Where Is the Lost Continent?
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.
The lost continent is a legendary island called Atlantis. It was described by Plato, a philosopher who lived in ancient Greece, as being in the Atlantic and also as being larger than Asia Minor and Libya put together! The Greek legends claimed that Atlantis had been inhabited by a powerful nation who had offended the gods by their independence and disrespect. The gods took their revenge.
Some versions of the story say that it was submerged and others that it was destroyed by an earthquake about 9,000 BC. Some people have tried to identify Atlantis with America, some with Scandinavia, the Canaries and even the Palestine region.
Many naturalists and philosophers, including Buffon, Montaigne and Voltaire, have theorized about Atlantis. Attempts have been made to prove that the Basques of Spain and France, the original inhabitants of Italy and the Indians of South America were descended from the Atlanteans, who were said to have overrun the entire Mediterranean. One theory is that the Minoan civilization was destroyed by the eruption of a volcano on Thera (Santorin)—or “lost Atlantis”.
Lost lands can be continents, islands or other regions existing during prehistory, having 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 existed, are supposed to have subsided into the sea, leaving behind only a few traces or legends. The term can also be extended to mythological lands generally, to underground civilizations, or even to whole planets.