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List of lost lands

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(Redirected from Lost continents)
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.

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 Tamils 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.[1]

With the development of plate tectonic simulation software, new lost land has been discovered and confirmed by the scientific community (like Greater Adria in 2019).

Submerged lands[edit]

The Sahul Shelf and the Sunda Shelf during the last glacial maximum and today. The area in between is called "Wallacea".
Map showing hypothetical extent of Doggerland, c. 8,000 BC

Although the existence of lost continents in the above sense is mythical (aside from Zealandia[2] and Greater Adria[3]), 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 were lost due to coastal erosion or volcanic eruptions. An (incomplete) list follows:

Lost continents[edit]

Mythological lands[edit]

Plato's Atlantis described in Timaeus and Critias

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]


  1. ^ "Lost Lands". The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopaedia.[self-published source]
  2. ^ Yeung, Jessie (23 June 2020). "Maps reveal new details about New Zealand's lost underwater continent". CNN.
  3. ^ Carter, Jamie (15 Sep 2019). "Goodbye Atlantis, Hello 'Greater Adria'. A Lost Continent Has Been Mapped By Geologists". Forbes.
  4. ^ Corbin, Henry (1977). Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth: From Mazdean Iran to Shi'ite Iran. Princeton University Press. p. xix-xxi.

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.