Atlantis fact or fiction? Is it a myth or a made up story? The story of Atlantis derived from famous greek philosopher Plato, it is the only account of Atlantis and is not backed up with any sound evidence. The story of Atlantis has also captivated the minds of individuals for thousands of years. People from all walks of life have debated whether it really existed or whether it was just a story, nothing more. Fantasy is a tough sell in the twentieth century, the world has been fully discovery and fully mapped. Satellites have mapped and studied the earth, leaving only a space frontier that is as yet unreachable.

But standing out is a charming fantasy the modern world has yet to verify or condemn: the lost continent of Atlantis. The myths and ledgends concerning Atlantis have come down through the centuries as one of the most enduring ledgends of all time. Plato claims that the sage and statesmen, Solon, in the course of his travels in Egypt, questioned the priests and that one of them, who lived at Sais in the Nile Delta, of very ancient traditions which related to a war waged in the distant past by athens, against the people of Atlantis. This story is told in two of Plato's dialogues, it starts in Timaeus and is resumed and elaborated in Critics. Plato states that Atlantis is "a continent in the Atlantic ocean larger than Africa and Asia Minor combined which rivaled Athens as the most advanced in the world." According to the legend surrounding Plato's dialogues, the island of Atlantis was violently thrown into the sea by the forces of nature, and its few survivors managed to swim ashore and relate their story The works of Plato opened the floodgates to endless speculation on whether the continent described was fact or fiction. Atlantis has since been placed in Spain, Mongolia, Palestine, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Brazil, Sweden, Greenland and Yucatan.

Every nook and cranny of the globe has been hypothesized; mountain peaks, desert lands, the ocean floor and even the barren wasteland of Antarctica have been mentioned in theories. While some of these theories are compatible with Plato's works and are within relative reason, numerous crackpot theories have been developed using the lost continent as a basis. One of these theories, posted on the computer internet where it has access to over fifteen million people, talks in twenty-one pages of pre-historical lands with names like Oz and Luxor. These world wide web pages list over two hundred separate articles of proof for the existence of Atlantis, as in the following: "Most all ancient civilizations believed in the TITANS, the race of giant humans that inhabited Earth long ago. Different races knew them by different names. These 7 to 12 foot humanoids were thought to be legendary until the excavation of over a dozen skeletons 8 to 12 feet tall, around the world, shocked archeologists.

These skeletons were positively human. Some of these skeletal remains are on Maui in lava caves near Ulupalakua and Olowalu. The Spanish Conquistadors left diaries of wild blond-haired, blue-eyed 8 to 12 foot high men running around in the Andes during the conquest of the Incas. A couple were reportedly captured but died en route to Europe.

If giant animals (dinosaurs) were possible then why not giant men? And why are these goliath's populating both Eurasia and the Americas? Only on a land bridge created by the vast continent of Antarctica can there be a sufficient bridge for the spread of these giants." This text, written by self-proclaimed Atlantologist Steve Omar, represents Plato's text taken to the extreme- using his ideas as a basis for outlandish and unfounded ideas. These unverified fantasies make a dubious complement to the other dark side of the Atlantean fantasy: hoaxes. Atlantis has been "discovered" many times, but most notably in the fall of 1912 by Dr. Paul Schliemann. Schliemann introduced himself as the grandson of the famous Heinrich Schliemann, the archeologist who discovered the ruins of ancient Troy in 1873. His "discovery" made front page news (The New York American, October 1912.

) and boasted of an advanced civilization with aircraft, power-driven boats and the like. Schliemann said his grandfather told him on his deathbed of the family's secret: the location of Atlantis. Schliemann's claims made waves, but didn't hold water; when pressed for details, Schliemann was unresponsive and eventually disappeared from public view. Unfortunately, the falsities concerning Atlantis frequently overshadow the possibilities. Albert Hermann's theory is that there was a mistranslation of what Egyptian priests told Solon in regards to the measurements, with his theory he suggests Atlantis to be Tunis a. With little evidence to support this theory, I believe it is incorrect.

However, Dr Spiridon Marinatos, a greek archeologist and Dr Angelos Galanopoulas suggest that Atlantis is modern day Thera. With the mysterious collapse of the Minoan Empire of Crete and the destruction of it's capital city of Crosses by a volcanic explosion which tore apart the island in 1500 BC. This explosion caused tidal waves and flooded other meditteranean islands, which may have started the legend of a universal flood. Volcanic ash has been found on Thera and Crete, also the "Golden cup with the bull", that Plato describes in his Atlantis story was found on Crete. Pastor Jurgen Spanuth believes that Atlantis existed in the North Sea due to reports of submerged buildings there at the mouth of Elbe River. He believes that Atlantis was the capital of a Northern Empire Spanuth introduced a new element in underwater research by using scuba divers, this is the first time scuba divers have been used in the search for Atlantis.

