In 1929, a clique of historians at the Topkapi Palace within Istanbul, Turkey, found a rather captivating discovery. Inscribed on a gazelle skin dated back to 1513 they had uncovered a portion of a remarkable map, the Piri Reis Map. This chart depicted sections of the Atlantic Ocean, the Americas, and Antarctica in flawless detail. The puzzling aspect was that it had been constructed several years after Christopher Columbus’ discovery and 300 years before Antarctica was even thought about. There have been many speculations about how the map creator had acquired his extensive geographic knowledge. Did extraterrestrials or an advanced race give the cartographer his source of information to create the chart?
Named after its creator, a famous Turkish Fleet admiral in the sixteenth century, the map was referred to as Piri Reis. The word ‘Reis’ meaning Admiral, and his real name was Hacı Ahmed Muhiddin Piri. Piri Reis had a passion for cartography and with his rank came certain special privileges such as access to the Imperial Library of Constantinople. The Admiral acknowledged compiling the Piri Reis map from a myriad of different charts which all had been dated back to 4th century BC or earlier. He enjoyed a prominent military career until 1554, where he was almost 90 years old, but he was then beheaded by Ottoman Sultan for insubordination.
The Piri Reis map is only a small portion of the original, and clearly shows the Atlantic Ocean to the west coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America, and the northern coastline of Antarctica perfectly detailed. The map was considered to be a ‘portolan’ map so instead of being drawn with vertical longitude and horizontal latitude lines as is found on modern maps. It was drawn using a series of circles which were used to map sailing routes guiding ships from one port to another. These types of maps were quite prevalent back then, and according to history experts, Columbus was said to have used one to navigate to the Americas.
Numerous Piri Reis Map connoisseurs conclude that the geographical and mathematical expertise needed to generate the map was far beyond the reach of cartographers during the sixteenth centuries and even before. In the 1960s, even the United States Air Force found the map so precise they used it to substitute inaccurate data on their own charts. Some hint the map could have only been completed using aerial surveillance, and propose that extraterrestrials charted the planet millennia ago. The map could have been left behind or more curiously, deliberately given it to mankind.
The map’s precise depiction of the Antarctic geography seems to be the most compelling feature. Antarctica wasn’t discovered until the year 1818, while the continent’s land wasn’t first mapped until 1949 which needed modern equipment to peer beneath the mile-deep ice cap to view the land underneath. A provoking theory states that an advanced ancient race using now lost technology, was able to meticulously document details of the continent before it was veiled in ice.
The Piri Reis map is still a true and mysterious phenomenon to this day. It reputedly contains attributes no European or let alone human could have known in the sixteenth century. So as the argument continues, was Piri Reis a truly skilled cartographer well ahead in his time? Or was he lucky enough to view maps and charts created by an advanced race which inhabited this planet many moons ago?