List of lost lands

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Map of Mu by James Churchward

Lost Lands are islands or continents believed by some to have existed during pre-history, but to have since disappeared as a result of catastrophic geological phenomena. Such continents are generally thought to have subsided into the sea, leaving behind only a few traces or legends by which they may be known.

Legends of lost lands often originated as scholarly or scientific theories, only to be picked up by writers and individuals outside the academy. Occult and New Age writers have made use of Lost Lands, as have subaltern peoples such as the Tamil in India.

Phantom Islands, as opposed to Lost Lands, are land masses formerly believed by cartographers to exist in the current historical age, but to have been discredited as a result of expanding geographic knowledge.

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.[citation needed]

Lost continents[edit]

In the 1954 book Lost Continents by L. Sprague de Camp, he describes many modern writers who have speculated about ancient civilizations that existed on continents now deluged under the sea.[1] According to de Camp, there is no real scientific evidence for any lost continents whatsoever.

  • The most famous lost continent is Atlantis. Atlantis, like Hyperborea and Thule, is ultimately derived from ancient Greek geographic speculation and possibly memories of the Minoan eruption of the Thera volcano.
  • The name of hypothetical vanished continent Mu originated from the first attempted translation of the Madrid Codex, one of only four remaining Maya codices.
  • Zealandia, a scientifically accepted continent that is now 94% submerged under the Pacific Ocean, surrounding the areas of New Zealand and New Caledonia.
  • A land connecting India and South Africa was believed by some to exist at various times. Lemuria and Kumari Kandam.

Submerged lands[edit]

The Sahul Shelf and the Sunda Shelf during the ice ages and today. The area in between is called "Wallacea".

Although the existence of lost continents in the above sense is mythical (aside from Zealandia), there were many places on Earth that were once dry land but submerged after the ice age around 10,000 BCE due to rising sea levels, and possibly were the basis for neolithic and bronze age flood myths. Some others were lost due to coastal erosion or volcanic eruptions. Approximately listed by size, these are:

Mythological lands[edit]

Plato's Atlantis described in Timaeus and Critias

Phantom islands[edit]

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.

In literature and philosophy[edit]

The following individuals are known for having written on the subject of lost lands (either as fiction, hypothesis, or supposed fact):

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ L. Sprague de Camp (1954). Lost Continents: The Atlantis Theme in History, Science, and Literature. Gnome Press.
  2. ^ "Requiem for a Shark Dog". December 2014.
  3. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977), Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Akallabêth, ISBN 0-395-25730-1

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.