Cities Beneath the Waves

I do like finding things, or actively going out to find things. I also like having things brought to me. We have been to Hawaii several times and with very enjoyable results. It was always best to find a good spot and just park there. No packing up, moving to another hotel, find transportation, etc. that’s a fine way to travel but it is quite a production.

One year we flew to Hawaii, and jumped on a cruise ship for eight days.

Obviously this was pre-COVID days, but we spent the extra money to get a suite with a balcony, and it was very nice. It didn’t take long to realize there something different about this trip. We weren’t going to the islands, the islands were coming to us! A wonderful perspective. Each day a new island view from our balcony.

It is this same concept with the internet. I have the complete power of various search engines, I can go anywhere, use Google earth to see anyplace that I’m thinking about. But sometimes, out of the blue, the internet brings me something. I don’t know if it is artificial intelligence that determines what is presented, or if it is just random choice, but today I was presented with the continent of Mu.

The term was first introduced by Augustus Le Plongeon, who used the “Land of Mu” as an alternative name for Atlantis. It was subsequently popularized as an alternative term for the hypothetical land of Lemuria by James Churchward, who said that Mu was located in the Pacific Ocean. I believe he looked at a globe and determined that the Pacific was just too big to be only about water. The place of Mu in literature has been discussed in detail by one of my favorite authors of sword and sorcery novels, L. Sprague de Camp, in Lost Continents.

So Mu could be Atlantis, but now is something different. And Atlantis is still sunk just outside the Mediterranean, and stories are bountiful about other lost lands. It got me thinking.

Where does this concept come from? I propose distant memories, that have the concept being passed on, but the specific details get confused. As people on this planet we have experienced floods. Floods that have displaced us from our homes, forcing us to move to dryer, and safer lands. I’m not sure about sinking continents.

The immediate thought is about Noah. It has been mentioned many times that other cultures in the Middle East have stories similar to Noah, and not because they were influenced by the local Hebrew population. The most logical explanation is that a widespread flooding event occurred and was remembered by those living around it.

The Black Sea can be thought of as a lake where several major rivers drain into it, and then it drains into the Mediterranean, and then it drains into the Atlantic. Atlantic storms rain onto Russian soil, and then it drains into the many rivers going to the Black Sea and the cycle repeats. But it was not always so.

Thousands of years ago, when humans had been in the land for centuries, they had built hundreds of fishing villages on the edge of the Black Sea. The Dneiper, the Don, the Volga, and hundred of other rivers had all drained into the Black Sea, but the balance was that the water evaporated at a steady rate, so the shoreline was relatively stable. There may have been a smal river that drained into the Aegean Sea but the Black Sea was a fresh water lake.

The Mediterranean Sea was connected to the Atlantic Ocean and the level there was also balanced except for the melting of the ice packs covering much of Europe. There was a lot of water involved, so much that the levels rose in the Mediterranean. On the east shore of the Mediterranean, there was a small river that flowed into the Mediterranean coming from the mountains in the east. It’s still there, it flows right past Istanbul, Turkey. When the Mediterranean rose the water went up river to the mountains. Eventually it reversed the flow of water, broke through the ridge, creating a tremendous waterfall down to the Black Sea, estimated at two hundred times the flow of Niagara Falls. This may have occurred 8 to 9000 years ago.

It didn’t take long at that rate to completely engulf the thousands of villages on the shore of the Black Sea. Not like a tsunami, but perhaps a steady few inches a day. But people remembered, and perhaps it rained as well.

So, there is a possibility of remembering cities under water, but what about a land?

There is recent scholarship concerning Doggerland. This was a boggy area between England, Denmark, and Belgium. It is now one of the prime fishing grounds in the North Sea. It used to be slightly above water. It disappeared at roughly the same time as the Black Sea villages. Dredges have picked up bones of mammoths, lions, and deer. Also some Stone Age tools, so people lived or traveled there.

We apparently have real evidence that some of our “cities” have disappeared beneath the waves. But Mu, I’m afraid, is just a good story.

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
This entry was posted in Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.