This is the scientific discovery that “resurrects” the legend of Atlantis

  • Sample evidence of several microcontinents that existed between 200 and 3.2 billion years ago and that are submerged at the bottom of the Central Atlantic Ocean

An international team of scientists, led by the University of Granada (UGR), has discovered evidence of several microcontinents that existed between 200 and 3.2 billion years ago and that are submerged at the bottom of the Central Atlantic Ocean, a work that has revived the old legend of Atlantis, described by Plato 2,300 years ago, which has captivated the imagination of many generations throughout history.

The geochronology team led by Fernando Bea and Pilar González Montero, professors of Mineralogy and Petrology at the University of Granada, found that oceanic rocks dredged from the bottom of the Central Atlantic with ages less than 2-3 million years contained zircon minerals inherited from much older continental rocks, with ages between 200 and 3200 million years. years.

These findings have been in the vicinity of the mid-Atlantic ridge, the great mountain range that is the backbone of the ocean. Therefore, far from other places where attempts have traditionally been made to locate Atlantis, especially on the Greek island of Santorini, partially destroyed 3,600 years ago during a volcanic eruption.

The mineral zircon can be considered a ‘time capsule’ that contains information encoded in the isotopic composition of the elements that form it and can crystallize containing appreciable amounts of the radioactive elements Thorium and Uranium that disintegrate into various isotopes of Lead.

The ratio between each radiogenic daughter (the isotopes of Lead) and its radioactive father (the isotopes of Thorium and Uranium) allows to calculate the crystallization age of the mineral with great precision. Additionally, zircon contains oxygen, which is the most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and mantle.


“Since oxygen diffuses very rapidly, the one that ancient zircons found in modern rocks from the ocean floor retain their clearly continental isotopic composition indicates that they have remained within the mantle magmas for a very short time, and suggests that they have been extracted from a continental crust that was fragmenting when invaded by the mantle magmas that produce oceanic crust,” according to the researchers who, ultimately, are convinced that it is a fragment of a continent that has been dismembered in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

UGR scientists point out that the date in which this dismemberment of the continent took place is given by the ages of the magmatic zircons that coexist with the old zircons.

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“The analyzes carried out in the SHRIMP-IBERSIMS laboratory of the UGR have shown ages as young as 600,000 years, but we cannot rule out even younger ages; they could, therefore, have existed one or several microcontinents populated by hominids, if we take into account that the homo ancestor walked through Europe 900,000 years ago”, the authors point out.

“This age of 600,000 years for the destruction of the Atlantic microcontinents is a maximum estimate. There is no evidence to rule out that it may have occurred in more recent times, in such a way that the catastrophe would have been recorded in the legends and myths of homo sapiens. To do this, it would be necessary to find recent oceanic rocks (less than 10,000 years old) that also contain zircons inherited from an ancient continent. We hope that the studies underway can clear up the unknown”, concludes Fernando Bea.

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