An alarmist correspondent recently wrote to a
daily paper foretelling the collapse of the earth by reason of the
constant drawing out of her vital fluid in the shape of oil! This
theory is a novel one, and deserves a word of explanation here.
According to the writer, the interior of the earth is liquid oil, and
if this is drawn out the outside crust must give way. Each country,
urges the terror−stricken individual, should pass a law constituting
it a criminal offence to draw a drop of liquid oil out of the earth.
In his imagination he sees cities and towns
engulfed in vast chasms, and mountains shifted from their bases, while
millions of human beings, old, young, rich, and poor, each with their
different lamps, are marching on to destruction, sitting by their
funeral pyre, the burning lamp, while smoke, fire, darkness, horror,
confusion, cover the face of all things. Truly, a dire disaster, but
one which we cannot take quite seriously.
Pearson's Magazine (1900)
freezing or roasting the Earth isn't enough for you, how about
cracking the globe open like an egg? None of that messy
possibility of survivors wandering about underfoot here. Just
peel away the outer layers and let that good old internal pressure
leave the human race literally without a place to stand.
That's basically what happens in the 1965 feature
Crack in the World. Or rather, that's the teensy little
side effect of a British project in east Africa that uses a nuclear
warhead to blast a hole through the Earth's crust and release the
magma to provide the world with unlimited power and a literal geyser
of valuable minerals. Mind you, the fact that it splits the
planet down the middle is soon recognised as something of a drawback
and the scientists who caused the problem, in a burst of selfless duty
and an eye on future lawsuits, use another bomb to stop the crack from
completing its nastiness. Partial success is achieved when only
a sizeable chunk of the Earth's crust is blasted into space and a man, a woman and two
squirrels survive the holocaust.