Lost continent: Wikis

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Lost lands are continents, islands or other regions believed by some to have existed during prehistory, but to have since disappeared as a result of catastrophic geological phenomena or slowly rising sea levels since the end of the last Ice Age. Lost lands, where they ever existed, are generally thought to have subsided into the sea, leaving behind only a few traces or legends by which they may be known. The term can also be extended to mythological lands generally, to underground civilizations, or even to whole planets.

The classification of lost lands as continents, islands, or other regions is in some cases subjective; for example, Atlantis is variously described as either a "lost island" or a "lost continent".

Lost land theories may originate in mythology or philosophy, or in scholarly or scientific theories, such as catastrophic theories of geology, that may later be picked up by writers and individuals outside academia. Occult and New Age writers have made use of lost lands, as have native peoples such as the Tamil in India.

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Lost continents

As the study "Lost Continents" by L. Sprague de Camp seeks to show, many modern occult or New Age writers speculate about ancient civilizations that dwelled on continents now deluged under sea level. According to de Camp, there is no real scientific evidence for any lost continents whatsoever. It is a great theme for fantasy and science fiction writers; De Camp himself wrote some stories on this theme.

  • The name of hypothetical vanished continent Mu originated from the first attempted translation of the Madrid Codex, one of only four remaining Maya codices.
  • Something similar seems to have happened upon the discovery of the Sanskrit literature by Europeans. Louis Jacolliot claimed to have learned from this literature about a sunken continent called Rutas. This in turn seems to have influenced Madame Blavatsky and her speculations about Lemuria. Speculations about Kumari Kandam also seem to be linked to this field. The name Lemuria originated from the scientific hypothesis about a land bridge between India and South Africa. With the discovery of the continental drift, however, this hypothesis is now completely obsolete.

Other lost lands

In addition to these myths about lost continents there also are various regional legends about lost lands; see e.g. Lyonesse, Cantref Gwaelod (also known as Lowland Hundred), or the legend about Lomea, located at the Goodwin Sands. Unlike the lost continents mentioned above, whose location has been a matter of speculation, these lost lands are associated with specified places.

Phantom islands

Phantom islands, as opposed to lost lands, are land masses formerly believed by cartographers to exist in the historical age, but to have been discredited as a result of expanding geographic knowledge. Terra Australis is a phantom continent. While a few phantom islands originated from literary works (an example is Ogygia from Homer's Odyssey), most phantom islands are the result of navigational errors.

Real submerged lands

Although the existence of lost continents in the above sense is mythical, there are some places on earth that were once dry land but are now submerged under the sea. Approximately listed by size, these are:

  • Sundaland, the now submerged Sunda Shelf
  • Zealandia, a continent that is now 93% submerged under the Pacific Ocean
  • Kerguelen Plateau, a submerged micro-continent which is now 1-2 km below sea level
  • Beringia, connecting Asia and North America
  • Doggerland, the bed of the North Sea, inundated by rising sea level during the Holocene.
  • Maui Nui, once part of the Hawaii archipelago
  • Verdronken Land van Reimerswaal, most of this region in The Netherlands vanished in storm in 1532; the town of Reimerswaal survived as an island into the 1600s; the last bits of land vanished in the early 1800s.
  • Strand, once an island off the German coast with the town Rungholt, eroded away by storm surges
  • Jordsand, once an island off the Danish coast, eroded away by storm surges
  • Ferdinandea, submerged volcanic island which has appeared at least four times in the past
  • Sarah Ann Island, now submerged guano island, located just north of the equator. Vanished between 1917 and 1932.

Mythological lands

Mythological lands, which were once supposed to exist, but are not thought by scientists to have ever existed.

Hollow Earth theory

Also related to the theme of Lost lands is that of Hollow Earth, as some proponents of Hollow Earth theory have claimed that the inner earth would be inhabited. Furthermore, using the concept of vast underground caves or even a completely Hollow Earth, some authors try to explain how an ancient civilisation could continue to exist, even if its former continent became deluged.

The most prominent lost land mentioned in Hollow Earth theory would be Agartha.

