Researchers May Have Found the 'Atlantis' of Wales

They spot long-gone islands off the coast on medieval map
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2022 8:03 AM CDT
Old Map May Settle Mystery of Wales' Atlantis
The Ceredigion coast of Wales.   (Getty/Julian Gazzard)

It's not the Atlantis, but two researchers may have figured out answers about the Welsh version of the legend. Poring over a medieval map, they spotted two islands in what is now Cardigan Bay, reports the BBC. No such islands exist today, leading Simon Haslett of Swansea University and David Willis of the University of Oxford to suggest in the journal Atlantic Geoscience that these might account for the lore of Cantre’r Gwaelod, or the Lost Land of Wales, per Herald.Wales. The legend has persisted for more than 800 years in folktales, poems, and song.

"The two islands are clearly marked and may corroborate contemporary accounts of a lost land mentioned in the Black Book of Carmarthen," Haslett tells the BBC, referring to an ancient Welsh text. He and Willis found the two small islands marked on what's known as the Gough Map, which is thought to date back to the 13th century and is the oldest existing map of Great Britain. The location syncs with observations made by Roman cartographer Ptolemy, whose coordinates suggest the Ceredigion coast of Wales once extended miles further into the sea than it does now.

The researchers speculate that the islands were inundated at some point by some natural catastrophe, perhaps a tsunami, that caused them to disappear. “People, now as much as then, want to find a way of explaining things which seem simply unexplainable, especially during tough times," Welsh folklore expert Dr. Juliette Wood, who was not involved in the study, tells the BBC. The story at Herald.Wales recounts some of the more colorful theories surrounding Cantre’r Gwaelod over the ages, including that a fairy priestess allowed the sea to swallow the lost land. (More discoveries stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.