According to the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, the island and lost city of Atlantis succumbed to the sea in a day and a night of tragedy nearly twelve thousand years ago. Did it really happen as he described it? Did the mythical city of Atlantis really exist as Plato portrayed it? Surprisingly, we have proof that an Atlantis-like event occurred right when Plato says the island was destroyed. In fact, we have three pieces of evidence for Atlantis, each from a different field of scienceall three pointing to a world-changing event about 9620 BC.
In two dialogues written by Plato about 360 BC are our first key references to the island, though Atlantis had been mentioned earlier by other authors and may have been mentioned by other cultures (Egyptian and Hindu, for example) under a different name.
Size and Location of Atlantis
Many who are interested in the subject of Atlantis speak of it as a continent, but Plato was quite clear to call it an island smaller than the main continent (Eurasia) and that unnamed continent across the great Atlantic Ocean (America). In size, Atlantis was supposed to have been between one and two times the size of Texas (largest of the contiguous United States).
The myth has been beset with a mania for finding the location of the lost island and its capital city. Researchers have placed it in various locations around the Mediterranean, in the Sahara, Peru, Scandinavia, the North Sea, Indonesia and even Antarctica. And yet, Plato was quite clear and specific about its geological place. He said that the island resided in the Atlantic Ocean, beyond the Strait of Gibraltar (what was then called the Pillars of Herakles), and facing the region in Southern Spain known then as Gadira (modern Cádiz, Spain). The lost city of Atlantis was said to be eleven days’ sail from Gibraltar which would place it near the Azores, if due west.
Skeptics find the location and size hard to believe. One skeptical website claimed that there was nothing in the geology of the North Atlantic Ocean which would allow for a large island which later sank.
Contrary to their opinion, there are several geological aspects which make this region perfect for the creation and later destruction of Atlantis. If Plato’s story proves to have been a complete fiction, then the Greek philosopher was extremely lucky to have chosen such a geologically compatible region.
Why is this part of the ocean compatible with Atlantis? Most mountains and many islands on Earth are found near tectonic plate boundaries. The collision or sliding of one plate underneath the other causes plate folding (buckling or mountain building) and/or gives rise to volcanoes. Atlantis was said to have been a very mountainous island, and the modern Azores have been volcanic for millions of years.
From Gibraltar to the Azores runs the Africa-Eurasia tectonic plate boundary. For more information, see the video below.
When Atlantis Sank
Plato was also quite specific about the date. Though he may well have rounded off the number of years, he specifically stated 9,000 years before the time of Solon, the great Athenian lawgiver, upon his visit to Egypt, where he heard the story from an unnamed, Egyptian priest. This places the submergence of Atlantis about 9600 BC.
A number of researchers find the date hard to believe. This caused them to look for other locations and events, like the violent explosion of Thera (Santorini) in the Aegean Sea, north of Crete. One fact which made ‘9600 BC’ hard to believe was that there had been no signs of civilization that far back. But that has changed. The recent discovery that the ruins at Göbekli Tepe, Turkey originated about 9500 BC has virtually erased that concern.
More on Atlantis
If Atlantis existed, and if the world at the end of the last Ice Age was largely a primitive wilderness, then one would expect an advanced civilization like Atlantis to have left its mark on the minds of Earth’s citizens.
There are numerous enigmatic structures of unknown origin in South America, Morocco and Lebanon which defy easy explanation. Some of the stones are larger than we can easily cut and move with modern technology.
Many of the ancient myths may sound outrageous, but when viewed in the context of stories poorly understood by people with limited vocabulary, then Atlantis stands as a possible player in those prehistoric legends. Such stories include the birth of Greek goddess Athena; the battle between Egyptian gods Isis, Osiris, Horus and Seth; and the worldwide myths of dragons.
Near the ancient island of Atlantis, the modern Basques of Southern France and Northern Spain speak an ancient, agglutinative language entirely different from those of all its Indo-European neighbors. The Basques also possess a rare genetic markermtDNA haplogroup X. Across the Atlantic, a few Native American tribes who spoke agglutinative languages, also possess this rare genetic trait. What is interesting is that this family divided by the Atlantic was separated about twelve thousand years ago, at a minimum. This places their separation at the demise of Atlantis.
Though we do not have direct evidence to prove Plato’s mythical island existed, the quest to find the lost city of Atlantis continues.
Geology of Atlantis
If Atlantis existed, then geology is an important concern in the research needed to prove that existence. The following video examines one possible scenario for the creation and destruction of Atlantis by comparing those forces with the very real forces at work in the modern day archipelago of the Philippines.