Were the Oceans Once in the Skies?

Strange indeed it is, that astronomers and geologists have not grasped the significance of this phenomenon, even though they look to the north and south Polar Regions and see the beds of coals and metals precipitated there. Our richest coal-beds are in Greenland, gradually tapering off in quality and thickness as we travel southward toward the equator. As I said yesterday, we find very little coal of value, or even the metals, in the equatorial regions. Graphite, which is one of the purest forms of carbon, we find laid far, far down under the pre-Laurentian rock, antedating all forms of vegetable life on the earth’s crust. When we have a form of graphite that may be called “immature,” which may not have had the ade­quate pressure and consequent heat applied to it, we get coal.

The origin of coal has been grossly misrepresented for untold genera­tions because miners coming upon it underground and yet reasonably near the surface compared to the depths at which pure graphite is recovered, have beheld fossilized patterns of trees, ferns, and leaves imprinted in its stratum. The conclusion has been that coal must be of vegetable origin. But the mere burying of vegetable material does not make it carboniferous. Only by burning can carbon be obtained, since carbon itself is a by-product of combustion. Therefore if vegetable matter were burned, it would never be able to preserve the delicate tracings of branches and leaves; all would be consumed, obliterated. Consider this more sensible hypothesis, however, of carbon returning to earth from the skies in the form of the descending water components. It might be precipitated upon earth as the most delicate and impalpable mist. This water-mist, rich in its insulated carbon content that had come from earthly volcanoes exploding ages before, might weight down whole forests of trees and ferns. Just as we find grime on our clothes or on our roses here in this city after a foggy day, so the grime from this carbonaceous water-mist might have gradually and gently bent over ferns and shrubs beneath its weight. More and more carbonaceous mist descended and piled upon the first. The vegetable forms might finally have been lain flat upon the ground, exactly as icy glitter weights down trees and shrubbery after a winter storm, without the most delicate leaf or branch tracings being destroyed. Finally the descending carbon-shower covered them over completely. In time, as more and more amounts were added, embedding that vegetable matter, the branches and leaves as materials in their own right disappeared. What miners today dig up, imprinted with fossilized forms, are the matrixes of those enshrouded shrubs, ferns, and leaves.

All the way up from the heart of the planet to its crust we find layer on layer of substances of different specific gravities, laid one atop the other. At all depths we find the carbon deposits. One laid on the other gave heat as the weight increased, heat caused expansion, expansion caused explosion. But gradually, as a slowing earth could no longer sustain such volumes of material in the skies, and the earth’s heat diminished likewise in its re­pulsion power, this material “stayed down.” All but the rings and belts of comparatively pure water. They were last to fall. And after all the telluric material was down, excepting the highest water-rings that were yet to fall, mankind was witness to a stupendous scheme of lighting . . .

“HOW MANY of you have ever seen a flashlamp turned into a room that is filled with steam? All of you have beheld illuminated foun­tains. They are beautiful indeed, but all of the beauty of their radiance does not come from the distributing of illumination that we know as “flood lighting.”

Do you know that you can cast one tiny ray of light into a room filled with steam and that the whole room will be instantly illuminated? The water-drops act as spherical mirrors, one upon the other. The refraction passes from drop to drop until the whole volume is alight. A mere handful of electric bulbs allowed to burn at the base of a fountain will refract their light in this way until the geysering drops become an avalanche of splendor.

The same process existed under the greenhouse roof that was once the ceiling of Eden. From the equator, far to the north, was suspended the underside of the ocean that whirled in the skies. Between the earth’s sur­face and the underside of that ocean was a mighty mist. It could not be otherwise. That mist was so thick that mankind developed a peculiar breathing apparatus, not unlike fish gills, in order to separate the oxygen from the atmosphere’s water content. Those gills still remain in our bodies in archaic form; they are our tonsils that give us so much trouble because they have atrophied as physical organs.

Now then, this vast space under the greenhouse roof being so heavily vaporous that man had to develop a special breathing apparatus in order to cope with it, it followed that if light could be turned on in any part of this vast steam-room, the whole volume of space would become iridescent. And that was exactly what happened because of the tilt of the earth.

As the infant earth went whirling about its free orbit, it presented either its north or its south pole to the sun at a slight angle. This permitted the sun’s light to strike in at the openings and fall on the opposite wall of the water canopy. Instantly the whole area within the greenhouse world must have been illuminated. Man could not see the sun because of the en­shrouding ocean-blanket. He could behold the sun’s rays coming in at the north and south polar openings, however, and get the benefit of their re­fractions. This refraction would of course be greatest during the day, or when the particular surface of the planet on which he was living was turned toward the sun. At night, when it was turned away, he would get merely an inverted refraction. Thus he would have a greater light to rule the day and a lesser light to rule the night. The sun as a heavenly body would not be “created” for him until that water canopy was obliterated, or had fallen so that the sun’s rays could have an unobstructed pathway to land on his globe’s surface—as maintains today.