People have spent thousands of years pondering the existence of the Lost City of Atlantis, ever since Plato wrote about the fictional island of half-humans, half-Gods in the dialogues Timaeus and Critias.
While these musings have largely been sequestered to the realms of fantasy, new discoveries in the Antarctic could shed light on the possibility of ancient Utopian civilisations.
A scientific theory put forward in the 1950s by American history expert, Professor Charles A. Hapgood, suggests that thousands of years ago the icy tundra may have been home to an ancient and mysterious civilisation.
The theory of crustal displacement posits the Earth’s entire crust shifts every 20,000 to 30,000 years and that only 11,600 years ago large parts of Antarctica – a continent we now know as icy and barren – were ice free.
Hapgood looks to the Piri Reis world map, drawn 500 years ago by the Ottoman admiral of the same name, to reconcile his theory with evidence.
The map is thought to show the west coast of Africa, the east coast of South America and the northern coast of Antarctica, with all land masses totally devoid of ice.
US Air Force Lt. Colonel Harold Z Ohlmeyer wrote to Hapgood reinforcing his theory:
The geographical detail shown in the lower part of the map agrees very remarkably with the results of the seismic profile made across the top of the ice-cap by the Swedish-British Antarctic Expedition of 1949.
This indicates the coastline had been mapped before it was covered by the ice-cap. This part of Antarctica [is] ice free. The ice-cap in this region is now about a mile thick.
Conspirators believe both Hapgood’s theory of crustal displacement and that much of the south pole was free of ice – and also the location of The Lost City of Atlantis.
In 1995, Graham Hancock publish a study, Fingerprints of the Gods, claiming that crustal displacement in 10,450 BC had destroyed an advanced, ancient civilisation, the remains of which now lie beneath Antarctica.
Hancock muses the descendants of said civilisation went on to build the Aztec, Mayan and Egyptian empires.
This postulation rings true when compared to Native American mythology, which traces their ancestors back to the enigmatic white island in the South, Aztlán, which was destroyed by natural disaster.
While this is undeniably fascinating, scientists dispute the theory of crustal displacement stating that, in effect, the Earth’s crust would have to move at 1,000 mph for the timings to add up, thus wiping out flora, fauna – and humanity itself.
Despite this, dreamers, conspiracy theorists and believers are convinced Atlantis – a city that was born in fiction – lies underneath the Antarctic.
Presumably the U.S. government are responsible, or aliens, or the lizard race that secretly rules the Earth – put your theory on a postcard…
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.