Mu (lost continent): Wikis

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Mu
Augustus Le Plongeon
Type Hypothetical continent

Mu is the name of a hypothetical continent that allegedly existed in one of Earth's oceans, but disappeared at the dawn of human history.

The concept and the name were proposed by 19th century traveler and writer Augustus Le Plongeon, who claimed that several ancient civilizations, such as those of Egypt and Mesoamerica, were created by refugees from Mu — which he located in the Atlantic Ocean.[1] This concept was popularized and expanded by James Churchward, who asserted that Mu was once located in the Pacific.[2]

The existence of Mu was disputed already in Le Plongeon's time. Today, scientists generally dismiss the concept of Mu (and of other lost continents like Lemuria) as physically impossible, since a continent can neither sink nor be destroyed by any conceivable catastrophe, especially not in the short period of time required by this premise.[3][4] Moreover, the weight of all archaeological, linguistic and genetic evidence is contrary to the claim that the ancient civilizations of the New and Old Worlds stemmed from a common ancestral civilization. Mu is today considered to be a fictional place.[5][6]

Contents

History of the concept

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Augustus Le Plongeon

The idea of Mu first appeared in the works of Augustus Le Plongeon (1825–1908), after his investigations of the Maya ruins in Yucatán.[1] He claimed that he had translated the ancient Mayan writings, which supposedly showed that the Maya of Yucatán were older than the later civilizations of Greece and Egypt, and additionally told the story of an even older continent.

Le Plongeon actually got the name "Mu" from Charles Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg who in 1864 mistranslated what was then called the Troano Codex using the de Landa alphabet. Brasseur believed that a word that he read as Mu referred to a land submerged by a catastrophe[citation needed]. Le Plongeon then identified this lost land with Atlantis, and turned it into a continent which had supposedly sunk into the Atlantic Ocean:

"In our journey westward across the Atlantic we shall pass in sight of that spot where once existed the pride and life of the ocean, the Land of Mu, which, at the epoch that we have been considering, had not yet been visited by the wrath of Homen, that lord of volcanic fires to whose fury it afterward fell a victim. The description of that land given to Solon by Sonchis, priest at Sais; its destruction by earthquakes, and submergence, recorded by Plato in his Timaeus, have been told and retold so many times that it is useless to encumber these pages with a repetition of it".[1]: ch. VI, p. 66

Le Plongeon claimed that the civilization of ancient Egypt was founded by Queen Moo, a refugee from the land's demise. Other refugees supposedly fled to Central America and became the Mayans.[4]

James Churchward

Le Plongeon's lost continent was later popularised by James Churchward (1851–1936) in a series of books, beginning with Lost Continent of Mu, the Motherland of Man (1926) [2], re-edited later as The Lost Continent Mu (1931) [7]. Other popular books in the series are The Children of Mu (1931), and The Sacred Symbols of Mu (1933).

Churchward claimed that "more than fifty years ago," while he was a soldier in India, he befriended a high-ranking temple priest who showed him a set of ancient "sunburnt" clay tablets, supposedly in a long lost "Naga-Maya language" which only two other people in India could read. Having mastered the language himself, Churchward found out that they originated from "the place where [man] first appeared—Mu." The 1931 edition states that “all matter of science in this work are based on translations of two sets of ancient tablets:” the clay tables he read in India, and a collection 2,500 stone tablets that had been uncovered by William Niven in Mexico.[7]: p. 7

Churchward gave a vivid description of Mu as the home of an advanced civilization, the Naacal, which flourished between 50,000 and 12,000 years ago, was dominated by a “white race,"[7]: p. 48 and was "superior in many respects to our own" [7]: p. 17 At the time of its demise, about 12,000 years ago, Mu had 64,000,000 inhabitants and many large cities, and colonies in the other continents.

