Atlantis is a fictional island that was first described by Plato some 2,400 years ago. The island nation was alleged to be an imperial superpower in the ancient world, possessing over 10,000 chariots and a large number of bulls and elephants. Atlantis or boasted of advanced technologies and series of complex canals. According to Plato, Atlantis’ attacks were repelled by Athens, unlike other nations. The story concludes by suggesting that Atlantis fell out of favor with the deities and submerged into the Atlantic Ocean. However, the existence of Atlantis has been a subject of great debate since Plato first mentioned it. Explorers have claimed to have found the lost city of Atlantis on multiple occasions throughout the years but none of their findings have solved the existence of this mysterious island nation.
Fact or Fiction?
The debate on the existence of Atlantis is still far from over. Plato described this ancient city around 360 BCE and for centuries historians considered his writing as an allegory. Many philosophers, including Aristotle, also viewed Atlantis as fiction. However, some philosophers, historians, and geographers have considered Plato’s story as truth.
The debate over the Atlantis remained relatively quiet until 1882 when Minnesota’s Representative, Ignatius Donnelly published a book titled “Atlantis: The Antediluvian World,” claiming that Atlantis was indeed a real place. He even claimed that all the known ancient civilization originated from Atlantis’ high Neolithic culture.
Scholars and historians consider Atlantis as a New Age idea and as one of Pluto’s parables. Their argument is backed by the fact that Plato often told fictitious tales. In the story of the Atlantis, such scholars believe that Plato was sending a warning to the Greeks on the dangers of political ambitions, and promoting nobility for personal gain.
Possible Locations of Atlantis
Hundreds of locations have been proposed as the lost city of Atlantis to the point that the term “Atlantis” has become a generic term rather than one specific location. Interestingly, most of the proposed sites are not within the Atlantic Ocean. Also, some of the sites are scholarly hypothesis while other sites have been made by pseudoscientific means. Most of the proposed sites share similar characteristics of the Atlantis story including time period, water, and the catastrophic end.
Inside the Mediterranean
Most of the proposed sites are in or near the Mediterranean Sea because of the location of Egypt from where the story was allegedly derived. The suggested sites in the Mediterranean include the islands of Sardinia, Malta, Crete, Cyprus, and Santorini (Thera). A massive volcanic eruption on Santorini led to a massive tsunami that experts believe disrupted Minoan Civilization on Crete. Some people believe that this was the catastrophe that caused the sinking of Atlantis.
Robert Sarmast argued that Atlantis lies at the bottom of Cyprus Basin on the eastern Mediterranean, beneath approximately 0.9 miles of water.
Another possible location of the Atlantis is Malta, considering its location on the dividing line between eastern and western Mediterranean Sea. Being the location of some of the oldest man-made structures, Malta is considered by past and present researchers as the possible location of Atlantis.
Outside the Mediterranean
Other locations around the world have also been considered as a possible location for Atlantis. Some of these locations include Turkey, the Black Sea, Indonesia, the Caribbean Sea, Morocco, and even Antarctica. Some geologists have even suggested that Atlantis was actually the city-state of Troy. Although many proposed sites have been suggested as the lost city of Atlantis, if the tales are believed to be true about the fated city, Atlantis remains lost.