A 1669 map by Athanasius Kircher put Atlantis in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The map is oriented with south at the top.


Decidedly, the most popular of mythical Atlantic islands. The story of Atlantis was first told by Plato, in his Critias.  "Critias: Let me begin by observing first of all, that nine thousand was the sum of years which had elapsed since the war which was said to have taken place between those who dwelt outside the Pillars of Heracles and all who dwelt within them; this war I am going to describe. Of the combatants on the one side, the city of Athens was reported to have been the leader and to have fought out the war; the combatants on the other side were commanded by the kings of Atlantis, which, as was saying, was an island greater in extent than Libya and Asia, and afterwards sunk by an earthquake, became an impassable barrier of mud to voyagers sailing from hence to any part of the ocean..." 

Though it is called Atlantis, the most well-regarded theories don’t locate it in the Atlantic, but in the Mediterranean Sea.  

Doñana. Plato wrote Atlantis was located near Gades, 60 miles northwest of Gibraltar. Just north of this in Spain is a nature reserve with a violent history of earthquakes and tsunamis that obliterate everything as the fault shifts every 400 years. A German researcher found evidence, using satellite photos, of what he suggest is a city buried under what is now 20 feet of silt and clay, complete with the concentric circles Plato describes.

Malta. Plato described Atlantis as an island city rich in temples. Predating the Great Pyramids in Egypt by a thousand years, are the ancient temples of Mnajdra and Hagar Qim on the island of Malta, just south of Sicily. The culture that built them vanished suddenly around 2500 B.C.. Not far from these temples is a limestone field crosshatched with deep ruts believed by some to be the large grid irrigation canals that Plato wrote about.

Santorini. The likeliest and longest-running theory is that the huge volcanic explosion that spewed ash across the Mediterranean from Egypt to Turkey around 1600 B.C. leaving a massive donut shaped hole on the side of this still beautiful island is the source of the Atlantis legend. Ruins still remain of a port town that thrived up until the time of the explosion.