Facts About The Mythological Lost City Of Atlantis

There are many myths floating around about the lost city of Atlantis, not to mention all of the pop culture references to the Utopian society. Plato started the tale way back when, and ever since, scientists and conspiracy theorists have tried to piece together all of the tales surrounding the mysterious underwater city.

Since there is no true historic evidence, we can only imagine what Atlantis looked like, how the people acted, and how it came to be and ultimately how it disappeared in one night. After centuries, there are a few facts that people can seemingly agree upon.

Atlantis Was Frist Described By The Greek Philosopher, Plato

Atlantis Was First Described By Greek Philosopher, Plato
Prisma/UIG/Getty Images
Prisma/UIG/Getty Images

The first mention of Atlantis was by the Greek philosopher Plato. The island first appeared in two of his dialogues written around 355 B.C. titled Timaeus and Critias. Many believe the myth was made up by the philosopher to help illustrate his theories about politics, as one of the stories centers around a cultural and political confrontation that ultimately led to war between Atlantis and Athens.

According to Plato, Atlantis was governed by a constitution similar to that in The Republic, and Poseidon protected the island and made his son, Atlas, its king.

A War Happened Between The Atlanteans And The Athenians

A War Happened Between The Atlanteans And The Athenians
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

According to ancient Egyptian temple records, the Athenians fought an aggressive war against the rulers of Atlantis and won. The war began because Atlantis had formed a confederation that allowed them to control their city as well as other islands. When they began a war for their homeland in the Atlantic Ocean, sending troops to Europe and Asia, Athens intervened.

The Athenians formed a coalition all over Greece to halt the attacks, but their allies deserted them and they were left to stand alone against the Atlantis troops. Eventually, they stopped the invasion of their homeland as well as Egypt and every other country under the rule of Atlantis.

There Are Many Myths About Where Atlantis Is Located

There Are Many Myths About Where Atlantis Is Located
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

There has been much speculation about where the lost city of Atlantis is located. The most probable places are the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. Other people believe the location to be closer to the Mediterranean Sea and mainland Europe.

Although we’ll probably never know the exact location of the lost city, some people have claimed to have found it using Google Earth, spotting the remains of the sunken city of Atlantis off the coast of Africa. We’d love to know the exact location so we can scuba dive the ruins!

The Term Utopia Was Inspired By Plato’s Atlantis

The Term Utopia Was Inspired By Plato's Atlantis
VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images
VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images

The term Utopia was coined by Sir Thomas More in his sixteenth-century work Utopia. The inspiration for the novel came from Plato’s fictionalized Atlantis and travelers’ accounts of the Americas. Pretty much a civilization that looks perfect but there is a menacing underbelly that will be its ultimate demise.

More’s vision brought together the idea of the Americas as Utopian civilizations, a theme that was discussed by Sir Francis Bacon in his book New Atlantis. Bacon explains his thoughts on the future of human discovery and knowledge, something that the people of Atlantis greatly valued.

Impact On Mayan Civilization

Impact On Mayan Civilization
DEA / G. DAGLI ORTI/De Agostini via Getty Images
DEA / G. DAGLI ORTI/De Agostini via Getty Images

Like Atlantis, there is much speculation about the origins of the Mayan civilization. In the middle and late nineteenth century, several mesoamerican scholars such as Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourg, Edward Herbert Thompson, and Augustus Le Plongeon formally proposed that Atlantis was somehow related to Mayan and Aztec culture — intelligent and very well off money-wise but with a bit of a violent side.

Unfortunately, soon after this, Brasseur de Bourg lost his academic credibility because of his claim that the Mayan people were descendants from the Toltecs, people he believed were the surviving population of the racially superior civilization of Atlantis.

Atlantis Was Named After A Demigod

Atlantis Was Named After A Demigod
David Lees/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
David Lees/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Most people believe that the name Atlantis came from its supposed location in the Atlantic Ocean. However, the name actually came from Poseidon’s firstborn son, Atlas, whom he had with a mortal Atlantean woman named Cleito. The two had five pairs of male twins and Poseidon gave each of the different portions of the island to rule.

While each of the sons had cities and towns named after them, such as Gederius in Spain, Atlas had the privilege of being the island and ocean’s namesake. Talk about picking favorites!

