The naturally inquisitive nature of human beings has led us to continually question the world that surrounds us. Various factors, such as religion, politics and scientific understanding, have influenced the ways in which various cultures throughout the ages have viewed the Earth. Here we present you with a brief look at some of the strangest theories that have existed about the planet we all live on.
The flat Earth theory
Many cultures throughout human history have believed that the Earth was flat. The list of flat Earth proponents includes ancient Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Norse civilisations. Greek philosophers eventually debunked the flat earth theory with the proposal of the concept of a spherical planet around the 6th Century BC. However, one myth that was popular between the 18th Century and the early 20th Century was that scholars in the Middle Ages believed the Earth was flat. This myth has since been dismissed by modern historians who argue that almost all educated Europeans in the mediaeval period believed in a spherical Earth.
The famous Flammarion engraving
The human mind has always had the capacity to imagine parallel worlds beyond the one which we know. Such fantasies can be seen as a way of trying to establish new theories and bring to light hidden philosophical messages. One such example is the famous Flammarion wood engraving, which shows a robbed man peering out beyond a domed sky separating a flat Earth from the universe. The unattributed engraving was featured in astronomer Nicolas Camille Flammarion’s book “The Atmosphere: Popular Meteorology” published in 1888. The famous engraving has since lent itself to various interpretations of the world and the universe.
The hollow Earth theory
Famous 17th Century astronomer Edmund Halley, who plotted the orbit of the comet which now bears his name, was one proponent of the theory that the centre of the Earth is hollow. Indeed, even in today’s world of modern science and technology, the popular theory still persists. Some have argued that advanced civilisations live in the interior of the Earth and that there is an inner sun which makes life possible. The theory has been refuted in emphatic fashion and is considered as impossible from a scientific point of view. However, this did not stop authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft from being fascinated by the idea.
Hitler and the hollow Earth theory
As if the theory of a superior civilization living in the hollow centre of the Earth was not enough, some conspiracy theorists have even proposed that this super race was allied to the Nazis during World War II. According to this adaptation of the hollow Earth theory, Adolf Hitler successfully made contact with the civilisation’s ruler, known as the “King of the World,” and the Nazis created prototype weapons using their ally’s advanced technology.
The Rare Earth hypothesis
The Rare Earth hypothesis suggests that our existence on Earth is the result of large number of highly unlikely events that combined to provide the correct conditions for life. Supporters of this theory argue that as the Earth is the result of a string of improbable coincidences, it is unlikely that there are many other planets that can sustain life in the universe and that we might have to accept the possibility that we are actually all alone. However, several other studies have supported the mathematical possibility of life on other planets, stating that Earth is actually a common type of planet that is found in many galaxies.
The strange case of a mysterious humming or rumbling sound that has been heard in certain parts of the world is a phenomena that scientists have struggled to explain. The sound, which has been compared to the distant noise of a car engine, is normally only heard by a small percentage of the local population where it occurs. Cases have been reported in places such as Woodland, County Durham; Taos, United States; Calgary, Canada and Wellington, New Zealand. Some science fiction writers inspired by the hum have suggested it could be the noise of creatures living beneath the earth.
Global warming is a hoax
The issue of global warning first caught the world’s attention in the 1980s and governments later moved to take measures to combat the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. However, a growing number of critics have since challenged the view that mankind is contributing to global warming, arguing that rising temperatures are a natural phenomenon or that the science behind the theory of global warming is flawed. An extreme branch of global warming denial states that the idea of man-made climate change was actually invented by business corporations and governments as a way of controlling the population of the world and increasing profits.
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According to the ancient art of Chinese acupuncture, the human body has several points of energy convergence. It states that when one of these points fails it is necessary to apply a stimulus to correct the imbalance in the flow of energy. Some have attempted to apply this principle to Earth, arguing that the planet is covered in a mesh of energy points. Some believers have suggested that a number of these points were marked by ancient civilisations in the form of structures such as the pyramids and other stone monuments.
Controlling the weather
In ancient times, many cultures believed that they had the ability to influence and manipulate the earth’s climate through rituals involving dance, drums and chants. The main purpose of these rituals, some of which have survived into modern times, was to bring rain to ensure a good harvest. According to some conspiracy theorists, the United States government is currently attempting to control the weather as part of a mysterious defence project known as the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP). Some argue that this alleged military programme is designed to give the United States the ability to create earthquakes, tsunamis and devastating climate events.
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The end of the world is nigh
The Mayan doomsday prediction that the world was to end on 21 December, 2012, sparked both fascination and fear in millions of people across the world. A whole host of websites dedicated to the ancient culture’s supposed foretelling of cataclysmic events sprung up on the internet. Newspapers and television stations also devoted significant coverage to claims and counterclaims regarding the end of the world. Most experts dismissed the idea that the Mayans had predicted the end of the world but this did little to dampen enthusiasm for apocalyptic tales. Human beings seem to have an innate interest in the potential destruction of planet on which we live on.