Exposing PseudoAstronomy

June 28, 2011

The Magical Hyperbolic Tetrahedral Geometry of 19.5° Latitude


Hyperbolic Tetrahedral Geometry

"Hyperbolic Tetrahedral Geometry"

Take a tetrahedron (4-sided solid made of four equilateral triangles) and put it in a sphere such that each point of the pyramid touches the inside surface of the sphere. Draw a straight line through the center of the sphere such that one end of the line intersects a point of the pyramid; think of this line as the polar axis, and now orient it in your mind so that the line that goes through the pyramid point is down. Now draw a line around the circle’s equator. Now, if you take the angle between the equator, the center of the sphere, and one of the three non-pole points of the pyramid, you get 19.5°.

That’s the magic of Richard C. Hoagland’s hyperbolic geometry and all the claims of importance for the 19.5° latitude that I’m going to explore in this post.

Richard C. Hoagland’s Magical Thinking

Richard C. Hoagland says a lot of stuff. Almost everything he says sounds crazy. Over the decades, he has built up a vast conspiracy-laden mythology about the universe, how it supposedly works, and why things are the way they are.

To go into every single one of his claims, as I’ve said before in other posts about Hoagland (like here, here, or here), would be next to impossible. As in previous posts, the point in this is to go over a very specific claim.

The “19.5° is an important number” stems from his whole “hyperdimensional physics” mythos. Again, something I’m not going to go into. Partly because it’s incomprehensible, nonsensical, and made up. Suffice to say, “A tenet of these views holds that vast amounts of energy originating from dimensions we cannot perceive are available at latitudes 19.5° both south and north on the Sun and every planet in the solar system” (quote source).

In other words, Hoagland and fellow believers claim that it is at 19.5° latitude on every body in the solar system that we have the biggest/bestest/scarriest/craziest/powerfulest/whateverest feature. Let’s take a look, shall we?

What’s at 19.5° Latitude?

Taken from Hoagland’s own website, we have a short list proving that everything of importance in the solar system is at 19.5° latitude.  Note that everything in this table is directly copied from his website except for the comments, which I have simplified/shortened/clarified.

Object Feature Latitude Importance
Venus Alta Regio 19.5° N A Volcanic Region
Beta Regio 25.0° S A Volcanic Region
Earth Hawaiian Caldera 19.6° N Largest Shield Volcano (on Earth)
Moon Tsiolkovskii 19.6° S Unique Farside “mare-like” Lava
Mars Olympus Mons 19.3° N Largest Shield Volcano (on Mars)
Jupiter Great Red Spot 22.0° S Vast Atmospheric “Vorticular Upwelling”
Saturn North/South Equatorial Belts ±20.0° N/S Region of “Storms” Observed from Earth
Uranus Northern/Southern IR 1-2 K “Dip” ±20.0° N/S “Upwelling” Created by High-Altitude Clouds
Neptune Great Dark Spot 20.0° S Presumably Same as Jovian Counterpart*

*Hoagland calls this “Neptune Great Red Spot” but it has, since it was observed by Voyager 2 in 1989, disappeared.

Since Hoagland posted this (his page is ©1989), many other people have found other things on other planets that they claim enhances this idea. One such site, for example, indicates that the Pyramid of the Sun is at 19.6° N (on Earth). Other people claim, such as Will Hart, that all solar storms and susnspots originate from 19.5° latitude on the sun; another twist from this site about the sun is “sunspot activity and the region of peak temperatures is limited to 19.5 degreees north and south.” Others remark simply, “It is interesting how most planets in our solar system display phenomena at this latitude.” The list of claims goes on.

Dissecting the List, and Are These Features Important?

One of the first things you should notice from Hoagland’s list is that only one of the 9 things I pulled (the ones I didn’t are on Jupiter’s moon Io) is at 19.5°. Two more are within 0.1° of it. For a precise geometric phenomenon where huge amounts of energy are released, this isn’t very precise.

On Earth, Mauna Loa, Hawai’i, with a summit at 19.48° is a correct claim of the largest shield volcano presently on the planet. However, it’s really not that spectacular a volcano in terms of energetic potential. The Yellowstone caldera is about 34×45 miles (55×72 km) across. That’s just the caldera. It is at a latitude 44.4° N. The most recent known supervolcano eruption on Earth was in Lake Taupo, about 26,500 years ago, and its latitude is 38.82° S.

Additionally, the largest earthquakes – more releases of energy – since 1900 haven’t been anywhere near 19.5°. None of them.

