Pellucidar

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For the novel of the same name, see Pellucidar (novel).
Pellucidar
Pellucidar-map.gif
The original map of Pellucidar from the first edition of Pellucidar (1915).
At the Earth's Core location
Creator Edgar Rice Burroughs
Genre Adventure novel
Type Hollow Earth
Notable characters David Innes, Abner Perry, Tanar, Tarzan

Pellucidar is a fictional Hollow Earth invented by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs for a series of action adventure stories. In a notable crossover event between Burroughs' series, there is a Tarzan story in which the Ape Man travels into Pellucidar.

The stories initially involve the adventures of mining heir David Innes and his inventor friend Abner Perry after they use an "iron mole" to burrow 500 miles into the Earth's crust. Later protagonists include indigenous caveman Tanar and additional visitors from the surface world, notably Tarzan, Jason Gridley, and Frederich Wilhelm Eric von Mendeldorf und von Horst. [1]

Geography[edit]

In Burroughs' concept, the Earth is a hollow shell with Pellucidar as the internal surface of that shell. Pellucidar is accessible to the surface world via a polar opening allowing passage between the inner and outer worlds[2] through which a rigid airship visits in the fourth book of the series.[3] Although the inner surface of the Earth has an absolute smaller area than the outer, Pellucidar actually has a greater land area, as its continents mirror the surface world's oceans and its oceans mirror the surface continents.

A peculiarity of Pellucidar's geography is that due to the concave curvature of its surface there is no horizon; the further distant something is, the higher it appears to be, until it is finally lost in the atmospheric haze.

Pellucidar is lit by a miniature sun suspended at the center of the hollow sphere, so it is perpetually overhead wherever one is in Pellucidar. The sole exception is the region directly under a tiny geostationary moon of the internal sun; that region as a result is under a perpetual eclipse and is known as the Land of Awful Shadow. This moon has its own plant life and (presumably) animal life, and hence either has its own atmosphere or shares that of Pellucidar. The miniature sun never changes in brightness, and never sets; so with no night or seasonal progression, the natives have little concept of time. The events of the series suggest that time is elastic, passing at different rates in different areas of Pellucidar and varying even in single locales. Also, several characters from the outer world who have lived a long time in Pellucidar seem to age slowly and exhibit considerable longevity. This is known through their interactions with people of the outer world where time remains fixed.

Culture[edit]

Pellucidar is populated by primitive people and prehistoric creatures, notably dinosaurs. The region in which Innes and Perry initially find themselves is ruled by the cities of the Mahars, intelligent flying reptiles resembling Rhamphorhynchus with dangerous psychic powers, who keep the local tribelets of Stone Age human beings in subjugation.[4] Innes and Perry eventually unite the tribes to overthrow the Mahars' domain and establish a human "Empire of Pellucidar" in its place.[5]

While the Mahars are the dominant species in the Pellucidar novels, they seem confined to their handful of cities. Before their overthrow they use the Sagoths (a race of gorilla-men who speak the same language as Tarzan's apes)[3] to enforce their rule over the human tribes within the area which they rule.[4][5] Though Burrough's novels suggest that the Mahar realm is limited to one relatively small area of the inner world, John Eric Holmes' authorized sequel Mahars of Pellucidar indicates there are other areas of Mahar domination.

Within and outside the Mahars' domain are scattered independent human cultures, most of them at the stone age level of development. Technically more advanced exceptions include the Korsars (corsairs), a maritime raiding society descended from surface-world pirates,[2] and the Xexots, an indigenous Bronze Age civilization.[6] All or most of the human inhabitants of Pellucidar share a common world-wide language.

Points of Interest[edit]

Pellucidar wildlife[edit]

Various animals reside in Pellucidar, primarily prehistoric creatures extinct on the outer world; others are Burroughsian inventions. They are listed below by outer world name (if known), Pellucidarian name (if known), and the book in which they first appear, along with any relevant comments.

  • Ant Bear - A huge edentate mammal that preys on the Giant Ants. It has no outer world equivalent and it's Pellucidarian name unknown.
  • Antelope - Pellucidarian name unknown. It first appeared in At the Earth's Core.
  • Archaeopteryx - Pellucidarian name unknown. It appeared in Tarzan at the Earth's Core.
  • Aztarag - A sea creature. Pellucidarian name for an unidentified outer world equivalent.
  • Cave Bear (Ryth) - It first appeared in At the Earth's Core.
  • Cotylosaurus (Gorobor) - Giant lizards that serve as the Horibs' mode of transportation. It first appeared in Tarzan at the Earth's Core
  • Deinotherium - Pellucidarian name unknown. It first appeared in Tarzan at the Earth's Core.
  • Diplodocus (Lidi) - It first appeared in At the Earth's Core.
  • Dire Wolf (Codon) - It first appeared in At the Earth's Core.
  • Giant Ants - no outer world equivalent - Pellucidarian name unknown.
  • Hydrophidian - A giant sea snake that is designated by Burroughs. Neither the actual outer world or Pellucidarian equivalent are known.
  • Phorusrhacos (Dyal) - It first appeared in Tarzan at the Earth's Core.
  • Plesiosaurus - (Tandoraz, Ta-ho-az) - The two Pellucidarian names refer to larger and smaller varieties.
  • Pterodactyl (Thipdar) - It first appeared inAt the Earth's Core
  • Rhamphorhynchus (Mahar) - An oversized, intelligent variety (see Mahars, under Races). It first appeared in At the Earth's Core.
  • Stegosaurus (Dyrodor) - A carnivorous variety, able to manipulate its back plates to allow it to glide.
  • Trodon - Pellucidarian name for a creature with no outer world equivalent. The Trodon are dragon-like flying reptiles with pouches similar to those of marsupials. Not to be confused with the Troodon, an actual outer world extinct dinosaur. It first appeared in Back to the Stone Age.
  • Troodon - Pellucidarian name unknown.

Races[edit]

Pellucidar also harbors enclaves of various nonhuman or semi-human races. Among the known races in Pellucidar are:

  • The Ape Men - A race of black ape-like creatures with prehensile tails and are arboreal.[4]
  • The Azarians - A race of primitive man-eating giants.[7]
  • The Beast-Men - The Beast-Men (also called Brute-Men) are peaceful gorilla-like farmers. They are sometimes called "Gorilla-Sheep" for the sheep-like appearance of their faces.
  • The Coripies - A subterranean race that are also known as the Buried People. The Coripies are a race of short eyeless carrion-eaters.[2]
  • The Ganaks - A race of horned bison men. They sometimes capture humans for their cruel sacrificial rites.[8]
  • The Gorbuses - A subterranean race of cannibalistic albinos who are apparently resurrected surface-world murderers.[8]
  • The Sabertooth Men - A race of cannibalistic black ape-like creatures with prehensile tails and dagger-like tusks.

The novels[edit]

  1. At the Earth's Core (1914)
  2. Pellucidar (1915)
  3. Tanar of Pellucidar (1929)
  4. Tarzan at the Earth's Core (1929)
  5. Back to the Stone Age (1937)
  6. Land of Terror (1944)
  7. Savage Pellucidar (1963)

Sequels by John Eric Holmes[edit]

John Eric Holmes's Mahars of Pellucidar was a sequel to Burroughs' Pellucidar novels authorized by the Burroughs estate. Publication of Holmes' follow-up novel, Red Axe of Pellucidar, reportedly ready for print in 1980, was supposedly blocked by the estate, and only saw print much later in a limited private edition.[9]

  1. Mahars of Pellucidar (1976)
  2. Red Axe of Pellucidar (1993)

Tarzan: The Epic Adventures[edit]

In the 1996 novel Tarzan: The Epic Adventures by R. A. Salvatore, Pellucidar is featured in the later part of the story. The book is based on the teleplay for the TV pilot of the series Tarzan: The Epic Adventures by Burt Armus. The story is inspired by the Return of Tarzan and Tarzan at the Earth's Core.[10]

In other media[edit]

Pellucidar has appeared in one movie adaptation. The first novel was filmed as At the Earth's Core (1976), directed by Kevin Connor and starring Doug McClure as David Innes and Peter Cushing as Abner Perry.[11]

Pellucidar appears in the Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle episode "Tarzan at the Earth's Core."

