Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher, wrote of a great civilization called Atlantis
Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher, wrote of a great civilization called Atlantis founded by a race of people who were half god and half human. They lived in a utopia that held great naval power. But their home, located on islands shaped like a series of concentric circles, was destroyed in a great cataclysm. Atlantis probably wasn’t a real place, but a real island civilization may have inspired the tale. Among the contenders is Santorini in Greece. Santorini is now an archipelago, but thousands of years ago it was a single island—a volcano named Thera. Around 3,500 years ago, the volcano blew up in one of the biggest eruptions in human history, destroying the island, setting off tsunamis and blowing tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere where it lingered for years and probably caused many cold, wet summers. Those conditions would have ruined harvests in the region and are thought to have contributed to the quick decline of the Minoans, who had dominated the Mediterranean from nearby Crete. The city of Helike in Greece has also been suggested as inspiration for Atlantis. The ancient metropolis was wiped off the map by an earthquake and tsunami in December of the year 373 B.C.