As for structures on the Earth to harness this energy, one might consider the Pyramid of the Sun and say, “wow, that’s pretty neat that it’s at 19.5°.” But what about Egypt’s pyramids? Or South America’s? What about other architecture, say, Stonehenge? None of these are near 19.5°. This is what we call “cherry picking” to an extreme.

If we want to expand the notion of cherry picking, let’s go to the moon. Hoagland has found some random feature at 19.5° … err, 19.6° … latitude on the far side that has something to do with a volcanic feature. Except that the moon is covered in volcanic features. When you look at the moon, all those dark splotches on the near side are vast volcanic areas where ancient impacts allowed magma from deep below the crust to breach the surface and fill them. And these seas of volcanic material — maria (plural) — are not in any way centered around 19.5°. Nor are the smaller volcanic features that we observe today still strewn throughout them.

Or there’s Mars. Hoagland and his ilk claim that the vast Olympus Mons volcano – the tallest volcano in the solar system – is centered at 19.3° on Mars and is perfect evidence for this hyperbolic geometry. Except that it’s not. The caldera complex of Olympus Mons (there are at least 6 distinct calderas at the summit) range between latitudes 17.8° and 18.8° North. In addition to that, Olympus Mons is so vast with a diameter of around 650 km that the northern scarps start at around 23.5° N while the southern margin is around 13.5° N latitude. So with it spanning over 10°, it’s not that hard to hit it. Besides, Mars has 23 other major volcanoes, and Alba Patera, which is actually the most voluminous volcano in the solar system (as Mauna Loa is the most voluminous volcano on Earth), has a caldera centered at 40.3° N.

The claim of the sun having sunspots centered at 19.5° is also wrong, as can be seen on any given day.

We can also look at other features of interest. I’ll name only one for brevity since I think I’ve made my point by now. Saturn’s moon Enceladus was, in the last few years, shown to have active geysers spewing material from the interior of the moon. What’s their latitude? About 90° S — that’s right, the south pole. Not anywhere near 19.5° North nor South latitude.

Final Thoughts

This particular magical belief is only supported by very very careful cherry-picking. As clearly shown above, even in the features that these people claim shows 19.5° is special, more than half the time they’re just wrong, off the mark, or are being very generous with reporting their numbers. And still the features that are “correct” are not especially unique.

I don’t really think much else needs to be said on this topic. It’s just made up and features are found to fit it while ignoring everything else.


  1. Plus we’re not dealing with perfect spheres.

    And wouldn’t the sun’s gravity effect the relationship of the vertices of the tetrahedron with regard to the surface of the sphere?

    Comment by himnextdoor — June 30, 2011 @ 5:10 pm | Reply

  2. Hurricanes are born at 19.5 latitude. The storms on Saturn are at 19.5 and so are the Jupiter storms. The cause of the storms on earth is the earth’s rotation and heat transfer. Could a similar mechanism be the cause of the solar storms at 19.5? Could be.

    You mention other volcanoes at different locations besides 19.5 as a reason to discount Hoagland’s theory. However, there are different reasons for volcanoes, ie. hot spots, subduction zones, rift zones, etc. There absolutely could be one more and we can’t just assume there is not a connected based on this. No one knows. That’s the fact.

    Comment by jimmy — October 12, 2011 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

    • Jimmy, I agree. The fact that Hurricanes spin off of Africa around 19.5 is a fact that is not on the table used to debunk Hoagland. I am impartial but honestly I give Mr Hoagland the nod at this point. Where is the “Science” against Mr Hoagland? So far I haven’t seen any.

      Comment by warren — October 13, 2012 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

      • You state, “The fact that Hurricanes spin off of Africa around 19.5 is a fact …”

        Problem is, this is not a “fact.” The western part of Africa from which most hurricanes originate if they originate near Africa is around 10-15°. Not 19.5°. See: 2011, 2010, 2009, etc. If you want to talk about facts, the talk about facts, not fakes.

        Comment by Stuart Robbins — October 13, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

      • Clearly Stuart Robbinses has looked up where the western part of africa is, and found your location to be off, and not looked into any correlations with hurricane formation at the 19.5 latitude, which of course doesnt happen on the coastline. cough bad science cough

        Comment by spaceagesoup — January 23, 2013 @ 11:40 am

  3. hey all,
    perhaps hogland is on to something. could we not check to see if the triangle rotates? for example, if the tip which hogland links to 90 degrees was in fact oscillating, couldn’t we see radical events occur at the opposing points? i mean who knows how this hyperbolic physics works since we don’t have any causal access to it (though luckily it does)? perhaps we should try to coincidentally, i mean mathematically look for random events that happen(ed) at the four points at the same time. problem solved.

