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 evidently 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 bunch of hooey -- 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 survivors deeded the property to Florida in 1961. Its 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 million-dollar homes.

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
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August 9, 2020

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