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No. 36: Nov-Dec 1984

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Who mapped antarctica in pre-medieval times?

Conventional history has the Antarctic continent being discovered less than 200 years ago. However, the appearance of Terra Australis Re on Orontius Finaeus' map of 1531 and the depiction of a nearly identical continent on Mercator's 1538 map reveal sufficient, accurate knowledge of Antarctic features for us to conclude that someone discovered and mapped Antarctica well before 1500. The question is: Who? An interesting feature of Fineaeus' map is the reduced ice cover compared with what we find today. The Ross Ice Shelf, for example, was almost nonexistent. Such changes in ice cover are consistent with the modern theory of Antarctic climate changes. Apparently, the seas surrounding Antarctica were a bit warmer before 1500, and some unidentified early mariners brought knowledge of this continent back to Europe.

(Weihaupt, John G.; "Historic Cartographic Evidence for Holocene Changes in the Antarctic Ice Cover," Eos, 65: 493, 1984.)

Comment. Obviously missing from Weihaupt's analysis is any consideration of the famous Piri Re'is map and reference to the work of Charles Hapgood; specifically his Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings.

From Science Frontiers #36, NOV-DEC 1984. 1984-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987