Land Beneath the Ground!

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"Land Beneath the Ground!"
Land Beneath the Ground.jpg
Story codeW US 13-02
StoryCarl Barks
InkCarl Barks
DateAugust 18, 1955
HeroScrooge McDuck
Pages27 (29)
Layout4 rows per page
AppearancesScrooge McDuck
Donald Duck
Huey, Dewey and Louie
Terries and Fermies
First publicationUncle Scrooge #13
March 1956

"Land Beneath the Ground!" is a Scrooge McDuck comic strip story that appeared in 1956 in the comic book Uncle Scrooge, written by Carl Barks.


Scrooge is worried about earthquakes damaging his money bin and is determined to find out what causes them. So Scrooge McDuck and his nephews Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie go underground; as they approach a huge cavern, one of the nephews is surprised to see so much light underground and exclaims, "The sun room of the mad march hare!" The ducks meet two types of underground beings known as Terries and Fermies that live in enormous caverns underneath the surface of the earth. The Terries and Fermies look like bowling balls with arms and a head, but no legs, they tell each other apart by the ties they wear on ribbons around their necks—the Terries wear bow ties and the Fermies wear four-in-hand knots. They locomote by folding their head and arms into their body so they become a perfect sphere and then they roll from place to place like a bowling ball, they are colored various bright colors. They have periodic contests on an irregular basis to see who can cause the biggest earthquakes. Terries cause earthquakes by rolling in massive groups of thousands against the giant pillars that support the land on the surface of the earth. Fermies cause earthquakes by gathering together in massive numbers and lifting up pieces of the Earth's crust. Whichever group causes the biggest earthquake wins the contest and gets the prize, a piece of Ancient Greek pottery that fell down a crevice in Ancient Roman times in the year zero (i.e., the year 1 BCE translated into astronomical year numbering, which includes a year zero). In an attempt to stop the earthquakes Scrooge steals the trophy but loses his top hat.

The Terries and Fermies can hear radio broadcasts through certain magnetic rocks which allows them to determine by the damage reports whether the Terries or the Fermies caused the biggest earthquake; the Terries and Fermies speak English with a southern accent that they learned from listening to country music radio stations.

Later the Terries and Fermies cause a huge earthquake in Duckburg to make Scrooge and his nephews miserable. Scrooge loses his money for a while until the Terries and Fermies give Scrooge his money back by pushing it back up an underground slope back into the money bin; this is despite the fact they don't like the ducks because they regard money as garbage littering up their underground environment. One of the below-grounders says "We all know what the above-grounders think of money--they try to give it away on their radio quiz shows!" In the end the Terries and Fermies keep Scrooge's top hat as their new trophy.


Don Rosa wrote a sequel (of sorts) called The Universal Solvent.

Other references[edit]

This comic was later printed in Gladstone Comic Album #6, Uncle Scrooge Adventures #28 and Carl Barks' Greatest DuckTales Stories Volume 1.

There is a DuckTales episode called "Earth Quack" which is basically a retelling of the same story; the difference is that Donald is not in the cartoon episode and Gyro Gearloose, Mrs. Beakley, Webby Vanderquack, and Duckworth were added.

The Terries and Fermies have since reappeared in the DuckTales reboot, in the episode "Terror of the Terra-firmians".

See also[edit]

External links[edit]