Kircher's subterranean Earth, 1678

Kircher's subterranean Earth, 1678

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Kircher's subterranean Earth. Artwork of the internal fires of the Earth, from the work Mundus Subterraneus (1678) by the German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (circa 1601-1680). The artwork shows volcanoes and oceans on the surface of the Earth, and underground chambers and fissures filled with water, with fires at the centre of the Earth. The Latin text at top describes Kircher's theory that underground water channels, heated by the central fires of the Earth, emerged in the sea (causing the tides) and in mountains (causing volcanoes). In the corners of the artwork are figures representing the four winds.

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