EARTH can be a confusing place but explorers from thousands of years ago thought they knew exactly what it looked like, which has resulted in some fairly amusing results.
Below is a round up of whimsical ancient maps that include phantom islands, legendary cities that don’t actually exist and missing continents.
7 This 17th century map puts Atlantis in the middle of the Atlantic OceanCredit: Wikimedia Commons
Atlantis is an imaginary city that features in the work of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato.
However, some scholars thought Atlantis was real and tried to work out where it was in the world.
This map from the 17th century puts the magical kingdom in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.Frisland the phantom island
7 Frisland is a phantom island depicted on this mapCredit: Wikimedia Commons
A phantom island is an island that doesn’t actually exist but was drawn onto maps anyway because the people at the time were sure of its existence.
They usually stemmed from the reports of sailors who had thought that they had seen land on their travels.
Above you can see the Zeno map, which is a map of the North Atlantic published in 1558 by Nicolo Zeno.
It features a place called Frisland, which doesn’t actually exist.The oldest world map
7 This is the oldest known world mapCredit: Wikimedia Commons
This Babylonian map of the world dates back to the 6th century BC and is the oldest known example of a depiction of Earth.
The map depicts Babylon and eight outlying regions and the supposed distances between them.
It depicts areas like Assyria and Armenia.Missing continents
7 This map from 276–194 BC is clearly missing continentsCredit: Wikimedia Commons
Lots of ancient maps missed off entire continents because the world had barely been explored during the times they were made.
The one above is a good example of this as most of Africa and Antarctica are missing.
Ancient Greek genius Eratosthenes drew this map around 276-194 BC and it is praised for trying to show that the Earth is round.
7 This map was created in 1630Credit: Wikimedia Commons
This was the first widely available map to show parts of Australia.
It was created by Hendrik Hondius in 1630 and was the first dated map to be published in an atlas.
It only shows the part of Australian coastline that was discovered in 1623.The oldest globe
7 The oldest globe does not include the AmericasCredit: Wikimedia Commons
This globe was made by Martin Behaim in 1492 and is the oldest surviving globe in the world.
It does not include the Americas and shows a large Eurasian continent and an empty ocean between Europe and Asia.China at the centre of the world
7 All earlier specimens of maps like this have been lostCredit: Wikimedia Commons
This map shows China in the middle and Europe half way around the world and squished into the corner.
It was created in the late 14th or the 15th century and is referred to as the Amalgamated Map of the Great Ming Empire.
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In other news, ‘Britain’s Atlantis’ has been found off the Norfolk coast – after being ‘swallowed by the sea’ 8,000 years ago.
The lost Biblical city of Ziklag, home to ‘Goliath-killing’ King David 3,200 years ago, has been discovered in Israel.
And, here’s the spookiest shipwrecks that you can see on Google Maps.
Which map did you like the best? Let us know in the comments…
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