The Garip Islands, a pair of tiny islands that lie in the Aegean Sea a few hundred yards off the coastline of Turkey, don't seem like they would be a very significant place. But back in 406 B.C.E., when they were called the Arginusae Islands, they were near the site of an important naval battle between Athens and Sparta in the Peloponnesian War.
The odd thing, though, is that ancient written sources indicate there actually were three Arginusae Islands, not two. The third supposedly was the site of the ancient port city of Kane. For years, scholars puzzled over that inconsistency, because the location now is a peninsula. Maps from the Ottoman Empire showed that it had been part of mainland Turkey since at least the 1500s.
Then, finally, in 2015, researchers discovered the answer. They drilled deep into the ground and discovered evidence — including the remains of an ancient harbor — that the peninsula actually had once been an island. Apparently, some time before the 1500s, earthquakes or sediment eroded from nearby farm fields and created a land bridge [source: Romeo].
Author's Note: 10 Lost Islands
I've been fascinated with the idea of lost islands since I first heard the British pop singer Donovan's 1969 single "Atlantis," which took considerable literary license with original legend described by Plato, and with Greek mythology in general. It also contains a wonderfully nonsensical reference to "my antediluvian baby" that's been puzzling me for decades.
More Great Links
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- Anadolu Agency. "Researchers set to discover Istanbul's lost island." Hurryiet Daily News. May 8, 2016. (May 8, 2016) http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/researchers-set-to-discover-istanbuls-lost-island--.aspx?PageID=238&NID=95847&NewsCatID=341
- Associated Press. "Island claimed by India and Bangladesh sinks below waves." Guardian. March 24, 2010. (May 7, 2016) http://bit.ly/1Wg2bhv
- Associated Press. "Pacific Island Was 'Missing' Because of a Clerical Error." Spokane Daily Chronicle. July 19, 1937. (May 7, 2016) http://bit.ly/1OitxMj
- Associated Press. "Vanishing of Sarah Ann, Tiny Pacific Island, Causes Scientists Much Worry." Ludington Daily News. Oct. 16, 1932. (May 7, 2016) http://bit.ly/1Oitv77
- Atherton, Matt. "Turkey: Lost ancient island of Vordonisi to be revealed 1,000 years after being submerged by earthquake." International Business Times. March 1, 2016. (May 7, 2016) http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/turkey-ancient-sunken-island-vordonisi-be-revealed-once-more-underwater-1546827
- BBC News. "South Pacific Sandy Island 'proven not to exist'." BBC News. Nov. 22, 2012. (May 8, 2016) http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-20442487
- BBC Two. "Oceans: Exploring Secrets of Our Underwater World." BBC. (May 7, 2016) http://www.bbc.co.uk/oceans/locations/mediterranean/ferdinandea.shtml
- BBC World Service. "Mexico's Missing Island." BBC. Sept. 10, 2009. (May 7, 2016) http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/documentaries/2009/09/090910_world_stories_mexico_missing_island.shtml
- Campbell, Hamish. "The Zealandia Drowning Debate: Did New Zealand Sink Beneath the Waves?" Bridget Williams Books. 2013. (May 7, 2016) http://bit.ly/1OitJv4
- Cook Islands Museum and Library Society. "The case of the missing islands: Tuanaki and Victoria." Cook-islands-library-museum.org. Sept. 22, 2011. (May 7, 2016) http://cook-islands-library-museum.org/the-case-of-the-missing-islands-tuanaki-and-victoria/
- Gardner, Nicky and Kries, Suzanne. "Jordsand." Hidden Europe. (May 7, 2016) http://www.hiddeneurope.co.uk/swallowed-by-the-sea-jordsand
- Google Maps. "Sandy Island." Google Maps. (May 8, 2016) http://bit.ly/1Zva4xK
- Harff, J. Bailey, G. and Luth, F. "Geology and Archaeology: Submerged Landscapes of the Continental Shelf." Geological Society of London. 2016. (May 7, 2016) http://bit.ly/1OitPTh
- Harvey, Miles. "The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime." Random House. 2000. (May 7, 2016) http://bit.ly/1ZuGWa3
- Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. "Once a big island, Maui County now four small islands." USGS. April 10, 2003.(May 8, 2016) http://on.doi.gov/1ZuPuh5
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- Matetu. "Cannibals and Converts: Radical Change in the Cook Islands." Institute of Pacific Studies. 1983. (May 7, 2016) http://bit.ly/1OitCiZ
- Metafilter. "The lost island of Ferdinandea, AKA Graham Island, AKA Île Julia." Metafilter.com. July 11, 2013. ( May 7, 2016) http://bit.ly/1OitT5A
- Morelle, Rebecca. "Fragments of ancient continent buried under Indian Ocean." BBC News. Feb. 25, 2013. (May 9, 2016) http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-21551149
- Nethery, W. James. "Graham's Island (Ferdinandea) named after
- Sir James Graham." Clan Graham Society. (May 8, 2016) http://www.clangrahamsociety.org/placesferdinandea.html
- The New York Times. "Volcanic Island Could Rise After 170 Years Under Sea." The New York Times. Nov. 26, 2002. (May 7, 2016) http://nyti.ms/1OitWOH
- Nunn, Patrick D. "Vanished Islands and Hidden Continents of the Pacific." University of Hawaii Press. 2009. (May 8, 2016) http://bit.ly/1Zv2bIJ
- Plato. "Timaeus." Classics.mit.edu. (May 8, 2016) http://bit.ly/1ZuH9de
- Romeo, Nick. "Lost Island of Ancient Greece Discovered in Aegean Sea." National Geographic. Nov. 20, 2015. (May 9, 2016) http://bit.ly/1UMM0Hm
- Stevenson, Mark. "Mexico vows to keep looking for 'lost' island." Associated Press, via San Diego Union-Tribune. June 24, 2009. (May 8, 2016) http://bit.ly/1Zv4Sda
- Stewart, Iain. "Echoes of Plato's Atlantis." BBC. Feb. 17, 2011. (May 8, 2016) http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/greeks/atlantis_01.shtml
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