The 1996 pilot to the TV series Tarzan: The Epic Adventures also features Pellucidar, as well as the character Jana from the book Tarzan at the Earth's Core. This story also features a race of Mahars able to transform into humanoid form.[citation needed]

Pellucidar appears in a few episodes of the Disney cartoon series The Legend of Tarzan, loosely inspired by Tarzan at the Earth's Core. In the show, however, Pellucidar is merely described as being a region below Africa where dinosaurs still live. None of the characteristics of it described in the novels are seen.[citation needed]

The hollow interior of the Earth seen in Journey to Middle Earth by The Asylum bears some similarity to Pellucidar, although the film was intended as a film adaptation of a novel by Jules Verne.[citation needed]

Pellucidar is revisited by Tarzan and is the central location of the Dark Horse Comics crossover Tarzan vs. Predator at the Earth's Core, where Tarzan faces off against the alien Predator species.

Influence[edit]

Pellucidar was the major inspiration for Lin Carter's Zanthodon novels of the late 1970s and early 1980s, set in the vast cavern of Zanthodon beneath the Sahara Desert.[12]

The Hollow Earth milieu of Skartaris in the Warlord series of comic books by Mike Grell, published from 1976–1989, is essentially a translation of Pellucidar into the graphic medium, with the admixture of magic and elements of the Atlantis myth.[13]

In James P. Blaylock's The Digging Leviathan (1984), a pair of rival scientific teams compete to reach Pellucidar; the story concludes before the goal is attained.[citation needed] Blaylock's Zeuglodon revisits the Pellucidar theme, when a group of children attempt to rescue Giles Peach, one of the characters traveling to Pellucidar in The Digging Leviathan.

In John Crowley's Little, Big (1981), a drug named Pellucidar is mentioned and appears to have an exhilarating and even aphrodisiac effect.[citation needed]

A tribute story, Maureen Birnbaum at the Earth's Core, appeared in Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson.[14]

During the initial explorations of Lechuguilla Cave in the late 1980s, a chamber was named "Pellucidar" in honor of these stories.[citation needed]

In Philip Jose Farmer's "Riders of the Purple Wage", there is a concept known as "the Pellucidar Breakthrough"[citation needed]

In the Tunnels Series, the Garden of the Second Sun is strongly based on Pellucidar.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pulpdom, Nos. 64, 65, 66, 67, April, June, August, October, "Pellucidar Revisited" by Mike Taylor, published by Camille Cazedessus,
  2. ^ a b c d Burroughs, Edgar Rice (1930). Tanar of Pellucidar. New York: Metropolitan.
  3. ^ a b c d Burroughs, Edgar Rice (1930). Tarzan at the Earth's Core. New York: Metropolitan.
  4. ^ a b c d e Burroughs, Edgar Rice (1922). At the Earth's Core. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., passim.
  5. ^ a b c d Burroughs, Edgar Rice (1923). Pellucidar. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., passim.
  6. ^ Burroughs, Edgar Rice (1963). Savage Pellucidar. New York: Canaveral Press.
  7. ^ Burroughs, Edgar Rice (1944). Land of Terror. Tarzana, CA: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
  8. ^ a b Burroughs, Edgar Rice (1937). Back to the Stone Age. Tarzana, CA: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
  9. ^ Martin, John. "John Eric Holmes: Mahars of Pellucidar and Red Axe of Pellucidar".
  10. ^ Salvatore, R.A. " Tarzan: The Epic Adventures".
  11. ^ At the Earth's Core at the Internet Movie Database
  12. ^ Valdron, Den. "Lin Carter's Literary Pellucidar"
  13. ^ Brian Cronin, 2006, "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #54!" (archive)
  14. ^ Contents listing for first edition of Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

External links[edit]