Churchward claimed that the landmass of Mu was located in the Pacific Ocean, and stretched east-west from the Marianas to Easter Island, and north-south from Hawaii to Mangaia. He claimed that according to the creation myth he read in the Indian tablets, Mu had been lifted above sea level by the expansion of underground volcanic gases. Eventually Mu “was completely obliterated in almost a single night”[7]: p. 44: after a series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, "the broken land fell into that great abyss of fire" and was covered by "fifty millions of square miles of water."[7]: p. 50

Churchward claimed that Mu was the common origin of the great civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Central America, India, Burma and others, including Easter Island, and was in particular the source of ancient megalithic architecture. As evidence for his claims, he pointed to symbols from throughout the world, in which he saw common themes of birds, the relation of the Earth and the sky, and especially the Sun. Churchward claims the king of Mu was Ra and he relates this to the Egyptian god of the sun, Ra, and the Rapanui word for Sun, ra’a, which he incorrectly spells "raa."[7]: p. 48 He claimed to have found symbols of the Sun in “Egypt, Babylonia, Peru and all ancient lands and countries – it was a universal symbol.”[7]: p. 138

Churchward attributed all megalithic art in Polynesia to the people of Mu. He claimed that symbols of the sun are found “depicted on stones of Polynesian ruins,” such as the stone hats (pukao) on top of the giant moai statues of Easter Island. Citing W.J. Johnson, Churchward describes the cylindrical hats as “spheres” that "seem to show red in the distance”, and asserts that they “represent the Sun as Ra.”[7]: p. 138 He also incorrectly claimed that some of them are made of "red sandstone" [7]: p. 89 which does not occur in the island. The platforms on which the statues rest (ahu) are described by Churchward as being “platform-like accumulations of cut and dressed stone,” which were supposedly left in their current positions “awaiting shipment to some other part of the continent for the building of temples and palaces.”[7]: p. 89 He also cites the pillars “erected by the Maoris of New Zealand” as an example of this lost civilization’s handiwork.[7]: p. 158 In Churchward's view, the present-day Polynesians are not descendants of the dominant members of the lost civilization of Mu, responsible for these great works, but survivors of the cataclysm that adopted “the first cannibalism and savagery” in the world.[7]: p. 54

Underwater structures claimed to be remnants of Mu, near Yonaguni, Japan

Modern claims

Churchward's concept of Mu was elaborated upon by other writers. Graham Hancock claimed that the destruction of Mu occurred around 10,000 B.C.[citation needed], whereas James Bramwell and William Scott-Elliott claimed that the cataclysmic events began 800,000 years ago[8]: p. 194 and went on until the last catastrophe, which occurred precisely in 9564 BC.[8]: p. 195

In 1930s, Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic, was interested in Churchward's work and considered Mu as a possible location of the Turkish original homeland.[9]

Michel Desmarquet's 1993 book Thiaoouba Prophecy contains a detailed description of the continent Mu, allegedly experienced by the author while under the instruction of extraterrestrials.[citation needed]

Masaaki Kimura has suggested that certain underwater features located off the coast of Yonaguni Island, Japan (popularly known as the Yonaguni Monument) are ruins of Mu [10][11] (or "ruins of the lost world of Muin" according to CNN [12]).

Criticisms

Geological arguments

Modern geological knowledge rules out "lost continents" of any significant size. According to the theory of plate tectonics, which has been extensively confirmed over the past 40 years, the Earth's crust consists of lighter "sial" rocks (rich in aluminum silicates) that float on heavier "sima" rocks (richer in magnesium silicates). The sial is generally absent or a few kilometres thick at the bottom of the oceans, while the continents are huge solid blocks tens of kilometers thick. Since continents float on the sima much like icebergs float on water, a continent cannot simply "sink" under the ocean.

It is true that continental drift and seafloor spreading can change the shape and position of continents, and occasionally break a continent into two or more pieces (as happened to Pangaea). However, these are very slow processes that occur in geological time scales (hundreds of millions of years). Over the scale of history (tens of thousands of years), the sima under the continental crust can be considered solid, and the continents are basically anchored on it. It is all but certain that the continents and ocean floors have retained their present position and shape for the whole span of human existence.

There is also no conceivable event that could have "destroyed" a continent, since its huge mass of sial rocks would have to end up somewhere—and there is no trace of it at the bottom of the oceans. The Pacific Ocean islands are not part of a submerged landmass, but rather the tips of isolated volcanoes.

