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The Strange Origin of the Hollow Moon Conspiracy Theory

Grim Reaper 6

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Conspiracy theorists once believed that the moon was hollow. it still seems pretty ridiculous by today’s standards. So where did that hollow moon theory—or rather, conspiracy—come from Surprisingly, it isn’t based in folklore, and the tale isn’t very old, either. The hollow moon theory first came about in 1969 during the Apollo 12 moon-landing mission. Once the Apollo 12 astronauts were safely back in the command module, they crashed the lunar module into the moon’s surface.

The impact was the equivalent of detonating one ton of TNT and triggered what’s known as a “moonquake”—the first human-made moonquake to take place. The PSE seismometers recorded the resulting vibrations, which were much bigger and lasted much longer than the scientists had anticipated. They were far different from the earthquake vibrations we’re familiar with. At the time, the findings were surprising because they pointed to the moon being much less dense than Earth, and it is: the moon is only 60 percent as dense. That doesn’t mean the moon is hollow, but as with many things—like the moon landing itself—conspiracy theorists perpetuated that misinformation.


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