    Comment by Stu Sotozaki-Leech — March 9, 2012 @ 10:06 am | Reply

    • step 1: model a Star Tetrahedron (ST); step 2: centre it inside the (near) spherical geometry of the planet – ‘any planet’ it would seem…or a star…; step 3: fractally replicate the ST 4 times until you have a 64-tetrahedral crystalline matrix.
      This is the correct resolution for the framework of the phenomenon Dr. Hoagland and others describe.
      This polyhedral form and it’s counterpart, the Vector Equilibrium, has been discussed in detail by R. Buckminster Fuller, and several others recently. It is all essentially re-discovering long-forgotten geometries, so name attribution is trivial at best.
      The phenomenon is essentially a manifestation of convective forces up-welling/cycling material from deeper withing the planetary/stellar form, following paths created by resonant standing wave forms within the 64-T matrix. The cycles tend to circulate within their own ‘element’ – fire, earth, water, air, (and space) – and manifest at the edge/boundary between each, accompanied by a change in state (S/L/G)
      Finally, the 64-T is not ‘perfect’ in it’s rotations and the oscillation (more like a precessional wobble) that Stu alludes to results in the band-like spread & wander of associated phenomena.

      Comment by studiogeearch — November 19, 2012 @ 5:00 am | Reply

  4. Your analysis is crap…lol…sorry I had to laugh. incredibly you can’t understand the HD physics involved therefore you discount reams of evidence. I sure hope you’re a troll and getting paid. otherwise I would keep quiet.

    Comment by Fred Flinstone — October 4, 2012 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

    • You’re free to voice your opinion, but facts are facts. If my analysis is wrong, then point out where and what the real data is.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — October 4, 2012 @ 9:36 pm | Reply

  5. Since we never get lost in a 4th direction it is difficult to see what to do with all that. It would be useful a reference frame from which the 19.5 degrees are defined but well, given an arbitrary point connecting to higher dimensions, what are we supposed to expect from it? Why an energy input? Why not an energy output or… nothing special?

    So far the 3-space is the simplest explanation of data. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.

    Comment by Maverick — January 20, 2013 @ 9:21 am | Reply

  6. to imply that there are no further dimensions that what you can say is ignorance to the highest degree. humans aren’t equipped naturally for observing most of the phenomena we utilise daily now. the best minds in quantum and energy physics and cosmology are inspecting higher dimensional realms where interactions occur that we aren’t privy to, and of course the spatial-energy interactions themselves which only operate secondarily in 3-space.

    to understand Hoagland’s take, you need to at least understand higher geometries, and when trying to discredit the attributions of the 19.5 relation in natural geology, at least take into consideration plate tectonics and timeframes, but there’s also the material and thermal densities of the substances in complex play. it’s not enough in of itself to discount the Hoagland’s (and many others’) hyperdimensional hypotheses if they were formally addressed.

    Comment by spaceagesoup — January 23, 2013 @ 11:36 am | Reply

    • You should reread the post because what I did is not what you accuse me of. I looked into Hoagland’s evidence of landforms and found that to be lacking — that is the subject of this post. When you address that, feel free to comment again if you think the positions actually do support his idea.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — January 23, 2013 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  7. “the dream of science is that all things be sayable” Umberto Eco

    Comment by ben — September 17, 2014 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

  8. I am sorry if my comment is inappropriate to the discussion by failing to critically address my position with statistically significant data under an academic premise, but I can not find reason nor motivation in attempting to argue with someone who seems to have made a conscious decision to make the facts follow him, e. g. , the obvious is slapping you in the fucking face and your not opening your eyes in between its blows-follow the real facts. To much time ducking and weaving man. It confounds me every time I come across papers ridiculing non prevailing theories, that have weaved such beautiful solutions to correct the status quo.
    This author of this article is obviously an intelligent man. So……my goodness, you have been given enlightenment on a silver platter, all that is required is the faculty to not allow your ego to blind you into ignorance. I dont mean this offensively but rather in the pure form of ignoring what your critical conscience mind must be screaming man. A study found that when a person is face with facts that oppose his deeply help belief he is likely to not only ignore those facts but become irreverent in his opposition and have a stronger conviction of those deeply held beliefs. One thing I will say what is very interesting is the correlation of vibrational application and the resulting geometric formation of sand with that of the energy flow of this double tetrahedron energy model that Hoagland theorizes.

