THE LOST LANDS


Atlantis. Dwarka. Kumari Kandam. Zealandia. Sundaland. Ever heard of these? If not, you will today! Let’s have a look at some of the top rumored lands, which are claimed to have disappeared/sunk through the course of time.

So, why is this topic of such importance? Afterall, what’s lost is lost and can’t be brought back, right? Wrong. The land and its people is not all that the land held once. It held many more secrets- culture, technology, building systems and plans and many such marvels, which might not have struck our modern minds! History teaches us about the mistakes our predecessors made. But mysterious history might teach us what we do not know or have never thought of. So without further ado, let’s get right into the list of Lost Lands:

1. ATLANTIS

This has been a controversial theory ever since it was first mentioned in the modern times. Plato is said to have first mentioned it in any forms, in his works “Timaeus” and “Critias”. Atlantis was straight away deemed to be a fictional land, since it had only appeared in Plato’s works and there was no further evidence. But a discovery in the early 21st century gave a slight ray of hope to the people who believe in Atlantis’ existence.

Map of Atlantis according to Plato’s work

Before that, a little backstory. Plato had first mentioned Atlantis in Timaeus and then in Critias. But for reasons unknown to us, Plato never completed Critias. Compiling what was mentioned in these two dialogues, the summary of the Atlantean land follows that it had waged a naval war against Athens and towards the end, got submerged in the Atlantic Ocean due to loss of favour of Gods.

That’s just the boring textual part. Here comes the exciting part. In 2015, marine archaeologists discovered a 2,600 year old shipwreck. Along with it, were 39 ingots of a mythical red alloy dubbed “orichalcum” off the town of Gela, Sicily. This metal, according to experts, is the same that Plato claimed to be from Atlantis. As for its composition, it consists of 75-80 per cent copper, 15-20 per cent zinc and small amounts of nickel, lead and iron, and thought to have been made by a process called cementation, in which zinc ore reacts with copper and charcoal in a crucible. Most of the things fit in just right with Plato’s account. But still, the exact authenticity of Atlantis’ existence can only be confirmed if we were to find the land!

Metal shard found in shipwreck
Another metal shard found in shipwreck

2. DWARKA

The famous Indian Land, allegedly the “City of Gold”. Dwarka has been another controversial topic to discuss, especially in India. It is said that Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, ruled this mighty land and it was his dynasty, the “Yadav” dynasty, that made a flourishing kingdom in Dwarka. Before them, it is alleged that even Harappans had settled in Dwarka and they were mainly potters, wood crafters, etc.

Illustration of the submerged city

This was again the backstory. It got intriguing when, in 2001, the team from National Institute of Ocean Technology discovered ruins of Dwarka, at the seabed about 40 m below sea level, in a 9 km stretch. On searching for archaeological evidences, a few samples, presumed to be pottery, were sent for analysis in the UK, Germany and India. All three were able to conclude that in 17th century BCE, the Harappans had lived there, after which came the Yadavs. And then, due to some unknown reason, the land sunk deep down in the oceans. As is the case with all discoveries, there were a few archaeologists against the ruling. They claimed that the pottery could be just a piece of mud and not really “crafted pottery”. That aside, there was yet another piece of evidence, a wood block. That was carbon dated in two separate laboratories and both confirmed that it dated back to 7500 BCE. Even to this, some archaeologists claimed that it could be just a wood block from a tree submerged. And the controversy follows…

3. KUMARI KANDAM

This is yet another “mythical” lost continent. Among the land masses mentioned, this is the biggest. It is said to have stretched from southern tip of India to Madagascar in the west and Indonesia in the east. Tamil literary scholars believe that this land was once a flourishing art and Tamil literature centre. The first one to hypothesise Kumari Kandam theory was Philip as later, an English zoologist. When Tamils were introduced to this theory in 1890s, they came up with the Tamil version named “Lemuria”.

Map illustration of Lemuria

Proofs of this land, though, are restricted to written proofs. The Sangam literature’s first two academics were claimed to have taken place in Kumari Kandam. People believe Kumari Kandam to be the cradle of civilisations. Geographically in the centre of Eurasian plate, it is possible that culture was indeed born here and people migrated to different places when the continent tore apart and began sinking.

4. ZEALANDIA

This is the newest addition to sunken lands. Said to have broken apart from Antarctica about 85-130 million years ago, and then from Australia about 60-85 million years ago, this continent began sinking 23 million years ago. It made news in 2017 for being the proven largest micro continent, more than half the size of Australia.

Zealandia map

This is the only proven submerged land in our list. It holds a lot of offshore oil and gas reserves.
So these were the Lost Lands. While ZEALANDIA is a proven submerged continent, the same can not be said about the rest. There’s only one way to find out the truth. So are you up for an adventure to dive deep into oceans and find out for yourself? Leave a comment below and I shall be waiting to see your name in the news as a continent discoverer!:P

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