Atlantis Would Be At Least 11,500 Years Old

Atlantis Would Be At Least 11,500 Years Old
Print Collector/Getty Images
Print Collector/Getty Images

Solon, considered to be one of the wisest Greek sages, had the story of Atlantis handed down to him while he was in Egypt. It’s said that he learned Athens was much older than he thought. It was recorded in the ancients texts that Sias in Egypt was founded 8,000 years before his time, with Athens being founded 1,000 years before that, which was also the time the Athenians fought off Atlantis.

Solon lived from roughly 630 BC to 560 BC, with the fall of Atlantis around 9,500 BC. This would make Atlantis about as old as Goekli Tepe, the world’s first temple, which dates to around 10,000 BC.

Atlantis Was A Massive Empire

Atlantis Was A Massive Empire
DeAgostini/Getty Images
DeAgostini/Getty Images

The story of Atlantis is that it is a lush place, surrounded by beautiful vegetation and deep blue oceans — pretty much a beautiful island landscape. While most of us can’t get past the beauty of the fictional island, Plato tells a different story.

Plato said, “Now in this island of Atlantis, there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia.”

Atlantis Was Plato’s Way Of keeping People From Crossing The Ocean

Atlantis Was Plato's Way Of keeping People From Crossing The Ocean
The Print Collector/Heritage Images via Getty Images
The Print Collector/Heritage Images via Getty Images

It’s said that the ancient Greeks knew about the Americas and that they might have wanted to keep people from crossing the ocean, but the sinking of Atlantis created a muddy shoal that was supposedly impassable.

According to Plato, “But afterward there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune, all your warlike men in a body sank into the Earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea.” This may have stopped people from going across the Atlantic.

Atlantis Was A Massive City

Atlantis Was A Massive City
The Print Collector/Getty Images
The Print Collector/Getty Images

Atlantis is said to be a giant city and not just an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It was a supposed world power, after all! “For the ocean, there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, ‘the pillars of Heracles,’ there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together.”

Considering the presence of Atlantis in all of the ancient mythological texts, it’s no surprise that the city was the size of Lybia and Asia Put together. Imagine how big that must have seemed to the ancient Greeks!

The Hill Of Cleito Is Where Poseidon’s Mortal Wife Lived

The Hill Of Cleito Is Where Poseidon's Mortal Wife Lived
Stephen Floyd/Pinterest
Stephen Floyd/Pinterest

Poseidon built the city of Atlantis for the mortal woman Cleito. When they married, Poseidon built her a house on the top of the hill, and, of course, she lived quite a luxurious life. In the end, the hill is where the palace was built for Atlas, one of their sons and the king of Atlantis.

Poseidon surrounded the hill with rings of water and land, as a way to protect the mortal woman he fell in love with. He also created pure springs in the hill, one hot and one cold, along with the richest vegetation the world had to offer, so Cleito’s needs were met.

The Sons Built A Giant Gold Statue Of Poseidon

The Sons Built A Giant Gold Statue Of Poseidon
Panayiotis Tzamaros/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Panayiotis Tzamaros/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When they weren’t busy governing the cities of Atlantis, the ten sons of Poseidon and Cleito built a grand temple to honor their father, along with a golden statue of Poseidon in a chariot driven by winged horses. It is said that the giant statue sat in the temple and that its roof spiraled so high that it split the clouds.

Unfortunately, no one has found the golden statue, nor the temple that was built by the ten sons. It would surely be something to see the grand temple and the architecture that went into building it.

The People Of Atlantis Were Rich

The People Of Atlantis Were Rich
Wendy Neal/Pinterest
Wendy Neal/Pinterest

It may come to no surprise that the people of Atlantis were very well-off. They were able to build solid gold statues, after all! However, the sheer scope of that wealth is a bit out of this world. We’re talking about a civilization that didn’t need to trade with other countries to get by.

They were completely self-sufficient, with the people of the city growing their own food. The city also had a ton of rare metals and the means to produce alloys such as brass, which is no small feat. It’s also said that they made crystals for fun!

