Lemuria (continent)

Lemuria denotes a hypothetical or fictitious sunken continent or a land bridge that should have either located between Madagascar and India, or between Australia and America. Lemuria plays today, especially in science fiction literature and esoteric a role. The adoption of such land bridges was widespread until the recognition of plate tectonics.

Biology and Geology

1864 speculated the zoologist and animal geographer Philip Sclater in an article "The Mammals of Madagascar" about lemurs and other related primate species, which appeared in The Quarterly Journal of Science, about Lemuria, which was a continent in the Indian Ocean. This continent was broken up into islands, one of which was a Madagascar. The absence of fossils of these primate groups on the African continent, he concluded that the distribution must be done differently.

Evolutionary biologist Ernst Haeckel speculated in his popular History of Creation (1868 ) about a sunken land bridge between Madagascar and India and the geographical origin of man:

But " Perhaps also East Africa the place where first was the emergence of primitive man from the anthropoid apes; perhaps a now below the level of the Indian Ocean sunken continent, which on the one hand eastwards to the Sunda Islands, on the other hand extended in the south west of the current Asia to Madagascar and Africa. "

1874 mentioned Haeckel in his Anthropogeny under the registry " Lemuria " that he had speculated in his Natural History of Creation, in the 23 lecture on panel 15 to the geographical origin of mankind, which he conceived as a " first attempt ", " a hypothetical Skitzze " have, so far as the later criticism from pro is without purpose. He takes the card into the Anthropogeny not back on.

In the ninth edition of the Natural History of Creation in 1897 Haeckel referred to the idea of Lemuria now obsolete with the express terms of Sclater, as a result of the latest geological findings. He now preferred as the most likely hypothesis the origin of man in the western Indo-China.

Eduard Suess also propagated the land bridge hypothesis and gave the suspected Lemuria the name Gondwana.

Lemuria, as well as other hypothetical land bridges, such as between Southeast Asia and South America, which were derived from the disjunct distribution of animal and plant groups, have generally been found to be a mistake. Neither todays valid theory of plate tectonics or the known in animal geography spread movements nor the geology and geography of the seabed in this region have still room for such speculation.

Esoteric theories and Tamil historiography

Haeckel's speculations were very well received by mystics. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the subject of filling the Indian Ocean and later sunken continent was mediated by theosophical writings of a popular nationalist - oriented direction of the Tamil historiography under the name Ilemuriya or Kumarikkandam ( " continent [ adjacent to the Indian South Cape ] ( Kanniya ) Kumari " ) acquired, associated with older, legendary flood reports ( mostly from the medieval commentaries to alttamilischen Sangam poetry) and so make it a central part of a neo- mythological- nationalist Tamil historical design.

Literary implementation

In the fantasy and science-fiction literature of the " sunken continent of Lemuria " is used variously as a venue, as Robert E. Howard, HP Lovecraft and Lin Carter. Richard Sharpe Shaver claimed to have the Lemurian alphabet, called by him Mantong decrypted.

In the SF series Perry Rhodan, who plays in the so-called Perryversum, Lemuria is one to 52,000 BC -existent continent between Asia and America, which was inhabited by the "first human ", the Lemurern. As a result of a devastating war with the alien people of the Haluter the continent sank in the Pacific.

In Thomas Pynchon's postmodern detective novel Inherent Vice from 2009 ( German Natural 2010 under the title defects) appear Lemuria in fantasy and drug intoxication of the protagonist as a vanishing point of the plot.