The Antarctic has not been so thoroughly explored as the Arctic polar region, and so our evidence from that end of the globe is not so voluminous, but it is startling in its conclusiveness. One point, in fact, will doubtless be admitted by the reader to be almost as distinct a proof of our theory as was the occurrence of the mammoth in Siberia in a perfectly fresh condition.
Before coming to this startling direct evidence, however, let us briefly show how scientists themselves, in their effort to explain the evolution of the higher mammals, are driven to suppose the existence of a lost continent upon which a number of "missing links" between different grades of animal species would be found were that continent ever discoverable. As these scientists had no conception of a continent on the interior surface of the earth they were driven to suppose that during certain stages in the evolution of life this continent moved about on the earth's surface by the tilting up of one coast line above the waves while the other coast line was gradually submerging. This ingenious idea was put forward by Huxley. Other scientists thought that there was a vast Antarctic continent,
but if the polar regions were the solid ice that scientists supposed this continent could not have produced the species that the scientists claim lie hidden--that is in fossil form--somewhere, nor could migration have taken place to other climes.
To show how important this is let us quote from an article in the Scientific American Supplement for October 8, 1892, by Dr. E. Murray Aaron. It seems, according to him that there is a gap in evolution between the animals of the Mesozoic era and the higher mammals, the placental mammalia as they are called, including the apes, cats, dogs, bears, horses, and oxen. From the Mesozoic forms to these forms is a big jump and one that is apparently very suddenly made. But how did these higher forms evolve? They could not have come full fledged upon the earth for nature never takes such a big leap. The opponents of evolution make the best of this gap and challenge the evolutionists to fill it. Obviously there must have been some intermediate forms, and the question is, where did they live and where are their remains to be found. Dr. Aaron proceeds:
"Huxley's 'Lemuria,' a vast continent long lost beneath the water of the Pacific, the original 'Eden' of many latter day ethnologists, may be the region whose subsidence has buried its much sought for treasures
beneath fathoms of water, but, however that may be, the discovery of new forms of animal and plant life and the discovery of fossil remains as already pointed out, cannot fail to shed a flood of light upon this, one of the most engrossing problems of the study of geographical distribution as it effects organic evolution. In fact, already is enough known of the material derivable from the Antarctic region to warrant Mr. Blanford, in a recent address before the Geographical Society of London in stating that 'a growing acquaintance with the biology of the world leads naturalists to a belief that the placental mammalia and other higher forms of terrestrial life originated during the Mesozoic period still further to the southward--that is to say, in the lost Antarctic continent.' . . ."
The author then quotes from a paper on Antarctic exploration read by Mr. G. S. Griffiths, F. G. S., before the Bankers' Institute of Australasia--who had himself quoted the above words--to the effect that:
"It almost necessarily follows that wherever the mammalia were developed there also man had his birthplace, and if these speculations should prove to be well founded we may have to shift the location of the Garden of Eden from the northern to the southern hemisphere."
And Dr. Aaron adds:
"What a vista of results even to the production of fossilized primitive man and his immediate predecessors and the harmonizing of this corrected geological account with the Mosaic cosmogony, would open up, it may be left to the imagination of the reader to conjecture."
The paper by Mr. Griffiths which Dr. Aaron refers to above was printed in Nature late in the year 1890 and from it some other interesting particulars may be gained. He says that if there were not such a continent as the one he supposed to have been lost there would not have been any chance for the migration of the animals and plants which are now found on such widely separated parts of the globe as South Africa and Australia. He says:
"We are told by Professor Hutton of Christchurch that forty-four per cent of the New Zealand flora is of Antarctic origin. New Zealand and South America have three flowering plants in common, also two fresh water fishes, five seaweeds, three marine crustaceans, one marine mollusk and one marine fish."
He then cites a number of other instances where widely separated lands have the very same species of animals, fish and plants:
"Yet the lands which have these plants and animals in common are so widely separated from each other that they could not possibly now interchange their inhabitants. Certainly toward the equator they approach each other rather more, but even this fact fails
to account for the present distribution. . . Yet there must have been some means of communication in the past and it appears certain that it took the form of a common fatherland for the various common forms from which they spread to the northern hemisphere."
We claim that this common fatherland is none other than the interior of the earth which by its warmth and luscious vegetation--remember that its sun is shining all the time and evaporating the water to form a very damp atmosphere--is just adapted to those large forms of life that hold the missing links spoken of above. By drifting from this common land on glaciers and icebergs these animals were gradually distributed.
