The story of Atlantis is one of the most renowned and enduring tales of a lost city, said to have been swallowed up by the sea and lost forever. Other cultures have comparable legends about landmasses and cities that have disappeared beneath the ocean, been lost beneath desert sands, or been buried behind ages of vegetation, as does the story of Atlantis.We look at five legendary lost cities that have never been found, from the Aztecs’ ancient homeland to rainforest towns of gold and splendor.
#1 Percy Fawcett and the Lost City of Z
There have been rumors of a fabled jungle city of riches, sometimes referred to as El Dorado, since Europeans first landed in the New World. Francisco de Orellana, a Spanish Conquistador, was the first to go down the Rio Negro in pursuit of this legendary city. At the age of 58, adventurer Percy Fawcett set off into the Brazilian forests in search of a legendary hidden metropolis he dubbed “Z.” He and his crew would depart without a trace, and the incident would become one of the most important news stories of his day. Fawcett was never located, despite several rescue operations.
Fawcett embarked on the first of many expeditions to find the Lost City of Z in 1921, but his party was constantly thwarted by the jungle’s difficulties, wild creatures, and epidemic illnesses Percy’s final search for Z culminated in his complete disappearance. In April 1925, he attempted one last time to find Z, this time better equipped and better financed by newspapers and societies including the Royal Geographic Society and the Rockefellers. Fawcett wrote to his wife Nina in his farewell letter home, which was sent via a team member, and said, “We expect to get through this region in a few days…. You don’t have to be concerned about failing.” It would be the last time anyone would hear from them.
#2 The Lost City of Aztlan – Legendary Homeland of the Azt
Mexico’s Aztec people built one of the most formidable empires in ancient America. While much is known about their kingdom, which was located where today’s Mexico City is, little is known about the Aztec culture’s beginnings. Many people believe the Aztecs’ old homeland, Aztlan, was where they first began to develop a civilisation before migrating to the Valley of Mexico. Some say it is a mythological land, comparable to Atlantis or Camelot, that will live on in mythology but never be discovered in reality. Others believe it is a real, physical site that will be discovered one day. In the hopes of discovering the fabled island of Aztlan, searchers have traveled from Western Mexico to the Utah deserts. These efforts, however, have been futile since Aztlan’s location – and existence – remain a mystery.
The word Aztlan means “the land to the north; the land from whence we, the Aztecs, came.”The Aztecs are claimed to have moved from Aztlan to the Valley of Mexico when the inhabitants of Aztlan became known as the Aztecs. The migration of the Aztecs from Aztlan to Tenochtitlán is a significant event in Aztec history. It started on May 24, 1064, the first day of the Aztec solar year.
#3 The Lost Land of Lyonesse – Legendary City on the Bottom of the Sea
Lyonesse is the home land of Tristan from the legend of Tristan and Iseult, according to Arthurian tradition. Because the mythological kingdom of Lyonesse is claimed to have sunk into the sea, it is now known as the “Lost Land of Lyonesse.” The legend of Tristan and Iseult, on the other hand, demonstrates that Lyonesse was renowned for more than only sinking into the sea, and that it also had a mythical presence above ground. While Lyonesse is usually associated with legends and myths, others believe it to be the name of a genuine city that sank into the sea many years ago. It might be difficult to tell where the mythology ends and reality begins in such a renowned site.
From the legendary tales of Tristan and Iseult to Arthur’s final battle with Mordred and tales of a city being swallowed by the sea, the tales of Lyonesse evoke a wide range of thoughts and emotions in those who want to learn more about this legendary city and who believe that its legends are based on a very real lost city.
#4 The Lost Desert Cities of Dubai: The Hidden History
Dubai promotes itself as a cutting-edge city with spectacular buildings and seemingly limitless wealth. Despite this, its deserts contain forgotten buildings and a buried history that illustrate how the region’s early people adapted to and survived catastrophic climatic change in the past.
The medieval city of Julfar is one of Arabia’s most renowned lost towns, tantalizingly so since scholars knew it existed from written documents but couldn’t discover it. Julfar existed for a thousand years before collapsing into ruin and vanishing from human memory for about two centuries. It was home to the renowned Arabian seafarer Ahmed ibn Majid, as well as reportedly the fictitious Sindbad the Sailor. Julfar, unlike other desert settlements, was a prosperous port in the Middle Ages, serving as the center of southern Gulf Arabic commerce.
#5 The Search for El Dorado – Lost City of Gold
Treasure seekers and historians have been looking for El Dorado, the gold-rich lost city, for hundreds of years. The concept of a city brimming with gold and other valuables has a natural allure, attracting people from all over the world in search of the ultimate treasure and an ancient marvel. Despite countless trips across Latin America, the gold city remains a tale with no tangible proof to back it up.