Lost City of Atlantis Still Lost (and not found on Google Earth)

Article written: 23 Feb , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

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There was a bit of a buzz late last week about a Google Earth image that some said might show the location of the mythical city Atlantis off the coast of Africa. Reportedly a British aeronautical engineer was playing around with the new Google Earth 5.0, which includes undersea data, and noticed an interesting pattern about 600 miles west of the Canary Islands, that resembled a street grid. Even an excited geologist was quoted as saying this deserved a better look. But Google verified the pattern is just an artifact of the data collection process. Bathymetric (or sea floor terrain) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea floor. The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data.

Sorry to dash everyone’s myth-seeking hopes!

“It’s true that many amazing discoveries have been made in Google Earth including a pristine forest in Mozambique that is home to previously unknown species and the remains of an Ancient Roman villa,” a Google spokesperson said. “In this case, however, what users are seeing is an artifact of the data collection process.

Location of grid pattern.  Credit:  Google Earth

Location of grid pattern. Credit: Google Earth


“The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data,” she said. “The fact that there are blank spots between each of these lines is a sign of how little we really know about the world’s oceans.”

The legend of Atlantis has excited public imagination for centuries. In recent years “evidence” of the lost kingdom has been found off the coast of Cyprus and in southern Spain.

Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in the writings of Plato, as a great city that sank into the sea.
In Plato’s account, Atlantis was a naval power lying “in front of the Pillars of Hercules” that conquered many parts of Western Europe and Africa 9,000 years before the time of Solon, or approximately 9600 BC. After a failed attempt to invade Athens, Atlantis sank into the ocean “in a single day and night of misfortune”.

Scholars dispute whether and how much Plato’s story or account was inspired by traditional stories of the time.

If you want to see the image yourself, go to Google Earth at this location: 31 15’15.53N 24 15’30.53W.

Sources: Telegraph, Daily Mail


29 Responses

  1. john smith says

    Pretty Neat I will have to check it out!!

    http://www.TheCommentDepot.com

  2. watchful stone guardian says

    The most plausible evidence I’ve heard of for Atlantis has come from Jim Allen’s book “Atlantis: The Andes Solution”. Jim is reportedly not a quack but a cartographer that hit on a neat theory. There are plenty of websites that quote his name but I suspect none are actually his. If you can find a copy of the book (now out of print but doing the rounds on the used bookstore web sites) it is worth the read. Just be warned that while he may be a good cartographer he’s a bit of a lousy writer.

  3. Ayti says

    You wouldn’t have to be a hairbrained myth seeker to be taken in by such an image. Rational mind, rational grid. The lack of any other feature suggesting this land was once above the water is really all one would need to dispense with the myth part.

  4. xaos says

    IA! Cthulhu Fhtagn!

  5. ND says

    watchful,

    One can be a cartogropher, or a scientiest, even a respected one, and still come up with a quack idea. One’s profession does not preclude one from coming to quacky conclusions. You only have to be human.

    Note that I’m not familiary with Jim Allen nor his ideas so I’m not calling him a quack. The profession of the person should only be considered so far in evaluating their ideas. This is worth repeating when talking about myths and legends.

  6. LLDIAZ says

    why aren’t the same marks everywhere on the map or was that the only place that was mapped by boat?

  7. LLDIAZ says

    what boat do you know that can take a 90 degree turn?
    looks like a road coming in from the east

  8. Sisyphus says

    Wow, 169 x 134 Km! Those people knew how to build a Big City!

  9. Pacificus says

    If you look around the same area and broader, there are many more lines with a similar look. So the guy is just trying to be famous for his 15 minutes. It’s just a bit of fun. Oooh, the 90 degree turn executed within 2 miles or so; must be alien technology.

  10. Amir says

    Ok Webmaster genius guy (I love this site by the way…I visit it daily)…but COME ON…boats do not make 90 degree turns in the middle of the ocean…I know data gathering is a tricky business…but come on…this might not be Atlantis…but it’s probably not lines from a boat either…and unless a diver goes down there (as the scientist suggested)…no one really knows…unless of course it is boats making 90 degree turns (which is possible…but seriously…)

