This article appeared in,
New Dawn No. 103 (July-August 2007)
from NewDawnMagazine Website
This ancient continent was apparently
the home of an advanced and highly spiritual culture, perhaps the
mother race of all mankind, but it sank beneath the waves many
thousands of years ago as the result of a geological cataclysm of
In the late 19th century occultist Madame Blavatsky reincarnated the idea of Lemuria as a lost continent/spiritual homeland and influenced a host of subsequent occultists and mystics including well known American psychic healer and Prophet Edgar Cayce.
The popularization of Lemuria/Mu as a purely physical place began in the 20th century with ex-British army officer Colonel James Churchward, and the idea still has many adherents today.
The title 'Mu' originated with eccentric amateur archaeologist Augustus le Plongeon (1826-1908), who was the first to make photographical records of the ruins of the archaeological site of Chichen Itza in Yucatán, Mexico.
Plongeon's credibility was badly damaged
by his attempted translation of a Mayan book known as the 'Troano
Codex' (also known as the 'Madrid Codex').
He also believed that an ancient continent, which he called Mu, had been destroyed by a volcanic eruption, the survivors of this cataclysm founding the Mayan civilization.
Plongeon equates Mu with Atlantis and states that a 'Queen Moo' originally from Atlantis, travelled to Egypt where she became known as Isis, and founded the Egyptian civilization.
However, Plongeon's interpretation of the Mayan book is considered by experts in Mayan archaeology and history as completely erroneous, indeed much of what he interpreted as hieroglyphics turned out to be ornamental design.
Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (1834-1919), a German naturalist and supporter of Darwin, proposed that a land bridge spanning the Indian Ocean separating Madagascar from India could explain the widespread distribution of lemurs, small, primitive tree-dwelling mammals found in Africa, Madagascar, India and the East Indian archipelago.
More bizarrely, Haeckel also suggested that lemurs were the ancestors of the human race and that this land bridge was the,
Other well-known scientists, such as the
evolutionist T.H. Huxley and the naturalist Alfred Russell
Wallace, had no doubt about the existence of a huge continent in
the Pacific millions of years previously, which had been destroyed
in a disastrous earthquake that submerged it beneath the waves, much
as Atlantis was thought to have
In 1864, the English zoologist Philip Lutley Sclater (1829-1913) gave the hypothetical continent the name 'Lemuria' in an article 'The Mammals of Madagascar' in The Quarterly Journal of Science, and since then it has stuck.
The theory of plate tectonics, and it is still a theory, affirms that moving plates of the Earth's crust supported on less rigid mantle rocks causes continental drift, volcanic and seismic activity, and the formation of mountain chains.
The concept of continental drift was
first proposed by German scientist Alfred Wegener in 1912,
but the theory did not gain general acceptance in the scientific
community for another 50 years.
They also point out that theories of lost lands in the Pacific mostly originate in the 19th century, when knowledge of the area was limited and well before the Pacific sea floor had been mapped.
Blavatsky was the co-founder, together
with lawyer Henry Steel Olcott, of the Theosophical Society,
in New York in 1875. The Society was an esoteric order designed to
study the mystical teachings of both Christianity and Eastern
The third of these
Root Races she called the 'Lemurian',
which lived a million years ago, and who were bizarre telepathic
giants who kept dinosaurs as pets.
Present humanity represents the Fifth Root Race. Blavatsky envisioned her Lemuria as covering a vast area.
In her own words it stretched from,
Blavatsky also describes survivors of the catastrophic destruction of Lemuria escaping to become the ancestors of some of the Aboriginal tribes of Australia.
She maintained that she took all of her
information regarding Lemuria from 'The
Book of Dzyan', supposed to have been written in Atlantis
and shown to her by the Indian adepts known as 'Mahatmas'.
It has to be said that The Secret
Doctrine is an extremely difficult book, a complex mixture of
Eastern and Western cosmologies, mystical ramblings and esoteric
wisdom, much of it not meant to be taken literally.
What Blavatsky and other occultists
since have suggested concerning Lemuria could be partly interpreted
as an ideal spiritual condition of the soul, a kind of
Indeed, there are a few who when 'hypnotically regressed' have recalled former lives as citizens on the doomed continent.
In Praed's case, she used the
theosophical idea of Lemuria to present an idealized primeval
history of Australia, a land very different to the Queensland
frontier country wracked by racial violence she had witnessed
first-hand as a child.
