Lost lands

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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.


[edit] 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.

[edit] 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 which is also known under Lowland Hundred, or the legend about Lomea, located at the Goodwin Sands. Unlike the lost continents mentioned above, which have been localized at various places, these lost lands are associated with one specified place.

[edit] 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 nautical errors.

[edit] Mythological lands

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

[edit] 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.

[edit] 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:

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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] In literature and philosophy

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

[edit] 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. A Four Toed Statue (which has now been seen from behind appearing to depict an Egyptian deity holding an ankh in each hand), the Ruins, the Temple, and multiple appearances of Egyptian hieroglyphs on landmarks mentioned here as well as other places within the show give strength to this possibility.

[edit] 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:

[edit] See also

[edit] 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.

[edit] External links

[edit] 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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