Located somewhere in the depths of the ocean, the story of Atlantis is one of the oldest legends in human history. First coined by the philosopher Plato in 360 BC, Atlantis is part of an allegory about the hubris of nations, telling a story of a proud and powerful island that attempts to take over Ancient Athens, before sinking into Earth’s waters, never to be found again.
The idea of a lost island deep underwater has appealed to storytellers across several nations and eras, and was even featured prominently in the 2001 Disney Film Atlantis: The Lost Empire. As much as Atlantis has helped to shape literature over the years, however, the submerged island remains just something thought up by Plato for a cool story. Right? Maybe not.
One of the main arguments for Atlantis being little more than a myth is the fact that we haven’t been able to spot a lost city in our various ventures underwater. While a great deal of Earth’s seas and oceans have gone unexplored, the search for Atlantis has produced nothing but frustrations and false dawns… but could that be about to change?
When attempting to place the lost city of Atlantis, popular culture tends to locate the underwater society somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, partly due to the similarity between the two names. The Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean are also alternate hypotheses, while a subcontinent was discovered under the island of Mauritius, but was considered too old to truly be Atlantis.
A National Geographic documentary claimed to have found evidence near the south of Spain, but now, scientists have discovered something rather interesting beneath the Antarctic.
With the help of imaging technology, landmasses have been discovered underneath the half-mile crust of the South Pole, in the icy waters below. There, they found landmasses that could once have housed a society sunk into the ground, with one such mass being comparable in height with the Eiffel Tower in Paris (which stands at around 300m tall).
A research team from the Université libre de Bruxelle in Brussels, Belgium, have hypothesised that the structures could indicate the presence of water conduits and sediment ridges. That means that these structures deep underwater would have a large network of tunnels, making the ice cap above more stable, and perpetuating the theory that Atlantis could have been under Antarctica.
The idea of Atlantis being located in the South Pole has been brought up many times before, and was especially prominent in the 60s and 70s. This was partly due to the Piri Reis map, which reportedly showed what Antarctica looked like without ice, indicating that humans might have been around at the time.
Atlantis has a rich history all across literature, and scientists and philosophers all over the world have theorised as to the existence of this lost city. Could they now be any closer to an answer?