Edgar Cayce Talks About The Lost City As A Real Place

Edgar Cayce On Atlantis Talks About The Lost City As A Real Place
Bettman/Getty Images
Bettman/Getty Images

In March 1968, a historian named Edgar Cayce published a book on Atlantis. He made it his life’s mission to learn everything there is to know about the lost city, it took him years but he found out all he needed to know. In the text, he talks about how the lost city of Atlantis will rise again, “like the sun rises from the sea.”

According to the book, the entry to Atlantis’ hall of records can be found around the right paw of the sphinx in Egypt. Cayce also says that the only way into the city is “at the right time.”

The Atlanteans Were Actually Aliens From The Lyran Star System

The Atlanteans Were Actually Aliens From The Lyran Star System
Richard Bord/Getty Images
Richard Bord/Getty Images

Some believe that the Atlantean people were actually aliens, which isn’t too far off. The people of the city were said to be a lot taller and fairer-skinned than modern-day humans. According to legend, the aliens came to Earth around 50,000 years ago from somewhere called the Lyran star system.

The average lifespan of the “Atlanteans” was around 800 years. And as you can imagine, they were considered to be super healthy and strong. Some consider them to be the prototype of the modern-day human. Thankfully, the aliens sound more like elvish creatures and less like monsters.

Atlantis Is All Over Pop Culture

pop culture
Hel Konstant/Pinterest
Hel Konstant/Pinterest

Atlantis has been a focal point in pop culture for some time. It’s shown up as a location in multiple anime and manga shows, not to mention it was the main focal point in the Disney movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire. And let’s not forget the fan favorite The Little Mermaid, where the main character lived in the underwater city of Atlantis. Plus there are vacation Atlantis-inspired vacation spots around the world.

At the turn of the 20th century, it also became a reoccurring theme in novels. One such example is Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, which became a movie and then a Disneyland attraction.

Scientists Don’t Believe In The Myth

Scientists Don't Believe In The Myth
MaGine Buu/Pinterest
MaGine Buu/Pinterest

It may come to no surprise that scientists don’t believe in the tale of Atlantis. Fact and fiction usually don’t mesh well together. Sure, some scientists are actively trying to find the sunken city of Atlantis, but most are confident that an underwater city originally made by the gods is not a thing.

After all, the city originated as a way for Plato to illustrate what happens to a civilization that is structured around a truly Utopian society. It was never meant to be considered “real.” According to L. Sprague de Camp, “you cannot change all the details of Plato’s story and still claim to have Plato’s story.”

Plato Had A Moral To His Atlantis Story

Plato Had A Moral To His Atlantis Story
GraphicaArtis/Getty Images
GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

Plato’s story of Atlantis was never supposed to be focused around the people, but more so the society as a whole. He used the underwater Utopia as a way to show how a society could be both “perfect” and morally bankrupt.

Ken Feder, author of Frauds, Myths and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology, says, “A technologically sophisticated but morally bankrupt evil empire — Atlantis — attempts world domination by force. The only thing standing in its way is a relatively small group of spiritually pure, morally principled and incorruptible people — the ancient Athenians.” This sounds a bit like the evil empire vs. the rebels in Star Wars.

The People Of Atlantis Were Ancient X-Men

The People Of Atlantis Were Ancient X-Men
Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Entertainment

Atlanteans sound a lot like ancient X-Men. It’s said that they had many different powers, like controlling the weather and messing around with natural disasters, even manipulating the fabric of time and space. It’s also said that they would use their abilities simply because they could.

There’s also the point that both the Atlanteans and X-men were created to prove a political point about society. Where the mutants’ story is highlighting social injustice, the story of Atlantis illustrates a Utopian society that falls because of its own pride.

There Are Many Theories About How Atlantis Was Destroyed

There Are Many Theories About How Atlantis Was Destroyed
Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images
Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images

There are a few theories out there about how the city of Atlantis was ultimately destroyed. A common belief is that the city was hit by a natural disaster such as an earthquake, tsunami, or volcanic eruption that brought the civilization to its underground grave.

Then there is the theory that the people of Atlantis were so highly advanced, living in a Utopian society, that they became greedy and lost common human values. This greed angered the gods, and, as a result, they punished the people of the city by sending “one terrible night of fire and earthquakes,” destroying Atlantis completely.