I'm no Geologist by any standard but I'm quite intrigued by what goes on below our feet.

I came across this article that states there's a new or (confirmed) partially melted layer in the athenosphere (upper part of the mantle)

Scientists detect molten rock layer hidden under earth’s tectonic plates

Does this add credence to Hapgood's disproven theory on Earth Crust Displacement? Or is the rock still too thick for plates to suddenly shift?

  • $\begingroup$ There is a gentlemen who puts out videos on Youtube that describe what you are referring to. His name is suspiciousobserver. Einstein agreed with crustal displacement, he didn't agree with how the crust would unlock. $\endgroup$
    – user29150
    Jun 24, 2023 at 15:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well Einstein wasn't necessarily a geologist ..nor was he even alive when the book was published. After doing a lot of research I found that all theories of the crust were in their infancy at the time so, realistically for the time they were both "valid" but obviously today the evidence for continental drift is utterly overwhelming $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2023 at 20:21

1 Answer 1



This is not evidence for anything of the sort. Just because you have an egg in your stomach after eating one, it doesn't mean you were hatched from an egg.

Unlike some other pseudo-scientific ideas, Crust Displacement (in the form of catastrophic polar shifts) is at least provably wrong.

(I first encountered this idea in a work that blamed it on God, arguing that a polar shift was the cause of the Biblical Flood.)

The evidence for plate tectonics is overwhelming, and rules out the possibility of catastrophic polar shifts. Also the evidence for any actual polar wander shows that is much more gradual than Hapgood puts forward.

There is a long record of geomagnetic reversal in the Earth's crust. Ocean floor rocks show a pattern of north-oriented and south-oriented magnetic alignments over hundreds of millions of years.

Had there been catastrophic pole shifts there would be random orientations in these rocks.

When Hapgood's first anti-continental drift book was published in 1958, the publishers probably thought a foreword by Albert Einstein (who had been dead for 3 years) would give it cachet. But this foreword debunks Hapgood's central idea -- that polar ice could cause the crust to catastophically break loose from the inner Earth. Einstein pointed out that there wasn't enough ice, and pointed out Hapgood would have to explain why other imbalances didn't cause similar shifts.

About 2/3 of Earth's land mass of the Earth is in the Northern Hemisphere, and 1/3 is in the Southern Hemisphere. This is a crustal imbalance greater than any ice cap.

Hapgood published a new book in 1970 where he argued the shifts were caused by some force inside the Earth.

I think there are two misconceptions at work:

  • People conflate Earth's magnetic poles with its rotation axis, making people think a geomagnetic reversal is a physical flip of the Earth.

  • A basic inability to understand gravity. People can't get the association between South and Down out of their heads, even if they accept a round Earth.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.