Skip to Main Content

Historical Marker

Failed Hollow Earth Utopia

Field review by the editors.

Estero, Florida

Cyrus Teed was a nut who believed that we lived on the inside of the Earth.

He was, however, a persuasive nut, for by the turn of the 20th century he had convinced several hundred people to move with him to an empty wilderness on the Gulf Coast of Florida, to build what he confidently predicted would become a city of ten million followers. Teed called his cult "The Koreshan Unity" (he renamed himself Koresh) and while the group had some noble beliefs, they also had a lot of crazy ones, like the inside-out Earth thing. Teed thought that centrifugal force held us on the ground -- gravity was a lie -- and the sun was actually powered by batteries. When Teed died on December 22, 1908, his disciples kept him in a bathtub for several days, expecting that he would rise from the dead. He didn't, and the cult began its slow decline.

The last four Koreshan survivors deeded their utopia to Florida in 1961 (Teed's false teeth are preserved at Florida Gulf Coast University). The few remaining buildings are maintained as a state park, and its highlight is the rectilineator, a model of the inside-out world as conceived by Teed.

Hollow Earth display.

Ten million people probably do live in this region now, although theirs is a utopia of strip malls, golf courses, and time-share condos.

Failed Hollow Earth Utopia

Koreshan Unity Settlement State Historic Site

3800 Corkscrew Rd, Estero, FL
Koreshan Unity Settlement State Historic Site. I-75 exit 123. West on Corkscrew Rd two miles. Entrance to the park is just west of US 41.
Daily 8-5. Exhibit open weekends only. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
$5 per car
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Giant Head of BeethovenGiant Head of Beethoven, Fort Myers, FL - 3 mi.
Wonder GardensWonder Gardens, Bonita Springs, FL - 6 mi.
Man on a HoopMan on a Hoop, Bonita Springs, FL - 7 mi.
In the region:
Ice Cream Cone Building, Fort Myers, FL - 18 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Florida

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Florida.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Florida Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Woodland Park, Colorado (Apr 15-21, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings