This planet we call home has been around for about 4.53 billion years. Over this stupendous span of time, our earth has undergone countless changes we are only now beginning to understand. Millions of years ago, tectonic plate movements, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis had pushed land masses together, broken them apart, even drowned them in the oceans. Such is the might of nature that entire continents are known to have disappeared, without a trace, into the depths of the sea.
Geologists and explorers have always been fascinated with the idea of discovering the remnants of lost civilisations underwater. And in the recent years, a few excavations to find land masses under the oceans have been successful too. According to experts from the University of Liverpool, there may be five or six submerged islands in the Indian Ocean alone, maybe more under other oceans. In this article, Soulveda explores underwater worlds–both real and hypothetical–that have captured the interest of experts and the common man alike.
The city of Dwaraka, located in north-western India on the coast of Gulf of Cambay, is a popular pilgrimage site. Legend has it that it was once the kingdom of Lord Krishna. He is believed to have been born here at the end of the Dwapara Yuga (third of the four epochs mentioned in Hindu scriptures). This is when the legendary Mahabharata war is believed to have been fought.
Stories of Krishna’s role in the Mahabharata are well-known–while some accounts maintain he favoured the Pandavas and brought about their victory, others say he was the reason the war broke out in the first place. According to legend, when the entire line of Kauravas died on the battle field, a distraught Gandhari, their mother, accused Krishna of foul play and cursed him to suffer a similar fate. And thus, in the years that followed the great war, Krishna’s kingdom gradually descended into chaos. It is believed that in the end, the sea rose and engulfed the whole kingdom, destroying everything in its wake.
What was left of the region forms the Dwaraka of today, it is said. Interestingly, archaeological surveys held in the past couple of decades have unearthed the remains of a mysterious civilisation in the depths of the Gulf of Cambay. Findings have so far been inconclusive, but believers are overjoyed with the discovery of what could finally serve as proof that the kingdom of Lord Krishna was indeed real.
Rock samples collected from the submerged island of Mauritia, scientists have found, are much older than the Indian Ocean itself.
In 2017, Zealandia–which is approximately the same size as India–was declared the eighth continent of the world.