Marine archaeologists have just discovered evidence of a large submerged landmass southeast of Sri Lanka. They believe it could be a legendary lost island closely linked to the culture and history of Sri Lankan people.
The discovery was made by a team of Dutch and Sri Lankan scientists based on satellite maps and underwater sample extractions from the deep sea. Preliminary data need to be verified by a deep sea submersible expedition during 2009 - 2010, according to a member of the research team who did not want to be identified.
The landmass is estimated to be between 450,000 and 475,000 square kilometres, which is about seven times the total land area of Sri Lanka.
“This could well be the long lost island of Irisiyawa, which is euphemistically mentioned in our chronicles and hinted at in the writings of Greek historians,” said Dr Godwin Samarawickrama, a maritime historian at the Indian Ocean Institute based in Melacca, Malaysia.
He added: “The existence of such an island has been speculated and talked in hush-hush terms among divers and archaeologists for decades. This is the Indian Ocean’s own version of Atlantis !”