Lemuria: the Lost Land

Nothing is More Intimidating Than the Unknown

by Melody Krishnan, age 16

There is nothing more intimidating and frightful than the unknown.

Over the course of history, humans have attempted to decode and conquer the unknown. At times this has led to the adoption of elaborate theories to explain natural phenomena, some of these theories holding little water. It’s human nature to try to fill in the gaps in our understanding. The legions of scientists today confirm this. But history has taught us that acting on unsupported asumptions can be harmful to society.

An example is the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Townspeople turned against other townspeople, blaming one another for practicing witchcraft. Unfortunately, the widely accepted belief in witchcraft resulted in 19 deaths of accused witches by the gallows, and several more by other torturous methods. The following story is another instance of the creation of an idea to explain something that the science of the time could not. Luckily, it had more benign results than the Salem Witch Trials.

According to a long-believed legend, there was once a mysterious, lost continent named Lemuria. In this place lived immortal beings, known as Lemurians. Adding to the mystery, this continent and its people eventually sank beneath the sea.

The theory of Lemuria was presented when evolution failed to justify the cross matching of geological strata and the distribution of lemurs. According to evolution, similar species evolve from a single shared ancestor. Scientists were struggling to justify how the lemur lived mostly on the island of Madagascar, and also in regions as far off as India and Malay Archipelago and nowhere in-between. The mystery of how these animals crossed the Indian Ocean left scientists puzzled.

When geologists discovered that southern Africa and central India contained similar rocks and fossils, they concluded that a land bridge was the lemurs’ method of transportation between Africa and India. An English zoologist, Philip Sclater, named this continent Lemuria.

Lemurians, the ancient beings who occupied Lemuria, had several different physical descriptions depending on who was describing them.

Madame Blavatsky was viewed by some as a mystic with superior spiritual knowledge, while viewed by others as a good-for-nothing charlatan. Blavatsky determined these hulking apelike creatures lived on a continent located in mostly the southern hemisphere. Each individual had different characteristics; some had three eyes, some had four arms; all spoke not with their mouths, but through telepathy. They were even capable of moving mountains by exercising their willpower.

According to anthropologist William Scott-Elliot, Lemurians were close to 15 feet tall. Their faces lacked foreheads, but had protruding jaws. They had brown skin, far-set eyes that could see sideways, and heels that stuck far behind their ankles, making it possible for them to walk backwards.

It was a wide-held belief that Lemurians originally laid eggs, but after some time began reproducing as humans do. In addition, Lemurians interbred with other species, which led to the birth of apes.

Lemurians were highly developed. They were even capable of reincarnation. Unfortunately, at the height of their rule, the continent of Lemuria was completely submerged under the sea.

However, it is believed by some that descendants of Lemurians are in existence, even today.

In 1932, Edward Lanser wrote, in the Los Angeles Times Star, that Lemurians inhabited Mt. Shasta in Weed, CA. He had seen unusual green and red lights on Mt. Shasta while traveling on a train. Curious, Lanser inquired about the lights, finding out they were the lights of “Lemurians holding ceremonials.” Lanser visited Mt. Shasta and encountered more people who had witnessed the lights. Supposedly, the red and green lights were a ceremonial remembrance of Lemuria. Apparently, there were people who journeyed up the 14,160 feet high mountain in hopes of seeing the “mystic village,” but none returned.

Professor Edgar Lucin Larkin, a scientist at Mount Lowe Observatory, viewed the village using a telescope. He described the Lemurians as “tall, barefoot, noble-looking men with close-cropped hair, dressed in spotless white robes.” Professor Larkin claimed he saw a temple made of onyx and marble.

It was said that Lemurians’ wealth included large gold nuggets, mined from the mountain, which they used to buy entire stores in the town of Weed.

These beings continued living undiscovered for thousands of years. They blended into their surroundings, vanishing when necessary using the “secret power of the Tibetan masters.” An invisible force protected their secluded lifestyles from interferences from the outside world.

Professor Larkin was later exposed as an occultist, who ran the observatory as a tourist attraction. When Mt. Shasta was searched years later, no evidence of Lemurians’ existence was found. However, occultists believe that Aborigines, Hottentots, and Papuans are today’s descendants of Lemurians.

New theories offering more scientific evidence to explain lemur distribution surfaced. Society eventually embraced one of these theories, which was introduced in 1912, known as Continental Drift, a theory stating that the Earth's continents have been joined together and have moved away from each other at different times in the Earth's history. Continental Drift, and the fact that Lemuria would have been underwater millions of years before primitive humans evolved, debunked the theory of Lemuria. Even so, occultists still embrace Lemuria as a very plausible idea.

[Sources: The Atlas of Mysterious Places; Famous American Trials; Salem Witchcraft Trials; pbs.org]

I found the nature of your article to be very alluring. It was as if I was being told an actual story and not just absorbing a bunch of bland information. It's amazing the kinds of legends that mankind has passed down but I guess that depending on how people to take them, they can lead to good or bad. – Eleazar WawaMadison, WI (2014-04-22 17:33)
Wow, this article is very well written. The pacing is great, and as Eleazar mentioned, the narrative is very compelling. I like how you incorporated the fantasy descriptions of Lemuria, that was a great way to show how the myth gained such acceptance from occultists and others. It is after all, a good story. – BenMadison (2014-05-03 12:17)
Great writing! Looking forward to reading more. – Cheryl DickinsonSouthern CT State University (2014-05-27 10:53)
Very interesting. Keep up the great work! – MetiFlorida (2014-06-18 10:49)