    Comment by Cyrus — December 22, 2014 @ 10:48 pm | Reply

    • I thought the author made a lot of sense. Not really much ducking and weaving. Just pointing out that cherry picking a list of things at 19.5 and then that things on that list aren’t even at the right latitude doesn’t sound like ignoring the critical conscience mind (whatever that is).

      Comment by Jiggs Casey — January 7, 2016 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

  9. One other thing I wanted to add. We will obviously find variations among locations where magma reaches the surface. We would expect this right? If not, please help me understand the fantastic and magical dimension that you live in. Im sorry to poke as I have but it just really bothered me to see this subject ridiculed in the manner you presented it. If I may, for discussion purposes, continue further under the assumption you exist in my dimension. We are dealing with a many many variables given the media of the magma path. We wouldnt expect to find precise locations and only those location. We cant, at this point, be that presumptuous to think we understand every dynamic and expect any variation of where we find this energy or this magma to support a null hypothesis. So I know what Im getting ready to type is unproductive and does nothing towards coming to a better scientific understanding but is it not obvious that this mindset is the same that halted scientific progression for so long. It was the mindset that ridiculed and accused the round earth theory as magical. Is your influence religion, is it hiding behind the misconception that skepticism equal intelligence, or is it simply the security of having the scientific status quo as your ego back up. Who knows but, apparently, you were exposed to Hoaglands theory, found locations of volcanos that arent at 19.5 and thats all it took for you to disagree. Do you not see the fallacy in that? Its pretty easy to not have a working restriction of parameter as to where to find supporting evidence.( Olympus Mons argument- Using your numbers its bound at 23.5 and 13.5- Your claim its a wide range that makes it easy to contain 19.5. You totally missed the significance-That means nothing. Whats important is the center of those numbers is 18.5, which is likely to not be considered a data outlier) Hoagland on the otherhand had a specific guide, a specific latitude, to look at and see if he finds evidence at these locations to support his theory. Well, he did, and can you imagine how statistically significant this may be. What are the odds? It obviously meets the threshold of requiring further investigation and study. But you look at it and it has no significance from your point of view! Wow! It must really be rewarding to take the ego laden skeptic viewpoint. You always are able to tell someone else their wrong. You call this topic bad science, I feel ashamed when I see this. If your essay is of the good science nature I will continue on with bad science. Where is the objectivity As scientists we look through a very small window to attempt to describe the big picture. How can you describe this subjects big picture when you have not even looked through this small window. Its easy to say bacteria dont exist because you cant see them with the naked eye. So it seems irresponsible to take the stance of such strong criticism and not acknowledge there may be something going on that we dont understand.

    Comment by Cyrus — December 23, 2014 @ 6:52 pm | Reply

  10. cont…The Chinese mission to the moon landed at 19.5, with a robot module that is only capable of exploring very short distances. Oh and guess what, there is an anomaly that very suspiciously resembles a pyramind.

    Comment by Cyrus — December 23, 2014 @ 7:03 pm | Reply

  11. Dr. Hoagland seems to be onto something STRAIGHT FORWARD. This isn’t rocket science.

    Comment by R. Carlos — March 2, 2015 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

    • He is not a doctor — no one has found any evidence of any formal education beyond high school. And a straight forward examination of any of his claims would show they are wrong, as I demonstrated here. Rather, it is Hoagland who presents very convoluted stories.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — March 2, 2015 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

      • Go look at Ceres and see where its mysterious crater with bright spots is located. 19 degrees north. See BBC article for proof!

        Comment by Mike — March 3, 2015 @ 4:25 am

      • That is 19, not 19.5. What’s the tolerance on this amazingly precise hyperdimensional physics? And what about the numerous other bright spots on Ceres? Look up “cherry picking” and “anomaly hunting.”

        Comment by Stuart Robbins — March 3, 2015 @ 9:01 am

      • My God Stuart, you are infuriatingly short sited and you will defend your position until your deathbed. The variables in the crust on rock based planets and the variables in the atmosphere of gas giants already allow for the variables in the latitude. Those are relatively small variations.

