In a sadly ironic twist, one of the controversial astronomer's theories did receive a boost shortly after his death. Gold contended that there are extensive stores of oil far below the Earth's surface, vestiges from our planet's formation. Conventional wisdom holds that this is impossible. The intense heat and pressure in the mantle would have eventually converted any oil to molten rock, not to mention that petroleum forms when
living things decompose, and thus would not have been created during the early days of the planet, when life was absent.