13 Lost City of Atlantis Facts and Myths
According to legend, an ancient civilization flourished on the mythical island of Atlantis. The island was twice the size of Asia Minor and the people were said to be technologically advanced, but a series of events resulted in Atlantis sinking to the bottom of the sea.
The mythical island of Atlantis remains one of the world’s greatest mysteries. Some believe the island is authentic and sits at the bottom of the sea, while others believe evidence that suggests the island was nothing more than an allegory written by one of the most brilliant minds ever to walk the Earth. This means there are lots of lost city of Atlantis facts and myths that have been recorded over the centuries, making it hard to decipher what’s real and what’s not.
The story of the underwater city isn’t a recent phenomenon, with Atlantis first appearing in scriptures dating back to 360 BC. The myth surrounding Atlantis has continued to grow over the centuries, entering pop culture in the 90s and leading to a boom in the Atlantis craze. People from all over the globe have tried to unravel this mystery without luck. So join us as we travel deep into the sea to uncover if the mystery of the lost city of Atlantis is fact or fiction.
13 Lost City of Atlantis Facts and Myths
1. Plato’s Story
Most historians agree that the story of Atlantis is likely fictional. For more than 2,400 years, philosophers, historians, and writers have attempted to uncover the meaning behind the myth. The story of the prideful island first appeared in the Greek philosopher Plato’s dialogues Timaeus and Critias around 360 BC. Plato mentions an advanced civilization with great power and strength living in Atlantis. The Atlanteans often attacked the nearby communities in the Mediterranean Sea.
Roughly 9,000 years ago, Zeus had enough of the Atlanteans’ aggression, corruption, vanity, greed, and hubris. So the mighty Greek god punished the people by sinking Atlantis into the ocean. The ancient Greeks couldn’t agree if Plato’s story was a work of fiction and metaphor or a real account of a city that once existed. Some theories suggest Plato took inspiration from the Greek island Santorini, where a volcanic eruption destroyed the city on the island around 1,600 BC.
2. Origins of Plato’s Story
From most accounts, it appears that Plato created the fictional society of Atlantis as a metaphor. Plato, speaking through Critias, claimed his grandfather told him about the legend of Atlantis. 300 years earlier, an Athenian, Solon, told Plato’s father the story. Solon said he first heard the tale from an Egyptian priest who claimed the events occurred over 9,000 years ago.
It’s unclear if Plato believed the story or if it was all a creation of his brilliant mind. His goal appeared to be describing the perfect society using his ideals and the consequences of their hubris. Plato also compared the story to historical events, notably the Athens invasion of Sicily in 413 BC and the Trojan War.
3. Poseidon Creates Atlantis
As the story goes, the Greek god of the sea, storms, and earthquakes, Poseidon, searched the Earth for the largest island he could find. He stumbled upon a monstrous area of land with the most intelligent and beautiful people in the world. It was here that Poseidon fell in love with a human, Cleito. To ensure Cleito’s safety, Poseidon built her a great home on top of a hill on the island. In doing so he created the city of Atlantis on the island for the love of his life. Their love story continued to blossom in Atlantis as the city became more advanced.
4. The Hill of Cleito or Palace of Captivity?
Poseidon and Cleito eventually married, having five sets of twin boys. Poseidon built Cleito a grand home that ultimately became her palace, sitting isolated on a hill overlooking the city. While Plato’s version of events finds Cleito living in harmony with her husband in the palace, other theories imply Poseidon didn’t trust Cleito, so he held her captive on the hill.
Poseidon’s sons later became the rulers of Atlantis, with the palace on the hill representing their power. Around this time, the rulers and Atlanteans stopped following Poseidon’s established guidelines and became their own lawmakers.
5. The Statue of Poseidon
According to myth, Poseidon named his eldest son, Atlas, King of Atlantis. Accordingly, King Atlas and the citizens wanted to pay homage to their great protector so they constructed a large temple with spirals reaching the sky. On the top of the temple stood the stunning Statue of Poseidon.
The solid gold figure depicted Poseidon riding a chariot with winged horses. If the story of Atlantis is true, the Statue of Poseidon and the great temple are somewhere underwater with the rest of Atlantis waiting to be found.
