The story of the lost continent of Atlantis has been around for ages and it remains a modern day enigma for everyone. The idea of a mysterious city inhabited by a highly advanced civilization has caught the curiosity of people for many years now. The word Atlantis inflames the mind of many by questions like; how did the story start? Did it ever exist? Where is it now?
Atlantis – Background Story by Plato
The story of Atlantis started around 355 BC. The famous Greek philosopher Plato wrote of Atlantis in his two dialogues, Timaeus and Critias. He described Atlantis as an island in the west of the Pillars of Hercules in the Atlantic Ocean. The people who lived there relished impressive engineering, architecture, prodigious military power, intellectual feats and lavishness of natural resources. According to Plato’s dialogues, Atlantis is a utopian civilization that has superior technology far advanced than in any other parts of the world.
In Plato’s accounts, Atlantis belonged to Poseidon, the God of the Sea, who fell in love with a mortal woman named Cleito. They were married and Poseidon fathered five sets of twins. He distributed the island among his children equally dividing it into ten sections. His children became the rulers of each division.
Over time, the people of Atlantis lived virtuous and prosperous lives but 9000 years later, Zeus decided to destroy the civilization. It was during this time, that people became greedy of more wealth and power. The Gods then decided to give Atlantis a severe punishment for their immortality has corrupted them. In one violent earthquake, the great island sank into the sea along with its people.
Claims of Atlantis Location
After the accounts of Plato, many historians and researchers have gathered information in an attempt to determine the truth of the legend. It was said that Plato’s’ dialogues were actually based on real events that happened in the past. Particularly, the fact that he based his story on actual places. People then, became curious where the island could have been.
Some of the most popular theories about Atlantis were based on the location mentioned in Plato’s dialogues. Plato was clear about the maritime position of the island. He said on his dialogues that the Island was situated beyond the “Pillars of Hercules.” In ancient times, Pillars of Hercules is actually the narrow passages or the strait of Gibraltar and is at the mouth of the Mediterranean.
This was the reason why Atlantis experts and authors presumed that Atlantis sank between Europe and America or in the Atlantic Ocean. Popular authors like Helen Blavatsky and Ignatius Donnelly took different approaches to the truth about Atlantis.
In the 19th century, Helen Blavatsky claimed numerous cultural arguments for the Atlantis existence. She said in her book that Atlantis was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Later on, Ignatius Donnelly, known as the father of Modern Atlantis, published a well-researched book on Atlantis. He stated in his book that the island was found west of the Strait of Gibraltar near the Azores Islands.
The Truth Unveiled
Further studies and scientific exploration were made as the years passed by. One of the first notable exploration was documented in the “National Geographic Channel.”
In 2011, a team of explorers, led by Professor Richard Freund claimed that they have found proof that Atlantis is along the coast of Spain. He revealed in the “National Geographic” that a giant tsunami destroyed the city leaving remnants of organic matter. The residue would have sunk to the oceans floor due to the forces of the giant tidal wave. This organic matter produced concentrations of methane coming from the location. With the latest radar technology, satellite imagery, and digital mapping, the team observed that they could see signs of a ringed city that once occupied the area under the Doñana National Park in Spain. They inferred that this is the lost island of Atlantis.
Freund based his observations from the phenomenon called Apophenia. This is an unstructured perception of connections and relevance of unconnected phenomena.
People can conclude from this documentary that Atlantis really existed. The only problem was, despite the advancement in oceanography and ocean floor mapping, there was actually no trace of Atlantis in any of the areas mentioned in many past theories and studies. The mystery remains at the bottom of the ocean. This unknown truth about Atlantis might actually never existed in the real world but only in the world of Plato.
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