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Accounts of a Hollow Earth

Some of these authors, such as H.P. Blavatsky and theosophist followers, believed in the existence of a number of lost lands within the Hollow Earth and held many "fictional" accounts of these places and their peoples to be true. Such accounts include:

  • The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, published in 1871
  • The Phantom of the Poles by William Reed, published in 1906.
  • The Smoky God by Willis Emerson, published in 1908
  • Agartha - Secrets of the Subterranean Cities
  • Journey to the Earth's Interior by Marshall B. Gardner, published in 1913.
  • Le Roi du Monde by René Guénon, published in 1924
  • Amazing Stories magazine, which, beginning in 1943, published a plethora of material by Richard Shaver and Raymond A. Palmer, detailing Shaver's experiences with the inhabitants of the Hollow Earth.
  • The Hollow Earth - The Greatest Geographical Discovery in History Made by Admiral Richard E. Byrd in the Mysterious Land Beyond the Poles - The True Origin of the Flying Saucers, by Raymond W. Bernard, published in 1964.
  • Flying Saucers from the Earth's Interior, by Raymond W. Bernard
  • Agharta - The Subterranean World by Dr. Raymond Bernard
  • Nazisme et sociétés Secrètes by Jean-Claude Frère, published in 1974
  • World Beyond the Poles by Giannini
  • Paradise Found by William F. Warren

Diverse expeditions at diverse epochs and lands, have tried to find proof of the existence of a subterranean world, from the Col. Fawcett notorious expeditions [1] to Third Reich sponsored attempts[2] and many private expeditions in modern times, some sponsored by cultural foundations and even magazines as the 1978 Roncador Expedition to the Roncador mountains in Matto Grosso, Brazil, sponsored by the magazine Noticias from Uruguay and led by pilot and writer A. de Souza.[3] None have returned positive results.

Lost planets

Similar to the theme of lost continents is the theme of lost planets, planets thought to have existed during prehistory only to be later destroyed by a global cataclysm. The disruption theory of the formation of the asteroid belt from a hypothetical fifth planet has given birth to a number of these, including the doomed Phaeton, Tiamat, and Gaga, and the apocalypse bringer Nibiru. Others such as Planet V, Theia, Planet X and Vulcan arose to explain irregularities in planetary phenomena.

In literature and philosophy

The following individuals are known for having written on the subject of lost lands:

In popular culture

  • The Lost Land in the Turok comic book and video game series is a place cut off from the rest of the 1800's world, where prehistoric creatures have not became extinct. In Turok, Son of Stone, the Lost Land was discovered through the Carlsbad Caverns area in New Mexico; it is accessible through an anomaly and is, therefore, in its own universe as portrayed the Valiant Comics adaptation, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, as well as in Turok: Evolution.
  • The lost lands were referred to in the Torchwood episode "Small Worlds" when discussing the origin of the chosen ones who become fairies. It was commented that many of the chosen ones go back millennia and come from the lost lands.
  • The TV series Lost features an island hidden from the outside world with possible traces of a lost civilization, including a four-toed statue of an Egyptian figure, the ruins, the temple, and multiple appearances of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

See also

Further reading

  • L. Sprague de Camp and Willy Ley, Lands Beyond, Rinehart & Co., New York, 1952.
  • L. Sprague de Camp, Lost Continents: The Atlantis Theme in History, Science, and Literature, Dover Publications, 1970.
  • Raymond H. Ramsay, No Longer on the Map: Discovering Places that Never Were, Ballantine, 1972.

References

  1. ^ Maclellan, Allan (1982). The Lost World of Agharti. Guernsey CI, U.K.: Souvenir Press. pp. 141–143. ISBN 0-285-633147.  
  2. ^ Maclellan, Allan (1982). The Lost World of Agharti. Guernsey CI, U.K.: Souvenir Press. pp. 111–115. ISBN 0-285-633147.  
  3. ^ "Expediciôn al centro de la Tierra", Noticias (Montevideo, Uruguay) Año/Year II (36): 14–27, Sep 1978  

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