Lemuria (continent)

Lemuria /lɪˈmjuːriə/[1] or Limuria is a hypothetical "lost land" located either in the Indian or the Pacific Ocean, as postulated by a now-discredited 19th-century scientific theory. The idea was then adopted by the occultists of the time and consequently has been incorporated into pop culture. Mythical lost continent with an ancient Tamil civilization, located south of present-day India, in the Indian Ocean. Alternative name and spellings include Kumarikandam and Kumari Nadu.

Lemuria
TypeHypothetical lost continent
Race(s)Lemurians

Evolution of the idea

Originally, Lemuria was hypothesized as a land bridge, now sunken, which would account for certain discontinuities in biogeography. This idea has been rendered obsolete by modern theories of plate tectonics. Sunken continents such as Zealandia in the Pacific, Mauritia[2] and the Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean do exist, but no geological formation under the Indian or Pacific Oceans is known that could have served as a land bridge between continents.[3]

The idea of Lemuria was subsequently incorporated into the proto-New Age philosophy of Theosophy and subsequently into general fringe belief. Accounts of Lemuria here differ. All share a common belief that a continent existed in ancient times and sank beneath the ocean as a result of a geological, often cataclysmic, change, such as pole shift, which such theorists anticipate will destroy and transform the modern world.

Scientific origins

Postulation

In 1864, "The Mammals of Madagascar" by zoologist and biogeographer Philip Sclater appeared in The Quarterly Journal of Science. Using a classification he referred to as lemurs, but which included related primate groups,[4] and puzzled by the presence of their fossils in both Madagascar and India, but not in Africa or the Middle East, Sclater proposed that Madagascar and India had once been part of a larger continent (he was correct in this; though in reality this was the supercontinent Pangaea).

The anomalies of the mammal fauna of Madagascar can best be explained by supposing that ... a large continent occupied parts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans ... that this continent was broken up into islands, of which some have become amalgamated with ... Africa, some ... with what is now Asia; and that in Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands we have existing relics of this great continent, for which ... I should propose the name Lemuria![4]

Parallels

Sclater's theory was hardly unusual for his time; "land bridges", real and imagined, fascinated several of Sclater's contemporaries. Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, also looking at the relationship between animals in India and Madagascar, had suggested a southern continent about two decades before Sclater, but did not give it a name.[5] The acceptance of Darwinism led scientists to seek to trace the diffusion of species from their points of evolutionary origin. Prior to the acceptance of continental drift, biologists frequently postulated submerged land masses to account for populations of land-based species now separated by barriers of water. Similarly, geologists tried to account for striking resemblances of rock formations on different continents. The first systematic attempt was made by Melchior Neumayr in his book Erdgeschichte in 1887. Many hypothetical submerged land bridges and continents were proposed during the 19th century to account for the present distribution of species.

Promulgation

After gaining some acceptance within the scientific community, the concept of Lemuria began to appear in the works of other scholars. Ernst Haeckel, a Darwinian taxonomist, proposed Lemuria as an explanation for the absence of "missing link" fossil records. According to another source, Haeckel put forward this thesis prior to Sclater (but without using the name "Lemuria").[6] Locating the origins of the human species on this lost continent, he claimed the fossil record could not be found because it sank beneath the sea.

Other scientists hypothesized that Lemuria had extended across parts of the Pacific Ocean, seeking to explain the distribution of various species across Asia and the Americas.

Supersession

The Lemuria theory disappeared completely from conventional scientific consideration after the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift were accepted by the larger scientific community. According to the theory of plate tectonics, Madagascar and India were indeed once part of the same landmass (thus accounting for geological resemblances), but plate movement caused India to break away millions of years ago, and move to its present location. The original landmass, the supercontinent Gondwana, broke apart; it did not sink beneath sea level.

Coat of arms of the British Indian Ocean Territory
The coat of arms of the British Indian Ocean Territory with the inscription (in Latin) "Limuria is in our charge/trust".

Kumari Kandam

Kumari Kandam map
"Lemuria" in Tamil nationalist mysticist literature, connecting Madagascar, South India, and Australia (covering most of the Indian Ocean)

Some Tamil writers such as Devaneya Pavanar have associated Lemuria with Kumari Kandam, a legendary sunken landmass mentioned in the Tamil literature, claiming that it was the cradle of civilization.

