Proponents of the Earth Crustal Displacement Theory believe that the North and South Poles have not always been in their present location. Instead, the Earth’s axis of rotation changes in a predictable fashion which may have changed the course of human history.
The theory was first put forth by Joseph Adhemar in 1852. he believed that thick ice accumulated at the poles. This weight eventually caused the Earth to tip over, so the polls were now at the equator and vice versa. Over the following decades, the theory gained a number of followers.
Perhaps the most famous supporter of this theory was Charles Hapgood. He agreed with the early model, which blamed polar ice caps for these periodic flips. He believed that only the outer crust of the earth would slip, while the Earth’s core kept its normal orientation. He believed that these periodic flips occurred slowly, taking around 5000 years to complete. This would be followed by a long period (20 to 30 thousand years) of no movement, at which time the cycle would repeat itself. According to Hapgood’s calculations, there was never more than a 40° variation in the position of the polls.
Of course, Hapgood was talking about very slow polar movement. Others believed that the change was more dramatic, occurring over a far shorter time and dramatically altering the geography of the earth. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic activity are the hallmarks of rapid change. Recent authors have claimed that change would take place in weeks or days, rather than thousands of years.
These polar shifts cause major changes in the Earth’s climate. Temperate zones become either arctic or equatorial; arctic zones become temperate jungles; and equatorial areas become cooler.
Recent studies by scientists in France and the USA seemed to indicate that the earth did indeed flip itself around 800 million years ago. By studying naturally-occurring magnetic minerals found in rocks in Norway, scientists found that the North Pole shifted by over 50°. In terms of change, this would be like moving Alaska down to the equator.
A study from the University of Nevada using GPS technology has proved that the North and South Poles both drift slightly from year to year.
The New Age community has embraced the earth crustal displacement theory. Many widely believe that the lost city of Atlantis may have succumbed to an early polar shift. Some of this information has come from independent studies; other information has come from psychic readings and other supernatural methods.