The legendary 10 places on planet Earth that have ever been mentioned, places that have driven many an adventurer crazy. But, did they ever exist?
1 - Did Atlantis really exist? The Greek philosopher Plato describes it as an island in the Atlantic Ocean, located beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the Straits of Gibraltar) and home to a rich and powerful civilisation which was swallowed by the sea some 10,000 years ago. Scholars, however, believe that this is merely an allegory, a made-up story to explain his political views. However, some journalists believe that Plato was referring to the Straits of Messina: Atlantis is then... Sardinia!
2 - On many 15th and 16th century maps, the land of Antilias is drawn in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The island, searched for centuries and never found, was removed from maps after 1587, most likely because voyages to the Americas showed it never existed.
3 - Paititi is a legendary place in the Amazon where the Indians allegedly hoarded gold, silver and jewellery. According to Italian historian Mario Polia, a letter from the early 17th century (signed by Jesuit missionary Andrea Lopez) has survived in the Vatican archives with a direct reference to it.
4 - In 1952, English explorer Percy Fawcett travelled to Mato Grosso, Brazil, in search of an ancient lost city rich in great reserves of gold and silver. The city was described in manuscript 512, a colonial-era document preserved in the National Library in Rio de Janeiro. Fawcett never went back.
5 - In 1926, writer James Churchward revealed to the world the existence of Mu, an ancient continent that had been swallowed up by the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Churchward's theory was based on the story of a Mayan document. Unfortunately for him, the translation system he used turned out to be... completely wrong!
6 - Shangri-La is a Tibetan monastery town whose inhabitants lived to be 200 years old by indulging in meditation. This fictional place, described in 1933 by James Hilton in his novel The Lost Horizon, made such an impression that many people went in search of Shangri-La after the book was published.
7 - Elis in ancient Greece was a prosperous city that disappeared overnight because the god Poseidon wronged it by plunging it into the sea. And it's not just a legend, Elis really did exist: in 2001 archaeologists found its remains and believe the city was destroyed by a tsunami in 373 BC.
8 - Italy also has its 'lost land', a small island of about 4 km2 that appeared in 1831 off the coast of Sicily after an underwater volcanic eruption. Named Isola Ferdinandea, it was annexed to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, but not for long: having barely emerged, it disappeared again among the waves just a year later.
9 - Do you think there could have been an ancient kingdom in the heart of the Earth? For some researchers of esotericism (mysterious spiritual doctrines intended for the few "followers") yes, and it was called Agarti and was the home of a sect of followers of a secret religion.
10 - In 1863, zoologist Philip Sclater noticed that there were very similar fossils in India and Madagascar. Fragments, he thought, of one vanished continent, Lemuria. Today we know that Lemuria never existed, but about 300 million years ago, Madagascar and India were indeed one and the same....
October 18, 2022
June 13, 2022