The year is 4512. A team of archaeoscientists has discovered a text. Written by one of the greatest minds in history, the story tells of a lost city -- buried beneath the sea -- that holds secrets of an unusually advanced society and a bounty of priceless treasures.
While this could easily be the premise for a Hollywood blockbuster, strip away the first two sentences and you're left with the tale of Atlantis. In the fourth century B.C., the philosopher Plato wrote a series of dialogues (Timaeus and Critias) in which he introduced the story of Atlantis [source: Plato, Shepard, Jowett].
According to Plato, the city of Atlantis was home to the most advanced society in the world. It was filled with amazing architectural elements -- intricate buildings, bridges and passageways -- adorned with priceless metals:
Moreover, through the circles of land, which divided those of sea, over against the bridges they opened out a channel leading from circle to circle, large enough to give passage to a single trireme; and this they roofed over above so that the sea-way was subterranean … and upon the bridges on each side, over against the passages for the sea, they erected towers and gates … And they covered with brass, as though with plaster, all the circumference of the wall which surrounded the outermost circle; and that of the inner one they coated with tin; and that which encompassed the acropolis itself ... All the exterior of the temple they coated with silver, save only the pinnacles, and these they coated with gold. As to the interior, they made the roof all of ivory in appearance, variegated with gold and silver and orichalcum, and all the rest of the walls and pillars and floors they covered with orichalcum. And they placed therein golden statues … [source: Plato via Perseus Digital Library].
Although many believe this to be just that -- a story, others think this astounding tale could very well be true. So, what could possibly cause an entire city to be swallowed up by the sea? Keep reading to find out why the story of Atlantis might not be as far-fetched as some believe.