Historical Events  Books
Around the world in 80 days

Hot air balloon

Hot air balloon not used at all

Around the world in 80 days novel: Prominent mode of transport?

You might be able to do it in 80 hours nowadays, but going round the world was once such a fantastic idea that the Victorians were blown away by Jules Verne describing such a journey in his famous 1873 novel Around the World in 80 days.

There was a movie made of it in 1953 which, err, took a few liberties and might well be contributing to this one.

The question is - in the book, what was the prominent mode of transport they used? If you thought it was a hot air balloon, you might be experiencing a Mandela Effect, because it wasn't used at all. It was briefly described, but that's all

Phielas Fogg

The main character in the novel was based on an actual person. William Perry Fogg was an American round-the-world traveller and adventurer well-known in Jules Verne's day. He published letters from his travels as he actually went on them, from 1870, in The Cleveland Leader. These were titled "Round the World: Letters from Japan, China, India and Egypt", and were the subjects of the various books he subsequently published.

The adventures of Fogg combined with three technical achievements which so impressed Verne that he was inspired to write his famous novel. The first of these was the opening of the first Transcontinental Railroad in the US, the second was the link up of the Indian rail network across the sub continent, and the third was the opening of the Suez Canal. All occurred around 1870 and, although it doesn't seem so impressive today, meant that back then it was actually possible for the ordinary person to travel round the world. 80 days was still very impressive for then, so what someone would make of the 80 hours it can be done in today is anyone's guess!