Monday, July 7, 2014

Fantastically Wrong: The Legendary Scientist Who Swore Our Planet Is Hollow


This ad should have a huge asterisk somewhere explaining that Koreshanity was a cult started by a guy who shocked himself and woke up thinking he was Jesus. 

In 1869 an American physician named Cyrus Reed Teed, whose very own brand of medicine combined alchemy with zaps of electricity and doses of magnetism, electrocuted himself so badly that he passed out. Which is just as well, for when he came to, he realized he was the living incarnation of Jesus Christ. Not only that, he also decided that the Earth is actually an inverted sphere: We line the inside and look in on, not out to, the rest of the universe.

Fantastically Wrong
It's OK to be wrong, even fantastically so. Because when it comes to understanding our world, mistakes mean progress. From folklore to pure science, these are history’s most bizarre theories.

Browse the full archive here

So he started a cult called Koreshanity in Florida to convince the world of his geologic discovery. And on a beach near their commune, for five months the Koreshanites deployed the rectilliniator, a device of their own creation, to scientifically measure that the Earth is in fact concave. Naturally, it was a success.

Madness, to be sure, but also the product of an idea put forth 200 years previous by one of history’s greatest scientific minds: Edmond Halley. You see, Halley noticed that the Earth’s magnetic field is rather unpredictable, with its lines shifting from year to year. And Halley, after whom the famous comet is named, reckoned that the Earth’s hollowness is to blame—we’re standing on an outermost shell with three more concentric shells within. And it’s the poles of these inner shells that throw off our magnetic field. Oh, and according to Halley, there’s undoubtedly life flourishing deep down there.

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