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Land Beneath the Ground!, also printed under the title of Land Under the Ground!, is a comic story written and drawn by Carl Barks. It features Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck, and, in their debuts, the Terra-Firmians. Grandma is also mentioned.
Suddenly paranoid about the possibility of an earthquake swallowing up his Money Bin from below, Scrooge McDuck has a miles-long shaft dug near Killmotor Hill to check if there is any weakness in the bedrock beneath it. None is found, but what the miners do find is evidence of living creatures living in a large cavern over five miles below the surface of the Earth! Naturally, Scrooge and his nephews wander down and soon find themselves in the middle of the creatures' sports competition. And the sport is none other than earthquake-causing!
- Miles deep inside the crust of the Earth is Terry Fermy, an underground land inhabited by the Terry Fermians, whose species is divided into two people: the four-in-hand-wearing Fermies and the bowtie-wearing Terries. Their favorite sport is the creation of earthquakes, with the Fermies creating theirs by lifting up the Earth's crust while the Fermies roll against the support pillars to quake them.
- Terry Fermy extends all around the world; "millions" of Terries arrive from beneath the Andes, Lapland and the Sulu Sea.
- Germanium ore, touched by radio groundwires, allows the Terra-Firmians to hear the radio broadcasts of the surface-dwellers. Listening to Radio C.O.R.N. Duckburg, they have learned to speak English like movie cowboys.
- Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck make a note of information about the Terra-Firmians to send it to their Troop Commander and have it added to the Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook.
- The Terra-Firmian Trophy fell from Ancient Greece into Terry Fermy through a crack in the Earth in the year 0.
- The Terra-Firmians can communicate remotely by expanding their bellies like balloons and drumming a coded rhythm on them as if they were drums. This is called Telebooming.
- The Terra-Firmians only know of money through the radio, indicating that they do not use it themselves.
- "The Professor from the university" whom Scrooge hires to tell him about earthquakes believes they are caused by gas building up in fissures as the Earth gradually shrinks.
- When his fortune pours down into Terry Fermy, Scrooge mournfully declares that he is now "only a poor old man" — quoting the title, and most memorable line, of Barks's earlier Only a Poor Old Man (1952).
- The DuckTales episode Earthquack (1987) is a fairly close adaptation of this story.
Behind the scenes
This story was first published in 1956 in Uncle Scrooge #13. It was reprinted in Uncle Scrooge #109, Dynabrite Comic #551, Walt Disney's Uncle $crooge McDuck: His Life and Times by Carl Barks #1, Uncle Scrooge #196, and, in a version with one of the original printing's panels cut out and replaced with a 2-and-a-half-page long sequence cut on original publishing, in Gladstone Comic Album #6 (1988), Gladstone Leather Bound Hardcover Comic Albums #2, Walt Disney's Comics in Color, Uncle Scrooge Adventures #28, The Adventures of Uncle Scrooge McDuck in Color #13 and Carl Barks' Greatest DuckTales Stories #1. It was also printed in English in the Australian Giant #58, Jumbo #35 and Giant #611 and the British Film Fun and Thrills #1962-03-17 and #1962-03-31, in a cut-down version retitled Land Under the Ground!.
The aforementioned cut sequence, which was replaced by a brief scene where Scrooge McDuck and Donald Duck emerge from a lake in Terry Fermy, expanded on the two's manic descent aboard the mine-cart down into the titular Land Beneath the Ground.