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Axel and Lidenbrock venture some way into the prehistoric forest, where Professor Lidenbrock points out, in a shaky voice, a prehistoric human, more than twelve feet in height, leaning against a tree and watching a herd of mastodons.
Axel cannot be sure if he has really seen the man or not, and he and Professor Lidenbrock debate whether or not a proto-human civilization actually exists so far underground.
After the battle between the monsters, the party comes across an island with a huge geyser, which Lidenbrock names "Axel Island".
A lightning storm again threatens to destroy the raft and its passengers, but instead throws them onto the coastline.
Lidenbrock translates the note, which is revealed to be a medieval note written by Saknussemm, who claims to have discovered a passage to the centre of the Earth via Snæfell in Iceland.
In what Axel calls bad Latin, the deciphered message reads: Descend, bold traveller, into the crater of the jökull of Snæfell, which the shadow of Scartaris touches (lit: tastes) before the Kalends of July, and you will attain the centre of the earth. Arne Saknussemm Professor Lidenbrock is a man of astonishing impatience, and departs for Iceland immediately, taking his reluctant nephew with him.
The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the centre of the Earth.
The story begins in May 1863, in the Lidenbrock house in Hamburg, Germany, with Professor Lidenbrock rushing home to peruse his latest purchase, an original runic manuscript of an Icelandic saga written by Snorri Sturluson (Snorre Tarleson in some versions of the story), "Heimskringla"; the chronicle of the Norwegian kings who ruled over Iceland.
While looking through the book, Lidenbrock and his nephew Axel find a coded note written in runic script along with the name of a 16th-century Icelandic alchemist, Arne Saknussemm.
Lidenbrock and Axel name the resulting stream the "Hansbach" in his honour and the three are saved.
At another point, Axel becomes separated from the others and is lost several miles from them.
(This was a first indication of Verne's love for cryptography.