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When discussing underwater lore and legends, Atlantis is an obvious subject of interest. However, the lost island of Hy-Brasil is just as intriguing and has more first-person accounts. Hy-Brasil is also spelled Hy-Breasal, Hy-Brazil, Hy-Breasil, Brazir and related variations. It may be the reason that the South American country, Brazil, was so named. The central image on the Brazilian flag, a circle with a channel across the center, is the symbol for Hy-Brasil on early maps.
On maps, the island was shown as being circular, often with a central strait or river running east-west across its diameter. Despite the failure of attempts to find it, it appeared regularly on maps lying south west of Galway Bay from 1325 until 1865, by which time it was called Brazil Rock.
It has also been identified with Porcupine Bank, a shoal in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 kilometers (124 mi) west of Ireland and discovered in 1862. As early as 1870 a paper was read to the Geological Society of Ireland suggesting this identification. The suggestion reappears regularly since, e.g. in an 1883 edition of Notes and Queries and in various publications in the twentieth century, one of the most recent being Graham Hancock‘s book Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age.
Regardless of the name or location, the island’s history is consistent: It is the home of a wealthy and highly advanced civilization. Those who visited the island returned with tales of gold-roofed towers and domes, healthy cattle, and opulent citizens.
The lore of Hy-Brasil is equally fascinating. For example, it is shrouded in fog or perhaps beneath the ocean, and appears only briefly, once every seven years.
The island has been visited by many people for centuries. Both Saint Barrind and Saint Brendan found the island on their respective voyages, and returned home with nearly identical descriptions of Hy-Brasil, which they dubbed the “Promised Land.”
One of the most famous visits to Hy-Brasil was in 1674 by Captain John Nisbet of Killybegs, Co. Donegal, Ireland. He and his crew were in familiar waters west of Ireland, when a fog came up. As the fog lifted, the ship was dangerously close to rocks. While getting their bearings, the ship anchored in three fathoms of water, and four crew members rowed ashore to visit Hy-Brasil.
They spent a day on the island, and returned with silver and gold given to them by an old man who lived there. Upon the return of the crew to Ireland, a second ship set out under the command of Alexander Johnson.
They, too, found the hospitable island of Hy-Brasil and returned to Ireland to confirm the tales of Captain Nisbet and crew.
Courtesy Page 28 - JNCC Survey Report