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IN passing round the curve leading into the interior of the earth, it seems difficult for some people to understand how water can be made to stay on the edge of the earth. A question of that nature seems absurd to many; but it is not. While water is a liquid and seeks its level, yet the centre of gravity is all there is to "up" or "down," and affects everything in accordance with its weight. As water is heavy, gravity forces it to the earth. Whether gravity is something in the earth that draws, or something in the air or ether that repels, I do not know, nor do I know anyone that does. Whatever it be, it draws the water to the earth with such force that there is no danger of its being spilt. Gravity at the curve, or at the turning into the interior of the earth, acts like a large magnet. Take a magnet, bent in a circular form, and see if there be any difference
inside or outside. The experiment will show the attraction to be the same on either side.
On page 396 Nansen again writes: "Taking everything into calculation, if I am to be perfectly honest, I think this is a wretched state of matters. We are now in about 80 degs. north latitude, in September we were in 79 degs.; that is, let us say, one degree for five months. If we go on at this rate we shall be at the pole in forty-five, or say fifty, months, and in ninety or one hundred months at 80 degs. north latitude on the other side of it, with probably some prospect of getting out of the ice and home in a month or two more. At best, if things go on as they are doing now we shall be home in eight years.
"A secret doubt lurked behind all the reasoning. It seemed as though the longer I defended my theory, the nearer I came to doubting it. But no; there is no getting over the evidence of that Siberian driftwood." (Page 303.)
Whenever the explorers pass into the interior of the earth, as they have been
passing, they meet such different situations that all are puzzled to account for, what, under other conditions, would be plain and simple. This shows that there is something going on entirely foreign to the ordinary fixed rules of the universe as man understands them; therefore no wonder they call it the strange land. Everyone that has spent considerable time in the Arctic or Antarctic circles has met with conditions unexplainable when based on the theory that the earth is round--each one easily accounted for, however, when treated on what now seems a fixed fact, that the earth is hollow.
When one reads reports from different explorers regarding- such strange things happening in that country, one might almost conclude he was in a world of chance, or be as the Yankee farmer said when talking about rain. Chided for doubting the acts of Providence, said he: "Wal, sir, I guess He is good, but He's careless." If the earth were solid and such things happened, one might almost be led to say Providence was careless.
Greely's description, on page 265, of passing round the carve of the earth is exceedingly good and clear:
"The deep interest with which we had hitherto pursued our journey was now greatly intensified. The eye of civilized man had not seen, nor his feet trodden, the ground over which we were traveling. A strong-, earnest desire to press forward at our best gait seized us all. As we neared each projecting spur of the high head-lands, our eagerness to see what was beyond became so intense at times as to be painful. Each point reached, and a new landscape in sight, we found our pleasure not unalloyed, for ever in advance was yet a point which cut off a portion of the horizon and caused a certain disappointment."
If Greely and his companions were entering into the interior of the earth, they would certainly find that the earth has a greater curve near the poles than at any other place; and as they passed over or around the farthest point north, each projection reached would be followed by another which always seemed to take in a
part of the horizon. This is just what they experienced.
"I am extremely puzzled," he added, "to understand how Gilman Glacier and its neighbor to the east discharge their surplus water. A well-marked line of low hills, at least two hundred feet in height, cuts them off from Lake Hazen, but I scanned with the telescope the entire range in vain, for anything looking like a break. The hills were but seven to nine miles distant, and the telescope was an excellent one. Lynn used the glass with the same result. It is evident the glaciers must discharge into the lake in some way. It is possible they feed lakes lying among the hills, and that they may be those seen by Bender." (Page 409.)
Had Greely known that the earth was hollow, that would have been easily decided; for he would have come to the conclusion that the water on the opposite side of those low hills discharged into some bay or fiord extending into the interior of the earth, and would reach Lake Hazen only when passing up from there.
Next: Chapter V. Mysteries of the Polar Regions