Author of the Month

The Long-Forgotten Science of Polar Wandering
By Kyle Bennett

Books by Kyle Bennett

Polar Wandering and the cycle of ages

Polar Wandering and the cycle of ages


Please join us in welcoming Kyle Bennett as December 2011 Author of the Month. Kyle is an independent researcher who works as a journalist by profession, specialising in commercial property and economics. He has been investigating the subject of polar wandering for over five years, and has recently published Polar Wandering and the Cycles of Ages (2011), which is an updated version of an earlier, unpublished work titled The Wayward Chariot (2007). He has also written a series of groundbreaking articles on the history of the idea of polar wandering within academia, including “Earth Crust Displacement and the British Establishment”, and an article on the 19th century intellectual Frederik Klee, one of the first men to claim that memories of polar wandering have been preserved within mythology.

His new website is He has previously written as a guest writer for, and

The idea of polar wandering is most closely associated with an American professor called Charles Hapgood, particularly his theory of Earth Crust Displacement. He claimed that the polar axis periodically changes position upon the earth’s surface, and speculated that this was caused by the earth’s crust sliding as a whole over the semi-liquid layers below.

Hapgood believed that the last Ice Age in North America ended when this continent moved southward by around thirty degrees Latitude, while the once-temperate Arctic Ocean and Siberia moved up to the North Pole. He also claimed that a long term pattern of polar wandering, caused by successive pole shifts, causes parts of the earth’s surface to experience extreme climatic change, from polar to tropical. The evidence for these climatic changes has been growing steadily over the years, causing modern geologists to consider polar wandering as an explanation.

Unfortunately, the true history of the idea of polar wandering has been almost entirely forgotten, even by supporters of Hapgood’s work. Hapgood is partially to blame, as he failed to give an accurate history of the idea in his book Path of the Pole. Nowadays, polar wandering usually considered to a wacky, marginal idea, associated with occultists, Atlantis-hunters and New Age believers in 2012 millenarianism. Astonishingly, however, it was in fact developed and supported by some of the most influential men in the history of science: Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), Comte George Louis Buffon (1707-1788), George Cuvier (1769-1832), Sir John Evans, Francis Galton Darwin, and Albert Einstein. It even gained popularity amongst the intellectual elite of Nazi Germany.

What is little known is that many of Hapgood’s ideas are becoming accepted within mainstream academia today, usually under the name of True Polar Wander (see Arthur Ryan’s [here] for more articles on this subject). So polar wandering is becoming mainstream, and geologists’ theories are beginning to converge with Hapgood’s. Modern science is beginning to resurrect an old idea whose origins can be traced back to the 17th century.

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