The name Lemuria came from the “English geologist Philip Sclater who was puzzled by the presence of lemur fossils in Madagascar and India but not in mainland Africa and the Middle East. Sclater proposed that Madagascar and India were once part of a larger continent, and named this missing landmass ‘Lemuria’.”
The continent of Lemuria, which is also known as Mu, is supposed to have existed in what is now the eastern Indian and southwestern Pacific Oceans but sank beneath the waves long before the heyday of Atlantis. While Lemuria is second only to Atlantis itself among the lost continents, and has been backdated into myth and legend from around the world, the idea of a Lemurian continent dates back only as early as the 1860s.
In the 1860s, geologists in India and South Africa noticed close similarities in rock strata and fossil animals from the two regions. The theory of continental drift had not yet been proposed, much less accepted by conventional geology, but land bridges such as the Bering Sea land bridge connecting Alaska and Siberia and “Adam’s Bridge” were much in fashion. Thus several geologists proposed that a sunken landmass must have once connected southeastern Africa with the west coast of southern India. Within a few decades however, lemur fossils had been found over most of southern Asia and the Middle East, making the land bridge unnecessary, and the acceptance of continental drift in the 1970s removed most of the last supports for the old concept. Yet, the idea of a lost continent refused to die, and has been tied to several other local legends such as Kumari Kandam.