A Journey in Other Worlds HTML version
swamps to the south!" exclaimed Col. Bearwarden. "The Lake Superior mines and the
reclamation of the Florida Everglades would be nothing to this."
"Any inhabitants we may find here have so much land at their disposal that they will not
need to drain swamps on account of pressure of population for some time," put in the
"I hope we may find some four-legged inhabitants," said Ayrault, thinking of their
explosive magazine rifles. "If Jupiter is passing through its Jurassic or Mesozoic period,
there must be any amount of some kind of game." Just then a quiver shook the Callisto,
and glancing to the right they noticed one of the volcanoes in violent eruption. Smoke
filled the air in clouds, hot stones and then floods of lava poured from the crater, while
even the walls of the hermetically sealed Callisto could not arrest the thunderous crashes
that made the interior of the car resound.
"Had we not better move on?" said Bearwarden, and accordingly they went toward the
woods they had first seen. Finding a firm strip of land between the forest and an arm of
the sea, they gently grounded the Callisto, and not being altogether sure how the
atmosphere of their new abode would suit terrestrial lungs, or what its pressure to the
square inch might be, they cautiously opened a port-hole a crack, retaining their hold
upon it with its screw. Instantly there was a rush and a whistling sound as of escaping
steam, while in a few moments their barometer stood at thirty-six inches, whereupon they
closed the opening.
"I fancy," said Dr. Cortlandt, "we had better wait now till we become accustomed to this
pressure. I do not believe it will go much higher, for the window made but little
resistance when we shut it."
Finding they were not inconvenienced by a pressure but little greater than that of a deep
coal-mine, they again opened the port, whereupon their barometer showed a further rise
to forty-two, and then remained stationary. Finding also that the chemical composition of
the air suited them, and that they had no difficulty in breathing, the pressure being the
same as that sustained by a diver in fourteen feet of water, they opened a door and
emerged. They knew fairly well what to expect, and were not disturbed by their new
conditions. Though they had apparently gained a good deal in weight as a result of their
ethereal journey, this did not incommode them; for though Jupiter's volume is thirteen
hundred times that of the earth, on account of its lesser specific gravity, it has but three
hundred times the mass--i. e., it would weigh but three hundred times as much. Further,
although a cubic foot of water or anything else weighs 2.5 as much as on earth, objects
near the equator, on account of Jupiter's rapid rotation, weigh one fifth less than they do
at the poles, by reason of the centrifugal force. Influenced by this fact, and also because
they were 483,000,000 miles from the sun, instead of 92,000,000 as on earth, they had
steered for the northern limit of Jupiter's tropics. And, in addition to this, they could
easily apply the apergetic power in any degree to themselves when beyond the limits of
the Callisto, and so be attracted to any extent, from twice the pull they receive from
gravitation on earth to almost nothing.