The Ancient Mystery of Antarctica | Grand Theories
Why does the ice always attract humanity’s strangest impulses? From the ancient mythology of Hyperborea, to the adventures of Pytheas, to the opinions of John Dee and Gerardus Mercator on King Arthur’s Arctic, to the inquests of human evolution on a “cooling globe” by French intellectuals, to even the mysticism of 1900s political radicals. There is an electricity to the magnetic poles which attracts the fringes of human thought (sometimes quite famous). This has produced a sort of “rejected history” which sits in the shadows as the broken or lost bits of what was ultimately accepted. Due to its mystery, the ice of Antarctica has kept these jury-rigged beliefs better than any other land. It is the “Inventio Fortunata” of lost mythology or pseudo-history.
Is that why the ideas of giants in the Arctic and Antarctica was retained for so long? As fantastical ideals fade away, they retreat to the corners of the Earth only to be revived in strange places. There is the historical, scientific, and mystical vaults of Antarctica’s “Polar Mythology”. Polar Mythology is a collection of ideas more defined by “what is not” rather than “what is”. In human knowledge, it was once a booming subject before the Arctic and Antarctic turned up (mostly) empty.
Yet… It does not go so easily into that Arctic night. What remains in the ice?