When we talk about ancient history, more than facts we encounter stories that are either myths or purely mysterious. One such story is of Atlantis, a lost city that many consider a myth while other wonders about the mystery that lies beneath. Atlantis in easy terms is a mythical island that has been mentioned by Plato in his dialogue ‘Timaeus’ and ‘Critias’. Plato wrote about Atlantis in 360 BC, where he described a mythical city that ventured tremendous success before ultimately being punished for their bad morals. People believe that the island existed some 11,000 years ago and mysteriously sank to the surface of the sea. Atlantis is long been on the search list of several explorers for whom locating this lost city is nothing less than magical.
From movies to books, it has its roots for its avid fanatics. But did this island ever existed? Or is it just a myth? No one knows for sure, but one thing is positive that this island does exist somewhere, either truly under the ocean or just in mythological myths. Let’s take a look at how the world first came to know about Atlantis.
What is the myth of Atlantis?
According to Plato’s dialogue, the Atlantis was formed by the Greek god Poseidon, who gifted it to his son Atlas after whom the city was named. It was a vast city with advanced culture and technology. The people of Atlantis were skilled and witty due to which Atlantis became one of the most powerful kingdom in the world. As Atlanteans grew, they became more and more powerful yet their moral disciple declined dramatically. They conquered several countries as far as Africa and Europe. Later, for their indecent ethics, the god punished the whole city by drowning it under the water. This is what Plato wrote in his story, yet the ancient Greeks were divided as to whether Plato’s story was to be taken as history or mere a mythology?
These are a few of the top theories about the lost city Atlantis
Though Plato in his work talked about Atlantis back in 328 BC, the world became curious about it until much later. In the 19th century when Ignatius Donnelly published his book ‘Atlantis, the Antediluvian World’, the idea about the lost city resurfaced.
Atlantis was an Atlantic island that sunk under the ocean:
In his book ‘Atlantis, the Antediluvian World’, Ignatius Donnelly proposed the idea that Atlantis was not just a myth but an island that sank under the ocean. In his book, he argued that the ancient people weren’t skilled enough to achieve things like agriculture, language and metallurgy on their own. In fact, this knowledge was indeed passed on by some anciently advanced civilizations. Donnelly assumed that the Atlantic Ocean is just a few feet deep, he described that an ancient city sank in the exact location Plato described in his dialogue due to shifting ocean waters. The lost island was just outside the ‘Pillars of Hercules’, where two huge rocks mark the entrance to the Straits of Gibraltar. Few modern experts do rely on Donnelly’s theory whereas others don’t really seem to bother.
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Atlantis lie somewhere inside the Bermuda Triangle:
Well, the idea about a lost city is quite fascinating on its own; it also attracts several theorists and writers suggesting their view on the disappearance mystery. One such theory was proposed by Charles Berlitz, who speculated that the lost city of Atlantis must lie somewhere inside the Bermuda Triangle owing to its mysterious activities. In 1970, Charles claimed that the Atlantic was located somewhere near the Bahamas and had later fallen into the Bermuda Triangle. Because the Bermuda triangle is in itself a subject of mystery, adding more to it might not seem wrong! Some oceanographers did found some man-made walls under the coast of Bimini, but researchers have suggested that they were naturally made rocks.
Atlantis was Antarctica:
In the 1958 book ‘Earth’s Shifting Crust’ by Charles Hapgood, he described that Atlantis was in fact Antarctica. He proposed that some 12,000 years ago due to the shift in earth’s crust which happens once every 20-30 thousand years, the city of Atlantis displaced and became a part of what we today know as Antarctica! The island was home to a virtually advanced civilization that was doomed due to its shifting and their magnificent city was buried under the ocean. He proposed this by studying a 5000-year-old map that showed Antarctica with habitable areas, thus he assumed that civilization must have been consumed by the cold when the plates shifted that led to its destruction. His theory became famous because it was made before the world understudied the movement of tectonic plates. But few years back NASA found satellite images of Antarctica which reveals traces of human settlement under the ice. But this doesn’t prove that the traces were of Atlanteans!
Atlantis was confused with the Black Sea Flood:
According to this theory, the existence of Atlantis is nothing more than just a mythological story but its disappearance tale was inclined by a real incident. The Black Sea Flood is known for three hypothetical flood scenarios proposed for the Late Quaternary history of the Black Sea. Out of which, one coincides with the disappearance of Atlantis- the breaching of the Bosporus by the Mediterranean Sea in 5600 B.C. The rising Mediterranean Sea spilled over a rocky sill at the Bosporus, perhaps hundreds of feet within less than a year following the last ice age. This led to scattered populations fleeing from the island to different parts of the world. They narrated the tale of the black sea in their new habitat, which is further believed to reach Plato much later. And therefore many people also believe that Atlantis must have been inside the Black Sea.
Atlantis was nothing more than Plato’s imagination:
Through years of research and discoveries, several researchers and scientists have concluded that Atlantis was nothing more than a fictional story. They suggested the lost city was Plato’s vision of an ideal civilization and its demise is a cautionary tale of what would happen if humans lose their morals. Because no written records or other traces have ever been found about the city, thus assuming it is just fiction is logically not incorrect. And clinging to just a theory doesn’t grantees that everything our forefathers wrote was actually truth!
Atlantis was found by Lemurians:
The Island of Moo known as Lemuria was located near Indonesia about 2.5 lakhs years ago and that people regularly moved out to Atlantis in the Mexican Sea and Kumari Kandam in South Tamil Nadu, about 1,00,000 years ago due to frequent floods and tsunami. If we go by Tamil mythology, Kumari Kandam was a mythological island that is believed to be lost with ancient Tamil civilization. There is a general belief that both Lemuria and Kumari Kandam were located in the Indian Ocean. So, when the continent was destroyed, its civilization moved to different parts of the world, and that some formed Atlantis. Atlantis using ancient Lemurian technology rapidly grew to fame but was later destroyed by the gods as described by Plato. But as to the latest advancement, there’s no trace ever found that concludes that these islands really existed!
Atlantis was made by Aliens:
Among all the theories, this alien tale does seem to be a good story for a modern Hollywood movie, but theoretically, just another man-made assumption! People believe that aliens must have landed on earth in its initial years and helped in forming ancient civilizations including the Atlantis. To add more mystery, many hypotheses believe that they have encountered people who claimed to be Atlantean in their previous lives! Spooky enough?
Is Ancient Indian Civilization remnants of Atlantis?
Just like any civilization or community, Indians too believe that their origin of civilization lies in the Vedic scriptures. These scriptures store a massive amount of knowledge and pieces of evidence of their origin and that the currently taught lifestyle is actually a remnant of our ancient civilizations. Harappan India or ‘Indus Valley Civilization is considered the largest urban civilization in the world. Thus finding traces of Atlantis in the Vedas has also been a topic of discussion for many researchers.
This is backed up by the fact that the word ‘Atlantis’ comes from a Sanskrit word ‘Atalas’ which means ‘Deprived of its Pillar’ or ‘bottomless’. Many people also correlate Atlantis with Dwarka (a mythological utopian city that is believed to lie somewhere under the ocean). Dwarka was a group of islands and so was Atlantis, thus people speculates both the cities to be one. But whether or not Atlantis was a lost Indian city is highly debatable because the first mention of the city was made by an Athens native which is more than 5,000 kilometers away from India. However today this journey is quite short but considering it some 12,000 years ago, it’s pretty far!
So, does Atlantis really existed or just mythology? We’ll leave it up to you to decide!