Some Eminent And Influential Places That Never Existed
Some places are too good to be true. Stupendous lands where gold is found on the streets, knights battle dragons and monsters, the gods hold sway, people don’t age, and wine gushes through rivers, capture our attention.
Throughout history, people have believed in elusive places where everything is unicorns and rainbows, but they’ve taken on very distinctive mythologies. Here’s a glimpse of some eminent places from fantasy worlds that never existed.
The Kingdom of Prester John
For more than 500 years, Europeans believed in the existence of a vast empire, located somewhere in the wilds of Africa, India, or the Far East, ruled by a Christian king, Prester John. As Europeans went off on Crusades in the Middle East, rumors arose that they could be salvaged by the only Christian kingdom near them. In the 12th century, Pope Alexander III was so certain about the existence of the kingdom, that he sent an envoy to find it, unfortunately, the messenger never returned. Neither the Portuguese nor the Crusaders could locate Prester John and the legend slowly faded.
The Sahara desert was inaccessible until recent decades, as crossing the desert was considered too perilous. That might be why a legend arose in the 1400s, that somewhere out there was a mystical city named Zerura, surrounded by beautiful white walls, dunes full of riches, and presumably water, which after days in the hot sun was probably worth more than gold. Exhausted travelers could open the gate to the city using a key in a bird’s beak and enter Zerura. Explorers were still searching this lost oasis till the 1930s, but no such city with walls and riches was ever found.
Hy-Brasil first appeared on maps in the 14th century, usually in the form of a small, circular island narrowly split in two by a strait. Legend said that the land was inhabited by giant black rabbits, actual gods, real sorcerers, and immortal beings. Several mariners believed this place to be real until the 1800s when it became an eminent fodder for folktales and myths.
When Europeans stumbled on the New World, they went a bit gold crazy. They were too willing to believe that somewhere in South America existed a city made of gold with untold riches. Searching for El Dorado became a perilous obsession for many. No evidence of the mythical city was ever found.
Not many people have heard of Thule today but at one point the legendary land was as infamous as Atlantis. Nazi myth-mongers and ancient explorers loved the legend of Thule, an icy island supposed to be found in the frozen north Atlantic, considered to be the home of the Aryan race. However, no such place could be located.
Did the stories of fabled cities captivate you?