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Established 16/3/2000

New book identifies Ireland as Atlantis

Reported on, August 4th, 2004:


The Hill of Tara may have been the capital of the ancient Atlantis, according to the new theory.

A new book investigating the myth of Atlantis says that the mythical land was actually the island of Ireland.

The claim is made by geologist Ulf Erlingsson in his book 'Atlantis from a Geographer’s Perspective: Mapping the Fairy Land', who is to visit Ireland on August 11 to 13.

In his book Erlingsson bases his evidence on Plato's desription of Atlantis which, according to Erlinsson, matches Ireland perfectly. Statistically, the scientist claims, the probability is over 99.98% that Plato was describing Ireland.

Erlingsson says: "Just like Atlantis, Ireland is 300 miles long, 200 miles wide, and widest over the middle. They both feature a central plain that is open to the sea, but fringed by mountains. No other island on earth even comes close to this description."

“What has led most students astray is that Atlantis sank in the sea”, says Dr Erlingsson. “It is an ‘Atlantic myth’ all right – but a myth from, not about, Atlantis”. "The island that sank was Dogger Bank. It was struck by a disastrous flood-wave around 6,100 BC, and now rests deep under the waves of the North Sea."

In the book, Dr Erlingsson shows how the Atlantic Empire probably can be associated with the megalithic monuments of Europe and Northern Africa. Their geographic distribution matches the extent of the Atlantic Empire as Plato described it.

The Atlantean capital can be connected with Tara, the legendary seat of the high king of Ireland.


Newgrange - a temple of Poseidon?

The temples of Poseidon and the ancestors match up well with the so-called passage tombs of Newgrange and Knowth, in the Boyne valley.

They are the oldest roofed buildings anywhere in the world.

Ulf Erlingsson has a Ph.D. in Physical Geography from Uppsala University.His specialty is geological processes, under-water research, and natural disasters—.

Dr. Erlingsson's theories drew a quick, and somewhat sceptical reaction when he flew into Ireland to visit Newgrange, Knowth and the Hill of Tara. See this article for more details about the reaction. Dr. Erlingsson has reacted to criticism of his theory on this page.

Atlantis may be the island of Ireland

Reported on UTV News , August 4th, 2004:

The mythical land of Atlantis, thought to have plunged into the sea and given the Atlantic Ocean its name, may actually have been the island of Ireland.

Atlantis book

Atlantis from a Geographer's Perspective.

The new claim that equates the island mentioned by classical scholars with Ireland has been made by a physical geographer at Uppsala University, Dr Ulf Erlingsson.

Going by the best-known description of Atlantis, that of philosopher Plato, Erlingsson has drawn parallels he said make it almost 100% statistically certain that the physical features of the islands match.

According to Erlingsson: "Just like Atlantis, Ireland is 300 miles long, 200 miles wide, and widest over the middle. They both feature a central plain that is open to the sea, but fringed by mountains. No other island on earth even comes close to this description."

Dealing with the defining Atlantean event, its collapse into the sea, Dr Erlingsson says the story has become garbled over time but refers to the Dogger Bank in the North Sea, which is known to have become flooded in prehistoric times.

Erlingsson maintains that the Atlantic Empire can be associated with the megalithic monuments of Europe and Northern Africa, and equates the Atlantean capital with Tara or Teamhar na Rí, the ancient seat of the high kings of Ireland and itself a collection of historical sites, not all contemporary.

Plato`s "temples of Poseidon and the ancestors" are analogous to the Brú na Bóinne cemetary complex, which contains the great passage tombs at Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange.

Folklore about Ireland, Hy-Brasil and Atlantis

Traditionally, the link between Ireland and Atlantis was through the mysterious sunken island of Hy-Brasil, located somewhere in the Atlantic. This island, which is said to have been named after the king of Ireland, Bressal, is said in local folklore to be visible once every seven years off the west coast of Ireland. Some believe this is a possible candidate for Atlantis, hence the naming of the ocean, the Atlantic Ocean.

