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Volume 2394


By Rick Johnson

I recall when my father was stationed at Walker AFB in Roswell, New Mexico (yes THAT Roswell), he took us to see Carlsbad Caverns in Southern New Mexico.

He also took us to see Bottomless Lakes in Northern New Mexico.  While there, a guide told us that someone had once driven a VW-bug into the lake and it was found, years later, in Carlsbad.

In Tucson, there is Colossal Cave which is really a cavern network that has never been fully explored.  One tour guide commented that some geologists believe that the Carlsbad and Colossal systems are connected.

Are these stories true?  I don't know.  BUT, if true they pose an interesting solution to the dinosaur survival in the various Lost Worlds.


OK, some amateurish geology here.  Earth formed as cosmic dust at the creation of the Solar System.  As the proto-sun rotated, dust moved into a disc and formed planitissimals (micro-planets).    As these micro-planets orbited the Sun, they swept up all the matter in the way, thus becoming larger.  And as their size and mass and gravity grew, they began to attract nearby rock, thus increasing mass but melting in the process of constant meteoric impact.

Then, on Earth and Luna, something strange happened.  As the planets rotated, still molten, they hollowed out.  Internal matter was flung outward to create a shell some 500 or so miles thick on Earth, less on the Moon.  We know this happened to Earth and Luna.  Some people believe it also happened to Mars and Venus, but without any supporting  evidence.

As air-bubbles formed within this molten shell, the movement of the molten earth caused these bubbles to elongate into caverns miles wide, hundreds of feet high and a dozens of miles long or even larger.

Magma-tubes formed as lava was forced outward to the outer and inner surfaces, often connecting these bubbles, and erosion by underwater streams created caves and tunnels, connecting still more.

Eventually, the shell of the Earth became honeycombed with these caverns and connecting caves.  How many?  Perhaps dozens, perhaps hundreds.  We don't even know of Carlsbad Caverns is really connected with Bottomless Lakes and Colossal Cave so how can we count giant caverns a hundred miles below?  Zanthodon is one very large cavern, there may be others though they are probably smaller.


Somehow, a wormhole was anchored to the center of mass and the inner sun appeared.  Not a real sun but the event horizon of a wormhole connected to Sol producing light, heat and the illusion of a star.

How did this happen?  Who knows.  I'm asking the questions based on observable phenomena which science will not yet answer.  Scientists and geologists tell me that Mars is dead, but the journals of John Carter prove them, once again, wrong.  Science is nothing more that a group of people who think that they are smarter than they are, making observations and developing a theory that they pass off as LAW, until a generation later, another scientist with different and better observations, refutes the previous LAW and provides his own LAW.. until the next-gen proves him wrong.

So, despite all scientific evidence, the reports of David Innes, Abner Perry and the O-220 (not to mention a few additional visitors) indicate that the Earth is, somehow hollow and that dinosaurs live on the inner surface.


Now, we also know that there are dinosaur survivals on the outer surface.  Island of the Skull (King Kong) in the Indian Ocean which is about the size of Hawaii, Valley of the Gwangi in Mexico and the Lost World of Turok in New Mexico which may be the same but of unknown size, Maple White Land in Brazil which is maybe 500 square miles , Savage Land in the Antarctic and perhaps a few others.  And we also have isolated sightings of solitary dinosaurs like the brontosaur in the Congo, the pterodactyl in Arizona, the plesiosaurs in Scotland and Canada and a few others.  Science calls them Cryptids and denies their existence.

BUT, all of these have one major problem… Size of habitable area!

Elephants eat a lot of vegetation and so must cover a lot of territory to feed that bulk.  Sauropods and Hadrosaurs eat more and so must travel across more land to feed their size..

A viable breeding population must number at least 200-500 individuals or the gene pool becomes dangerously inbred.

So, consider a herd of 500 sauropods, another 500 hadrosaurs and the Carnosaurs to eat them…  oops, 200 allosaurs (minimum) would feed on at least ten times that number of hadrosaurs so we are thinking 2000 hadrosaurs.

Wow!  That is a lot of dino-flesh and that number of herbivores would need a fantastic area to roam to just survive.


According to Arthur Doyle, Maple White, while exploring northern Brazil, found an isolated plateau upon which lived.. dinosaurs.

Edward Challenger visited that place some years later and described it as being only 20x30 miles or slightly above 600 square miles in area (about the size of the Hawaiian island of Oahu).  A decent herd of elephants would defoliate that in a very short time.  A breeding population of Hadrosaurs in far less time, maybe weeks?  Months?  But that doesn't consider any sauropods and ceratopsins and the other possible inhabitants.  To keep dinos alive, Maple White Land would have to be the size of Brazil.  But it isn't.  Challenger specifically describes it as 20 by 30 miles and even gives a map.

