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Way down below the ocean?
June 7, 2004 3:01 PM   Subscribe

The BBC claims that Atlantis has been found.
"We have in the photos concentric rings just as Plato described"
posted by moonbird (34 comments total)

 
Umm, the BBC reports that some scientist claims he has found Atlantis.
posted by Gyan at 3:10 PM on June 7, 2004


I'm pretty sure those cocentric rings in the pictures is just Aquaman soliciting for fish love.
posted by Stan Chin at 3:10 PM on June 7, 2004


Here's Rainer W. Kühne's original article in Antiquity.
posted by josephtate at 3:12 PM on June 7, 2004


GYan: thanks, I should've made that clearer. But still, they're giving a lot of cred by puting Atlantis in the headline.
posted by moonbird at 3:21 PM on June 7, 2004


can't spell today, no brain.
posted by moonbird at 3:21 PM on June 7, 2004


In archaelogy, claiming to have found Atlantis seems to be the ticket for a quick 15 minutes of fame.

Atlantis was "a long time ago in a galaxy far far away." Those looking to put a specific location on it, are missing the point of the story.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:22 PM on June 7, 2004


what does Patrick Duffy have to say?
posted by matteo at 3:23 PM on June 7, 2004


This is sort of retarded. If this dude is going to convince us that Atlantis exists, he's going to have to have more conclusive evidence of rings. To me, the side-by-side (with photoshopped rings) is essentially proof that this is a hoax or just plain bad science.
posted by slacy at 3:28 PM on June 7, 2004


I thought Atlantis was in the Bahamas.
posted by birdherder at 3:32 PM on June 7, 2004


And why the hell doesn't the Sci-Fi channel air that show, anyway, dammit? It's better than any of that "original programming" crap like Farscape and Sliders and such. The cheese factor alone should count for *something*.
posted by davidmsc at 3:33 PM on June 7, 2004


I'm confused.

This some researchers playing a prank right? First of all the rings don't appear on the unretouched picture at all, even faintly. Then they assume Plato was off by 20%, since then things are the right size. Then they assume Plato doesn't know the difference between an island and a coastline.

Basically they're saying, "If Plato was mistaken, then this might be it." What? How can Plato be mistaken about a fable? And if we can assume Plato was wrong in all of the specifics in the fable, then couldn't just about *any* geographical location be Atlantis? And I notice the rectangles are actually circles.

I call bullshit. This has to be a prank.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:41 PM on June 7, 2004


Way down below the ocean, where I wanna be....
posted by jonmc at 3:44 PM on June 7, 2004


what does Patrick Duffy have to say?

He says "Scuzzlebut! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:46 PM on June 7, 2004


But still, they're giving a lot of cred by puting Atlantis in the headline.

The headline is Satellite images 'show Atlantis'. The quotes are there for a reason -- if they'd left them off, you might have a point.
posted by reklaw at 3:53 PM on June 7, 2004


Atlantis was "a long time ago in a galaxy far far away." Those looking to put a specific location on it, are missing the point of the story.

While I pretty much agree with the sentiment, I can't resist pointing out that one could have said the same thing about Homer's Troy - until they actually found it.

Nonetheless, this "coast-of-spain" crap just doesn't do it for me. I vastly prefer the volcano in the Cyclades theory, because it's both cool and possible.
posted by freebird at 4:15 PM on June 7, 2004


I just looked at Rainer Kühne's website. Hmmm... There's some very odd stuff about his claim of a "second kind of light", based on magnetic photons, which "penetrates bones and metal foils and is also visible for human eyes". In the Atlantis Rising forum he writes about it, moaning that "mainstream scientists have regarded [him] as a crackpot for the last twelve years (cold fusion, magnetic monopoles, Cartan's torsion, time-varying "constants", rotating universe, Atlantis)". He talks about a "paradigm shift" too; never a good sign.
posted by raygirvan at 4:27 PM on June 7, 2004


'K, maybe I should've researched this guy and his claims a tish. Being a fortean of sorts, the way I feel is this: maybe, maybe not, and unless more conclusive evidence is discovered, then maybe not. And if those rings do exist, there are a great many ways geologically they could've been formed. If an Atlantis did exist, it's going to take a lot of very rigorous research to make a dent in the (mostly just) skepticism out there on the subject.
posted by moonbird at 4:40 PM on June 7, 2004


no way man, this is really it.
posted by pekar wood at 5:00 PM on June 7, 2004


While I pretty much agree with the sentiment, I can't resist pointing out that one could have said the same thing about Homer's Troy - until they actually found it.

Well, Schliemann found a city that was probably Troy, but nobody seriously claims it was "Homer's Troy". Homer's Troy was a myth. In the future, archaeologists will dig up the ruins of New York City and confuse it with Gotham City, because all they have left is a fragment of a Batman comic book. Same deal.
posted by Hildago at 5:22 PM on June 7, 2004


Way down below the ocean, where I wanna be....

Sorry, everyone, johnmc has won today's Metafilter ChallengeTM thanks to his splendid quoting of Donovan lyrics. Try again tomorrow and congratulations to johnmc!
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:19 PM on June 7, 2004


freebird: While I pretty much agree with the sentiment, I can't resist pointing out that one could have said the same thing about Homer's Troy - until they actually found it.

Actually, the Troy thing has caused quite a bit of vexation for bronze-age archeologists because Homer's works include a mish-mash of details from different historical times. As a result, whenever Homer comes close to the mark (for example, finding that cattle were sacrificed on a coast of Ithica) the Homerists tend to swarm around the find as an example of how Homer was describing actual events.