In The Last Lemurian, written in
1898 by historian of Australian exploration and adventure-romance
novelist George Firth Scott, the narrator Dick Halwood
discovers the remains of legendary Lemuria out in the Australian
desert, in a plot involving reincarnation, pygmies, a bunyip-monster,
and an occult Yellow Queen.
The Lost Explorer (1890)
by James Francis Hogan has Lemuria as 'Malua', located in the
centre of Australia, and ruled by the cannibalistic Queen Mocata,
the last survivor of a superior race that once lived in "the
interior of the great southern continent."
Indeed, in some Theosophical publications of the first quarter of the 20th century Aborigines were described as the last of the Lemurians.
However, the Aborigines of Australia had already been established on the continent for at least 30,000 years at the time of the supposed destruction of Lemuria, in fact they have perhaps the longest continuous cultural history of any people on Earth, so the theory of them having a Lemurian origin does not hold water.
Around 12,000 years ago Mu was wiped out by an earthquake and submerged beneath the Pacific.
Apparently Atlantis, a colony of Mu, was
destroyed in the same way a thousand years later. All the world's
major ancient civilizations, from the Babylonians and the Persians,
to the Maya and the Egyptians, were the remains of the colonies of
This order was known as the 'Naacal Brotherhood'.
Churchward later asserted that certain
stone artifacts recovered in Mexico contained parts of the 'Sacred
Inspired Writings of Mu', perhaps taking ideas from Augustus le
Plongeon and his use of the Troana Codex to provide evidence for the
existence of Mu.
These islands, situated on the tidal
flats southeast of Temwen Island, Micronesia, contain house
foundations, sea walls - thirty feet tall in places, tunnels and
burial vaults, all constructed entirely from prismatic basalt
columns stacked crisscross like log cabins. These rocks weigh
several tons on average, with the largest weighing 25 tons.
A clue to how this feat was achieved are
crystal basalt columns discovered at the bottom of the lagoon near
Temwen Island and on the shores of other islets in the area, which
would suggest that the stones were transported by raft.
Radio carbon dates and analysis of
pottery from Nan Madol reveal that construction of the site began
around 1200 CE, though the area may have been occupied from as early
as 200 BCE. Such dates would certainly preclude any connection with
Churchward's Lemurians or their descendents.
The saudeleur line was brought to an end in the 1500s by exiled Pohnpeian warrior, Isokelekel.
The new chiefs, known as Nahnmwarki, occupied Nan Madol for a couple of hundred years, but by the 1800's when the first Europeans arrived, the site was deserted.
Why this happened remains one of the many mysteries of this incredible site.
In 1999 the Joint Oceanographic
Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling Resolution (JOIDES)
research vessel made an amazing discovery drilling in an area of the
southern Indian Ocean about 3,000 km to the southwest of Australia.
Scientists believe that around 50 million years ago, the continent may have had tropical flora and fauna, including small dinosaurs.
With further research planned, the fascinating puzzle of the Kerguelen Plateau may yet resurrect the Lemuria debate.
Shortly afterwards, Professor Masaki
Kimura, a marine geologist at Ryukyu University in Okinawa,
confirmed the existence of the 183m wide, 27m high structure.
Some researchers have suggested these ruins are the remains of a submerged civilization - and that the structures represent perhaps the oldest architecture in the world.
Connections with Lemuria and Atlantis
have also been mentioned.
Furthermore, archaeologists also point
out that no man-made tools or weapons have been recovered from the
site, which would indicate human settlement.
A year later further acoustic imaging surveys were undertaken and evidence recorded for apparent human settlement at the site, which included the foundations of huge structures, pottery, sections of walls, beads, pieces of sculpture and human bone.
One of the wooden finds supposedly from
the city has given a radiocarbon date of 7500 BCE, which would make
the site 4,000 years earlier than the oldest known civilization in
However, it must be added that a number of marine geologists believe that the NIOT scientists have made serious errors in their interpretations of the sonar images obtained from the area.
The opinion of these researchers is that the supposedly ancient 'ruins', shown as geometric patterns on the images, are natural rock formations and there is no evidence that the artifacts discovered in the area of the site, including the radio-carbon dated block of wood, are associated with it.
The debate is still continuing among
geologists, archaeologists and historians on this controversial
In this sense Lemuria or Mu will always
be more than just a physical place.