  11. robbi says

    Enlarge a 80x80x 5kb pic to 1600×1200 or larger and you get interesting patterns ‘depending on the persons state of mind’=people see different things lol.
    ‘Atlantis’ was probably a culture that was far ahead of its contemporaries and may indeed been near Santorini in the Agean Sea, Greece or in the Andes-both areas fell due to climate change or nasty volcanic eruption about year -2000BE-years of B_S_ made such cultures seem legend or myth- if anyone watches the discovery, science channels, or read books or E-books, some of the Greek, Chinese, and other cultures were far ahead of anyone else but lost it due to stealing technology at that time or culture decline due to climate change etc-for instance, ‘Greek Fire’ for opponents of the ones who had ‘Greek Fire’, was terrifying as water did not stop the fires-the formula died with the inventor and not re-discovered until 1000-2000years later!!!. Many of our items in our modern culture were known thousands of years ago, but they did not have the tools to make the items quite the same compared with the metals or plastics used today. The Dark Ages or the years when the churchs rules all with their thugs and the church hierarcy living high on the hog and banning such ‘evil thoughs’ kept the common populous ignorant of such technology or forgotten as the churches destoyed many formulas or advanced war weapons as ‘evil’
    and can threaten their racket.

  12. Eduardo says

    xaos is right: isn’t Atlantis, but R’lyeh

    Cthulhu Fhtagn!

  13. Rick says

    I’m no expert by any means, but I would think if in fact this is just sonar tracing then it would be safe to assume like paturns would be common place within the whole spectrum. As hundreds of thousands of boats are using sonar at any give time of any given day.

  14. Rick says

    Furthermore if we can’t find this type of pattern spread out thought the ocean floor map, I’d be going down to look for Noah’s hammer and chisel. Lol.

  15. Rey says

    For all we know, we humans have “migrated’ here on Earth sometime around 20,000BC.

    They maybe advanced humans escaping from a war of some sort from other galaxies or dimension. Let’s call them refugees of some sort.

    It may explain why some magnificent “man made” structures such as the pyramids in Egypt and South America were so “modern” without any traces of trial and error projects. These civilizations used advanced knowledge from engineering, astronomy, mathematics and medicine, suggesting that there must have been a deeper background that supports these knowledge…and they occured around 4000BC, how about that.

    Who knows how old those structures can be when the structures themselves is so difficult to date.

    In other words, it’s a waste of money to look for E.T.

    That’s my 1cent.

  16. Astrofiend says

    Rey – are you a Scientologist by any chance? Or too much Stargate?

    Anyway – in the ‘Atlantis’ story, Plato was probably just writing the Great Greek Novel in an innovative style such that it was told as if it were true… like Orson Welles’ classic radio adaption of H.G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’.

  17. Roscoe says

    This report reminds me of a book I read a year or so ago written by a man who provided thoroughly researched information about a possible early Chinese settlement in Northeastern Canada – Prince Edward Island, as I recall. He, of course, was instantly criticised by the “experts”, but……..who knows?? There are amazing things waiting to be found all over this planet, and historically, many things have been found by chance by workmen or amateur explorers, from prehistoric bones to royal burial sites to discoveries in the sciences. Astronomy is full of them.
    Most were initially dissed by the experts of the day, one wonders if they were often petty and jealous and unwilling to admit that a “commoner” found something first that they had looked for for many years. During the Ice Ages, the ocean levels were hundreds of feet lower than at present, I’m sure that there were communities, cities even, on what used to be the coastline at those times, one of which could easily have been Atlantis, or the real city upon which the myth was founded. Then, as now, there were earthquakes and tidal waves and tsunamis that devestated communities, and at the end of glaciation periods, there were enormous lakes created by dams of debris, most of which failed catastrophically, and could well have washed entire cities away.
    Myth?? probably, but……..stranger things have been found.
    Google Earth is a truly amazing service, I can date the photo of my land by the color of the truck I owned at the time, and an old dirt road, a cart track really, that I have trouble following on the ground shows up clearly, and mine isn’t even a particularly clear photograph,compared to some other locations I’ve seen. All the experts on the planet can tell me that that isn’t a red Ford pickup in front of my barn……..but it is anyhow!!!!

  18. Feenixx says

    Rey says:
    “the pyramids in Egypt and South America were so “modern” without any traces of trial and error projects”
    This is absolutely not true.
    Egypt: Trial Project One: the Stepped Pyramid – several temples (“mastabas”), each one built on top of the previous one. The builder was Imhotep, who was awarded God status by Pharaoh Djoser for the achievement.
    Egypt: Trial Project Two: the Bent Pyramid – it was too steep ant became unstable during construction. The buiders had to chaqnge the slope half way through.
    America: The Native Americans, from the early Olmec right through to the Post Classic Maya and Aztec built increasingly larger and steeper and more elaborate pyramids during a period of about 2500 years.

    Anyhow: what kind of a city is build in blocks about 10 km long or wide??!! City block sizes range from a few dozen to a few hundred meters length and width. Unless, of course, the ancient Atlanteans were about 50 m tall…….

