Dr. C. Pfeifer
Chances are you’ve heard some crazy theories about an underground city that existed hundreds of years ago, and then vanished. No one knows how, but an entire city with thousands of people, just gone. You probably think that this is impossible, it can’t be true, but maybe you’re just not properly informed.
In 355 B.C. the famous philosopher Plato once wrote of a great city that was put under water. He writes of this place in his book titled, Timaeus. According to Timaeus, Atlantis was created by Poseidon (The god of the sea), and was named after Poseidon’s first child, Atlas. Atlantis was believed to have been located near the Pillars of Hercules, which is now the Straight of Gibraltar. Poseidon raised a total of ten sons there. When the sons grew up Poseidon split up the land so each of them could rule a portion of it. Under the sons’ rule the land grew to be immensely prosperous. The people in the land were intelligent and beautiful. But the people of Atlantis soon became corrupt and greedy. The Gods saw how evil they had become, and decided to destroy Atlantis. So, in a violent earth quake, the entire city sank to the bottom the Atlantic Ocean.
Some believe that Plato made up this story to use as a teaching tool, although Plato insisted that his stories were true. Others say he goes into far too great detail to only use for teaching. Still, many people believe that Plato just greatly exaggerated a story he had heard, and made his own version of it to entertain people.
So whether or not you believe in the ancient mythology is up to you, but the existence of Atlantis goes beyond just an old Myth. Some believe that the story of Atlantis was just a misinterpretation of the Minoan civilization. The Minoan civilization is a series of islands, located about 75 km to the north of Crete. In 1650 B.C., a volcano erupted, taking out most of the Minoan population and caused a title wave. This would explain why most people believe it mysteriously disappeared, but for this to be true, it would mean that Plato had the date and location of Atlantis seriously wrong.
Another location that would fit Plato’s description of Atlantis is the Spartel Islands. These Islands are located near the Strait of Gibraltar, which is where Plato believed Atlantis was located. Also, it is currently 60m underwater. It is believed that the Islands were hit by a tsunami around 12,000 years ago, and this would have been around the same time Plato believed Atlantis was destroyed. With all this evidence it would seem we have found what many believed was the great city of Atlantis, but when researchers went looking for some of the remains of the civilization that lived there, nothing was found. In fact, there was no trace of any kind of man made structure at all.
So could Atlantis be just a misunderstanding? Could it really be one of these Islands? Or is it just a myth? No one really knows. But if a city as great as Atlantis did exist wouldn’t there be a record of it, other than Plato’s book? Well, many believe that there is written proof that Atlantis did exist, hidden in a hall underneath the sphinx, or in a secret chamber in the top of the great pyramid. Does such a document exist? No one really knows.
So, now that you have been properly educated on the subject, it’s time for you to form an opinion. Did Atlantis exist? Was it all made up? Is it just an exaggerated story? Is it a misunderstanding? Could it have been a Minoan or Spartel island? It’s up to you, what do you believe?
Miller, Frank. "Atlantis the lost continent." http://theshadowlands.net/atlantis/ #The%20Legend%20of. N.p., Jan.-Feb. 2011. Web. 3 Mar. 2011.
Keyes, Bradley. "Critias." http://www.activemind.com/Mysterious/Topics/Atlantis/ timaeus_page2.html. N.p., 1996. Web. 3 Mar. 2011.
Mendham, Trevor. "Atlantis." Wyrdology. N.p., 2004. Web. 4 Mar. 2011. .