6. The Wealth of Atlantis
The people of Atlantis were wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. The half-human and half-god Atlantians lived in an Eden-like utopia. They were a self-sufficient civilization that didn’t need to trade with other countries. The stunning and fruitful land allowed the people of this lost empire to grow their own food and raise animals. They also had a complex water system that provided them with fresh water and did away with sewerage without it clogging up the streets.
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7. The Rings of Water
Before Atlantis was submerged underwater and relegated to the ocean floor it already had abundant water throughout the great city. Several rings of water surrounded the entire island, with five of those rings of water connected to Atlantis via underground tunnels big enough to fit ships.
An extensive canal allowed the rings of water to connect with the ocean. Surrounding the rings of water were tall multi-colored walls decorated with stones and metals. The extensive water system allowed the Atlanteans to grow all the crops they needed to survive.
8. The Real Location of Atlantis
Writing as Critias, Plato gave a more detailed description of the advanced population living in Atlantis while also adding more mystery and confusion to the story. Plato puts the location of the island beyond the Pillars of Hercules, which most assume to mean the Strait of Gibraltar.
The site of the island remains a mystery as well, although some evidence suggests it lies under present-day Antarctica. Others place the island in the Mediterranean Sea or off the coast of Southern Spain. Based on the name Atlantis, it’s safe to assume it sits under the Atlantic Ocean, but nobody is really quite sure where this fabled city lies.
9. Atlantis Was Massive
Part of the intrigue of Atlantis relates to the mythical size of the once-great city. There is no accurate information available regarding the size and actual location bar the primary source of information found in Plato’s work. Based on the philosopher’s data, Atlantis was the size of Asia and Libya combined. Others believe it was as big as small as the Greek Island Crete or as large as Eurasia.
The vast land was said to feature natural resources, plants, and mountains. In addition to a progressive society, Atlantis included a plethora of animals, with hundreds of wild elephants. The giant landmass was said to be so big travelers could walk to other islands by crossing through Atlantis.
10. Aliens Lived on Atlantis
Philosophers and historians have offered every theory possible to explain the ancient civilization for thousands of years. One theory suggests the citizens were aliens that came to Earth 50,000 years earlier. The fair-skinned and taller aliens came from the Lyran star system to form a colony of people with superpowers. They lived a rich life of luxury but it all came to an end when they set off a series of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis.
These alien lifeforms harnessed energy from space and time to travel and the theory suggests that eventually they upset the weather patterns of Earth and caused several natural disasters that resulted in Atlantis sinking to the ocean floor.
11. The Search for Atlantis
Plato’s story stirred up controversy even in ancient times. While a few followers believed the tale, equally brilliant Aristotle joked that Plato had a unique skill to create fictional cities and sink them. The story of Atlantis wasn’t that well known and almost disappeared until the story came roaring back in 1627 with the release of Francis Bacon’s The New Atlantis. Like Plato, New Atlantis portrayed a technologically advanced society living on an island in the ocean.
U.S. Congressman Ignatious L. Donnelly released another book, Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, triggering the Atlantis craze in 1882. Donelly proposed that the advanced civilization spread out through ancient Africa, North America, Europe, and South America. He explained that these Atlanteans now serve as the basis for Hindu and Greek mythology. Donelly’s book inspired many people to search for the lost city of Atlantis but without success.
12. Vital Discoveries
The myths, theories, and historical stories are enough to send archeologists and curious minds into the darkest parts of the sea. Many times these individuals have found possible clues to the lost city but no concrete evidence.
Researchers did discover a strange underwater rock formation near the Bahamas that many people speculated was part of the remains of Atlantis. Another group stumbled upon a prehistoric city near Spain that could also be Atlantis.
The most accepted theory suggests that, as explained earlier, the ancient Greek Island Thera, now Santorini, either inspired Palto or was the actual island where the city once stood. As it says in the history books, a second-millennium BC volcanic eruption triggered a massive tsunami that wiped out the Minoan society on Crete, with half the island of Santorini submerged underwater.
13. Was It Real?
Since Plato first told the story of Atlantis, several theories suggest an ancient yet highly advanced society once existed. Explorers even claimed the discovery of the island using Plato’s notes. In ancient times, Plato had a reputation for writing about real and practical stories, so when he wrote about a fictional island, he convinced many people it was real.
Since the story didn’t exist before Plato’s publication, it was most likely an invention of Platos. He used the story about an advanced society as a platform for his theories and beliefs. Regardless, many still believe the lost city of Atlantis once existed but now sits at the bottom of the ocean.
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