The existence of the most famous continent,sung in legends, songs, novels, films and comics, oddly enough, the scientists doubt. The fact is that there are no oceanographic and geophysical data that can confirm the reality of Atlantis. But, in spite of everything, many are confident that underwater expeditions are about to be equipped and finally they will find the collapsed columns and towers of the greatest civilization that ever existed. In general, the very idea of Atlantis - the lost continent that became home to an ideal, utopian society - has captivated dreamers, mystics and occultists for centuries. Atlantis is dedicated to thousands of books, magazines, and websites. Moreover, people have lost entire fortunes - and in some cases even their lives - in search of a lost continent. But did Atlantis ever exist, and if so, what happened to it?
The first references to Atlantis are found in two dialogues of Plato, Timaeus and Critias, written around 360 BC. e.
Origin of Atlantis
To begin with, over 2300 years ago, Greekphilosopher Plato described the Great War involving Atlantis - a powerful empire that ruled several other islands, as well as lands throughout Africa and Europe. In search of wealth, the inhabitants of Atlantis unleashed a world war, but the Athenians won. With the help of the gods, "strong earthquakes and floods in one day and one night overthrew Atlantis into the abyss of the ocean." Centuries later, in the 1930s, the Greek archaeologist Spiridon Marinatos claimed that this description is based on the real destruction of the island of Tera (now Santorini) in the Aegean Sea. The reason for the destruction of the island, according to the scientist, was the eruption of a volcano that occurred in 1600 BC.
Today the island of Santorini can be seen on boardInternational Space Station (ISS). The former volcano attracted the attention of researchers and aroused associations with Atlantis because Plato described the city of Atlantis as a harbor surrounded by land rings. Currently, most scientists believe that the history of Plato is fictitious. However, it is possible that it was inspired by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions that occurred in the Mediterranean Sea. These events helped Plato make the story of Atlantis more believable.
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The legend of Atlantis, unlike manyothers, not lost in the fog of time. However, this did not prevent her from turning into a story about good and peaceful inhabitants of a lost continent from a story about an imperfect society that unleashed a world war. It is noteworthy that Atlantis of Plato is a rich, technologically advanced and militarily powerful civilization, corrupted by its power and wealth. As you probably guessed, the inhabitants of Athens, who fought against the greedy empire, act as a moral reference point for Plato.
Scientists are convinced that Plato invented Atlantisto tell stories, since there is no mention of this continent anywhere. It is important to understand that there are many preserved Greek texts, and if someone else had mentioned, at least in passing, such a wonderful place as Atlantis, we would have already known about this. But if Plato came up with Atlantis, why do we still think that a lost continent exists?
You will be interested: 10 facts about the lost Atlantis, which not everyone knows about
As we will meet in our book “Meet me in Atlantis”archaeologist Mark Adams, an unremarkable Greek legend, became widely known thanks to a man from Minnesota named Ignatius Donnelly (1831-1901). Donnelly was a congressman and an amateur historian, who claimed in his book "Antediluvian World" in 1882 that all the great achievements of civilization and technology can be traced and discovered on the island described by Plato. Moreover, Donnelly added his own “facts” and ideas that instantly became part of the myth of Atlantis.
Adams describes Donnelly “as the first greatfundamentalist of Atlantis, because he believed that the history of Plato was actually accurate - with the exception of such fantastic elements as Poseidon. Donnelly sent a copy of his book to Charles Darwin, who found it interesting, but unconvincing. Alas and ah! Later, less skeptical writers developed Donnelly's theory, adding new details and assumptions. But, as often happens, no reason to argue that Plato invented Atlantis did not help, and many people over the centuries have claimed that some truth is hidden behind these myths. All these arguments led to debates about where exactly Atlantis sank and how to find it.
See also: Under the ice of Antarctica discovered the deepest canyon in the world
At the same time, Plato clearly says whereAtlantis is located: it lies in the Atlantic Ocean behind the "Pillars of Hercules" (that is, the Strait of Gibraltar, at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea). Needless to say, no one has ever found this continent.
Does Atlantis exist?
The only way to seriously talk aboutthe existence of Atlantis is to ignore its origin or to change the details of the history of Plato. And yet, the most obvious sign that Atlantis is a myth is that for all these years absolutely no traces of its existence have been found, despite recent advances in oceanography and ocean floor mapping.
Of course, for almost two millenniareaders were excusable to suspect that the depths of the ocean could hide a sunken city or continent. But although the bottom of the oceans really holds many secrets, it is impossible to imagine that oceanographers, submariners and deep-sea probes did not notice the hefty continent, which is “bigger than Libya and Asia combined.”
And what did you hear about the lost continent? Do you think Plato invented it? Share your answer in the comments to this article as well as with the participants of our Telegram chat.
In addition, plate tectonics shows thatthe existence of Atlantis is impossible. According to Live Science, the geology is clear - there could not be a large land surface, which then sank in the region where Plato placed Atlantis. Taken together, modern archeology and geology give an unambiguous answer: the lost continent never existed, like the great civilization called Atlantis. Of course, it’s a pity to disappoint you, because this is really a very beautiful legend. And yet, let's allow her to exist quietly on the pages of fiction and science fiction.