Journey to the Center of the Earth

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Clara opens Journey to the Center of the Earth

Clara receives a copy of Journey to the Center of the Earth.

" 'This reminds me of the time I attempted to reach the center of the Earth,' Doc continued happily. 'I'd been reading my favorite author: Jules Verne. I spent week preparing that expedition, and I didn't even get this far.' He sighed wistfully. 'Of course, I was only twelve at the time...' "
—From Back to the Future Part III by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, pages 18 and 19)
"My initials! Just like in Journey to the Center of the Earth! That means the DeLorean is right behind this wall!"

Journey to the Center of the Earth (in French: Voyage au centre de la Terre) was a science fiction novel written by Jules Verne in 1864.

In the novel, a professor and his nephew attempt to recreate a voyage to center of the Earth by following clues that were left by a medieval adventurer named Arne Saknussemm. Deciphering a coded message that leads them to the crater of an extinct volcano in Iceland, the entrance passage is confirmed to be the correct one when they discover the adventurer's initials "A.S." in runic letters at the entrance. On another occasion, when the passage divides into three branches, they notice the initials "A.S." carved above one of the passages and choose the correct path.

Emmett Brown first read the novel when he was a little boy, and as a result was inspired to attempt to dig to the center of the Earth himself. Although Emmett failed miserably in this endeavor, partly due to the fact that he had rather limited resources to do such a thing when he was only twelve years old, he dedicated his life to science from that point on.

Clara Clayton read Journey to the Center of the Earth due to becoming a fan of Jules Verne after reading From the Earth to the Moon shortly after contracting diphtheria in 1866.

The story would later inspire Doc to conceive the ideas for a rocket-powered drill.

When Emmett hid the DeLorean time machine in 1885, he placed it in a side tunnel of the Delgado mine and sealed the entrance with rocks and wooden planks so that nobody else would discover it for the next seventy years. As a secret message to his 1955 counterpart that would help Marty look for it, he inscribed his own initials, "E.L.B." (Emmett Lathrop Brown) on one of the planks, knowing that the mine would remind him of the novel, and furthermore, he would recognize the adventurer's method of using his own initials to mark the passageway that he used.


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