Solaine Gerhard Ms. Gillhespy

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Solaine Gerhard

Ms. Gillhespy

ENC 1102

31 March 2013

Digging, Diving and Uncovering: The Lost City Of Atlantis

Story goes that once there was a mystical island out in the Atlantic Ocean, this island was filled with treasures and occupied by the Atlanteans. For thousands upon thousands of years we have been searching for the lost city of Atlantis. Atlantis was a city that was said to have vanished somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. This theory was brought upon us by Greek philosopher Plato. As Andy Bowers reports, “Around 360 BC, Plato wrote that Atlantis was a great and wonderful empire destroyed by earthquakes and floods –” (Adams 2). Plato determined that the city was taken down by natural disasters. This is a concept that we are familiar with and should grasp because of the amount of natural disasters that have happened over the past centuries. Although there have been many findings on Atlantis, we have now narrowed down its locations to two specific sites which geologists are investigating for signs of civilization, artifacts and ancient technology that may have survived the catastrophic events that lead to Atlantis going down under.

Many researchers have attempted to find the lost city of Atlantis, some with better leads than others. According to Adams, the island of Spartel, which was over time covered by water, could have been the lost city. However, Spartel does not fit Plato’s account of Atlantis. Adams cites Marc-Andre Gutscher of the University of Western Brittany, who has been researching Spartel. Gutscher says, “Plato describes destruction in a single day and night – not over a week, nor a century – pointing to one catastrophic event. He talks about violent earthquakes and flooding, implying there was a tsunami” (3). This illustrates that there are only so many natural occurring reasons for the disappearance of Atlantis. It also tells us that the lost city was located over a tectonic plate or around on for occurrences such as an earthquake or tsunami to take place. A major shift in the plates may have caused much of Atlantis to be covered in sea water only leaving a small remainder, or the catastrophe accounted for the total destruction of the island.

With this in mind we are limited to certain events that could have caused the disappearance of Atlantis, a tsunami being our most accurate guess. Or could there be another explanation? Such as asteroids causing the island to be blown apart and sink into the depths of the ocean. Author Richard Ellis of the book, “Imagining Atlantis” writes about researcher Otto Muck and how he believes that extraterrestrial events may have led to the disappearance of Atlantis. Muck went on to offer how this might have happened by explaining how this has occurred before, “an asteroid landed off Dominican Republic around 8500 B.C. and set off a chain reaction that caused the Azorean continent to sink, leaving only the mountaintops exposed as the islands we know today” (87). There is no doubt that this could have been the reasoning behind Atlantis’s disappearance. An asteroid coming down on an island would have immediate consequences and would not have lasted days or weeks. It would be as Plato said, “destruction in a single day and night” (Adams 3). Along with that idea, chunks of the island may have separated and could have dislocated with the island as a whole. Before we had the technology we had today we couldn’t merely just look at the ocean and tell that there was a land mass under the water. But now that we do, we can use these advances to search for those masses that could have been Atlantis.

The island Spartel is located in between the country Spain and city Morocco. But a problem with researchers claiming Spartel to be Atlantis is that, the size is completely off. According to Plato’s account on Atlantis he describes, “– the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together –” (Gill 4). You can clearly distinguish the size of the island Spartel versus the assumed size of Atlantis. Spartel could probably fit inside of Atlantis more than several times. Evidence ruling out Spartel is reported in the New Scientist article by Zeeya Merali, “… the underwater maps show that Spartel is much smaller than previously thought” (Merali 6). The correlating size between Spartel and Atlantis leads us to rule out Spartel, but as Atlantis as a whole. As said before extraterrestrial occurrences could have impacted Spartel much as it did the Azorean continent.

Another attempt to find the lost city of Atlantis was done by a German physicist. He “claimed the lost city was actually a region in southern Spain.” (Adams 6). Different people all have their own theories and skepticisms of where Atlantis was; and where it could possibly be at this day. But the more people “claim” to find it the more the human race starts to shake their heads and believe not to believe. It’s like when the little boy called wolf, everyone came out and tried to save the boy but every time there was no wolf. But when there really was a wolf nobody believed him.

Natural disasters are to be said what sunk Atlantis, and seeing how the city was located somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, it is very likely that a tsunami or multiple tsunamis could have caused this sudden disappearance. With the shifting of the tectonic plates and eroding how can we be sure of the exact location of Atlantis. Even if we knew the location of Atlantis before it vanished there would be challenges behind finding it. What if over the 12,000 years it was underwater, sediment and debris buildup covered the city and it was hidden from us? Or during a tectonic shift the city crumbled beneath the waters and left nothing but rubble? This is when technology in ancient times would have been helpful to Plato in proving that Atlantis exists.

In this day in age there are generous amounts of new technology being produced. We have been searching all these years for this lost city when we didn’t have technology that was advanced enough or right for the job. But now we do and scientists and researchers who continue to do so now have a real chance at finding this mystery that has kept humans wondering. Using submarines we can scope the bottom of the ocean and look for any remains that could lead us to where Atlantis had fallen. Researchers and scientists on this mission would need to have patience and be determined because to go through most of the Atlantic Ocean with only a submarine may take years. Sonar scans have been used to show where ships or large marine life are located, and now they can be used to show sunken lands beneath our level of view. These scans provide evidence that cannot be made up or denied.

lost landscape of atlantisCourtesy of Digital Trends

The photo above provided by Digital Trends illustrates evidence towards the lost city of Atlantis. It shows a mass located in the Atlantic Ocean, the colors red being closets to the surface and the light blue being the furthest. Taking a look at the land mass we can see that it does resemble the appearance of an island. It also seems to have what could have been a river down the middle, and mountains throughout the mass.

Locations of the lost city of Atlantis have been recently narrowed to two or more sites that fit the descriptions of Plato’s Accounts for the lost city of Atlantis. Researchers believe that Atlantis is in the Mediterranean Sea or in the Atlantic Ocean. Geologists have recently found a mass land under the Atlantic Ocean which could be Atlantis. As said explained in the article by Andrew Couts:

“Geologists have discovered an ancient underwater landscape more than a mile beneath the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean. The 56-million-year-old landscape, which was uncovered by a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK, whose findings appear in the July 10 issue of scientific journal Nature Geoscience, reveals evidence of human inhabitants.”

This new news on finding this land mass gives skeptics a run for their money. Geologist will now go in and investigate to see if they find anything that would prove that this land mass is truly the lost city of Atlantis.

With regards to the following information, the lost city of Atlantis is real. The evidence is out there and in our faces. With new technological advances and persistent researchers we are closer than ever to finding the exact location of Atlantis. The finding of Atlantis would give an opportunity for researchers and geologists to study artifacts from ancient times that would give us more information on what the inhibitors of Atlantis were able to create. Our perspective on history would be changed on a finding like this. Questions like “how could one catastrophic event cause a whole city to be consumed in the ocean?” would arise. Perplexed skeptics would become believers and those who believed would no longer be challenged. A myth that amused most children’s stories would become history.

Works Cited

Adams, Noah.” Analysis: Various myths surrounding the lost city of Atlantis”. National Public

Radio. November 18, 2004. Web. March 25, 2013.

Couts, Andrew. "Lost ‘Atlantis-like’ World Discovered under North Atlantic Ocean." Digital

Trends. Digital Trends. 11 July 2011. Web. 09 Apr. 2013.

Gill, N. S. "Plato's Atlantis From The Timaeus." Ancient/Classical History. 2005.

Web. 22 Apr. 2013.

Merali, Zeeya. “Perhaps a tsunami sank Atlantis”. n.p. August 1, 2005. Web. March 25, 2013.

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