Could Atlantis Still Exist? Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Could Atlantis Still Exist?

17 Conversations

Theories abound as to what happened to the civilisation known as Atlantis, as written about by Plato. The oldest theory, that it sank into the Atlantic Ocean, has been dismissed as the bottom of the oceans have been mapped. There is a theory that it may have been off the coast of England, or near Hawaii. Recently, however, a theory has been proposed by authors Rand and Rose Flem-Ath, in their book When the Sky Fell, that the island continent of Atlantis still exists today — under the ice of Antarctica.

There is a whole body of evidence that suggests there may be more than meets the eye with the Antarctica/Atlantis theory, at least in as far as Antarctica once had a sub-tropical to temperate climate. For this to be the case, one of two things has to be true. Either the poles were far removed from where they are now, or Antarctica had to be far removed. There is real evidence that both of these conditions have been fulfilled during the course of this planet's history.

Let's consider the first possibility. It's a documented fact that the North Pole moves. Between 1900 and 1960, it moved ten feet in the direction of Greenland. That's 2.5 inches, or 60mm, a year. Between 1960 and 1968 the pole also moved another ten feet, this time at a rate of 100mm or four inches per year. Not only is the pole moving, but the rate of motion is increasing. In other words, it is accelerating. There is also a theory that suggests the North and South Poles have switched places during the history of the planet.

So on to the second condition. In Antarctica, very little flourishes. The plains of Antarctica can reach a brisk minus 90°C whilst the coastal areas reach a comparatively tropical minus 60°C. There are no indigenous land animals, although the coastline is home to seabird rookeries. The Encyclopaedia Britannica lists all the burgeoning plant life; 'Lichens, mosses and liverworts, moulds, yeasts, other fungi, algae and bacteria...'. In other words, as far as plant life goes, it resembles your kitchen when a lodger has been away for the weekend and no-one else has cleaned up after you.

500 miles north of the South Pole is the fossilised remains of a forest, 7,000 feet up Mount Ahernar. It is believed to be from the Permian period, 260 million years ago. In 1935, Admiral Byrd's South Pole expedition found fossilised leaves, stems and wood two miles above sea level on the side of Mount Weaver. The Russians have found evidence of tropical flora dating back to the early Tertiary period. In 1990, fossils from a deciduous beach forest were found 250 miles from the South Pole — fossils that were only two or three million years old. In 1986, fossilised wood and plants were discovered that showed some places on the continent were ice-free as little as 100,000 years ago. The University of Illinois says that sedimentary core samples show that rivers were running to the sea in 4000 BC.

In the Arctic Circle the story is the same. Fossilised palm leaves have been found, as have fossilised crustaceans that can only survive in tropical waters. These were found at Spitzbergen, which today is ice-bound for ten months of the year and cannot be reached by sea. The palm leaves and marine fossils show that a sea that had a comparable temperature to the Caribbean today once surrounded this island. On Baffin Island, 900 miles from the North Pole, alder and birch remains found in peat show that the island had a much warmer, temperate climate only 30,000 years ago.

These plants cannot grow at the temperatures that these regions experience today. They cannot grow in the regimes of 24-hour periods of darkness followed by 24-hour periods of daylight. Either the poles were in different places than they are now, or these lands were in different geographical locations than they are now.

If the Antarctic continent had once been positioned much further north than it is now — say, in the middle of the Atlantic — would it have been able to support civilisation? Well, it fits the known criteria. It had a stable congenial climate for at least 10,000 years. It has vast mountain ranges and huge river systems that flowed across the long flat plains. It has enough room — it's about the size of the continental United States. It only had to have been positioned 2,000 miles further north for it to have enjoyed a Mediterranean climate, making it a very amenable place to live.

The Age of Explorers

School book history shows that Antarctica was discovered in 1818 AD. In 1513, Admiral Piri Reis of the Navy of the Ottoman Turks was drawing maps showing the almost exact location of Antarctica in relation to the south coast of South America and the west coast of Africa — over 300 years before Antarctica was supposedly discovered. These maps exist today and are not forgeries or hoaxes of any kind. The historical character of Piri Reis is beyond doubt. He was considered an expert in sailing round the Mediterranean lands, and was a formidable foe in sea-borne combat, winning many battles. We even know that he met his death by falling out of favour with his employers, and that he was eventually beheaded in 1554 or 1555 AD. He was one of the most famous sailors of his time, and when he wasn't sailing, he was writing books on sailing or constructing maps for sailors to use. Obligingly, Admiral Reis confesses that he was not the creator but the compiler of the 1513 map of Antarctica, compiling it from older, maps. But the fact that he drew this map at all, 300 years before Antarctica was discovered, is, after all that, not even the mystery. The mystery is what the map shows.

The 8 Reconnaissance Technical Squadron of the United States Air Force confirms that the map that Piri Reis drew shows Antarctica before it was covered by ice. And as we have seen, the most recent date that we can currently ascribe to Antarctica being free from ice is around 4000 BC.

What you have then is two separate sets of apparently indisputable evidence that, whilst remarkable on their own, combine to create dynamite. At 4000 BC — just four years after the Church claimed the Earth was created — you have a sea-going race of people who understood longitude and latitude and could use that to create an astonishingly (under the circumstances) accurate map. Astonishingly accurate because the map shows information that was only confirmed by the joint Swedish-British Antarctic Expedition of 1949. The ice cap at this point is approximately one mile thick. And what's more, Piri Reis was not the only one charting lands that weren't supposed to exist at this time. An explorer named Oronce Fine (Oronteus Finaeus) was producing maps just after Piri Reis, 20 or so years later, and his maps are substantially more detailed than Piri Reis's.

Many people subscribe to the earth displacement theory whereby the crust of the Earth can move over the core, and what's more, the evidence suggests that it will do so again. Antarctica did exist at a different location from its current home, and that if the ice could be removed, the history of Earth would have to be re-written at a stroke. But then, that's just conjecture.

Albert Einstein also subscribed to this theory. He did not come up with the theory, but he investigated and refined it. As he points out, Antarctica is not fitted symmetrically around the South Pole — it's off kilter. It is fantastically big, covering a landmass of 5.5 million square miles with over seven million cubic miles of ice. This ice is estimated to weigh 19,000,000,000,000,000 tons – 19 quadrillion tons. What's more, it is growing, with about 293 cubic miles of ice added every year — almost as if Lake Ontario were frozen and added to it every year. Einstein postulated that eventually centrifugal force would force a reaction, in that Antarctica will shift over the crust of the Earth.

Imagine for yourself the effects of that continent moving from its current position to the only place physics says it can stop if propelled by centrifugal force, which on this planet is the equator.

Think about it, could mankind survive this event?

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Edited Entry


Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Categorised In:

Written by

Edited by

h2g2 Editors

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more