Journey to the Center of the Earth features several key elements of extraordinary adventure that have already shown up in previous entries on our list. They are by name: Cryptology, Jules Verne, Dinosaurs, and Brendan Frasier.
We mainly care about the first three. Brendan Frasier is mentioned only because he has an uncanny ability to star in very average 3-D special effects movies, in which gets to grin goofily. Such is the case with the latest film adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic story. And the less said about it, the better.
The movie is, of course, based on a book. The idea here is that Professor such-and-such has found secret ventilation shafts leading down into the planet core. When you think about it, it’s remarkable how many professors turn out to be the heroes of big adventure tales. When I think back on my professors, the most adventurous thing any of them ever did was grade on a curve. I only had one or two that went off to find dinosaurs on weekends.
When I was a kid, I had an irrational fear that we would someday run out of oil, iron, or other natural resources found within our planet. This is before I realized just how deep the planet really is. If it were a Tootsie pop, it would take 14 quadrillion licks to reach the center. And your tongue would be very sandy.
The radius of the earth is about 4000 miles. That doesn’t seem like much compared to the 238,000 miles to the moon (which Verne thought we could reach by firing a really large cannon). But when you consider that the ocean is at most 7 miles deep, it’s a an eye opener.
It’s so deep that Verne invented an entire ocean inside the earth. It is into this ocean that Gandalf fell while battling the Balrog. It is also where the first testing of the Genesis device was performed, before Khan stole it. And it is also where dinosaurs live.
Seriously, dinosaurs must have ninja-like powers of secrecy. Somehow they have managed to hide out from the entire human civilization, either underground, on lost islands, or sometimes in Japan. If the Freemasons and the dinosaurs ever got together, just think of all the secret knowledge that could be consolidated.
The only reason any of this is possible is because the good professor decoded an Icelandic rune that helped him find secret volcanic shafts leading to the core. I don’t know about you, but that sounds a heckuva lot better than the plot to Furry Vengeance.
While on their journey, the professor and his ragtag band of explorers make many wondrous discoveries, chronicle some wide and varied flora and fauna, and generally get themselves trapped somewhere after the giant electric mushrooms but before the bottomless pit.
Through some rather irresponsible use of gunpowder, they blast a hole in the wall, allowing the underground water to escape. They ride the waves on a makeshift raft up through a chimney, which deposits them in Italy. They then order pizza. All in all, a pretty good day.
Up next, #72!