Atlantis is a myth that remains to be the subject of multiple interpretations. The whole consensus with regards to Atlantis seems to seesaw between deeming it either a fictional or a real account. Up to this point, any clues leading to the discovery of Atlantis have been unproven or unbacked by scientific evidence. The first and only source on which these musings have been based is from the Greek thinker Plato.
The Discovery of a New Continent and Emergence of a New Antlantean Theory
A new theory enters the fray of Atlantean theories. In 2019, a lost continent was found buried below Southern Europe. This landmass has been dubbed Greater Adria. Visible remnants of this continent have been tested and found to be limestone and other types of rocks. Scientists say that this continent originally began as marine sediments that were later scraped off the surface of the land and lifted up through the colliding of tectonic plates. As to the size and shape of this landmass, scientists are yet to reconstruct it.
The Origin of Greater Adria
According to geologist Douwe van Hinsbergen, the history of Greater Adria is quite complicated and violent. It was originally part of the southern supercontinent of Gondwana, which was composed of modern-day Africa, South America, Australia, Antarctica, the Indian subcontinent, and the Arabian Peninsula.
This landmass broke away from Gondwana and became a separate entity about two hundred forty million years ago. Scientists theorize that this landmass then moved northward. About one hundred forty million years ago, this landmass was approximately the size of Greenland. It was submerged in a tropical sea, where sand and sediments collected and evolved into rock. It then collided with what is now Europe around one hundred to one hundred twenty million years ago, shattering into smaller fragments and sinking beneath the continent. Only a portion of Greater Adria’s rocks which remained from the collision remained on the Earth’s surface, leading to its recent discovery.
Analyzing the Lost Continent
Greater Adria’s rocks dispersed to over thirty countries. The data gathered is, therefore, highly scattered and difficult to collect. For the past decade, geologists have not had access to the highly sophisticated tools necessary to perform such grandiose analyses of the landmass.
In this new discovery, van Hinsbergen and his team spent over ten years collecting data regarding the age of the rock samples collected from what they think to be Greater Adria. Geological evidence shows that Greater Adria spun counterclockwise as it traveled and scraped past other tectonic plates as it moved northward.
This discovery is not the only proof that Greater Adria is a lost continent. A team of researchers was able to come up with a detailed computerized tomography image of the structures deep within the Earth, creating what they dub an “atlas of the underworld.” This atlas is composed of slabs of crust that sank into the Earth’s mantle. This study shows that pieces of Greater Adria now lie up to a thousand and five hundred kilometers beneath the surface of our planet.
Is Greater Adria the New Atlantis?
Upon the release of this recent discovery, many people dubbed it Atlantis or the new Atlantis. Several believe that the submerged fragments of Greater Adria match what Plato described in the downfall of Atlantis. As for its location, it being in Southern Europe does make sense, as Greece itself is in Southeastern Europe. Given the travel of the landmass, it is reasonable and likely for it to be a little off where it originally was.
The fact remains, however, that despite finding this landmass and buried fragments, this may not necessarily be proof of Atlantis’ existence. There was no Atlantean evidence, or any evidence of human habitation on these islands at all for that matter.
With the upper crust sunken beneath the Earth’s mantle, which is an intensely pressurized and hot environment reaching temperatures at least as high as one thousand degrees Celsius, or one thousand eight hundred thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit, there is little to no hope of finding intact evidence of human civilization.
This very recent discovery is amazing news for Atlantis fans and enthusiasts. Perhaps, there is more to this tale than we thought, don’t you think? It might be a good time to revisit some of our favorite Atlantean literature, like Kenneth Sousa’s MAN-DAR of Atlantis. Like Manny, let us put on our goggles and go on the quest to discover Atlantis.
Perkins, S. (2019, September 6). Geologists uncover history of lost continent buried beneath Europe. Science.org.