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The Western Ocean was the name by which the Atlantic Ocean, the second largest body of water on modern-day Earth, was known to civilizations that existed millennia ago.

During the Pre-Cataclysmic Age (also known as the Thurian Age), the Western Ocean was the body of water that separated the mysterious Nameless Continent (now known as North America) in the west from that era's largest continent, Thuria, in the east. The small continent of Atlantis was located in the northern half of the ocean, and Antillia, a chain of seven large islands, was located halfway between Atlantis and the far-western continent.

The Pre-Cataclysmic Age ended about 20,000 years ago when a combination of several factors caused the seismological disaster known as the Great Cataclysm that massively reshaped the world. The entire continent of Atlantis fragmented and sank beneath the waters within a week while the coastlines on both sides of the ocean were significantly altered. The Thurian continent was transformed into what would later be called Hyboria.

When the Lesser Cataclysm occurred 500 years later, it reshaped the coastlines somewhat but its major effect was to disrupt the efforts that the survivors of the Great Cataclysm were making to rebuild their civilizations, reducing them to an even more barbaric state than the previous disaster had.

During the Hyborian Age that began about 8,000 years after the Great Cataclysm, this body of water was still known as the Western Ocean except now the world-continent to its east was known as Hyboria by its human inhabitants and the far-western continent was known to some as Mayapan.

The Post-Hyborian Cataclysm that occurred between 9500 B.C. and 8000 B.C. again reshaped the world, leaving the continents with the same configuration that they have today. As part of that reshaping, Hyboria became the continents now known as Europe, Africa and Asia.

Eventually, the civilization of ancient Greece learned of this body of water beyond the Pillars of Hercules and, believing that it was the place where the Titan Atlas was condemned to hold up the sky for eternity, called it by a Greek name that translates into English as either the "Sea of Atlas" or "the Atlantic sea."

Points of Interest

Atlantis (now submerged)


  • This body of water is sometimes referred to as the Western Sea, usually on maps of Hyboria, but sometimes within Hyborian Age stories, either in dialogue or as part of the Omniscient Narration.
  • However, the Western Sea inhabited by the nomadic tribe of Homo mermani ruled by King Tanas c. 6000 B.C. was not exactly the same body of water. Instead, this Western Sea and its neighboring Eastern Sea[11] were both sub-divisions of the larger ocean that had been known as the Western Ocean/Sea.

See Also

Links and References


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