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Sir Richard Branson Plans to Journey to the Center of the Earth

There are lots of tricks afoot today, but here’s one we kind of wish was real. In a charming faux press release, Sir Richard Branson has announced his plans for Virgin Volcanic, a massive ride-along drill that he intends to use to explore the world’s volcanoes — bringing Tom Hanks, Seth Green, Barbara Kopple and will.i.am along for the ride, of course. Branson says, “I have long held a fascination with volcanoes since reading Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Alongside our adventures with Virgin Galactic and Virgin Oceanic, volcanoes are the next great unexplored terrain.” But there are more important applications than exploring deep reaches. According to the release,

“The team behind Virgin Volcanic believes going to the core of the five most active volcanoes is just the first step. In future this technology can be developed as a clean, safe and fast alternative to trans- continental commercial aviation. By taking the heat from molten lava Virgin Volcanic plans to develop a totally renewable energy source to power the VVS1. It is seen as a way to literally fulfill Richard Branson’s philosophy of screwing business as usual. This would involve going through the Earth rather than round it. Experts predict that one could travel from Hawaii to Naples in a couple of hours via the molten lava flows, with passengers boarding and disembarking from a network of “Earthports” close to the world’s volcanoes.”

For his part, Seth Green quipped, “Ever since filming Austin Powers, I’ve had this obsession with underground layers. I’ve waited patiently for Sir Richard to make the dream of traveling to the Earth’s core a reality.” And you might, Seth, if only today weren’t April first. [via Laughing Squid]

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