Re: Q: Did the lost continent of Mu really exist?

Paul V. Heinrich (
Mon, 30 Dec 1996 19:49:57 -0600

In article <01bbf679$852aa1e0$1d3ae9cd@wintermute>, "Gord Bowman"
<> wrote:

> Please excuse me if this is a question that gets asked far
> too often, but I was unable to locate an FAQ for either
> sci.archaeology or sci.anthropology.
> Is there any truth to the claims of Col. James Churchward
> as to the continent of Mu in the Pacific which vanished
> 25,000 years ago and whose history dates back 200,000 years
> ago? Supposedly, he translated stone tablets found in an
> East Indian temple vault. Do these tablets really exist
> and have they been examined by anyone else? Was he a fraud,
> or merely mistaken in his translations or perhaps even a
> little loony?

He relied too much on a completely disasterous, but honest,
attempt by another person to translate a Mayan text. Numerous
people have looked into the claims for Mu and Lemuria and
found nothing to substanciate them. The best book on them

de Camp, S. L., 1954, Lost Continents: The Atlantis Theme in
History, Science, and Literature. Gnome Press, Inc., New York.

An FAQ that I prepared on Mu from de Camp (1954) is reposted


"Mu" is what Churchwood renamed "Lemuria," because of a
mistranslation by a monk who in a failed attempt to translate
Mayan book came up with a story of a continent wiped out in
a catastrophe. The book was really an astronomy text which had
nothing to do with either lost continents, catastrophes, or Mu.

The concept of Lemuria is a scientific Frankenstein that has
resurfaced again to haunt the European scientists who first
created it. Unknown to many people, the idea of Lemuria
was not created in prehistoric times, but rather by European
and American scientists in the late 1800s as a way of
explaining the distribution of rocks, fossils, and animals in
the days before continental drift when continents were
considered immovable and immutable features of the
surface of the Earth (de Camp 1954).

The Birth of Lemuria

The concept of Lemuria was born when in the 1860s and
1870s, when a group of British geologists noted the striking
similarity between fossils and sedimentary strata found in
India and South Africa. Geologists like Stow and Blanford
in India and Griesbach in Africa noted that strata of Permian
age in India, South Africa, Australia, and South America
(245 to 286 million years ago) were almost identical in the
type of sedimentary rocks, e.g. numerous coal beds. In
addition, these strata on these continents contained
identical fossils of land plants, e.g. cordaites and
_Glossopteris_ and land animals, e.g. Therapsids. Because
such land plants and animals could not have crossed the
open sea and continents were thought to be immobile, these
geologists explained the presence of identical fossil plants
and animals on India, Africa, South America, and Australia
by postulating the existence of land bridges and even whole
continents that had long since sunk beneath the oceans.
In one case, they postulated the existence a large land
bridge that once connected India and South Africa. In the
"Erdegeschichte" (1887) of Neumayr, this hypothetical land
bridge was called "Indo-Madagascan Peninsula" (de Camp

Ernest Heinrich Haekel, a strong advocate of the evolutionary
theory of Darwin like Thomas Huxley noticed the proposed
land bridge of "Indo-Madagascan Peninsula." Haekel used it
to explain the distribution of lemurs in Africa, India, and the
Madagascar, and Malaya Peninsula. He proposed that this
hypothetical land-bridge had stayed above water long enough
for it have served as the means by which lemurs spread into
these areas. The English biologist, Philip L Scalter named
this land bridge "Lemuria" because of its hypothesized with
lemurs. Thus, Lemuria was neither named nor conceived of
or by prehistoric people, but by geologists and biologists
in the 1800s (de Camp 1954). When plate tectonics or some
other equally prosaic theory clearly explained the distribution
of strata, fossils, and lemurs, it became clear that Lemuria
and other such continents and land bridges never really
existed, e.g. Wicander and Monroe (1989).

The Reincarnation of Lemuria

Lemuria was reincarnated as a lost continent by Madame
Blavatsky, the greatest of the modern occultists. Madame
Blavatsky incorporated this concept of Lemuria, in a confused
form, together with Atlantis and bizarre mixture of scientific,
occult, and Hindu religious material, including the "Rig-Veda"
in her book, "The Secret Doctrine." In this book, Lemuria
became a lost continent, although still in the Indian Ocean,
populated by ape-like hermaphroditic egg-laying creatures.
Later writers of occult, lost-continent tales, e.g. Annie Besant,
W. Scott-Elliot added their own detail and embellishment to
the story of Lemuria, including dinosaurs and 12 to 15-foot
bronze humanoids. The final event in the reincarnation of
Lemuria occurred when writers of occult books moved the
location of Lemuria from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific
Ocean (de Camp 1954). Since then, mystics and psychics have
written innumerable books about Lemuria and either tuned
into the spiritual essence and vibrations or channeled for
the spirits of long departed Lemurians who never existed
to begin with.

When the theory of continental drift was developed, people
realized that it and other more prosaic theories explained
the distribution of animals, fossils, and plants better then lost
continents, As a result, Lemuria was allowed to fade away into
obscurity, while eclipsed by more realistic theories long before
there were GEOSAT and SEASAT satellite data to demonstrate
the fictional nature of Lemuria.

For the original story read:
de Camp, S. L., 1954, Lost Continents: The Atlantis Theme in
History, Science, and Literature. Gnome Press, Inc., New York.

Other references
Wicander, R., and Monroe, J. S., 1989, Historical Geology:
Evolution of the Earth and Life Through Time. West
Publishing Company, New York.


Paul V. Heinrich All comments are the personal opinion of the writer and
Baton Rouge, LA do not constitute policy and/or
opinion of government or corporate
entities. This includes my employer.

Earthquakes don't kill people.
Overpasses and buildings kill people.
-anonymous civil engineer