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Thread: Omega men

  1. #1
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    Omega men

    I have an image of populations getting trapped on islands as sea level rose ten to twenty thousand years ago, and then dying out, with the last one thinking s/he was the last human. I believe I read this happened on one of the islands between Australia and Tasmania. Is this true? Has it happened anywhere else?
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  2. #2
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    We will probably never know exactly what people in prehistory thought, as it was long before writing, but I think there are historic cases of communities who lived on islands and thought they were the only people in the world until they met others.
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  3. #3
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    Who knows what lived on islands that exist now only as seamounts.

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    You have now helped me discover a bit of Australian history that I hadn't heard about before. The island you were thinking of was probably Flinders Island, part way across the Bass Strait. It was once part of a 'landbridge' between the Australian mainland and Tasmania. The aboriginal people used it to migrate into Tasmania between about 15,000 - 35,000 years ago before it succumbed to rising sea levels.

    There was an Aboriginal population on the island until about 4,000 to 6,000 years ago. Wikipedia claims that it was devastated by a severe El Niño event. Other sources are more circumspect. Here is an article in 'Discover' magazine, from 1993, which has a few paragraphs about this puzzle - about 2/3rds of the way down

  5. #5
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    I think you forgot to put in the link, so I can't see it. I wonder, though. The tourism site for the island merely says that they "stopped living there permanently." I kind of wonder, even if it was 4 or 6 thousand years ago, people did have some sorts of boats or rafts, and since (presumably) the ocean level rose gradually, they might have decided at some point to just go back to the mainland.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I think you forgot to put in the link, so I can't see it. I wonder, though. The tourism site for the island merely says that they "stopped living there permanently." I kind of wonder, even if it was 4 or 6 thousand years ago, people did have some sorts of boats or rafts, and since (presumably) the ocean level rose gradually, they might have decided at some point to just go back to the mainland.
    Oops. Link now attached.

    I thought about the boat bit as well but the article claimed that their rafts tended to fall apart after about 10 miles at seas and the island was about 14 miles from the 'mainland' so----. Some of the claims the article makes elsewhere are pretty doubtful but it was the most comprehensive one I could find.

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/the...rs-of-solitude
    Last edited by ozduck; 2020-May-18 at 07:54 AM.

  7. #7
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    Given that Tasmania is easily visible from Flinders Island, and you can see a campfire at night at that distance, I doubt if anyone on Flinders imagined they were the only people in the world.

    There are stories that the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island thought they were the only people in the world before Europeans landed there, but a Rapa Nui guide I spoke to pointed out that they knew they had arrived by boat, and they "weren't completely stupid".

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2020-May-18 at 12:47 PM.

  8. #8
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    Doggerland is a possibility for trapped Neolithic humans.

    https://www.nationalgeographic.org/maps/doggerland/
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Doggerland is a possibility for trapped Neolithic humans.
    Stephen Baxter wrote a series of novels about a Neolithic Hunter-Gatherer people who never adopted agriculture - living in the shrinking Doggerland.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Spring

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I thought about the boat bit as well but the article claimed that their rafts tended to fall apart after about 10 miles at seas and the island was about 14 miles from the 'mainland' so----.
    Flinder's Island - the only place in the world where they build ships out of cardboard.

  11. #11
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    Doggerland is what comes to mind first for me. The same might also apply to smaller islands elsewhere, but Doggerland was big and was once a chunk of the continent, where people got there without having invented boats first.

  12. #12
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    We have in the historical record the writings of at least one person who seriously thought he might be the last among humanity alive, and that would be Friar John Clyn of Ireland, who may have died about 1349 at the height of the Black Death. His musings might be of interest.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Clyn
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Who knows what lived on islands that exist now only as seamounts.
    This Wikipedia page on Lost Lands, not counting the mythological parts like Atlantis and Lemuria and Mu, supplies many possibilities.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_lost_lands
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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