Professor Otto Lidenbrock was a respected scientist who lived in Hamburg, Germany. He was a professor of mineralogy. He had a great mind. But he was quite moody and had a bad temper. He lived with his nephew Axel and maid Marta. Axel accompanied him in his physics experiments. When the day’s work was done, Axel could only think of Grauben, the professor’s young neighbour.
One day, Professor Lidenbrock brought an old book that was considered to be very important for the body of its investigations. The book was written by an Icelandic 12th-century writer. The book was a record of Norwegian princes who ruled Iceland. It was written in runes, the language previously used in Iceland.
When Lidenbrock opened the book, a piece of paper fell on the floor. It was a secret message written on the old parchment. That piece of paper would lead him and Axel to leave for an unbelievable adventure. They tried to decode it. The professor studied the code on the paper day after day. He got so involved in his work that he hardly ate anything and Marta got worried.
Professor Lidenbrock discovered that everything was written in Latin and he found the name of Arne Saknussemm, an alchemist from Iceland. The message was actually a map that showed how to travel to the centre of the earth! Excitedly, Professor told Axel about it and asked him if he would like to accompany him on the grand adventure.
Axel was reluctant but Grauben told him that he should go on the excursion. Grauben packed Axel’s bags and promised to marry him when he would come back. Lidenbrock collected all the tools and objects to carry with them. He also took some weapons and they left for Copenhagen to catch the flight bound for Iceland.
During their trip, Professor Lidenbrock and Axel travelled by horse carriage, train and boat. After many days on the road, they finally arrived at their destination, the Sneffels Peninsula of Iceland. Waiting for them in Iceland was Hans Bjelke, a tall and strong explorer. He would be their guide and accompany them on their trip.
The next morning, the three explorers started towards the Sneffels. It was a long and dangerous journey. On their way, they came across a small village that comprised thirty little houses. This village was built on lava. They lived with a priest but wanted to leave soon. Hans hired three men who would take their luggage to the bottom of the crater. That night, Axel had a dream about an erupting volcano. Lidenbrock calmed him down.
After a few days, they left the priest and started moving towards the Sneffels. Their path became harder. They reached Scartaris and started moving\ downhill and they reached the bottom. They found the name of Saknussemm on a pole. The next day, they reached a crossroad. There were three different passages. In order to know which would take them to the centre of the earth, they had to wait untilbreak of dawn. They wanted
the sunlight to illuminate their way
Their real journey started. Lidenbrock, Axel and Hans descended into the volcano through a deep cavern with the help of the rope. It was getting darker and it took them several days to reach. The professor took out his instruments and wrote down his observations about the journey. The temperature was only 15 degrees.
Three of them walked through a corridor and found themselves on a crossroad where they decided to go east. The temperature was rising. They were running out of water, so they had to save some water. On their way, they saw many animal footprints. Axel gave his uncle the last sip of water and said that they should go back. Lidenbrock suggested that they should keep going as they would find water on the way
Soon, Hans found an underground river that surrounded them. He dug to the water but the water was so hot that they had to wait for it to cool down. The next morning, they had breakfast, drank the water and continued their journey. Axel took a different path and was lost all of a sudden. In his search for his companions, Axel fell and fainted.
When Axel opened his eyes, Lidenbrock was sitting beside him. Hans applied some Icelandic healing creams on his wounds. An enormous sea was in front of them, illuminated by the light that was like sun light. But how could it be possible? How was there light in the depths of the Earth? They didn’t know how to explain the origins of this light.
Lidenbrock and Axel took a walk. They discovered a forest with giant mushrooms and fungi. They also found the flora from the Paleozoic Era and recognized the bones of animals. Meanwhile, Hans built a raft to cross the sea so that they might continue exploring, once Axel and Lidenbrock returned from their expedition.
Although they travelled for many days without seeing land, the journey was exciting! The explorers came across many types of marine wildlife. They saw crocodiles, snakes and turtles. They found a blind fish eyes were still not developed and they threw it into the sea.
The professor pointed towards a prehistoric human who was more than 12 feet in height. Scared to death the three men ran towards the cave for protection. They decided to demolish the wall of the cave with gunpowder. The explosion caused the large crack in the earth, through which sea water began to rush into. It flooded the cave. The water began to boil and rivers of lava ran down the sides of the cave. The explorers were inside a volcano that was about to erupt!
Many hours later, the three of them came out of the volcano, unharmed. Professor Lidenbrock recognized they were on the island of Stromboli in Italy. Axel, Hans and Professor Lidenbrock had journeyed thousands of miles below the Earth. They had overcome all the obstacles, discovered new species and, above all, they had survived. Professor Lidenbrock became more famous and Axel married Grauben.