Written By Sakshi Talreja (Grade 10)
“Most consider this work as a science fiction, Vernians know otherwise.”
His name would have been forgotten centuries ago if the writings of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato did not contain many truths about the human condition.
But one of his most famous stories, his devastating destruction of the ancient civilization of Atlantis, is almost certainly false. So why is this story still being repeated more than 2,300 years after Plato’s death?
“It’s an imaginative story,” says James Romm, a professor at Byrd’s College in Annandale, New York. “It’s a big myth. There are many elements that make people want to fantasize.”
The ancient civilization of Atlantis was a utopia. It was lush and full of food and wildlife. And the people of Atlantis were wise and just. They were a knowledgeable society capable of astonishing architectural and engineering feats. Most people believe that the story of Atlantis is just a legend, but some say it was a real place that was destroyed by floods and earthquakes. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato learned about the lost civilization of Atlantis from a relative named Solon. Plato says that around 600 BC Solon visited Egypt and learned about Atlantis from the priests of the Temple of Sais. The clergy said Atlantis was destroyed 9,000 years before Solon’s time. This dates Atlantis to about 9600 BC. According to Chr. author and historian Graham Hancock, the timing is critical. Throughout history, many explorers have searched for the lost city of Atlantis, but have been unable to find it. Today, the history of Atlantis is commonly considered a myth, but that changes. It’s possible. New evidence points to a global catastrophe that may have caused its destruction.
After the end of the Great Ice Age about 15,000 years ago, the earth began to warm again. Then, after thousands of years of warming, the temperature dropped and then rose rapidly again 1,200 years later. This event is called Younger Dryas. Rapid climate change wreaked havoc on our world at the beginning and end of the Younger Dryas. This event ended around 9600 BC. At the same time, Plato said that Atlantis was destroyed.
Some scientists believe that the climate changes on Younger Dryas were caused by cometary debris. Whatever the cause, the sudden warming would have caused flooding in some areas. Many ancient cultures tell stories of natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes. In the Bible, Noah builds a ship to save people from a great flood. Other legends say that the destruction came from the skies and may actually be stories of comets. increase. Graham Hancock argues that what we know about these ancient legends and the history of Earth’s climate change supports Plato’s story of the destruction of Atlantis. Indeed, the timing of the Younger Dryas and Plato’s description of Atlantis seems just right.
But what do you think? Is the island real? Well, we have to ask Captain Nemo. Aye Aye Captain.
Featured Image Courtesy – WorldAtlas