        Comment by Jonathan A Strauss — August 9, 2018 @ 12:16 am

  12. I strongly believe Hogland is on the money regarding major energetic points upon the Earth and other bodies in our solar system, you have got to understand the harmonics that are associated with these energetic points. One way of looking into this is to first understand hyperdimensional physics you may look no further to see this in the kelvin wake that is the wake V formation behind various objects moving through deep water, from a duck to an oil tanker the breaking waves fan out from the centre line of these objects wakes are showing the angle of 19.47 degrees. This is how the peak energy is dispersed through the medium of water and perhaps other, such as the aether of the ambient field. We can take this further but this is a good start point take a look at lake Taupo the huge volcanic crater you discussed above at latitude 38.82 S half of this is 19.41 degrees coincidence I think not as we have Mt Ruapehu and Mt Taranaki both active volcanoes in NZ and both at 39.17 S these all point to a harmonic relationship.

    Comment by Rangi Rapu — July 13, 2015 @ 3:33 am | Reply

  13. Despite your dissection, Hoagland’s theory of hyperdimensional physics remains hyper-valid nevertheless.

    1) BOTH the GIANT storms Jupiter’s red spot AND Neptune dark spot are at same latitude, 22 degrees south latitude. BOTH are GIANT CYCLONIC STORMS and while perhaps not at 19.5 degrees exactly, I would still argue that the 22 degree mark is close enough to the 19.5 latitude to still support his theory. Considering too that the enormous span of those BOTH those storms easily overlap the 19.5 mark. (With these two storms combined, the claim of “Anomaly hunting” is a load of BS, there is NO coincidence and there is no dismissal warranted when two of the biggest storms raging in the solar system coincide at the same exact latitude.)

    2a) The exact latitude of the sacred shield volcano Mauna Kea = Latitude:N 19° 49′ 25″

    2b) Nearby, Mt. Kilauea, another SHIELD VOLCANO, is the MOST CONTINUOUSLY ACTIVE VOLCANO ON EARTH = Latitude 19.42

    3) Olympus Mons, yet another shield volcano, is the largest volcano on the planet Mars and THE LARGEST VOLCANO IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM – is located at Latitude 18.65°N. Considering these facts and that the volcano spans an area the size of France, one could forgive a few degrees shy of the exact location of 19.5 considering a wide area range of other naturally occurring variables and variations such as crust depth as well as other potential changes over the eons such as adjusting for pole shifts and/or due to a wobble like here on Earth. This anomaly is not exact to 19.5 but certainly close enough to warrant serious consideration especially when compared to Earth’s FAMOUS shield volcano located practically at 19.5.

    4) Hoagland claims sunspots “PEAK” at 19.5 degrees, and contradicting your claim that they do not, here is a graphic from the very website you claim debunked this fact, rather showing that they do indeed peak in that general latitude. http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/beacon/euvi_195_heliographic.gif

    Comment by twas brillig — September 11, 2015 @ 1:10 am | Reply

    • Popocatépetl is the most active volcano in Mexico Latitude – 19°01′20″N 98°37′40″W

      Comment by twas brillig — September 11, 2015 @ 5:31 am | Reply

  14. History is rife with situations that seem to defy rational thinking. Aristotle proclaimed there were four elements, earth, air, fire, and water. He wasn’t so far wrong when you consider the four states of matter that we know, solid, gas, plasma, and liquid, but we now know there are 92 naturally occurring elements and there may be many more we don’t know about. Some say the limit is 115, others say there’s no limit. Religion and a belief system have kept the status quo to keep wild ideas from causing too much disruption in society. Hoagland has a wild idea. So what. Psychokenisis is a wild idea. Alcuberie has a wild idea, negative energy. So what. In 1880 physicists thought all physics problems were essentially solved with Newtonian mechanics and Maxwells theory. Only a few loose ends remained, like the ultraviolet catastrophe and the nature of the eather. Look at what happened.

    Comment by Charles Long — September 27, 2015 @ 10:42 am | Reply

  15. I challenge RCH to produce a Hyper D Physics problem I can’t solve,lol I will give him a College Math problem to solve , $10,000 bucks to the winner. It WILL be me. Junk science needs to get the boot.

    Comment by Allen Cross — January 12, 2016 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

  16. I respect your arguments, and I welcome a healthy discussion, especially on controversial claims, but please cut the derogatory/derisionary tone. It doesn’t help the discussion, and it casts doubt on your own maturity and thus credibility. You’re doing a disservice to science by arguing like five year old.

    Comment by Gino Eelen — November 5, 2016 @ 2:28 am | Reply

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