Challenger's map of Maple White Land
(mileage scale added by me based on Challengers description -RJ)


King Kong's Island (properly called Island of the Skull) is only the size of Hawaii or about 100 miles across (if we are thinking Big Island, 30 miles across if Oahu) and is west of the island of Sumatra in the Indian ocean.  Note that the original explorers stated ‘the size of Hawaii’ but neglected to mention WHICH Hawaiian island)

It is described as being rocky, dominated by a single volcano (remember the lava tubes?  You will) with but one landing area, a single beach.  The interior contains the ruins of an advanced civilization, a single megaprimate, Kong, and a host of dinosaurs and other monsters.

Ok, IF dinosaurs survived there from the Cretaceous era, how could humans land, survive AND build a civilization while fighting off the myriad of carnosaurs and other monsters that roamed the island?

And why did they abandon their civilization?

What happened that caused a people who were able to successfully colonize an island filled with dinosaurs and monsters, grow in population, build a civilization that rivaled the Aztecs, then suddenly degenerate into a bunch of grass-clad savages?

One theory was that the original colonists brought with them a tame army of mega-primates to control the dinosaurs, then when the megaprimates died off, the dinos took over.

I have another theory.

The 1933 map of Island of the Skull


Caspak in the Pacific is such an anomaly that it simply cannot fit into any terrestrial biology.  One person suggested, in jest, that maybe Caspak was created by aliens.  I explored that thought in my story, Weir-Lu of Caspak and in a future paper on the Creation of Caspak by Reptilian Visitors.

Savage Land has been revealed to be an artificial location created under the Antarctic ice-sheet by the alien Nuwali as a way to study evolution.

Thus we have two locations of dinosaur survivals that are created by advanced alien civilizations and so irrelevant to this paper.  I mention them here only to show that I am aware of the problems that they cause.

And Isla Sorna and its companion Isla Nebular are simply game preserves to hold laboratory created dino-freaks.  I call them dino-freaks because unlike real dinosaurs that are related to birds, InGen added frog DNA instead of bird DNA to their creations.


The Valley of the Gwangi in Mexico and Turok's Lost Land in New Mexico  may be the same as they are geographically similar in locale, but still, the probable surface area doesn't fit with the population.  And frankly, I am more willing to believe that Caspak may have been created by Reptilian Aliens seeking to explore Terrestrial evolution and so have the technology to cloak the place than I would believing that any area large enough to support any population of Dinosaurs can survive undetected in either New Mexico or Mexico.  Especially with the US Border Patrol flying all over the place and co-opting DOD satellites for spy imagery.

So, how can the dinosaurs exist when the land areas in which they live are far too small to support them?

There are a number of possible theories that have been presented over the years:

So, to confuse the matter, here is still another idea.

Visitations from Pellucidar!


The clue is in the diary of an obscure German explorer called in English “Professor Hardwigg” but in the original French as “Professor Lidenbrock” as told to Jules Verne.

Professor Lidenbrock discovers the encoded journal of explorer Snorri Sturlson which describes a journey to the center of the Earth.  Snorri believes that volcanic magma-tubes permeate the Earth and allow easy travel to the interior (I told you we’d remember those tubes).  The Professor and company choose to travel to Iceland and follow the explorer's steps via a magma tub, and they then descend down to the center of the Earth (some 3,963 miles straight down) then rise up an equal distance to arrive in Italy some 2,000 miles away (surface distance).  They basically traveled more than 8,000 miles within a few months.

Note that I said ‘more than’ because the Earth is 7,926 miles in diameter and to do the minimum, they  would have to descend a nearly 4,000 mile cliff-face when the description shows that they hiked a gentle incline with the occasional drop.  And as terminal velocity for a man is 125 mph, it would take 31 hours to fall that distance, far longer to climb down.  A zig-zag 45 degree descent is equal to descending down the stairwell of a building with more than two million floors!  So they walked DOWN some 8,000 foot-miles then were shot up to the surface, another 3,900 miles via magma-tube, riding a magma-steam elevator from hell!

Ok, some very loose math here.   If they traveled upward at 1,000 miles per hour, the trip to the surface would take almost four hours.  At 100 miles per hour, almost 40 hours.  Neither of these figures gives me comfort.  The first because of the velocity, the second because of the time sitting on that bowl of hot rock breathing steam and whatever gasses that volcanoes produce.  Note: most of the population of Pompeii was killed by toxic gases from Vesuvius, not the lava flows.

Regardless, an 8,000 mile hike on good level ground implies a 2,600 hour walk.  At 10 hour days, this is 260 days.  Now, it has been some times since I read the classic but I'm certain that the journey took far less time than nine months!