Map of Easter Island showing locations of the ahu and moai

This is the case, in particular, of Easter Island, which is a recent volcanic peak surrounded by deep ocean (3,000 m deep at 30 km off the island). After visiting the island in the 1930s, Alfred Metraux observed that the moai platforms are concentrated along the current coast of the island, which implies that the island's shape has changed little since they were built. Moreover, the "Triumphal Road" that Pierre Loti had reported ran from the island to the submerged lands below, is actually a natural lava flow [13]. Furthermore, while Churchward was correct in his claim that the island has no sandstone or sedimentary rocks, the point is moot because the pukao are all made of native volcanic scoria.

As a local catastrophe

The geological arguments that rule out "lost continents" do not rule out local catastrophes which may have changed the course of human history, such as the 80 m rise in the sea level over the last 12,000 years, the flooding of the Black Sea 7,600 years ago, and the eruption of Santorini 3,600 years ago.

Archaeological and genetic evidence

The historical details and implications of the Mu theory, which from the start were even more controversial than the physical ones, have been thoroughly discredited by archaeological and genetic research.

The weight of evidence is that the civilizations of the Americas and the Old World developed independently of each other; and, in fact, agriculture and urban societies probably first developed, after the end of the Ice Age, somewhere in the Levant some 10,000 years ago and gradually spread outwards from there to the rest of the Old World. The development of the oldest known cities, such as Çatalhöyük, can more easily be attributed to local and gradual evolution than to the coming of refugees from a "superior civilization". Finally, genetic studies of the indigenous peoples of America, the Pacific Islanders, and the ancient peoples of the Old World are quite incompatible with the Mu theory.

As for Easter Island, there is no evidence of human presence in the land before 300 AD; and the Pukao on the Moai are typically regarded as ceremonial headdress.

In popular culture

Books and comics

  • H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) included Mu in his Cthulhu mythos.[citation needed]
  • In Robert E. Howard's Kull stories, Mu was a continent with many cities; when it sank, the mountain tops became the isles of Lemuria.[citation needed]
  • Robert A. Heinlein's story Lost Legacy describes Mu as a "mother of empires" that sank without a trace during a war with its breakaway colony, Atlantis.[citation needed]
  • V. T. Hamlin's Alley Oop comic strips (1932). "Moo" and "Lem" are rival prehistoric nations.[citation needed]
  • Massimo De Vita: Topolino e l'enigma di Mu (Mickey Mouse and the Secret of Mu), comic strip, 1979.[14] Mickey Mouse and Goofy discover the secret of Mu's civilization and it's abrupt disappearance.
  • Henri Vernes's albums:
  • Andre Norton novel Operation Time Search (1967). Mu and Atlantis are rival nations.[citation needed]
  • W. Murphy and R. Sapir's book Coin of the Realm (1971) features Mu. "James Churchward" used as a pseudonym.[citation needed]
  • Tom Robbins' novel Still Life with Woodpecker (1980) makes extensive reference to Mu.[citation needed]
  • M. Kurumada's manga Saint Seiya (Knights of the Zodiac) (1986-1990). Mu is the birthplace of the character Mu, one of the 12 gold saints under Greek goddess Athena's command. Mu presides over the zodiac temple of Aries.[citation needed]
  • Fred Perry's manga Gold Digger mentions Mu several times along with the majority of other supposedly extinct or lost civilizations, like Atlantis, El Dorado, and Civ Alpha. Perry gives explanations and civilazations to these places holding with the logic of his universe.[citation needed]
  • Hugo Pratt's comics album Mu (1988-1989). A Corto Maltese adventure.[citation needed]
  • S. Komatsuzaki's illustrated story The Undersea Kingdom. Mu goes to war with the modern world.[citation needed]
  • Margit Sandemo book series Häxmästaren and Legenden om Ljusets rike . Mu and Lemuria are advanced civilizations.[citation needed]
  • James Rollins's novel Deep Fathom, in which one of the characters is the great-granddaughter of James Churchward.[citation needed]
  • Nathaniel Mackey's National Book Award winning book of poems Splay Anthem (2006) contains his serial poem "Mu".[citation needed]
  • In Book 3 of the Conversations with God series by Neale Donald Walsch, the mythology of the Land of Mu is mentioned as true.[citation needed]
  • In Stephen Pressfield's "The Legend of Bagger Vance" the land of Mu spanned all of the continents 20,000 years ago. An ancient battleground is located in present-day Savanna, Georgia, on the site of the modern golf tournament.[citation needed]
  • In Christopher Pike's Spooksville series of young adult novellas, Mu and Lemuria are one and the same, with the titular city being the sole remnant of the lost continent. The history of Mu/Lemuria and Atlantis plays a significant role throughout the series.[citation needed]
  • In Fredric Brown's short story Letter to a Phoenix the narrator lists the six civilizations which existed on Earth before the current one. Mu is the second last (the last one being Atlantis).[citation needed]
  • Mentioned in Tsugumui Ohba's Death Noteas the place where humans who have used the Death Note go after they have died.[citation needed]

