First published in 1820, Symzonia is the first fictional work to explore the hollow earth theory. The tale tells of Captain Seaborn’s expedition to the North Pole to discover the entrance to the hollow earth. A classic early work of utopian fiction (perhaps the first American example), Symzonia is also a great seafaring tale complete with a mutinous crew member.
Seaborn discovers the entrance to the Earth and finds inside our planet a technologically advanced civilization. He names the society Symzonia and promptly claims them in the name of the United States.
The novel is often attributed to John Cleves Symmes, Jr. the first exponent of the hollow earth theory. A nephew of the revolutionary patriot of the same name, Symmes successfully lobbied Congress to fund an expedition to the North Pole to find the entrance inside the Earth (much as Captain Seaborn does in Symzonia). Others have suggested that the novel is actually attributable to Nathanial Ames an early American novelist who wrote similar sea tales.