Kircher's map of Asia, 1678

Kircher's map of Asia, 1678

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Kircher's map of Asia. Illustrated map of Asia, from the work Mundus Subterraneus (1678) by the German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (circa 1601-1680). The map is labelled in Latin, with a title at lower left. The title states that the map shows Asia Major (as opposed to Asia Minor), and that it shows the origin of the water systems of the area. A large underground sea is shown in the region of the Himalayas, providing water for the rivers. Kircher's theory was that underground water, heated by the Earth's internal fires, caused the tides and the eruption of volcanoes.

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