If you read earlier parts of the thread you will see my rational brain hesitating about some of this stuff, too.
I don't know much about when and where it all appears in the scriptures but my impression is that the basic 'geography' of the world is pretty much common to Brahminism and early Buddhism, i.e. the Buddha didn't introduce a completely new structure but accepted current thought. Later, I think (again, I'm no expert), Mahayana Buddhism, especially in its Tibetan branch, elaborated enormously on that.
You will have plenty of company if you mentally mark it 'doubtful but non-essential' and get on with the core practices.