That this distribution is perfectly possible and may still be going on to some extent, is proved by the fact that an Antarctic voyager some years since saw a large iceberg covered with earthy matter, rocks and stones, showing that it came from land and not from barren ice as the orthodox scientists would have us think covers the polar regions.
But there was something else on this iceberg and it forms such a remarkable proof of our theory that it alone might have suggested some such theory as ours
to anyone who pondered it sufficiently. Before stating the facts which form such a mystery to the scientist let us remind the reader that while the Arctic regions are inhabited by the Eskimos of whom we have already read, there have never been discovered any traces of human life either near or within the Antarctic circle. Penguins and seals and fish practically are alone in those regions. No Antarctic explorer has ever met a native tribe or put up for the winter in a native village. Man in the Antarctic is an unknown species.
How then does the reader explain the facts in the following statements taken from the nautical magazine for 1893. The statements occur in the course of an article devoted to reports of icebergs in the Antarctic seas:
"The Gladys, Captain E. B. Hatfield, . . . was completely embayed by icebergs (43 degrees S., 33 West) and did not get clear of fog and ice until July 4 in 40 degrees South, 30 West. At four p. m. of the latter date, signs of human beings having lived for some time on one of the icebergs in sight were well in evidence. On the northwest side was a beaten track, a place of refuge formed in a sheltered nook on the summit, and apparently five dead men lay on different parts of the berg.
"There were no indications of life, but the wicked weather precluded any attempt at further search and the Gladys was kept on her course."
Now let the reader remember two things. Dr. Cook, surgeon to the Belgian Antarctic expedition, writing in the Scientific American Supplement for June 23, 1900, gives the unanimous scientific verdict when he says that:
"Indeed in the great sweep of the earth's surface, which surrounds the south pole and extends far northward into the temperate zone comprising one quarter of the entire terrestrial area, there has not been found the footprint of man."
And let the reader remember also that these were no shipwrecked sailors, for the iceberg was coming from the south at the time; subsequently inquiry did not reveal the loss of any ship in the Antarctic prior to this discovery; and if these had been civilized men cast astray they would have put up a flag or some similar signal.
Other ships in this vicinity sighted icebergs with sand and earth on them proving that they came from a land source. And it was undoubtedly from this land source that this berg, which had earth on it as well as the five dead men, came. But, the reader says, you have just quoted an authority to prove that there are no men resident in the Antarctic regions. Where, then, did these five unfortunate castaways come from? From the interior continent the other side of the southern polar orifice, and we have no doubt that the
[paragraph continues] Eskimos and these men are connected. For the Eskimo has not been able to leave his northern home and come south on the outside of the earth because that involved navigation in ships. But on the inside of the earth there is a milder climate and a different land formation, and there would be nothing to prevent such of the Eskimo tribes as penetrated over the northern Arctic lip, or what is more likely were born there from where they emigrated to the outer surface through the north--there is nothing to prevent them, we say, from going south along the interior surface of the earth and coming to the other polar orifice and out over it into the inhospitable Antarctic regions whence they drifted on this iceberg to the place where they were seen by Captain Hadfield.
As a speaker before the Sixth International Geographical Congress held in London, Mr. C. E. Borchgrevink, said, after reciting the discovery told of above:
"This earthy matter, rocks and stones, together with signs of human life, all found upon one of these visitants from that unknown region; this is surely a strong presumption in favor of the existence of races that answer to the Eskimos of the north."
Yes, we reply, it is a strong presumption, but it is not a presumption that these races live on the exterior of the planet, for they have never been met
with. But the presumption is that they live in the interior or at least that they have visited that part of the interior from time to time.
This same scientist also stated that on his own voyage to the Antarctic he noted that many of the seals had remarkable scars upon their bodies which indicated that they had been hunted. But no hunters from the north had been in that neighborhood and there was no seal industry. Is it not possible that tribes in the interior corresponding to the Eskimo of the north had hunted these seals?
Altogether the reader must admit that this evidence from the Antarctic is very important. Only such a land as we describe within the interior of the earth will relieve the scientists of their puzzle in explaining the distribution of animals. Only such a land makes it possible to explain the character of the earth-covered icebergs seen in those southern regions, and only such a land with a clear communication with the north through the interior of the earth makes it possible to explain the presence of those five dead men slowly traveling from the extreme south from a region which all the scientists told us does not give shelter or food to any human beings.