No, It’s Not Atlantis!

I don’t envy headline writers who have to come up with catchy phrases every day to get people to read articles in their publications. So it’s understandable that some of them mentioned Atlantis when reporting about the recent discovery of granite from a sunken portion of an ancient continent off the coast of Brazil. Talk about Atlantis or UFOs or a couple of other mysterious subjects always gets people’s attention. According to legend, Atlantis was an island located beyond the Straits of Gibraltar whose civilization was destroyed in a day when it sank into the sea some 10,000 years ago.

Lest anybody gets confused, that recently discovered sunken land has nothing whatsoever to do with the legend of Atlantis. If the real Atlantis had a highly developed civilization then that place can’t be it if no human being ever saw it above sea level, let alone ever lived there. And we know that no human ever lived there if it sunk nearly 50 million years ago and thus is almost as old as the last dinosaurs. Modern man (Homo sapiens) only evolved about 200,000 years ago, tens of millions of years after the recently discovered piece of land had sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic ocean. Whatever real events (if any) may have inspired the legend of Atlantis, they certainly did not occur there.

So what is that piece of former land mass? When the ancient supercontinent of Pangea broke apart and South America separated from Africa, along with India, Madagascar, Antarctica and Australia, not everything from it made it into the present day parts of a jigsaw puzzle that still fit together. Small bits broke off along the fault lines and gradually disappeared into the ocean.

A similar find to the current one was reported in February, from an even older breakup of an ancient continent that left another continental fragment at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

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