What do you know about Atlantis?
Before you read, do the Atlantis Quiz!
1 Which of these is associated with Atlantis?
A sun B rain C snow
2 Atlantis is
A a planet. B a video game. C an island.
3 We know about Atlantis thanks to
A an Indian magician. B an Italian writer. C a Greek philosopher.
4 Atlantis disappeared
A into the sea. B into the sky. C into a volcano.
5 Atlantis disappeared because
A aliens attacked. B Zeus was angry.
C the people moved to a new land.
Atlantis is a mythological island that disappeared into the sea. But did it really exist, and where was it? We first hear about it in 330 BCE, when Greek philosopher, Plato, tells us that it was a great continent created by the gods. It was a beautiful place but, when the people became greedy and corrupt, Zeus king of the gods, was very angry and decided to punish them with storms and earthquakes. In one day and night the island disappeared into the sea. The ancient Greeks didn’t all believe Plato’s version. Some of them thought he invented the story to give them a message: “If you are bad people the gods will destroy your city, like Atlantis!”
Nobody knows for sure if this mythical place really existed but many civilisations have stories about a flood that destroyed the world. These stories usually say that the gods sent the waters to punish people. Perhaps Atlantis disappeared during the legendary Great Flood. Another explanation is that it disappeared when a volcano erupted about 3,600 years ago and almost destroyed the Greek island of Santorini. Many scientists think it destroyed the advanced civilisation that lived there. Was Santorini Atlantis? Other theories about its possible location include Sardinia, Malta, and the Canary Islands.
Read A New Atlantis to discover another theory about the mythical island!