Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In Search of..... Atlantis

A surprisingly compelling National Geographic Channel special aired a few weeks back examining an increasingly accepted theory that the mythical city of Atlantis may actually have been based on a real ancient city located on southern coast of Spain, just beyond the Straits of Gibraltar. You can watch a 4 minute preview of the show below. It re-airs next on May 22, apparently. 

Watching it, I was reminded of an episode of In Search Of... titled simply "Atlantis" that first aired in 1976. You can watch a 10 minute segment from this episode by clicking HERE. I liked the TV show In Search of... a lot as a kid in the 1970's. I've enjoyed re-watching some of the old episodes and lovingly critiquing, with the benefit of 30 years of hindsight, some of the explanations proffered for the mysteries the show examined.  This episode starts by profiling another traditionally accepted potential inspiration for Plato's Atlantis, Santorini. (Though the show does indulge in some typical hyperbole, like referring to the remains of an old astrolabe found there as, "part of an ancient computer.")

But the episode then veers into the more 'speculative,' by focusing on an underwater rock formation off the coast of the Bahamas called the 'Bimini Road,' first sighted in 1967.  The idea that this rock formation was part of the ruins of Atlantis was originally inspired by a prediction made by the American psychic Edgar Cayce in 1940. "It was precisely where Cayce said Atlantis would be.... Huge white blocks, chiseled with incredible precision... No one knows how they got here, 35 feet beneath the sea off the coast of Bimini," intones narrator Leonard Nimoy. "Two possible explanations exist.One, the stones are the remains of a network of paved roads. Two, they are the tops of huge stone walls that once enclosed the palaces of Atlantis."

Actually, it turns out that there was a third possible explanation: that the 'Bimini Road' was merely a natural rock formation.

No comments:

Post a Comment