The Piri Reis Map

Unveiling Ancient Cartographic Enigmas and Hidden Secrets

Adam Hennessy
4 min readJun 8



The Piri Reis map is exactly as the name suggests …… a map.

It was created by the Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis in 1513 — the map contains a remarkable level of accuracy and detail, which has caused scholars and conspiracists alike to ask questions about its sources, origin, and potential hidden knowledge. Mainstream explanations tell us that the accuracy comes from a combination of skilled surveying and fortunate guesswork, alternative theories include aliens and lost civilisations (we will delve into this later).

The Discovery of the Piri Reis Map:

In 1929, a fragment of a world map was discovered in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.

This fragment, which was attributed to Piri Reis, was part of a larger map believed to have been drawn on a piece of parchment. Only one-third of the original map survived. This third however was amazing! It shows a detailed depiction of coastlines, islands, and geographical features, including the coastline of South America and Antarctica, which from the time period this map was found had yet been discovered.

Take a minute here to think about this detailed and accurate map of the coastline of South America and Antarctica — that had yet been discovered — is this just lucky guesswork?

Piri Reis — Library of Topkapi Palace Museum, No. H 1824 Bilkent University

Mainstream Explanation: Skilled Surveying and Compilation:

The conventional explanation is that Piri Reis drew upon existing maps and navigational charts available to him at the time. Which included ancient Greek, Roman, Arab, and Portuguese maps, as well as firsthand accounts from explorers. To compile the map. He is believed, argued to have used all this information and a little intuition and guesswork to create his own map.

Now I think this asks us to stretch the notions of intuition, luck, guesswork, navigation and research to an absurd extent — but let us continue.

Alternative Theories



Adam Hennessy

Keep hunting for the truth.