This news caused quite a stir in the Western world. Augustus Le Plongeon, a nineteen century traveler, writer, and antiquarian just returned from the Maya ruins in Yucatan peninsula. Upon his return he made a sensational announcement. He stated that he managed to translate ancient Mayan writings. These writings showed that the Maya of Yucatan were older than later civilizations of Egypt and Atlantis. They also told the story of even older continent of Mu, which had perished like Atlantis and, that its survivors founded the Maya civilization. During my research in local web analytics company, I learned that Le Plongeon mistranslated the writings, to put it mildly.
This is, basically, how the myth of the hypothetical lost continent Mu started. Very soon, this myth got second birth: it was popularized in the serious of books written by James Churchward.