In fact, Homer's Troy might still be fictional a combination of cities that existed at two different times. The idea of Schliemann as some sort of a heroic heterodox archeologist who was alone in believing in the actual existence of Troy quite possibly myth . It is unknown whether Schliemann chose the Hissarlik site himself, or on the advice of his better-read and more experienced patron. Schliemann was not alone in believing that Troy existed, or even that Hissarlik might be it. Even so, identification of Homer's Troy with Hissarlik is not without it's problems being at the wrong location, too small, without water, and the wrong time period. The very good wikipedia entry also points to some lines of skepticism as to whether Homer's Troy really existed. The evidence for the existence of Troy as described by Homer, much less identifying that site with Hissarlik is not the slam dunk that is claimed by movie promoters and Discovery documentaries.

A more likely interpretation is that Homer was falling back on an extended history of conflict over the strategic Dardanelles, cobbling together a variety of stories involving multiple Hellenic sea raids on multiple cities in Asia Minor, embellishing them and spinning them together into a mighty good yarn that became the central myth behind Greek identity, and later became appropriated into Roman identity as well.

But there is a major difference between Troy and Atlantis. While the Greeks and Romans considered Troy a real place that was central to both their history and ideology (although the Romans identified themselves with the upright ethical Trojans), there does not seem to have been a drive to identify any kind of historical Atlantis as the site of the Athenians greatest victory. Plato himself seems to hedge his bets by describing the myths questionable provenance. (Which its self, is not supported given the lack of collaborating detail in the very firm Egyptian historical record.) The narrative is internally inconsistent. Atlantis was both 9,000 years in the past and contemporary to older Egyptian and at least Mycenian culture. The geographic details are absurd. It is interesting that people insist that Plato got the date right, but fudged on everything else. The historical details of a mutual alliance between Greece and Egypt are not supported by the very rich Egyptian historical record. The end result is that it is unclear as to whether Plato believed the Atlantis myth himself.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:39 PM on June 7, 2004


I think this lost city is far more likely
posted by amberglow at 7:26 PM on June 7, 2004


amberglow - don't you mean THIS lost city?
posted by troutfishing at 8:46 PM on June 7, 2004


ooooh, that does sound more promising...i wonder if they're really manmade?
posted by amberglow at 8:50 PM on June 7, 2004


amberglow - after all the initial hoopla surrounding the initial find, I've been waiting......and waiting....and....

It's pretty deep underwater, and then there's the Cuban complication.

But, it sure sounds like the lost city of Cthulhu.

Giant cyclopean slabs and all.
posted by troutfishing at 8:59 PM on June 7, 2004


I've always loved the idea of people all over the world building big stone things ages ago--from easter island thru france and england, etc...(and that so many of them have lasted so long) : >
posted by amberglow at 9:08 PM on June 7, 2004


hildago, that's a nice analogy.

I thought atlantis was the island of santorini (thera) - that's the common explanation. It's part myth, but based on this greek island; the island had a volcano near the center which erupted & sunk the middle so that only a ring is left...
posted by mdn at 9:13 PM on June 7, 2004


Me: "Hey, they found Atlantis!"

Guy in computer lab: "They always find Atlantis..."
posted by Sfving at 9:38 PM on June 7, 2004


KJS and Hidalgo -

Good points, both. Though I'm not certain they settle the issue - after all, isn't Gotham supposed to *be* New York, or at least a sort of reification of its essence?

While I think the Troy issue is still a little more undecided either way than you seem to, I'd certainly never argue that Homer's story is an accurate description. But like any of these worthy myths, it can still tell some very important stories about history. For example, while the existence of a historical King Arthur is even more questionable, it's hard to deny it's a good story about post-roman britain. It's only one biased perspective, etc etc, but a good story nonethess - and rooted in a historical context. That is, even if no one historical fact makes it true, it can say a lot about historical truth.

Similarly, I like Atlantis stories that give me a glimpse of a world. The Thera theory appeals to me because it comes with not only an actual island disaster scenario, complete with fire and earthquakes and the whole nine yards, but fits into the whole history of the region in a neat way.

Where was I? Oh well. I love how MeFi can get from crackpot links to arguments about historicity and Gotham metaphors in the time it takes me to drive home and eat dinner.

I hope Metafilter doesn't sink beneath the sea.
posted by freebird at 9:52 PM on June 7, 2004


In the future, archaeologists will dig up the ruins of New York City and confuse it with Gotham City, because all they have left is a fragment of a Batman comic book.

Thanks Hildago, i think this may be one of them most insightful things i've read on MeFi in a while.

Though both KirkJobSluder and freebird also make strong points.

Personally, i want Atlantis to exist (and by extension, us to find it), but the pragmatist in me just won't let me belive that it's anything more than a well crafted fable. i do _so_ hope that i'm wrong though.

Alternatively, this could all be nothing more than a cynical media ploy to promote a TV show
posted by quin at 3:02 AM on June 8, 2004


In the future, archaeologists will dig up the ruins of New York City and confuse it with Gotham City, because all they have left is a fragment of a Batman comic book.

I thought Gotham was Chicago and Metropolis was New York. Of course, your analogy works even better in this instance.
posted by piskycritter at 5:46 AM on June 8, 2004


Gotham City and Metropolis are both alternative New Yorks (as mentioned at World Wide Words and elsewhere, "Gotham" was a term coined by Washington Irving as a satirical alter ego for Manhattan). The identification is made explicit in some Batman stories: for instance, in The Dark Knight Returns, Harvey Denton attempts to blow up Gotham City's twin towers.
posted by raygirvan at 9:42 AM on June 8, 2004


Oops - I mean Harvey Dent. Harvey Denton, now that would be weird.
posted by raygirvan at 10:19 AM on June 8, 2004


i always knew that donovan was full of shit.
posted by quonsar at 1:17 PM on June 8, 2004


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