Movies, TV serials, and animations

  • Atragon (1963) and Super Atragon (1996), based on S. Oshikawa's novel The Undersea Battleship and Komatsuzaki's short story above.[citation needed]
  • Brave Raideen (1975–1976). The inhabitants of Mu left a giant robot to defend Earth when the devils of space returned.[citation needed]
  • The Mysterious Cities of Gold (1982). In the original, character Tao is a descendant of the Empire of Mu (renamed Hiva in the English dub).[citation needed]
  • Super Dimension Century Orguss (1983.) The Mu Empire survives as a race of intelligent robots.[citation needed]
  • Space Sheriff Shaider (1984). The alien Fuuma Empire fought by Shaider came from Mu, twelve thousand years ago.[citation needed]
  • Saint Seiya (1986) The inhabitants of Mu created the cloths for Athena's Saints. It is also the name of the current Aries Saint.[citation needed]
  • RahXephon (2002). The alien Murians come from an alternate dimension into which the continent of Mu was accidentally translated.[citation needed]
  • Transformers: The Headmasters, 1987. The submerged island of Mu is where MegaZarak harvests the "crysmag" metal.[citation needed]
  • Rebirth of Mothra II (1997) . Mu is where the monster Dagarla was created.[citation needed]
  • Shaman King (1998-2004) . Mu is where the final part of the Shaman King tournament is held and where the Shaman King ceremony happens.[citation needed]

Video games

  • BioWare's RPG Mass Effect features mass relay named the Mu Relay which was lost for four thousand years.
  • Webzen's MMORPG Mu Online is set on the continent of Mu.[citation needed]
  • In tri-Ace's Star Ocean, the characters find an ancient map of earth showing Mu. It was struck by a meteor, which created a wormhole that transported the continent and its inhabitants to the planet of Roak, the game's main setting. The Muah are mentioned again in subsequent installments of the series.[citation needed]
  • The NES game DuckTales 2 features Mu as one of the stages.[citation needed]
  • Game Boy Advance's game Astro Boy: Omega Factor (2004) features Mu as an Aztec-like land, modeled after the Mu from the Osamu Tezuka anime Marine Express.[citation needed]
  • City of Heroes and City of Villains. Many humans with magical abilities are descended from the people of Mu. The villain group Circle of Thorns is primarily the ghosts of their ancient enemies, the Oranbegans. Also, the villain group Arachnos has a division made up of Mu descendants.[citation needed]
  • Civilization II: Fantastic Worlds features a city called Mu on at least two different scenarios.[citation needed]
  • Mega Man Star Force 2 features a Mu that is a floating continent; for thousands of years it has remained cloaked with the use of electromagnetic waves. Dr. Vega, the main antagonist of the game, means to use certain OOPArts to revive the continent.[citation needed]
  • Age of Empires 3: The Asian Dynasties features three treasures which are the remnants of Mu.
  • A part of the Super Nintendo game Illusion of Gaia takes place at Mu, an ancient city in the middle of the ocean. Its sequel Terranigma features an island with the same name, albeit with less plot significance.[citation needed]
  • In Viewtiful Joe, a level named 2,000,000 Leagues Under The Sea is set in Mu, which is depicted as a somewhat modern underwater city.[citation needed]
  • In the Nintendo DS game Nostalgia, Mu is a optional dungeon that the player may choose to explore.[citation needed]