In popular culture

Since the 1880s, the hypothesis of Lemuria has inspired many novels, television shows, films, and music.

See also

References

  1. ^ OED
  2. ^ Morelle, Rebecca (2013-02-25). "BBC News - Fragments of ancient continent buried under Indian Ocean". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  3. ^ "Navigation News". Frontline.in. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  4. ^ a b Neild, Ted Supercontinent: Ten Billion Years in the Life of Our Planet pp.Harvard University Press (2 Nov 2007) ISBN 978-0-674-02659-9 pp. 38–39
  5. ^ Neild, Ted Supercontinent: Ten Billion Years in the Life of Our Planet pp.Harvard University Press (2 Nov 2007) ISBN 978-0-674-02659-9 p.38
  6. ^ L. Sprague de Camp, Lost Continents, 1954 (First Edition), p. 52

Further reading

  • Ramaswamy, Sumathi (2004). The Lost Land of Lemuria: Fabulous Geographies, Catastrophic Histories. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24032-4.
  • Ramaswamy, Sumathi. (1999). "Catastrophic Cartographies: Mapping the Lost Continent of Lemuria". Representations. 67: 92-129.
  • Ramaswamy, Sumathi. (2000). "History at Land’s End: Lemuria in Tamil Spatial Fables". Journal of Asian Studies. 59(3): 575-602.
  • Frederick Spencer Oliver, A Dweller on Two Planets, 1
  • Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (Ccru). (2015). "Lemurian Time War". Writings 1997-2003. Time Spiral Press.
Atlantis

Atlantis (Ancient Greek: Ἀτλαντὶς νῆσος, "island of Atlas") is a fictional island mentioned within an allegory on the hubris of nations in Plato's works Timaeus and Critias, where it represents the antagonist naval power that besieges "Ancient Athens", the pseudo-historic embodiment of Plato's ideal state in The Republic. In the story, Athens repels the Atlantean attack unlike any other nation of the known world, supposedly giving testament to the superiority of Plato's concept of a state. The story concludes with Atlantis falling out of favor with the deities and submerging into the Atlantic Ocean.

Despite its minor importance in Plato's work, the Atlantis story has had a considerable impact on literature. The allegorical aspect of Atlantis was taken up in utopian works of several Renaissance writers, such as Francis Bacon's New Atlantis and Thomas More's Utopia. On the other hand, nineteenth-century amateur scholars misinterpreted Plato's narrative as historical tradition, most notably in Ignatius L. Donnelly's Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. Plato's vague indications of the time of the events—more than 9,000 years before his time—and the alleged location of Atlantis—"beyond the Pillars of Hercules"—has led to much pseudoscientific speculation. As a consequence, Atlantis has become a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations and continues to inspire contemporary fiction, from comic books to films.

While present-day philologists and classicists agree on the story's fictional character, there is still debate on what served as its inspiration. As for instance with the story of Gyges, Plato is known to have freely borrowed some of his allegories and metaphors from older traditions. This led a number of scholars to investigate possible inspiration of Atlantis from Egyptian records of the Thera eruption, the Sea Peoples invasion, or the Trojan War. Others have rejected this chain of tradition as implausible and insist that Plato created an entirely fictional nation as his example, drawing loose inspiration from contemporary events such as the failed Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415–413 BC or the destruction of Helike in 373 BC.

Atlantis of the Sands

Atlantis of the Sands is the fictional name of a legendary lost city in the southern Arabian sands, claimed to have been destroyed by a natural disaster or as a punishment by God. The search for it was popularised by the 1992 book Atlantis of the Sands – The Search for the Lost City of Ubar by Ranulph Fiennes. Various names have been given to this city, the most common being Ubar, Wabar and Iram.

Fictional country

A fictional country is a country that is made up for fictional stories, and does not exist in real life, or one that people believe in without proof.

Sailors have always mistaken low clouds for land masses, and in later times this was given the name Dutch capes.

