In 1929 the document was found which dates back to the early 15th century and appears to show the world in unprecedented detail.
The map was credited to Turkish admiral Piri Reis and is aptly dubbed the Piri Reis Map.
But due to the intricacies of the map from such a primitive age, one expert believes it could be proof of aliens.
Perhaps the most significant item on the map is the depiction of Antarctica – despite Antarctica not officially being discovered until until 1773 by Captain James Cook.
Does this ancient map prove alien influence?
The Piri Reis Map
But even more perplexing is that the map shows the frozen continent much more eastern than it is today, and with less snow and ice coverage.
Experts are unsure that it is the Antartica due to the accurate coastal line, prompting several questions that remain unanswered.
Did Antarctica go through a sudden geographical and climate shift in the ensuing two centuries from the drawing of the Piri Reis Map and the discovery by Captain Cook?
Despite numerous studies concluding the last time Antarctica could have been ice free was 4,000 BC, even the United States Air Force Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (SAC) believed that the mysterious map “indicates the coastline had been mapped before it was covered by the ice-cap”.
One theory about the true origin of the map is that we are currently unaware of an ancient sea-conquering civilisation.
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Then Keene State College history professor Charles Hapgood, who authored several books on the subject of ancient, mysterious maps, said of the Piri Reis Map: “It appears that accurate information has been passed down from people to people.
Antarctica's coastline was mapped in unprecedented detail
“It appears that the charts must have originated with a people unknown and they were passed on, perhaps by the Minoans and the Phoenicians, who were, for a thousand years and more, the greatest sailors of the ancient world.”
However, there are more bizarre theories – with Erich von Daniken, a Swiss author who believes that extra-terrestrials influenced early human culture, theorising that aliens could have been involved.
He said that the accurate map is due to aerial images being taken from space.
It is believed that Captain Cook discovered Antarctica
Mr von Daniken said: “A spaceship hovers high above Cairo and points its camera straight downward.
“When the film is developed, the following picture would emerge: everything that is in a radius of about 5,000 miles of Cairo is reproduced correctly, because it lies directly below the lens.
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“But the countries and continents become increasingly distorted the farther we move our eyes from the centre of the picture.
“Why is this? Owing to the spherical shape of the earth, the continents away from the centre ‘sink downward.’
“South America, for example, appears strangely distorted length-ways, exactly as it does on the Piri Reis maps!”