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The Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Secret Doctrine

by Antonios Goyios

In H.P. Blavatsky’s major work ‘The Secret Doctrine’ , in a paragraph of Volume 2, dealing with discussing a submerged continent in the Atlantic Ocean ("Atlantis"), a very interesting observation can be found on the subject of oceanography which is particularly noteworthy. It deals with the issue of what came to be known as the “Mid-Atlantic Ridge”, an elevated continuous ridgeline found in the midst of the Atlantic ocean, and which, many years later, was found to be part of a continuous system of seismically active ridges extending throughout the planet’s oceans and which is now known as the “Mid-Ocean Ridge”. The “Mid-Ocean Ridge” is thought by the contemporary scientific community to be related with large segments of the lithosphere of the planet known as "tectonic plates", whose collective interaction is said to largely participate in formulating the relief of the planet’s surface, the oceans, mountains, and so on.  [1]

The Secret Doctrine’   being a work which was published in 1888, much information is available today, resulting from numerous years of research, which was not available to the world at large when the Secret Doctrine was written. A brief timeline accompanied with relevant pictures follows, in the hope of making more evident the connection between what was written in H.P. Blavatsky’s work, and what has later on been found through the inquiries of the scientific community.


 H.P. Blavatsky wrote in 1888, in her “The Secret Doctrine”:

 No confusion need arise as regards the postulation of a Northern “Lemuria.” The prolongation of that great continent into the North Atlantic Ocean is in no way subversive of the opinions so widely held as to the site of the lost Atlantis, and one corroborates the other. It must be noted that the Lemuria, which served as the cradle of the Third Root-Race, not only embraced a vast area in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but extended in the shape of a horse-shoe past Madagascar, round “South Africa” (then a mere fragment in process of formation), through the Atlantic up to Norway. The great English fresh-water deposit called the Wealden — which every geologist regards as the mouth of a former great river — is the bed of the main stream which drained Northern Lemuria in the Secondary Age. The former reality of this river is a fact of science — will its votaries acknowledge the necessity of accepting the Secondary-age Northern Lemuria, which their data demand? Professor Berthold Seeman not only accepted the reality of such a mighty continent, but regarded Australia and Europe as formerly portions of one continent — thus corroborating the whole “horse-shoe” doctrine already enunciated." (Cf SD, II, p. 333) [underlining added]

She continues:

"No more striking confirmation of our position could be given, than the fact that the ELEVATED RIDGE in the Atlantic basin, 9,000 feet in height, which runs for some two or three thousand miles southwards from a point near the British Islands, first slopes towards South America, then shifts almost at right angles to proceed in a SOUTH-EASTERLY line toward the African coast, whence it runs on southward to Tristan  d’Acunha. This ridge is a remnant of an Atlantic continent, and, could it be traced further, would establish the reality of a submarine horse-shoe junction with a former continent in the Indian Ocean.” (Cf SD, II, p. 333) [underlining added]

Accompanying the above, a reference was made by H.P. Blavatsky to a chart found in Ignatius Donnelly's, "Atlantis, the Antediluvian World," p. 47 . This chart can be found below, in picture 1.

 In picture 2, under Ignatious Donnelly’s chart,  is found an ocean-bottom temperature map (published in "Three Cruises of the Blake", Alexander Agassiz, 1888. p. 218).  The majority of these temperatures were obtained by the “Challenger” Expedition, and they denote the results obtained at the time. The two seemingly unconnected pools of low temperatures found in the south Atlantic, between South America and Africa, led scientists of the time to believe that there was a ridge in between which prevented the water of the ocean floor on one side to interact with that of the other. However, the continuity of the Atlantic ridge was still not evident at the time.

Picture 1

Picture 1.

picture 2

Picture 2.


 In 1925, further research was conducted by the German “Meteor” Expedition. It’s results corroborated by sonar the evidence of previous expeditions, regarding the continuity of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

 Thus, for clarity’s sake, in picture 3 below, an image of the part of the ridge which was the subject of observation during these expeditions, can be seen.  The image is a digitally highlighted contemporary satellite picture of the area, with the continuous ridge from the North Atlantic until roughly the area of Tristan da Cunha.

 picture 3

Picture 3.


