Atlantis 'found' again, this time in Spain

Atlantis 'found' again, this time in Spain
Photo credit: Getty

Just two months after it was 'found' in the Sahara, the lost city of Atlantis has been discovered again - this time, in Spain.

But sceptics say the latest claims are setting off their bullshit detectors even more so than usual.

Atlantis, according to Greek philosopher Plato, was a technologically advanced city that sank into the ocean about 12,000 years ago. While most consider the story a fable, archaeologists - amateur and professional - have spent centuries trying to find it.

In September, it was claimed a site known as the 'Eye of the Sahara' fit the descriptions Plato gave in the fourth century BC. Others have claimed to have found it in Crete, the Atlantic and even Antarctica.

The latest claims come from a company Merlin Burrows, a UK company which says it can "find anything that has been lost, forgotten or hidden with pin-point accuracy.

After analysing the original Greek texts, analysing aerial photography and visiting the site, the company's experts determined Atlantis was located in the Spain's present day Doñana National Park, on the country's southwestern coast near Seville. 

"The Atlantis cities, which are very detailed in Plato's writing, are really there for everyone to see," CEO Bruce Blackburn told LiveScience.

Matalascañas on the coast of Spain, in the Donana National Park.
Matalascañas on the coast of Spain, in the Donana National Park. Photo credit: Getty

Plato's original description said Atlantis was by the Pillars of Heracles, one of which is the Rock of Gibraltar, just to the southeast. A team sent to the region found the ruins of circular pillars and ruins with a greenish-blue coat, just like Plato said, claims Mr Blackburn. They also found a sea wall and crucially, evidence of a tsunami.

The documentary claims the ruins were dated to between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago - about when Plato said Atlantis was deluged.

Doñana National Park has previously been suggested as a potential site before - a 2004 study concluded if it was real, Atlantis was probably located in southwestern Spain. Filmmaker James Cameron even led an expedition to the region in 2017, finding a hoard of Bronze Age anchors - unfortunately several thousand years too late to be from Atlantis.

Merlin Burrows research wasn't submitted to a reputable scientific journal. Instead it teamed up with a film production company to create a two-hour documentary, Atlantica.

"It immediately turns on my bullshit detector when somebody, instead of doing that, makes the announcement through a press release, a press conference, a web page or a documentary,"  Ken Feder, anthropology professor at Central Connecticut State University, told LiveScience.

"As an archaeologist, I know that I always need to be in the company of my bullshit detector. And these guys, they have done just about everything they possibly can to set off my bullshit detector."

He said there are several things described in Plato's dialogues that clearly aren't preset at Doñana, such as concentric rings of land and sea or giant walls of stone, silver and gold.

"Bless their hearts," he added, saying it would be "awesome" if it was true.

How Atlantis may have looked.
How Atlantis may have looked. Photo credit: Bright Insight/YouTube

Most historians believe Plato's story was meant to be a warning against the hubris of empire, Atlantis being destroyed by the gods after its armies tried to conquer a fictional ancient Athenian republic. It's believed to have been inspired by a real-life invasion of a mysterious seafaring peoples from the west, whose identity has never been figured out.

A trailer for the documentary appears to have been pulled from the film company's website, as well as its Vimeo and YouTube accounts.