Japanese scientists claim to have found the lost city of Atlantis, at least according to Japanese media.
A report in the Japan Times states that the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the Brazilian (JAMSTEC) government has announced the discovery of a large mass of granite, which normally only forms on dry land.
The huge piece of granite was found on the seabed off Rio de Janeiro’s coast, suggesting that a continent may have existed in the Atlantic Ocean and may be the lost island of Atlantis, which according to legend, was a highly developed civilization that sank into the sea around 12,000 years ago. (1)
The legend of Atlantis continues to be one of the oldest and intriguing of the world’s mysteries. The Greek philosopher, Plato, was the first to give an account of Atlantis.
It is said that Plato lived on Atlantis from around 428 to 348 B.C. Plato wrote about the splendor of the architecture, engineering and ceremonies of Atlantis in the dialogues, Timaeus and Critias. While many, even Plato’s own students, believed the “Great City of Atlantis” was Plato’s own creation, the Greek philosopher argued that the lost city of Atlantis was real.
While different nations tell various adaptations of the story, most share that Atlantis was destroyed by a great flood, which wiped out the entire civilization. (2)
According to a Brazilian official, the discovery of the mass of granite is “strong evidence” that a continent used to exist in the region where the legendary island of Atlantis was allegedly located.
Submersible Craft Used to Discover Lost City of Atlantis
The discovery was achieved by using Shinkai 6500, a manned research submersible that can dive into water up to 6,500 meters in depth. The Shinkai 6500 is owned and operated by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
This is the first time a manned submersible has been used to explore and research the South Atlantic. The exploration took place in April 2012, when JAMSTEC used the machine to explore a seabed known as the Rio Grande Rise, which lies more than 1,000 kilometers to the southeast of Rio de Janeiro.
After examining the video data of a rock cliff on the seabed of approximately ten meters in height and breadth, JAMSTEC concluded that the rock was granite and that the area surrounding the rock was a large volume of quartz sand, which is not formed in the sea.
The Japan Times’ report continues that at its widest point, the mass of rock itself is 1,000 kilometers and JAMSTEC assumes that it was part of the continent that was left behind when Africa and South America separated more than 100 million years ago. Based on fossils found in a nearby seabed and various other data, JAMSTEC assumed the area of the alleged lost city of Atlantis was above sea level until about 50 million years ago when it slowly became submerged by water, spanning a period of several million years. (1)
Is It Indeed the Lost City of Atlantis?
Regardless of the discovery, some remain dubious about the suggestion that this huge chunk of granite rock is indeed Atlantis. Shinichi Kawakami, a professor at Gifu University, says that we shouldn’t assume the rock is Atlantis and urges researchers to make further studies of the granite’s composition to see if it matches the granite now found in South America or Africa.
“South America and Africa used to be a huge, unified continent. The area in question may have been left in water as the continent was separated in line with the movements of plates,” the professor told the Japan Times. “The concept of Atlantis came way before geology of the modern age was established. We should not jump to the Atlantis (conclusion) right away,” added Kawakami. (1)
JAMSTEC and the Japanese government do seem keen to associate their discovery with Atlantis without any real evidence to back up the claim. As Plato himself insisted, Atlantis was supposed to have been a highly developed civilization; full of wondrous architecture and sights, and the Shinkai 6500’s findings is nothing more than a huge lump of rock.
Reiterating this blatant flaw in the Japanese’s story is TG Daily, which wrote:
“While they found granite mass which is estimated to have sunk into the sea tens of millions years ago, it is not exactly the pyramids of high tech civilisation.” (3)
Another obvious flaw in the story is the fact that according to legend and as the Japan Times admits, Atlantis sank into the sea 12,000 years ago never to be seen again. Later on in the report, the Japan Times states that JAMSTEC assumes the area was above sea level until about 50 million years ago when it slowly became submerged by water.
It doesn’t take a mathematician to work out 50 million years ago is much longer then 12,000 and therefore what has lost city of Atlantis got to do with the granite rock discovery?
While probing the seabed off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, the prospect of discovering the fabled lost world of Atlantis is obviously much more lucrative than simply uncovering a large mass of granite, hence why JAMSTEC and the Japanese media are keen to link their sub’s discovery to signs of the legendary Atlantis.