Top 10 Hypotheses About Atlantis

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References about the lost city of Atlantis go back to 360 BC when Plato “published” two of his finest dialogues, the Critias and the Timaeus. Ever since this mentioning, scholars could not stop but wonder if the legend of this tremendous naval power was real or if Atlantis represented a figment of Plato’s imagination. Not only is the world still puzzled with the very existence of Atlantis, but even today scientists go to great lengths in order to discover the exact location of the city.

Considering that Plato described it to be as big as North Africa and Asia combined, it would seem natural to find at least some traces of the great Atlantis civilization. Let’s review the most popular theories about Atlantis.


1. Ignatius Donnelly’s hypothesis

Considering that in the 19th century the Atlantic Ocean was perceived as few hundred feet deep, it is perfectly understandable why so many people considered Ignatius Donnelly’s theory of Atlantis true. To summarize, since Plato mentioned that Atlantis was located just outside the Pillars of Hercules or the Strait of Gibraltar (as it is known today) Donnelly’s theory suggests that the lost continent could not be located elsewhere than the center of the Atlantic Ocean.


2. Atlantis is a metaphor for the Minoan civilization

The newest and progressively more popular theory about the lost city of Atlantis hints that Plato was referring to a catastrophic event that occurred thousands of years before his time in the Mediterranean Sea, namely the devastating eruption of the Santorini (of Thera as it was known in the days) volcano. According to geologists, the eruption created huge destruction in the Mediterranean basin, including a gigantic tsunami that brought the Minoan civilization from the Crete Island to an end.


3. Atlantis’ destruction is a reference for the Black Sea flood

The Black Sea was not always the mysteriously quiet sea of today. Its formation takes us back 7,000 years when the Mediterranean Sea breached through the Bosporus and flooded a freshwater lake over a rather short period. Because it has been proven that there were several flourishing civilizations living around the freshwater lake and the flooding was rapid, some scholars suggest that Plato was referring to this terrible event.


4. Nowadays Atlantis is an ice-free Antarctica

Charles Hapgood’s theory on the sudden shift of the Earth’s crust thousands of years ago sparked the imagination of various Atlantis theorists. Consequentially, they claim that since the shift also determined the relocation of the continents as we know them today. Since it is highly possible that Antarctica was once located in a moderate climate, its transfer to the icy South Pole represents a devastating event similar to the story of Atlantis. On a side note, this hypothesis gradually lost its supporters once the tectonic plate movement was better understood.


5. Atlantis and the old continent of Lemuria

Interestingly enough, ancient Greece was not the only civilization mentioning of a great island-bound culture that suddenly and tragically disappeared. In fact, stories and myths of such a civilization are also presents in India and the South-Eastern parts of Asia, cultures that tell the story of a great empire on the continent of Lemuria that supposedly existed somewhere in the Indian Ocean. However, considering that no evidence of geological formations has been found in the Indian Ocean, it is understandable why this hypothesis does not have many supporters.


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