Real tsunami may have inspired legend of Atlantis

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Washington, October 10 (ANI): Scientists have suggested that a real tsunami may have inspired the legend of Atlantis, with evidence coming from islands close to Greece.he islands that make up the small circular archipelago of Santorini, roughly 200 km southeast of Greece, are what remain of what once was a single island, before one of the largest volcanic eruptions in human antiquity shattered it in the Bronze Age some time between 1630 B.C. to 1550 B.C.

Speculation has abounded as to whether the Santorini eruption inspired the legend of Atlantis, which Plato said drowned in the ocean.

Although the isle is often regarded as just an invention, the explosion might have given rise to the story of a lost empire by helping to wipe out the real-life Minoan civilization that once dominated the Mediterranean, from which the myth of the bull-headed 'minotaur' comes.

The primary means by which the eruption potentially wreaked havoc on the Minoan civilization is by the giant tsunami it would have triggered.

However, the precise effects of this eruption and killer wave have been a mystery for decades.

Now, according to a report in Live Science, scientists have found that the tsunami may have been powerful enough to race some 600 miles (1,000 km) from Santorini to reach the farthest eastern shores of the Mediterranean, leaving behind a layer of debris more than a foot thick by the coast of Israel.

Researchers dove as far as 65 feet deep (20 meters) off the coast of Caesarea in Israel to collect tubes of sediment, or cores, more than 6 feet long (2 meters) from the seabed.

Within the cores, the researchers found evidence of up to nearly 16 inches of sediment deposited roughly about the date of the Santorini eruption.

The range of sizes of the particles making up this deposit is the kind one might find laid down by a tsunami.

The dramatic changes in life triggered by the tsunami "might have been part of the fabric of the Atlantis story," said Goodman.

Although Atlantis itself "is a myth and legend, it is informative about the experiences of the ancients," Goodman said.

"It may very well be the case that those passing the story on had heard of or witnessed events in which coastal buildings went underwater because of earthquakes; beachfront towns were flooded during tsunamis; islands were created by underwater volcanic activity. There may be that grain of truth that lent legitimacy and a certain reality to the legend of Atlantis," he added. (ANI)

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