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Chapter XXVII

            A ring of explosions shook the bottom of the world, and the battle of fire and water raged for five minutes before the waters which had been pent-up behind the ring of mountains won out over the nuclear fires burning at the rim. The tons and tons of ice that had been melted from the heat and friction of the rubber matting had not seeped gradually into the oceans of the world, as Harrison had supposed, but had remained under the matting and between the mountains. With the mountains suddenly no longer in its way, a wall of water fifty feet high crashed out of the Antarctic Circle and crushed their way northward. The Antarctic continent itself had not been damaged by the leaving of the water; the matting simply floated into place when the water left. But the rest of the world would long remember the havoc caused by the highest tide in the history of civilization.