Other fictional lands appear most commonly as settings or subjects of myth, literature, film, or video games. They may also be used for technical reasons in actual reality for use in the development of specifications, such as the fictional country of Bookland, which is used to allow EAN "country" codes 978 and 979 to be used for ISBN numbers assigned to books, and code 977 to be assigned for use for ISSN numbers on magazines and other periodicals. Also, the ISO 3166 country code "ZZ" is reserved as a fictional country code,.

Fictional countries appear commonly in stories of early science fiction (or scientific romance). Such countries supposedly form part of the normal Earth landscape although not located in a normal atlas. Later similar tales often took place on fictional planets.

Jonathan Swift's protagonist, Lemuel Gulliver, visited various strange places. Edgar Rice Burroughs placed adventures of Tarzan in areas in Africa that, at the time, remained mostly unknown to the West and to the East. Isolated islands with strange creatures and/or customs enjoyed great popularity in these authors' times. By the 19th century, when Western explorers had surveyed most of the Earth's surface, this option was lost to Western culture. Thereafter fictional utopian and dystopian societies tended to spring up on other planets or in space, whether in human colonies or in alien societies originating elsewhere. Fictional countries can also be used in stories set in a distant future, with other political borders than today.

Superhero and secret agent comics and some thrillers also use fictional countries on Earth as backdrops. Most of these countries exist only for a single story, a TV-series episode or an issue of a comic book. There are notable exceptions, such as Qumar and Equatorial Kundu in The West Wing, Marvel Comics Latveria and DC Comics Qurac and Bialya.

Hyperborea

In Greek mythology the Hyperboreans (Ancient Greek: Ὑπερβόρε(ι)οι, pronounced [hyperbóre(ː)ɔi̯]; Latin: Hyperborei) were a race of giants who lived "beyond the North Wind". The Greeks thought that Boreas, the god of the North Wind (one of the Anemoi, or "Winds") lived in Thrace, and therefore Hyperborea indicates that it is a region beyond Thrace.

This land was supposed to be perfect, with the sun shining twenty-four hours a day, which to modern ears suggests a possible location within the Arctic Circle during the Midnight Sun-time of year. However, it is also possible that Hyperborea had no real physical location at all, for according to the classical Greek poet Pindar,

neither by ship nor on foot would you find

the marvellous road to the assembly of the Hyperboreans.Pindar also described the otherworldly perfection of the Hyperboreans:

Never the Muse is absent

from their ways: lyres clash and flutes cry

and everywhere maiden choruses whirling.

Neither disease nor bitter old age is mixed

in their sacred blood; far from labor and battle they live.

Kumari Kandam

Kumari Kandam (Tamil: குமரிக்கண்டம்) refers to a mythical lost continent with an ancient Tamil civilization, located south of present-day India, in the Indian Ocean. Alternative name and spellings include Kumarikkantam and Kumari Nadu.

In the 19th century, a section of the European and American scholars speculated the existence of a submerged continent called Lemuria, to explain geological and other similarities between Africa, Australia, India and Madagascar. A section of Tamil revivalists adapted this theory, connecting it to the Pandyan legends of lands lost to the ocean, as described in ancient Tamil and Sanskrit literature. According to these writers, an ancient Tamil civilization existed on Lemuria, before it was lost to the sea in a catastrophe. In the 20th century, the Tamil writers started using the name "Kumari Kandam" to describe this submerged continent. Although the Lemuria theory was later rendered obsolete by the continental drift (plate tectonics) theory, the concept remained popular among the Tamil revivalists of the 20th century. According to them, Kumari Kandam was the place where the first two Tamil literary academies (sangams) were organized during the Pandyan reign. They claimed Kumari Kandam as the cradle of civilization to prove the antiquity of [Tamil language] and culture.

Kérdik

In a local tradition of the Mascarene Islands, Kérdik (French and creole: [kɛʀ'dik], from classical Sanskrit: हार्दिकः ['ha:rdikə], PIE ['ker] "the heart", with influence of creole's noun for "heart": [keʁ]) is a solar deity or a demon, which is able to incarnate into living beings such as animals or human beings. People who witness one of his incarnations are said to lose their minds and end up obeying to the deity.

