While we know with some degree of certainty that Quatria was the name of a global prehistoric civilization with its headquarters in Antarctica, there is actually a great deal more to the story. One might even call the legends that surround it “multi-dimensional.”
The fabulous history of Quatria was in part revived in modern times thanks to the re-discovery of copious notes left by one Edward Allen Oxford, who claimed to have been shipwrecked during World War I near Deception Island, and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. The only problem is, the island which he claimed to have survived on for nearly two years, called Middle Island, is supposed to not exist at all. Wikipedia lists it as a “phantom island,” and states on the topic:
A phantom island is a purported island which was included on maps for a period of time, but was later found not to exist. They usually originate from the reports of early sailors exploring new regions, and are commonly the result of navigational errors, mistaken observations, unverified misinformation, or deliberate fabrication. Some have remained on maps for centuries before being “un-discovered.”
Oxford named his island Quatrica, sometimes spelled as Quatria, in his decades of notes, letters, journal entries, and hand-drawn maps and sketches. He said it was a tropical island, which is obviously impossible at these cold Antarctica climes during this time period. And yet somehow he inexplicably survived in this inhospitable environment…
As we know, Antarctica was not always situated at its present location. During the times of Quatrian settlement (millions upon millions of years ago), Antarctica was an archipelago – without any ice – located close to the equator.
Wikipedia states, regarding Lost Lands such as Quatria:
Lost lands are islands or continents believed by some to have existed during pre-history, but to have since disappeared as a result of catastrophic geological phenomena. Such continents are generally thought to have subsided into the sea, leaving behind only a few traces or legends by which they may be known.
Such is likely to have been the fate of much of Quatria and her far-flung global settlements. As sea levels rose, her multivarious cities were submerged, leaving scant trace of her vast and glorious empire these millions of years later.
Myth or History?
“Official” history, of course, is littered with legends of phantom islands, including such notables as Atlantis, Lemuria, Hy-Brasil, St. Brendan’s Island, Isle of Demons, Antillia / Isle of the Seven Cities, Isles of the Blessed, Avalon, Lyonesse, etc. There are also naturally occurring so-called “vanishing” islands, which only appear at certain times & tides. Perhaps, like Brigadoon, Quatria and its many component islands are only accessible during astrological or other inter-dimensional conjunctions, or to those who come seeking it with a pure heart at just the right place and the right time.
We should also not forget to mention vast areas of land such as Doggerland which once existed unequivocally, but were lost to the sea and Earth Changes. Could Quatria fit somewhere in one of these geographic categories?
Sentient Landmass Theory
There is another alternative suggestion put forward in the 19th century. Sentient Landmass Theory (SLT) was first proposed in the 1800’s by Garnhardt Von Halmdown, a scholar of medieval Pentarch literature.
Halmdown had noted in his studies that some medieval Pentarch sources referred to Quatria as little more than a small island, but others called it a continent due to its immense size. He hypothesized that this variation could be due to its geomorphic capabilities as a sentient landmass, capable of determining at will its own size, shape, and location.
In Quatrian mythology itself, there are also a number of floating islands which either move about the surface of the World Ocean randomly, of their own accord, of which may be piloted by those capable of such feats.
Which one of these theories is closest to the truth, we may never know. Unless, that is, the ruins and temples which are being discovered in Antarctica as the ice melts hold some clues to unravel this fascinating mystery.