However, if the Earth is a hollow shell 500 miles thick, then the group would only have to walk maybe 2500 miles or 833 hours or 83 days (each time assuming a 3 mph stride for a 10 hour day).  The travelers would go down a couple hundred miles then shoot up at most, a few hundred miles to reach Italy, probably less.  And as the earth is curved, a straight walk between Iceland and the tip of Italy would seem down but would result in a 300 mile descent with them approaching very near to Pellucidar. (Ok the math sucks but you get the idea).

My notes on this idea


So, you may ask, how does this explain the dinosaurs on the surface?

IF, many of the cave systems in the world are interconnected, and IF there are caves large enough to allow dinosaurs to pass, then a five hundred mile migration would not be out of the ordinary for them be it via magma tubes or eroded caves and tunnels.  I mean, look at the migrations of the Monarch Butterfly or any bird or the Atlantic eel and the pacific Salmon or the great whales!  So a few hundred mile trek for a dinosaur would be nothing.

Especially as the larger caverns eventually would develop micro-ecologies that enabled the migrations to feed as they traveled.  Seeds germinate in left behind dino-poop to grow plants that adapt to the local conditions to feed the next batch of migrants.  Parasites drop from the dinosaurs and thrive to grow to gigantic size.  In some, the darkened conditions would mutate the reptiles and insects and other creatures that settled there creating the monsters that have been described by many cave explorers.

Thus, Lin Carter's Zanthodon, would be one of these large caverns or a series of caverns, connected to both Pellucidar and Earth, allowing dinosaurs to travel between, resting as they migrate with some simply deciding to not move on.  Rather than containing a complete eco-system, they would be micro-systems constantly refreshed by new arrivals and old departures.  As an example, Tucson is on the Duck Migration route but a lot of ducks see our water traps in the local golf courses and park lakes and quit migrating, becoming full-time residents while others continue to migrate.

Maple White Land and Island of the Skull would not be places of dinosaur survival, which is clearly impossible because they are too small, but simply the terminus of a regular or occasional migration from Pellucidar.

And on Kong's Island, the dinos would be a relatively recent arrival after a volcanic eruption opened a new pathway from the inner World.  A Khmer-like civilization that coexisted with the Kongs (from Den Valdron's Island Hopping Theory) would be decimated by the arrival of such prehistoric Pellucidaran monsters which would drive the humans out and exterminate the peaceful Kongs.   The inhabitants would be forced to abandon the resource-rich interior for the single inhabitable beach and divert almost all of their labor to building and maintaining that massive wall.  After a few generations of this survival lifestyle, they would essentially forget their past and be unable to divert precious time and materials and manpower to rebuilding what they had lost.

This would also explain the sightings of the occasional Apatosaur (Lidi) in the Congo, the Neanderthal (Sagoth) in China and other solitary cryptids that have plagued history, often described as ‘dragons’.  No breeding population would be required, simply a migrating dinosaur that took the wrong turn.

The main question I would have is this:  Just how many terminus centers are there?

are the ones I know of.  What will future explorers find and will they survive to tell the tale?
• Paul-ul-Don seems like a real Dino survival with only the Gryf (mutated Triceratops) and perhaps a few swamp monsters being dinosaurs. The rest of the biota are adaptations of more recent life-forms.
• Jurassic Park is a man-made theme park
• Caspak may be a laboratory created by Reptilian aliens
• Savage Land is now known to be alien created.

ERBzine Refs
Rick Johnson Feature Articles and Fiction in ERBzine

Worlds of ERB
ERBzine 1645: Johnson: ERB Fan Profile
ERBzine 1522: Sociology of the Wieroo
ERBzine 1527: Maltheusian Decimation in Pal-Ul-Don
ERBzine 1547: Opar
ERBzine 1710: Conflict!
ERBzine 1965: Rescue In Pellucidar
ERBzine 1974: Anatomy of an Alien

ERBzine 2304: Prelude to Weir-Lu of Caspak

ERBzine 2388: Bright-Eyed Flower of Pal-ul-don

ERBzine 2394: Dinosaur Survival On Earth

ERBzine 1578: Barsoom Questions
ERBzine 1370: Mapping Barsoom I: Can It Be Done?
ERBzine 1562: Mapping Barsoom II: Compromises
ERBzine 1565: Mapping Barsoom III: The Past
ERBzine 1633: Valley Dor
ERBzine 1634: Swords On Mars
ERBzine 1711: A Panthan of Mars
ERBzine 1712: Spy: Arrival On Mars
ERBzine 2165: Battle at U-Gor
ERBzine 2166: Lost On Barsoom
ERBzine 2167: Meeting of the Panthans: Pt. I
ERBzine 2168: Meeting of the Panthans: Pt. II
ERBzine 2169: North to Barsoom
ERBzine 2196: Jahar
ERBzine 2303: Return to Barsoom I: Letters

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