A Journey to the Interior of the Earth
Preparations For A Voyage Of Discovery
The next morning I awoke feeling perfectly well. I thought a bathe would do me good,
and I went to plunge for a few minutes into the waters of this mediterranean sea, for
assuredly it better deserved this name than any other sea.
I came back to breakfast with a good appetite. Hans was a good caterer for our little
household; he had water and fire at his disposal, so that he was able to vary our bill of
fare now and then. For dessert he gave us a few cups of coffee, and never was coffee so
"Now," said my uncle, "now is the time for high tide, and we must not lose the
opportunity to study this phenomenon."
"What! the tide!" I cried. "Can the influence of the sun and moon be felt down here?"
"Why not? Are not all bodies subject throughout their mass to the power of universal
attraction? This mass of water cannot escape the general law. And in spite of the heavy
atmospheric pressure on the surface, you will see it rise like the Atlantic itself."
At the same moment we reached the sand on the shore, and the waves were by slow
degrees encroaching on the shore.
"Here is the tide rising," I cried.
"Yes, Axel; and judging by these ridges of foam, you may observe that the sea will rise
about twelve feet."
"This is wonderful," I said.
"No; it is quite natural."
"You may say so, uncle; but to me it is most extraordinary, and I can hardly believe my
eyes. Who would ever have imagined, under this terrestrial crust, an ocean with ebbing
and flowing tides, with winds and storms?"
"Well," replied my uncle, "is there any scientific reason against it?"
"No; I see none, as soon as the theory of central heat is given up." "So then, thus far," he
answered, "the theory of Sir Humphry Davy is confirmed."
"Evidently it is; and now there is no reason why there should not be seas and continents
in the interior of the earth."
"No doubt," said my uncle; "and inhabited too."