When the World Screamed

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"When the World Screamed"
Author Arthur Conan Doyle
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Professor Challenger
Genre(s) Science fiction short story
Publication date 1928
Preceded by "The Land of Mist"
Followed by "The Disintegration Machine"

"When the World Screamed" is a story written about Professor Challenger by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was first published in Liberty magazine, 25 February – 3 March 1928.

It is narrated in first person by Mr. Peerless Jones, an expert in Artesian borings who is seen for the first time.

It is the fourth Professor Challenger story and retains only Challenger and Malone from the first novel.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

Professor Challenger, with the help of Mr Edward Malone and Mr Peerless Jones, drills into the earth until he reaches the mantle, convinced that it is a sentient being, akin to an echinus, and that by doing so he will be the first person to alert it to mankind's presence. He awakens the giant creature, which then proceeds to destroy his excavation, covering the spectators with a noxious liquid in the process.


It is considered to be the most powerful and thought-provoking story among all of the Professor Challenger adventures. It seemed to be a fantastic and fanciful notion in the early twentieth century. It has been described as being "ecologically significant".

"In the age of growing ecological awareness,.....we me see some of the adventures and wild ideas of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'cave man in a lounge suit' in a sympathetic light."

Introduction of The Lost World and other stories by Wordsworth Classics


  • In Liberty (25 february & 3 march 1928 [US]) 11 illustrations by Herbert M. Stoops
  • In The Strand Magazine (april-may 1928 [UK]) 7 ill. by F. E. Hiley
  • In The Maracot Deep and Other Stories (1929)
  • In Sciences et Voyages No. 524-529 (12 sept - 17 oct 1929 [FR]) as L'Homme qui fit hurler le monde, 12 ill. by Albert Solon
  • In La Ville du gouffre (november 1930, Albin Michel [FR]) as L'Homme qui fit hurler le monde
  • In The Conan Doyle Historical Romances vol. 2 (1952, John Murray [UK]) [2]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]