- [Narrator] Tales about the lost city of Atlantis
are as ancient as any story.
A once great metropolis
suddenly lost to the briny depths of the ocean
as if it never existed at all.
But did it exist?
Is there any actual evidence that Atlantis was real?
And if so, where was it,
and what terrible event destroyed it?
Let's find out (intense music)
in today's episode of
The legend of Atlantis (typewriter clicks)
dates back over 2,000 years ago to ancient Greece,
where a famous philosopher named Plato
first made mention of the fabled island.
He described Atlantis as a near perfect paradise.
(lights twinkle) According to Plato,
the people of Atlantis lived over 11,000 years ago.
They were very rich and very powerful,
and they used their mighty navy
to control most of the known world.
But as the story goes, being very rich and powerful
wasn't enough for the greedy people of Atlantis.
They decided to attack the ancient Greek city of Athens.
The Greeks managed to beat back the attack,
and Atlantis was punished harshly
(thunder and lightning crack) by the gods for their greed.
Plato says that there were violent earthquakes,
floods, and destruction. (buildings clatter)
And in just one day and a night of disaster,
the whole island sank into the sea,
disappearing forever into the briny depths of the ocean.
It's a tragic tale, to be sure,
but is there any chance that it's true?
Did an entire ancient city really sink into the ocean?
And if so, where did it go?
There are tons of theories about Atlantis,
but a few possible explanations tend to rise to the top.
(lights twinkle) The most basic possibility
is that Atlantis really did sink into the Atlantic Ocean.
This idea was put forth in an 1882 book
that argued Atlantis sank beneath the waves
in the exact spot that Plato said it did,
just outside (typewriter clicks)
the Pillars of Hercules.
The two rocks that mark the entrance
to the Mediterranean Sea. (water splashes)
Another out there theory (air blowing)
states that Atlantis is just an ancient
(lights twinkle) and much less icy Antarctica.
According to the theory,
Earth's crust shifted suddenly (land rumbles)
12,000 years ago,
pushing Antarctica from its ancient spot
in the middle of the ocean,
all the way down to where it is today.
The newly frigid temperatures
(air blowing) doomed Atlantis,
which was buried under mountains of Antarctic ice.
But modern science proves that the chances are slim to none
(computer beeps and trills) that a giant island
like Atlantis could sink under the surf
or move that much that quickly.
So, those theories are out.
The final theory is also by far the most popular.
Most experts agree that Atlantis
(music twinkles) never existed at all.
Instead, Plato made the story up
as a way to teach people about what could happen
to great civilizations that became too greedy.
There are no known records of Atlantis existing
outside of Plato's teaching,
and no other ancient Greek writers
mention anything about it.
On top of that,
despite all the modern advancements in technology,
no trace of Atlantis
have ever been found (sonar beeps)
on the ocean floor.
All these clues together have led most experts to conclude
that Atlantis likely never existed.