The story of the island of Atlantis was first told 2,300 years ago by the Greek philosopher Plato, who spoke of a great ancient city that was destroyed and flooded by the Atlantic Ocean.
It is not clear whether the Greeks of the time took Plato’s account as a metaphor for the fall of successful societies, or considered it to be a historical record.
In any case, this is still the subject of heated debate for many scientists, historians and philosophers.
There are five most interesting theories about the Lost City.
1. Atlantis Was Swallowed By The Bermuda Triangle
One theory about where the lost civilization went is that it was swallowed up by the Bermuda Triangle.
A stretch of the Atlantic Ocean, also known as the Devil’s Triangle, became an urban legend after more than 50 ships and 20 planes disappeared from the area.
In his book The Lost Continent Revealed, Charles Berlitz says that an ancient civilization could also fall victim to the notorious Bermuda Triangle. Berlitz claimed that Atlantis was actually a continent off the coast of the Bahamas.
Proponents of this theory point out that an undersea road known as the Bimini Road has been discovered north of Bimini Island in the Bahamas. The underground rock formation, sometimes referred to as the Bimini Wall, is 0.8 km. It was first discovered by divers in 1868, who described it as a “pavement”.
The location of the road and its ideal structure led many to believe that it could be a road to Atlantis, reminiscent of the roads of that era.
The bizarre Bimini Road was mentioned by the American mystic and prophet Edgar Cayce 30 years before its discovery in 1938. At that time, he predicted: “Part of the temples can still be found under the mud of centuries and sea water near Bimini. Wait in the 68th or 69th – not too far.
He also added that Bimini Island was considered one of the mountain peaks of Ancient Atlantis.
However, carbon dating conducted by scientists has shown that these structures could have formed naturally from coastal limestone erosion.
2. Atlantis Was Destroyed By A Natural Disaster
Among the endless theories about what happened to the ancient world, there are suggestions that natural disasters are to blame for the destruction of the island. The most notable of these are massive floods, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
One theory that is constantly repeated is that the fall of Atlantis is due to a huge volcanic eruption that occurred on the Greek island of Santorini (then known as Thera) about 3,600 years ago.
As a result of the eruption, from 40 to 60 cubic kilometers of lava were erupted, as a result of which a large underwater caldera formed on Santorini, and huge areas of land were flooded. At that moment, about 10 million tons of rocks, ash and gas were thrown into the atmosphere.
This eruption, along with the large tsunami that is believed to have followed, is often blamed for the destruction of society.
The Minoan civilization that lived on the island of Thera is considered by many to be the first great civilization in Europe, building roads and palaces and the first written language on the continent.
Archaeologists believed that the island had a flourishing economy, as the Minoans were great fishermen who traded with other countries in the Mediterranean.
It was during the construction of this successful civilization that parts of the island were suddenly destroyed, leading many to associate the catastrophe with Plato’s theories.
3. Atlantis Was Antarctica
Another theory suggests that Atlantis was actually a much warmer version of the cold continent of Antarctica that exists today.
This is based on Charles Hapgood’s 1958 book The Shift of the Earth’s Crust, which denied the theory of continental drift, which was very popular among scientists at a time when our understanding of plate tectonics was not well established.
Instead, he suggested that the Earth’s crust shifted 12,000 years ago, causing the continent that is now Antarctica to move further south from its original position in the Atlantic.
This, in turn, led to explanations about Atlantis, with some suggestion that warmer, more temperate conditions on the continent may have given way to more advanced civilizations. But when this sudden shift occurred, the society was unable to cope with the sharply falling temperature.
Supporters of the theory suggest that the once prosperous city would have been buried under layers of ice. Claims of a hidden land under the icy continent have even led scientists to try to find glimpses of human life.
In 2017, the discovery of a hydraulic system under the ice sheets in Antarctica led people to speculate that this is evidence of the existence of the Atlantic.
Scientists said they found huge structures, some the size of the Eiffel Tower, buried under ice sheets. One of the buildings was made of a mixture of clay and sandstone and measured 150×40 meters.
But scientists from the University of Brussels in Belgium and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Germany, who made the discovery, explained that the land masses are actually “aqueducts and deposits under the Antarctic ice sheet,” and smaller patches are the beginning of wider water channels.
4. Atlantis Was Destroyed By A Meteor Impact
While this has been called one of the most absurd theories about the lost city of Atlantis, some have speculated that it could have been destroyed by a meteorite.
In the Netflix series Ancient Apocalypse, British writer and host Graham Hancock claims that Atlantis was destroyed by a tsunami and massive meteorite flooding. The TV show claims that the survivors of an advanced civilization moved to another land where they taught mathematics, architecture and agriculture.
This theory has been widely criticized by archaeologists, with many criticizing Hancock for presenting “alternative facts” for fun.
Hancock also claims, as he has for many years in his books, that archaeologists have spent time trying to hide this idea.
Flint Dibble, an archaeologist at Cardiff University, said: “Hancock has come out very strongly and aggressively against the archaeological community. I was shocked at how aggressive it was. I wonder if they are actively trying to appeal to post-truth and conspiracy theorists.”
However, ITN, which produced the show, stated that it was “triple-checked with facts from alternative sources”.
5. Atlantis Never Existed
Despite all the intriguing theories, most scientists and historians have concluded that Atlantis probably never existed.
Many believe that Plato’s writings were fiction and created to support his moral arguments.
Other than Plato’s dialogues, there are no written records of Atlantis, although there are a number of written records of other things that have survived from ancient Greek times.
Even with advances in oceanography and technology to map the ocean floor, no trace of the sunken city has ever been found.
Back in 2001, one of the world’s leading scholars of ancient mythology, Alan F. Alford, said that Atlantis was a myth created by Plato.
“Behind this legend lies a single secret of stunning simplicity: namely, that although Atlantis was a lost paradise, it was not a lost city, island, or continent, but a lost planet of a former golden age. The loss of Atlantis was supposed to mean a very important event – the cataclysm of all the cataclysms that destroyed the universe at the beginning of all time, ”he explained.