By Sally Taylor
Those of you who are avid treasure hunters are probably all well familiar with maps which are completely undecipherable. Even older maps which were intended to be accurate portrayals of topography can be almost humorously inaccurate. The existence of a map dating from the middle ages, then, that could be used to correct errors in modern maps created as late as the 1950s would be nothing less than astonishing. But it does exist.
The map was drawn by Piri Reis in 1513. It shows detailed and pointedly accurate outlines of Eastern North and South America, and Western Africa, an absolutely amazing accomplishment in that era, but that is not the real show stopper about this map. It also shows a completely accurate detailed outline of the Northern Antarctic Coast as it exists without the ice cap. This is not just amazing, it is impossible by any technique we know of to have existed in the known technology of civilization until our present abilities. There are two issues that even further complicate this mystery.
Some older maps of the world are inaccurate. Yet some ancient maps of the world are more accurate than later versions. Historians find this fact a puzzling mystery. Watch the video to learn more.
The first complication is that Antarctica had not been discovered yet in 1513. The fact that Piri Reis had stated himself that he had used other maps from other resources available to sailors in his era, some dating back to the days of Alexander the Great, does nothing but compound the mystery. That only means that this information was compiled at an even earlier date. Where could this information have come from? While completely baffling, it is only the “tip of the iceberg” so to speak,
The outline of Antarctica on this map shows the coastline as it is under the one mile thick snow cap of the region — with an accuracy we can verify now by using only recently developed technology via aerial surveying. It has been calculated that the last time the Antarctic coast was clear of this ice cap was 6,000 years ago at the most recent, with a possible inaccuracy of this figure pushing the date back to possibly as long as 13,000 years ago. At present, we have no knowledge of any civilization in existence during those dates.
In 1953 the Hydrographic Bureau of the U.S. Navy acquired this map and actually used it to correct errors in their own present day maps. Apparently whoever drew these charts had the knowledge of the fact that the world is round, the circumference, within 50 miles, and an extremely advanced knowledge of spherical trigonometry.
The Piri Reis is only one of several maps drawn during the middle ages by sailors using mapping from ancient sources completely unknown to us in present times. While we can now map the world with the same accuracy as these ancients were able to do, it still remains for us to find out who these people were and when they lived.
If you would like to know more about the Piri Reis and other impossible yet existent maps, treat yourself to a visit to World Mysteries.
© 2007 Sally Taylor:
You don’t have to be Indiana Jones to find gemstones and fossils or prospect for gold and artifacts. Come on over to Rock Hound Station and learn how easy it is to turn those dull weekends into a life of adventure.