is the name of a continent that allegedly existed in the vastness of
the Indian and Pacific Oceans in a time before Atlantis. Unlike the
however, it is not part of a twenty-five hundred year old myth but is
rather based on a 19th century hypothesis erroneously advanced by
zoologist and biogeographer Philip Sclater in an article published in
The Quarterly Journal of Science titled “The Mammals of Madagascar.”
Sclater, in order to explain how related primates could be found in
areas separated by thousands of miles of ocean, proposed that
Madagascar and India were once the opposite sides of a submerged
anomalies of the Mammal fauna of Madagascar can best be explained by
supposing that . . . a large continent occupied parts of the Atlantic
and Indian Oceans . . . that this continent was broken up into islands,
of which some have become amalgamated with . . . Africa, some . . .
with what is now Asia; and that in Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands
we have existing relics of this great continent, for which . . . I
should propose the name Lemuria!
His assumption was of
course incorrect, but in a time before the theories of plate tectonics
and continental drift became an excepted geological fact, sunken
continents along with land bridges were often used to explain how
similar species and rock formations could be found in widely separated
locations. Indeed, many scientists seeking an explanation for the
distribution of similar species in both Asia and the Americas quickly
jumped on the bandwagon extending the scope and size of the alleged
landmass until it filled a large part of the Pacific.   
The Tamil peoples of Southern India and North-Eastern Sri Lanka make
reference in their literature to a sunken landmass (Kumari Kandam)
located in the ocean south of India and identified with Lemuria by
Tamil nationalists in the late 19th early 20th centuries.
Sunken continents do exist in the Pacific and Indian oceans (Zealandia
and the Kerguelen Plateau) but fall far outside both the geographical
and geological parameters proposed for Lemuria.
 In modern
popular culture many authors, Lin Carter, H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E.
Howard to name a few, have ascribed Atlantean attributes, both good and
bad, to Lemuria the hypothetical “lost land“ of the Indian/Pacific
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