Considering that we are now in the so-called Age of Information, you would think that people will know a made-up story about a place when they hear one. With the technology under our disposal, you would think that some people will no longer be spending most of their lives looking for the following places. But who are we to ruin a dream, right? Some of us may have the guts to tell the intrepid explores who look for these places that these are simply mythical but who knows, they might just be the very people to find that lost city of gold or sunken kingdom.
First mentioned in Timaeus and Critias, Plato’s dialogues, the legend of this ancient but progressive nation is still alive until this very day. According to Plato, Atlantis was a country of great naval prowess. It conquered many nations in Western Europe and Africa; it tried to conquer Athens but this brought about its supposed demise. To this day, there are several hypotheses regarding the location of this island nation. According to some, it’s in or near the Mediterranean Sea. Others say it’s in the Atlantic Ocrean. There are also some who say that Atlantis is in the Antarctica, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Caribbean.
According to myths, Aztlan was the home of a group of people who occupied a large part of South America before they were colonized by the Spaniards. These stories say that there were seven tribes who lived in seven caves in Chicomoztoc. These tribes were the Nahua people. When they left their caves, they settled in a place called Aztlan. In some stories, Aztlan was a paradise. In others, it says that Aztlan was a place of tyranny. This day, proposed locations of this mythic place are north of the Colorado River, near Florida, Lake Powell, or somewhere in Mexico.
3. El Dorado
El Dorado is also called the Lost City of Gold. Although the stories surrounding this place sound too farfetched to be true, many people are still going on expeditions to find this place. No one can ignore the call of riches, apparently. The majority of those who believe that this city exists are under the impression that it can be found by exploring the Amazon Basin. One popular expedition was that made of Francisco de Orellana. He was the first person to navigate the Amazon River; he started the search for El Dorado with his uncle but he was the only one to reach the Atlantic. He never found the famed city of gold.
Before theories of plate tectonics and continental drift was widely accepted, Lemuria was believed to be a continent located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. This was a “lost land” that was said to have sunk under the sea because of a change that was geological and quite deadly in nature. Even though modern scientific theories have pretty much rendered the stories surrounding Lemuria false, there are still writers and people who believe that this continent did exist in ancient times.
According to Arthurian Legends, Lyonesse was the home of the hero Tristan. And much like lands that are now considered lost, Lyonesse was said to have sunk under the sea. Through the many adaptations and versions of stories, Lyonesse evolved from a place in Scotland that still exists today to a land that was said to have vanished. The reasons behind its sinking under the sea are varied up to this day.
Another “island” that is closely related to the legendary king, Arthur. According to stories, Avalon was a place that was popular for its apples. This was also said to be the place where Arthur’s sword, Excalibur, was forged. For many years, Glastonbury was believed to be Avalon in the Arthurian legends. Reports that the king and his wife was found in Glastonbury helped make this theory popular. But until today, there are still other proposed locations for this famous and mythical “isle of apples.”
Mentioned in the Bible as a wealthy port, there are several proposed locations of Ophir today. Theories say that this port might be in Africa, Asia, or even the Americas. Some say that this place may have been Great Zimbabwe or a shore of the Red Sea. There are also theories that this prosperous port may have been located in modern-day Pakistan, India, or somewhere in Arabia. There are also those who think that Ophir was Peru.
First mentioned by James Hilton in his novel Lost Horizon, Shangri-La is said to be a place that is beautiful beyond anything that humans have ever gazed at. It was described as a valley where people live very long lives and are always happy. This place is said to be isolated from modern civilization and is surrounded by the Kunlun Mountains. Of course, there are many places in Tibet and Northern India that are said to be the location of this paradise.
Also said to be located somewhere in central Asia, Shambhala is often stated as a Pure Land for Buddhists. This place has been mentioned since ancient times and may have been Hilton’s inspiration for his Shangri-La. According to stories, Shambhala is a place where inhabitants are enlightened; it is a place of happiness and peace. Because of this, there are people who say that Shambhala may simply be a state of mind. Still, others believe that it can be found in north or west of Tibet or somewhere in Siberia.
10. Cantre’r Gwaelod
This is another sunken kingdom that is said to have been located between Ramsey Island and Bardsey Island in Cardigan Bay. This bay can be found to the west of Wales. According to legends, this kingdom was a walled place. It had a dyke that helped protect the kingdom from the raging seas. But one of the princes assigned to man the dyke was a drunkard. Due to his negligence, the sea entered the kingdom and resulted in its sinking.