  19. Jeff says

    lol…. that sounds like a lie… an “artifact” of the data process?? If that were true wouldnt the entire ocean floor mimic the boat movements that took the data like this? I think whoever has enough time & money… go for it!!

  20. Feenixx says

    one more thing…
    I just poked around on Google Maps, and I found a huge submerged Ancient Space Port just south of Puerto Rico….. with a runway that must be almost 200 km long and 10 km wide!!!
    But seriously: This new Google Maps/Earth feature has led to some places vanishing completely. For Example: Search Google Maps for Yap Island, Micronesia. I used to live in Yap State for a while and could even find my house. Now. all the Islands are gone…. but the markers for Wikipedia and Panoramia photos are still there, in mid ocean. Bad job, Google!

  21. Roscoe says

    Darn!!! You found my secret spaceport!!!! How can I ever become rich and famous now??

    I agree about the dissapearing island syndrome. While in the military, I was stationed at a charming place called Johnston Island, 800 miles SW of Hawaii. Google is willing to show me something, but it’s not the island I know and love…….. Is our beloved Google getting censored???
    Hey Feenixx, wasn’t there a Coast Guard LORAN station on Yap?
    R

  22. Mr. Greenjeans says

    “Sorry to dash everyone’s myth-seeking hopes…Scholars dispute whether and how much Plato’s story or account was inspired by traditional stories of the time.”

    You seem to imply in your article an “either-or” dichotomy within myths. I think it’s a great (and very necessary) idea to set the factual record straight, especially with all the sensationalists running amok. On the other hand, myths do teach truth beyond simple facts. A simple example: a nursery rhyme. A myth therefore has its place within culture (beyond the conspiracy theorists and so forth). Joseph Campbell does a pretty good job arguing for this…

  23. Olaf says

    They are indeed the paths the boats took that were looking at the floor.

    They probably thought there was something interesting so they did it muliple times.

    And what do you mean that boats cannot turn 90 degrees? If you are in a mapping mission then of course you can turn any way of interest. Especially when you use GPS to know your location.

  24. Aqua says

    This image sure generates some thought! Try this scenario: It has recently come to light there may have been a meteor, asteroid or cometary impact over North America roughly 12,500 BCE. That impact generally coincides with the end of the last Ice Age. The evidence found so far, ash layers and buckeyballs, is fragmented at best as are most events of such vintage milenia. Coincidentally, around 14,000 BCE sea levels rose 200 meters in 500 years. (200m = 656.2 ft) Okay, now we have a baseline to imagine a global sea rise catastrophy. IF WE HAVE SEVERELY UNDERESTIMATED the timelines for the rise of civilization(s), and wanted to ‘go deeper’, one would almost certainly expect to find sunken cities…

  25. U.S. Citizen says

    Ok. Now I have heard of people shoveling B.S. before, but this guy is useing a bull dozer to move it at us. That is NOT artifact gathering data crap. That is an old city that now lays under the current global water level. Did it sink there? Was it built a long time ago when the global water level was lower? who knows. But I’m not a COMPLETE idiot here. It’s not the first, and probably will not be the last one found eather. There are others that have been found off the cost of Cuba and Japan as well as other places around the world. This guy must think that all of us people on line are complete idiots. Maybe not everyone here has a PHD, but that doesn’t mean that everyone here is a complete dummy eather. Heres a question no one has asked yet. If that is the result of sonar readings or some other echo method of mapping, Then why does it not show up everywhere in the worlds oceans? After all, every navel ship and research ship has that equiptment on those kind of ships and have been useing it sence it was invented some where around the last world war were subs were used in navel warfare. These lines would therefor be all over the oceans. Not just in one little area. Just a thought people.

  26. U.S. Citizen says

    By the way, sonar uses sound waves, not light waves. this is important also to mention. Google telescope reliys on light not sound to see things. one can not SEE sound waves from a sonar transmitter, and the google telescope is not designed to see them eather. Just another fact I thought I’d mention.

  27. U.S. Citizen says

    Also to mention, that even if one could SEE sound waves, they would NOT be that well defined from the altitude of the google telescope. The sound waves would be so widely dispersed by the time they reached orbit, the the image would be just a blur if anything at all.

  28. ND says

    us citizen,

    Google is overlaying sonar data into their global maps. The sonar is not seen by the optical satelites. The sonar data is separate data that’s been incorporated with the optical data. The sonar data will not come from the satellite. I think you’re confused.

    Also, how do you know that’s a city? What is the evidence here that shows this?

    As for not seeing it elsewhere, there my yet be other found and we actually don’t know the exact process by which they stitched together the sonar data.

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