“It’ll work. I promise.” (Now hand me that atomic bomb…)
Not until the scientific community accepted plate tectonics in the late 50s and early 60s could this film have been made. In 1965 new sources of energy were actively sought. Naturally, of course, you can’t have a sci-fi disaster movie unless you introduce old Doc Washburn’s favorite bromide, The Atomic Bomb, to help things along. Perhaps the giant ants, 30 foot spiders, 50 foot women and incredible shrinking men never convinced them otherwise.
(Spoiler: This doesn’t end well for our planet.)