In Mascarene Islands, witchcraft and testimonies about possessions are somehow common. In this context, the god Kérdik appears like a mix between cultures present in the Indian Ocean where Hinduism and Afro-European mythologies are very active together. Kérdik is said to be the son of the Hindu goddess Kali – already worshiped in Hindu communities of the islands, but who don't acknowledge the cult of Kérdik – and the Snake God Paradise who is the protector of the Divine Garden.

Some people who "encountered" Kérdik said he looks like a tall skinny humanoid creature with greenish blue skin, "sun-coloured" hair and lizard grey eyes. He can take on avatars by which he may possess and control third parts. He is a god of love, war, action and humor. He is not described as a handsome god. However, he has sufficient charisma to make people happy with his presence and bow their will under his power. He teaches human beings to search for innocent pleasures, friendship and respect for nature. He is somehow an eco-god and is worshiped as a human incarnation of the Sun.

Although Kérdik is a god of humor and happiness, he may convert into a terrifying creature with armour. He then crushes his own worshipers under his huge celestial form. Every morning, he makes another world with his head associated to the Sun and he guards the night with his eyes associated with the Moon and the stars. One of his main attributes is the heart, which may explain his name. Because of local mixity in religions, he is revered as the Sacred Heart in Christian contexts. His name is said to come from the secret Sun's name. Another symbol for him, is then the Dharmacakra. It is not clear whether there is or not any Buddhist reference.

Among other symbols we find animals such as birds, reptiles, fishes and goats. As Kérdik's birth take place after the solstice of December which marks the astrological month of Capricorn, fishes and goats are very common symbols. For the ones who "encountered" Kérdik, they try to celebrate the annual festival within the celebrations of Christmas and Epiphany.

Kérdik's cult is not official and yet not acknowledged by the majority of the population of the Mascarene Islands. Thus his legend may be part of the local folklore which is very creative, among witches and ghosts popular stories.

From what the description we have, Kérdik appears like a local blend of mythologies such as Pan or Crius in the Greek mythology, Loki in the Norse myths and above all, the vedic Surya with whom many characteristics are common.

Lemuria

Lemuria may refer to:

Lemuria (festival), in Roman religion, a feast during which the unwholesome and malevolent spectres of the restless dead (lemures) were appeased

Lemuria (continent), a hypothetical land mass in the Indian OceanSee also Lemuria in popular culture

Lemurians

Lemurians may refer to:

Lemuria (continent), a hypothetical "lost land" variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans

Lemurians, a fictional race from Taylor Anderson's Destroyermen series of books

List of New Age topics

This article contains a list of New Age topics that are too extensive to include in its main article New Age; further information may be found at Category:New Age.

Mu (lost continent)

Mu is the name of a suggested lost continent whose concept and name were proposed by 19th-century traveler and writer Augustus Le Plongeon, who claimed that several ancient civilizations, such as those of Egypt and Mesoamerica, were created by refugees from Mu—which he stated was located in the Atlantic Ocean. This concept was popularized and expanded by James Churchward, who asserted that Mu was once located in the Pacific.The existence of Mu was already being disputed in Le Plongeon's time. Currently scientists dismiss the concept of Mu (and other alleged lost continents such as Lemuria) as physically impossible, arguing that a continent can neither sink nor be destroyed in the short period of time required by this premise. Mu's existence is considered to have no factual basis.

The Arctic Home in the Vedas

The Arctic Home in the Vedas is a book on the origin of Aryanic People by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a mathematician turned astronomer, historian, journalist, philosopher and political leader of India. It propounded the idea that the North Pole was the original home of Aryans during the pre-glacial period which they had to leave due to the ice deluge around 8000 B.C. and had to migrate to the Northern parts of Europe and Asia in search of lands for new settlements. In support to his theory, Tilak presented certain Vedic hymns, Avestic passages, Vedic chronology and Vedic calendars with interpretations of the contents in detail.

The book was written at the end of 1898, but was first published in March 1903 in Pune.

Vanamagan

Vanamagan (English: The son of the jungle) is a 2017 Indian Tamil-language action adventure film written and directed by A. L. Vijay. The film features Jayam Ravi and Sayyeshaa Saigal in the lead roles, while Prakash Raj, Thambi Ramaiah, and Varun play pivotal roles with Harris Jayaraj as the music composer. The venture began production in September 2016. The film was released on 23 June 2017.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.