How far down were the explorers when they found the crystalline caves in the 1960s movie Journey to the Center of the Earth?

Also, did any such caves exist at the time Jules Verne wrote the novel?

1 Answer 1


In the novel, just before they entered the crystal galleries, the barometer sat at just under 300 inches. A quick calculation reveals that, assuming the gallery wasn't under any kind of unusual air pressure, the travelers were at a depth of approx 24 kilometers or just over 15 miles.

Breakfast over, my uncle drew from his pocket a small notebook, intended for scientific observations. He consulted his instruments, and recorded:
"Monday, July 1.
"Chronometer, 8.17 a.m.; barometer, 297 in.; thermometer, 6° (43° F.). Direction, E.S.E."

That being said, slightly later we get this passage

We had above us a league and a half of terrestrial crust. The weight of it seemed to be crushing down upon my shoulders. I felt weighed down, and I exhausted myself with imaginary violent exertions to turn round upon my granite couch.

A league is three miles, which makes a "league and a half" something like 4.5 miles. No explanation is given for the discrepancy.

Obviously no such depth has ever been reached in reality although crystal caves are a real phenomena and have been found worldwide.

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