Lost City of Atlantis Found? Can you believe it?

Lost City of Atlantis: Could the lost city of Atlantis have looked like the Polynesian island? It would be wonderful to say, the lost city of Atlantis found.
Atlantis was said to be a beautiful island, perhaps similar to this much smaller French Polynesian island. Photo: Daniel Julie (CC BY 2.0), via Wikipedia.org.

How many times have we heard in the news, “lost city of Atlantis found,” or the island of Atlantis located? False alarm!

Not too many years ago, someone claimed to have spotted the city of Atlantis on Google Earth’s maps of the North Atlantic Ocean floor. Interestingly enough, the street-like, parallel lines that had attracted everyone’s attention were merely flaws in the data based on the path of the ship doing the depth soundings. Those lines marked the ship’s path.

Atlantis has kept its fascination for nearly 2,500 years. In fact, a space shuttle was named for the mythical island and its city. Atlantis is also the name of two major resorts (Bahamas and Dubai) and many minor ones. And the lost city of Atlantis has been the subject of many movies and television programs.

Was Atlantis a city, an island or a continent?

Lost City of Atlantis: Did Plato tell the truth about the lost city of Atlantis? His statue isn't saying.
Statue of Plato with Athena looking on. Photo: Sebastian Bertrand (CC BY 2.0), via Wikipedia.org.

Plato made it clear that Atlantis was a large island—not a continent. In fact, he said that there stood a large continent on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean where Atlantis had colonies.

The city of Atlantis was its capital. Plato described it as a metropolis centered on concentric rings of water and land whereupon the halls of government stood. A canal connected the rings of water to the ocean. North of the city stood a flat, richly fertile plain which stood as the breadbasket of Atlantis. Surrounding that irrigated plain rose an impressive array of mountains.

How many times will we hear again, the lost city of Atlantis found?

Lost City of Atlantis: Dubai Atlantis Aquarium. Is this where the lost city of Atlantis is to be found?
Dubai Atlantis Aquarium. Is this where the lost city of Atlantis is to be found, in the imaginations of developers? Photo: Bjoertvedt (CC BY-SA 3.0), via Wikipedia.org.

It might prove to be a perennial distraction, unless direct proof of Atlantis is one day actually discovered. It’s a titillating statement: Lost city of Atlantis found! Certainly grabs my attention, even if we’ve been fooled so many times before.

Where do we look? The answer should be obvious: right where Plato said the island once stood—in the Atlantic Ocean, just outside of Gibraltar and facing Gadira (Cádiz, Spain). Based on the rough description of size, Atlantis likely stretched from near Gibraltar to the Azores Islands. In fact, Plato mentions that Atlantis (the city?) resided 11 days sail from Gibraltar. Based on the average speed of sailing ships, that would place the city near the Azores.

What makes this more fascinating is that we already have evidence of Atlantis’s passing 9600 BC. And we have circumstantial evidence of hefty geological damage along the tectonic plate boundary which formed it from crustal folding. We also have the Azores underwater plateau marking what was likely the heart of the once proud island and its city.

What do you think we need to do to make the lost city of Atlantis found?

This article was originally published 2013:0616 on MissionAtlantis.com.

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