The divers found a series of parra lel walls, the measurements and colours fit in with Plato's account, but like Hermann's theory on a reduced scale... Ignatius Donnelly wrote the first extensive study of the possibility of existence in 1882, and his views have not been found to be false with twentieth century technology. In 1882, Donnelly had cited Thera as an example of the land changes of islands in the claim that "a recent examination of these islands shows that the whole mass of Santorini has sunk, since it's projection from the sea, over 1200 feet" Donnelly believed in Atlantis, but believed it to be worldly; his reasons for Atlantis's existence are unable to be proven, but make sense. Some examples: -There is nothing improbable in Plato's narrative; it describes rich, cultured and educated people but doesn't mention things of fantasy like giants, hobgoblins etc. Plato speaks of hot and cold springs in the center of Atlantis, a feature common to islands with volcanic activity. Chances are Plato didn't know this.

Responding partly to Donnelley's theories and partly to the urge to discover, some 20 th century archeologists have used twentieth century technology to look for Atlantis. But many have dismissed Atlantis as glorified myths of volcanic eruptions in the island of Thera in 1450 b. c. The eruption may have destroyed that island and caused a small earthquake and tsunamis that ruined the civilization of Crete, but didn't sink a continent. Therefore, none of Donnelley's theories can be proved without the actual discovery of the continent.

Atlantis did exist many years ago in the Atlantic, however not in the form of what most people would assume. Around the 10 th Century BC, water levels were about 450-500 feet lower than they are today, therefore the landmass of islands in the Atlantic were much larger, some of the islands were once joined and some still are, deep under the ocean. The rise of the water level was due to the melting of three glaciers, which were also accompanied by rains and volcanic eruptions. This is where the confusion comes in with the dissapearing and sunken islands, which in fact were just drowned. This can be proven with the scientific information.

Geologists and Oceanographers will agree as the rising rate of the ocean can be deciphered with radio carbon dating of materials taken from the sea. Therefore, looking at the water levels and land masses of the time we can see that they fit with Plato's description of Atlantis' whereabouts. It appears that Marinatos and Galanopoulas' theory of thera is the most realistic. This theory is the closest to Plato's account in terms of time and geography, and it is based in fact. The Minoan Civilization was a great and peaceful culture based on the island of Crete, which reigned as long ago as 2200 B.

C. The island of Thera was home to a volcano. In 1470 B. C. , it erupted with a enormous force, obliterating everything on Santorini's surface.

The resulting earthquakes and tsunamis devastated the rest of the Minoan Civilization, whose remnants were easily conquered by Greek forces. Santorini was the "real" Atlantis. Some have argued against this idea, noting Plato specified that Atlantis sank 10, 000 years ago, but the Minoan disaster had taken place only 1, 000 years earlier. Still, i believe that translation errors over the centuries altered what Plato really wrote, or maybe he was intentionally blurring the historical facts to suit his purposes. And there exists yet another strong possibility, that Plato entirely made Atlantis up himself. I believe Atlantis existed, however with the lack of written and archeological evidence, I dont believe it contained advance technology, or was a great empire.

If this was true and there was such an advanced continent then it is more than likely there would be other written and archeological evidence from neighboring countries, or trade partners etc describing this extremely unique and advanced continent. Why only the one account of Atlantis? It is this one key factor that makes me believe that Plato's account of Atlantis is an I exaggeration of the historical destruction of Thera and the Minoan empire, therefore it did exist just not in the form of what Plato would like us to think, and it is found in the Aegean. Regardless, his story of the sunken continent went on to captivate the generations that followed. Other Greek thinkers, disputed the existence of Atlantis, while Herodotus wrote of it as historical fact. Atlantis became entrenched in folklore all around the world, charted on ocean maps and sought by explorers. The legend of Atlantis is only a huge collection of theories and guesses, but theories and guesses also led to the discovery of the lost Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, discovered after being buried and preserved by the volcanic ash of nearby Mt.

Vesuvius. Because of this, the mystery of Atlantis's existence will tantalize the world until the continent is either proven or disprove n.