The Strange and Abnormal: Atlantis: Never existed, or about to resurface?

Ava Ferrigno, Features Editor

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The lost civilization of Atlantis has remained one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries. This advanced society predominantly appeared in the works of the Greek philosopher Plato during 360 BCE.

He claimed that he became aware of the civilization from previous writings, however, the first recordings of Atlantis are only found within Plato’s Timaeus and Critias. In these writings, Plato described that the rulers of the island were ruled by Poseidon’s sons at the height of the nation’s power in 9500 BCE. Already, Plato’s story appears to be more of a fantastical work of fiction rather than a recording of actual events, hence his proclamation of demigod leaders.

According to National Geographic, Plato described that Atlantis was an island constructed of concentric circles, towering temples, and that its people were superior to all other civilizations during this time period. Due to their superiority, the Atlanteans conquered other continents and were advanced enough as to invent aircrafts.

Despite being said to have greater technological advancements than the modern era, Atlantis and its people disappeared due to either a tsunami, or a volcano eruption. They had not left a trace of their existence behind. This catastrophic“event” induces numerous questions. If the Atlanteans had access to such advanced technology, they should have been able to protect themselves or flee the island, perhaps by using their hovercrafts.

Robert Ballard, an ocean explorer who discovered the sunken Titanic, explains that the demise of Atlantis is not completely barbaric due to the fact natural disasters had occurred frequently in the past. An example of this is the volcanic eruption that eradicated the advanced society of the Minoans that lived on the island of Santorini, which is also the proposed location of Atlantis. As the deaths of the Minoans had proved, an advanced society may still succumb to the deadly impact of a natural disaster.

However, since it is stated that the Atlanteans had conquered numerous other continents, they would have established settlements outside the island. Therefore, the decedents of the “superior” race should have continued the work of their ancestors in the other locations. Then, similar technology and architecture should be seen in the lands surrounding Santorini.

Ignoring these inconsistencies, the greatest piece of evidence the disproves the existence of Atlantis is the fact that the sunken island has still not been discovered. One would think that a gigantic island would not be that difficult to find. Even with sonar and other aquatic technologies available today, the lost civilization of Atlantis remains lost, or rather, never existed. The only possible explanation for the existence of the island could be that supernatural entities or Poseidon had hidden Atlantis out of respect or disappointment, which cannot be proved and does not seem very logical.

Until further evidence of the existence of the Atlanteans or their island surfaces, it appears that Plato’s imagination took a hold of his hand, leading him to spark a controversial debate which would continue for centuries after his death.