Music

  • MU, a '70s American psychedelic rock band.[citation needed]
  • The Thirteen Cryptical Prophecies of Mu, song from the album The Power Cosmic by Bal-Sagoth.[citation needed]
  • The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (later known as The KLF), a British techno band very fond of Mu.[citation needed]
  • Glassjaw, a rock band from Long Island, NY. The second track on their album 'Worship and Tribute' is called "Mu Empire."[citation needed]
  • "Lemuria", song from the album Lemuria by symphonic opera metal band, Therion.[citation needed]
  • Don Cherry's 1969 records with Ed Blackwell, Mu, Part I and Mu, Part II.[citation needed]
  • Brewer & Shipley's 1968 record Down In L.A. included a song titled "Incredible State of Affairs" that mentions Atlantis and Mu.[citation needed]
  • "Mu", a track on the 1967 album Atlantis by jazz musician Sun Ra. Other tracks include "Lemuria", "Yucatan", "Bimini", and the title track, "Atlantis". The album features the Hohner clavinet.[citation needed]
  • Robert Plant, of the rock group Led Zeppelin, claimed his symbol on the band's fourth album (a feather inside a circle) represents the Mu civilization. He said, "My symbol was drawn from sacred symbols of the ancient Mu civilization which existed about 15,000 years ago as part of a lost continent somewhere in the Pacific Ocean between China and Mexico. All sorts of things can be tied in with Mu civilization—even the Easter Island effigies. These Mu people left stone tablets with their symbols inscribed into them all over the places. And they all date from the same time period. The Chinese say these people came from the east and the Mexicans say they came from the west...obviously it was somewhere in between." (From the book Talking, by Dave Lewis.)[citation needed]
  • Planet Mu, a British electronic music label, has released albums titled The Sacred Symbols of Mu, The Cosmic Forces of Mu, Children of Mu and Amμnition. It is owned by Mike Paradinas, who publishes his own work as μ-Ziq, as well as other aliases.[citation needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Le Plongeon, Augustus (1896). Queen Móo & The Egyptian Sphinx. pp. 277 pages. http://books.google.com/books?id=x74RAAAAYAAJ. 
  2. ^ a b Churchward, James (1926). The Lost Continent of Mu: Motherland of Man. 
  3. ^ Haugton, Brian (2007). Hidden History. New Page Books. ISBN 978-1564148971,. http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&id=fSbRZunGbF4C&pg=PA59.  Page 60.
  4. ^ a b De Camp, Lyon Sprague (1954; reprinted 1971). Lost Continents: Atlantis Theme in History, Science and Literature. Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0486226682. http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&id=3YHwFivT-ykC&pg=PA153. 
  5. ^ Brennan, Louis A. (1959). No Stone Unturned: An Almanac of North American Pre-history. Random House.  Page 228.
  6. ^ Witzel, Michael (2006). Garrett G. Fagan Routledge. ed. Archaeological Fantasies. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-30593-8. http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&id=oB7pBZ3s6dIC&pg=PA220.  Page 220.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Churchward, James (1931). The Lost Continent of Mu. Ives Washburn. pp. 335 pages. 
  8. ^ a b Bramwell, James (1939). Lost Atlantis. 
  9. ^ Kayıp Kıta Mu, presentation, Ege-Meta Yayınları, İzmir, 2000, ISBN 975-7089-20-6
  10. ^ Kimura, Masaaki (1991). Mu tairiku wa Ryukyu ni atta (The Continent of Mu was in Ryukyu). Tokuma Shoten. 
  11. ^ Schoch, Robert M.. "Ancient underwater pyramid structure off the coast of Yonaguni-jima". http://www.morien-institute.org/yonaguni_schoch1.html. 
  12. ^ "Japan's Underwater Ruins (video)". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2007/08/24/vo.japan.underwater.ruins.reut. 
  13. ^ Metraux, Alfred. Mysteries of Easter Island. http://www.davidmetraux.com/daniel/docs/alfred/alfred_metraux_mysteries_of_easter_island.pdf. 
  14. ^ http://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=I+TL+1238-AP

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