center of the Earth. So, they came to the conclusion that the journey to the center of the Earth will last 1.8 years. Calculations of scientists take into account several factors. First, the assessments of scientists are carried out within the framework of the previous reference model of the Earth, which takes into account the change in the gravitational potential through different density at different depths of the planet. Secondly, it is believed that the tunnel will be filled with atmospheric air, so you need to take into account its resistance force (with increasing depth, the pressure of the gasses will grow and impede movement). Third, scientists suggest to getting to the center of the earth, even on a plane.

Journey to the center of the Earth, this is how a new project is called that scientists plan to implement. The task of specialists is to drill one of the deepest wells in the seabed. The experts intend to achieve the set goals with the help of a research drilling Chikyu vessel. At the moment, the capabilities of the ship’s drilling rig allow it to drill the seabed and deliver samples of rock and mineral compounds to the surface from the depth of 7 km. Over the next three years, scientists plan to increase the depth of drilling the earth’s crust by about 1.6 km and perform one of the most difficult missions in history, to get to the mantle. Drilling wells will provide answers to questions about the early stages of the history of the Earth’s development, discover the remains of living organisms that lived on our planet millions of years ago. Engineers have yet to solve a lot of problems associated with the design to drill the rock, as the technology will have to work in truly extreme conditions. Interesting facts are that the weight of the lift of the drilling rig is 1,250 tons. It is to note that the deepest well in the world at the moment is in the Murmansk region, Russia, with the depth of 12,290 meters.