It is perhaps the greatest unsolved mystery of all time: Did the lost city of Atlantis actually exist? And if it did once exist, where was it located before its watery demise? Fortunately, the original account of a civilization that vanished beneath the waves contains a surprising amount of realistic detail that might be used to answer these questions. Unfortunately, not all of those clues are of equal value. Three thorny problems in particular must be dealt with to avoid embarking on a wild goose chase to the bottom of the sea (where, incidentally, Atlantis almost certainly did not end up).
Artist’s representation of Atlantis. (Source: BigStockPhoto)
Problem Number One
Every Single Reliable Clue We Have about Atlantis comes from Plato.
The Athenian philosopher Plato was the greatest thinker in Western Civilization. He was also the original source of the Atlantis story. Nothing specific referring to Atlantis appears before his account, and anything that comes after draws from his original. For anyone hoping to find the lost city, this is usually assumed to be a good thing. If one of the most brilliant thinkers of all time wrote about Atlantis, and repeatedly described the original story as true—which he did—then it must be real, right?