I will not lie to you and say that we know everything. We knew of the 7 continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, Australia and Antarctica. We also knew about Zelandia but no one thought of it as a real continent. The surface of the Earth changes constantly and what was once ground could go underwater. It doesn’t come only from the natural processes. Sometimes we also change the face of the Earth, purposefully flood a piece of land and raise another above the water level. And while our ancestors were obsessed with finding Atlantis, we were obsessed with maintaining our existing knowledge firm and find out as much as possible about the things we already knew.
I thought it was a good thing to do. We got to know more. We got to perfect our knowledge. That’s why it came as a surprise when, one morning, browsing on the internet I stumbled upon a weird post. The poster was saying that they’ve met some people who claimed they weren’t from any of the known continents.
True, there are lots of strange things on the internet, even in the old days (so I’ve heard). It’s easy to dismiss it as overly imaginative stories. Still, there was something in this post that picked my attention. It rang true, somehow.
The poster said that they met those people when they were on a vacation. The place wasn’t far from the town they were living in, it was on the seaside and the poster said they were relaxing in a nearby bar when two strangers approached them. They barely knew Chinese (it’s the language we use to communicate on a global level) and they were able to tell them that they’d been traveling around for some time and that’s how they developed their small vocabulary that was still enough for them to communicate.
They say that they were surprised they didn’t learn Chinese at school like everybody else and they responded that they didn’t even know Chinese existed. They didn’t know about China either. A little by little, they learned about our cultures, different cultures and ways of living.
While reading this, I thought to myself: “Travellers like me!” and I was really curious to know which country they came from since they had no clue about how the world functioned.
The poster said the strangers were male and female, in their thirties though they couldn’t tell the exact age. They said they came from what they translated into Chinese as being similar to the word Earth. The poster was puzzled and asked them what they meant by that. They just repeated they came from Earth. They said it’s what their country was called. The poster didn’t recall a country named “Earth” so they inquired more about this. The strangers told them that their country was huge, bigger than Australia that they have previously visited and slightly smaller than EuroAsia. They said that their country was surrounded by water on all sides and that it took them a long time to come to the other land, across the water. It wasn’t an easy task because they had a to cross the great ice wall and only a few people did it before them. The poster then proceeded to ask them where “Earth” was on the map. They have never heard of it before (as no one did, I must add). The strangers repeated that it was behind the great ice wall. The poster then took out the phone and asked them to point on the map where “Earth” was. They said it’s not on the map because, again, it lies behind the ice wall and they’d come to notice that no map on this side of the wall showed their country Earth. Furthermore, they said, that maps on this side didn’t show the great wall of ice either.
The poster was really surprised because they’ve never heard of the great wall of ice nor the country named “Earth”. By now, they’d come to suspect that “Earth” wasn’t just a country – it was a whole new continent. Somewhere on the planet Earth, of course, but in a place they didn’t know existed.
The strangers explained to them that the best way to cross the ice wall was through a point that was closest to Argentina. They were also joking about how they thought the language spoken in Argentine was the only one people spoke on this side of the wall. They explained that was how things were in their country – people spoke the same language and everyone could understand each other perfectly. They called their language “earthinga” or something like that (it was a rough translation, after all) and they tried to teach them a few words but they couldn’t even mimic them because they were so strange and difficult to pronounce. They couldn’t even pronounce let alone spell the strangers’ names.
The strangers also told them that in their country, everyone knew about the different continents beyond the ice walls, but they never tried to make contact primarily because the ice wall was thought to cross, and also because they didn’t feel the need to do it. Therefore, only a few travellers ever managed to cross over and visit us. They were happy with their ways of living and their continent was huge enough to accommodate people, animals, and plants. It was also very rich in resources, so only the adventurous few ever tried to cross the wall.
The poster also said that the strangers looked like everybody else. They didn’t have a new skin tone, like green or purple or some strange body feature that would distinguish them from us. They even dressed the same we did, but they explained that was because they wanted to blend in and that, in fact, people on the “Earth” continent dressed very differently. To prove it was true, they showed the poster a bag the female was carrying. The poster swears they’d never seen anything like that either in style or material. The strangers confirmed that the bag was made of “lekka”, a material that they believe is found only on their side of the wall, as they hadn’t encountered anything similar on our side of the wall. They said that lekka was a very common type of fabric over there and that it was better and more durable than our plastic, though they said they also used plastic to create bags and other stuff, just of a different kind than the ones we used.
Lastly, before they left the bar, they told the poster that they didn’t mind if they told other people about the existence of the continent called “Earth”. It wasn’t a secret as they had already said the same story to several other people on their travels on this side of the wall. They were looking forward if anyone would dare and visit their continent. They didn’t think it was possible, though.
At the end of this conversation, the strangers bid farewell to the poster and left the bar. They were never seen again.