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Welcome to the Paleofuture blog, where we explore past visions of the future. From flying cars and jetpacks to utopias and dystopias.

Closer Than We Think! Polar Oil Wells (1960)

Sometimes ideas of the paleo-future not only elicit a chuckle for their scientific improbability but, in the case of "Polar Oil Wells," political improbability. Baby penguins watching their habitat melting wouldn't be a very popular image today.

This Closer Than We Think! strip ran in the January 17, 1960 edition of the Chicago Tribune.


Valuable oil deposits thousands of feet under Arctic and Antarctic ice caps may one day be brought within reach, thanks to plans now being developed.

French Navy engineer Camille Rougeron has an idea for using giant thermonuclear pumps to draw up water from under the ice. Such water, which is 7 degrees above freezing temperature because of the pressure on it, would in turn begin to melt the ice.

Constant stirring would keep the warmer water coming to the surface. The ice in a designated area would gradually melt. The way would then be clear for conventional oil derricks to go to work.

See also:
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)
Closer Than We Think! Polar City (1959)

Paleo-Future Wallpaper: Round 2

Spaceport of the Future (1957)