Way back in 1684, the Irish historian O'Flaherty spoke about the enchanted island of Hy-Brasil:

"From the Isles of Arran and the west continent often appears visible that enchanted island called O'Brasail and, in Irish, Beg Ara.

Whether it be real and firm land kept hidden by the special ordnance of God, or the terrestrial paradise, or else some illusion of airy clouds appearing on the surface of the sea, or the craft of evil spirits, is more than our judgments can pound out.

"There is now living, Murrough O'Ley, who imagines he was himself personally in O'Brasail for two days and saw out of it the Isles of Arran, Golam Head, Iross-beg Hill, and other places on the western continent which he was acquainted with. The manner of it he relates, that being in Iross-Ainhagh, in the south side of the Barony of Ballynahinshy, about nine leagues from Galway by sea in the month of April, A.D. 1668, going alone from one village to another in a melancholy humour upon some discontent of his wife's (!) he was encountered by two or three strangers and forcibly carried by a boat into O'Brasail, as such as were within told him -- and they could speak both English and Irish. He was ferried out hoodwinked in a boat, as he imagines, till he was left on the seaside by Galway, where he lay in a friend's house for some days after being very desperately ill, and knows not how he came to be there.

"In the western ocean, five or six leagues from the continent there is a sand bank about thirty fathoms deep in the sea. It is called in Irish, Imaire Bay, and in English, the Cod-fishing Bank. From this bank about twenty years ago, a boat was blown southwards by night; next day about noon the occupants spyed land so near them that they could see sheep within it, and yet durst not, for fear of illusions, touch shore, imagining it was O'Brasail, and they were two days coming back towards home.

"Some few generations ago, the crew of a fishing boat passing an island which they did not know, landed thereon to refresh themselves. They had no sooner landed than a man appeared and told them they had no business there as the island was enchanted. They therefore returned to the boat, but as they were going away the islanders gave one of them a book with directions not to look into it for seven years. He complied with the request and when he opened and read the book he was able to practice surgery and psychic with great success. This man's name was Lee, and the book remained as an heirloom with his descendants." More

"Hy-Brasil was noted on maps as early as 1325, when Genoese cartographer Dalorto placed the island west of Ireland. On successive sailing charts, it appears southwest of Galway Bay. On some 15th century maps, islands of the Azores appear as Isola de Brazil, or Insulla de Brazil. After 1865, Hy-Brasil appears on few maps since its location could not be verified.Regardless of the name or location, the island's history is consistent: It is the home of a wealthy and highly advanced civilization. Those who visited the island returned with tales of gold-roofed towers and domes, healthy cattle, and opulent citizens." That last paragraph is quoted from the fascinating article "Hy-Brasil - the Irish Atlantis" by Fiona Broome.


Wagenhaer's 1583 map showing Hy-Brasil. Image courtesy of Dave's Mythical Creatures and Places.

Hy-Brasil is known by various names: Also called Bersil, Brazir, O'Brasil, O'Brassil, Breasil, Brasylle, Hy-Brazil, or Hi-Brasil. See this page for more information. Brasil is clearly visible on a number of maps, including Wagenhaer's map from 1583 (on left) and Giovanni Magini's 1597 map of the Atlantic islands.

In his book "Ireland - A Journey Into Lost Time", P.A. Ó Síochán says that knowledge of a lost land is "inherent all through Celtic literature and history".

In Ireland, he says, "the legend concerned a lost island in the Atlantic off the west coast, called Hy-Brasil: Hy meaning island and Brasil (Breasal) meaning mighty and beautiful in the Gaelic."

"It lay to the west and north-westwards from a junction with the Aran islands and the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare."

Click here for an interesting treatise on Atlantis. Its authors maintain that Atlantis was NOT in the Atlantic Ocean.

Was Ireland Atlantis? | Sceptical reaction to scientist's theory | Dr. Erlingsson has his say

All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
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