In 1953, the geologists Bruce Heezen and Maurice Ewing, while in the endeavor of mapping the Earth’s oceanic floors, eventually found the ridge to extend further, and ultimately to be part of the continuous system of oceanic ridges now known as the “Mid-Ocean Ridge” (for an image, click here).




 In picture 4, the ridge’s extension, as appreciated and ascertained 65 years after the writing of H.P. Blavatsky’sThe Secret Doctrine”, can be seen, and evidently relates closely to the Secret Doctrine's description.

It forms a continuous submarine elevation which, towards the north, reaches the area of Iceland, while towards the south, after reaching Tristan da Cunha ("Tristan d'Acunha"), it completes a marked "horse-shoe" bend around the south coast of Africa, and then continues and meets perpendicularly another ridge-line in the Indian Ocean. This ridge-line, which came to be called the “Central Indian Ridge”, is, according to the opinion of contemporary geology, defining the western edge of the distinct "Indo-Australian" tectonic plate (see picture 5).

 picture 4

 Picture 4.


 picture 5

Picture 5 - The area defined as the Indo-Australian tectonic plate.


Tectonic plates are defined as large segments of the earth's lithosphere that move in relation to one another, and participate in the bringing about of phenomena such as Earthquake and Volcanic activity, and the formation of mountains and oceans on the Earth's surface. They are said to move over a soft layer of the Earth's mantle, the asthenosphere, and to interact with one another through their respective boundaries, considered to be defined by the "Mid-Ocean Ridge". Their collectivity is enumerated in various ways by different geologists, the major ones being often described as either six, seven, or eight plates, with various internal subdivisions. The seven-fold arrangement could be divided as comprising of the Pacific, Eurasian, African, North American, South American, Antarctic, and Indo-Australian plates, with the plate boundaries being assigned in rough accordance with the general shape of the "Mid-Ocean Ridge". 

The model of Plate Tectonics and Continental Drift does not accept the idea of submerged large continental landmasses. In consequence, an explanation of how the reference to a submerged continent in the Indian Ocean ("Lemuria") relates to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge's connection with the Central Indian Ridge, as shown by oceanographic mapping, is not derivable from it.

Two other relevant quotations from the Secret Doctrine perhaps partially clarifying this connection, might be the following:

"The Atlantic portion of Lemuria was the geological basis of what is generally known as Atlantis. The latter, indeed, must be regarded rather as a development of the Atlantic prolongation of Lemuria, than as an entirely new mass of land upheaved to meet the special requirements of the Fourth Root-Race. Just as in the case of Race-evolution, so in that of the shifting and re-shifting of continental masses, no hard and fast line can be drawn where a new order ends and another begins. Continuity in natural processes is never broken. " (Cf SD, II, p. 333)

"That not only the last island of Atlantis, spoken of by Plato, but a large continent, first divided, and then broken later on into seven peninsulas and islands (called dwipas), preceded Europe, is sure. It covered the whole of the North and South Atlantic regions, as well as portions of the North and South Pacific, and had islands even in the Indian Ocean (relics of Lemuria)." (Cf SD, II, p. 405)


In conclusion, and in summation of the above, it thus appears that research conducted in oceanography for 65 years after the publication of "The Secret Doctrine", eventually furnished us with what could be described as a full corroboration of H.P. Blavatsky's statements regarding the continuity, extent, and dimensions of the submarine ridgeline now commonly known as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Like previously mentioned however, contemporary geology, for the most part, has a different approach to modeling the Earth's interior, and the way that interior correlates with geological phenomena on the Earth's surface. The majority of modern geologists do not currently accept the subject of submerged continental landmasses as a feasible geological occurrence. Consequently, at this time at least, it is not to be expected to find answers to the mechanics of submergence and reemergence of continental landmasses, as described by "The Secret Doctrine", by turning to the commonly accepted model of the Earth's interior.



[1] This model of the Earth's interior, which is popularly known as Plate Tectonics, became widely accepted among geologists during the midpoint of the 20th century (although there were also earlier exponents of a detailed model of such a sort). It's assumptions and mechanics are quite different from those of the Earth models that were accepted by many geologists during the lifetime of H.P.Blavatsky, who were not against the idea of potentially submerged continents in the Earth's oceans.



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