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Vanished Islands and Hidden Continents of the Pacific$
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Patrick D. Nunn

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832193

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832193.001.0001

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Mythical Continents of the Pacific

Mythical Continents of the Pacific

(p.108) 7 Mythical Continents of the Pacific
Vanished Islands and Hidden Continents of the Pacific

Patrick D. Nunn

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses accounts of mythical continents in the Pacific, which have almost no basis in fact, being largely a result of incorrect inferences or the products of people's imaginations. These include accounts of the supposed great southern continent known as Terra Australis; the lost continent named Rutas; the hidden continent named Lemuria; and Mu, a supposedly sunken continent in the Atlantic Ocean. It is argued that many of the people who believe in submerged continents have done so because it fits well with their diffusionist beliefs. This idea holds that modern human cultures all originated in one place (or only a few) before spreading out in all directions (diffusing) to other places where, despite acquiring distinctive cultural overlays, their original form can still be recognized.

Keywords:   Pacific Islands, mythical continents, Terra Australis, Rutas, Lemuria, Mu, diffusionism

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