Nan Madol, the enigmatic island city in the Pacific Ocean, remains a mystery. Despite being believed to have originated in the 2nd century AD, certain characteristics suggest it may have been built as early as 14,000 years ago.
Nan Madol, a mysterious city located in the Pacific Ocean over 1000km away from the nearest coast, is often referred to as the "Venice of the Pacific" due to its unique location as a metropolis built in the middle of nowhere.
The Enigmatic Island City Of Nan Madol
Micronesia is an independent country associated with the United States, comprising of four regions - Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae - situated along the western Pacific Ocean. These four regions consist of a total of 707 islands, with the ancient city of Nan Madol built on 92 of them.
The island city of Nan Madol, constructed of massive basalt rocks, was once home to 1,000 people, yet it now lies abandoned. The reason for its creation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean remains a mystery, with several unexplained aspects of the city perplexing researchers.
Nan Madol's Mysterious Origin
The walls of Nan Madol rise from beneath the ocean and some of the blocks used weigh up to 40 tonnes, making it impossible to construct them underwater at the time of its building. This suggests that the island on which Nan Madol is located must have been above sea level when it was built. However, geologists contend that the island never sank due to phenomena such as bradyseism, unlike other cities now submerged, such as ancient Siponto in Italy.
But how did the sea engulf Nan Madol? If the island did not sink, it must mean that the sea level rose. However, the Pacific Ocean, in which Nan Madol is situated, is not a small sea like the Mediterranean. To cause a significant rise in sea level in the Pacific would require an enormous amount of water. The source of this water remains a mystery.
The last major rise in sea level of the Pacific Ocean (over 100 meters) occurred during the Last Deglaciation around 14,000 years ago, when vast amounts of ice covering the Earth melted, causing the oceans to rise. This would have been a plausible time for Nan Madol to have been partially submerged. However, this would mean that the city is older than 14,000 years, which is a claim that goes against the current understanding of its age.
Mainstream researchers find this idea unacceptable, which is why the official date for the construction of Nan Madol is said to be the 2nd century AD, by the Saudeleurs according to Wikipedia. However, this date is only based on the oldest human remains found on the island and not on the actual construction date of the city.
The question remains, how did the builders manage to transport over 100,000 tonnes of volcanic rock "across the sea" to construct the 92 islets that make up Nan Madol? The city is not built on land but in the sea, similar to Venice. This is another aspect of the mystery surrounding the ancient city.
Another enigma of the ancient city is that the rock from which Nan Madol is constructed is "magnetic rock." A compass brought close to the rock behaves erratically. It raises the question whether the magnetism of the rock has any connection to the methods used for transportation of the building materials for the construction of Nan Madol.
The Legend Of Twin Sorcerers
The 92 islands of Nan Madol, all similar in size and shape, are said to have been founded by twin sorcerers from the mythical Western Katau. According to Pohnpeian legend, Olisihpa and Olosohpa came to the coral island to cultivate it and worshiped the goddess of agriculture, Nahnisohn Sahpw.
According to legend, the twin brothers, who represented the kingdom of Saudeleur, came to the isolated island to expand their empire and founded the city of Nan Madol. Another version of the story claims they transported the basalt rock used to construct the city on the back of a giant flying dragon.
Upon the death of Olisihpa due to old age, Olosohpa became the first ruler of the Saudeleur dynasty. He married a local woman and had twelve generations of descendants, including sixteen other Saudeleur rulers of the Dipwilap ("Great") clan.
The initial rulers of the dynasty were benevolent, however, their descendants imposed harsher demands on the people. The island remained under the rule of this empire until 1628. Their reign came to an end with the invasion by Isokelekel, who also made his residence in Nan Madol. However, due to a lack of food and its remote location from the mainland, the island city was eventually abandoned by the successors of Isokelekel.
The traces of the Saudeleur Empire can still be found on this island city. Researchers have uncovered evidence of the empire such as kitchens, houses built from basalt rock, and even structures dedicated to the kingdom of Soudelio. However, many aspects of the empire remain a mystery.
Lost Continent Theories Behind The City Of Nan Madol
Nan Madol is believed by some to be connected to the lost continents of Lemuria and Mu. James Churchward, in his 1926 book "The Lost Continent of Mu, Motherland of Man," identified Nan Madol as a site that was part of the lost continent of Mu.
In his book "Lost City of Stones" (1978), Bill S. Ballinger proposed the idea that the city was constructed by Greek sailors in 300 BC. David Hatcher Childress, an author and publisher, suggests a connection between Nan Madol and the lost continent of Lemuria in his works.
The 1999 book "The Coming Global Superstorm" by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber, which posits that global warming could lead to sudden and catastrophic climate events, claims that the construction of Nan Madol, with its precise tolerances and heavy use of basalt materials, required a high level of technical expertise. Since no society with such capabilities is recorded in modern history, it is suggested that this society may have been destroyed by some catastrophic event.