The lost city of Atlantis, which was likely buried underwater by a tsunami thousands of years ago, may have been found just north of Cadiz, Spain by an international research team, led by Professor Richard Freund of the University of Hartford, Connecticut. The team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site, then they surveyed it with a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology. The team's confidence was bolstered when they uncovered "a strange series of 'memorial cities,' built in Atlantis' image."
With all of that equipment, this survey sounds like it was as in-depth as James Cameron's obsessive undertaking of Titanic that led to the epic flick. And as you can imagine, archaeologists are super excited about this -- so is the National Geographic Channel, which aired a special on the possible discovery last night. But, there's a possibility this could be just another FAIL.
Sorry, but it's true! The thing is that there have been several "discoveries" of Atlantis in the past that turned out to be total duds. Oh yes, in fact, there is an entire Wikipedia article dedicated to the "Location Hypotheses of Atlantis."
A few recent fails include: 1997's "find" by Russian scientists, who said they found Atlantis 100 miles off Land's End, Cornwall, Great Britain. That wasn't ever validated, though. Then, three years later, a ruined town was found 300 feet underwater off the north coast of Turkey in the Black Sea.
In 2004, an American architect used sonar to uncover man-made walls a mile deep in the Mediterranean between Cyprus and Syria, and in 2007, Swedish researchers said Atlantis was on the Dogger Bank in the North Sea, which was submerged in the Bronze Age.
Then, just last month, grid-like lines that resembled city streets turned up on Google Earth in the ocean off the coast of Africa. But Google said the lines weren't Atlantis -- they were just left by a boat as it collected data for Google Earth.
It's wild to think there have been so many claims ALL over the world, in multiple continents. And not one claim has been 100 percent substantiated.
Even Freund told Reuters that his discovery isn't 100 percent, but he seems pleased that at least they found something new ...
We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archeology, that makes a lot more sense.
Sure, I'm down with that, too -- it's always cool to uncover something modern humanity has never seen before. But how will we know if what he found is actually Atlantis? I guess we'll just have to keep digging (literally, there are some excavations planned). But maybe we'll never know for sure. Still, I appreciate that Freund and other archaeologists keep trying. After all, clues from ancient civilizations of the distant past could always serve to inform our present and future.
Do you think it seems like this discovery is really Atlantis?
Image via National Geographic Channel