Friday, February 09, 2007
No, not more ho-hummery about the inscrutable Chinese. The Beijing Anomaly is the name that has been given to an underwater sea the size of the Arctic Ocean that has been found beneath Asia. The water has been 'pumped into the lower mantle via the long history of the subduction of the oceanic lithosphere'. Underground oceans give me vertigo. I am not alone. In 1818 there was a respectable scientific theory called Symmes' Hole, proposed by one John Cleves Symmes. He thought the earth was open at the poles and there were habitable spaces within. Edgar Allan Poe used this in The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket in which the ocean flows into these underground caverns through the Polar chasm. There Pym is confronted by an alien - 'the hue of the skin of the figure was the perfect whiteness of the snow.' There's something basically wrong about an undergound ocean. If you ask me, this discovery indicates the end of the world is at hand. Luckily, the Norwegians are prepared.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:48 am