Atlantis Without Mermaids Is Not Interesting

20 Mar

Wow, wouldn’t it be cool if it turned out there was really a city called Atlantis and it sank long ago and then scientists found it? 

Bet your ass it would be cool, because Atlantis is full of aliens and shrink rays and ancient, mystic secrets.  Levitation beams.  Big, robot seahorses you can ride around on.  Aquaman and his surly pals.  What a rocking party that would be.

And it’s not just me thinking that.  Atlantis is extremely popular for something with little to no basis in historical reality at all.  You bring it up on the news, and everybody’s listening.

That’s probably why every couple of years a new batch of scientists pops up in the news and says, holy crap – we found Atlantis!

Cause they know we’re always going to perk right up and say, Really?  Where?  And they’re right – that’s what we do.

Sometimes it’s in the Gulf of Mexico.  Sometimes it’s under Antarctica.  Sometimes it’s in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.  And it’s always disappointing, because it’s always ruins.  Some blocks with coral growing on them, and not so much as a street sign.  What makes you guys so sure it’s Atlantis?

Then the answer is typically a frustrating variation of What Makes You So Sure It’s Not?  And I can’t stress this enough – that’s not the way science works.  If you guys can’t prove it’s Atlantis, then it’s not Atlantis.  Call it something else.

Imagine they’re looking for Cleveland in 2600 years and all they know is it’s by a river.  Look there’s Cleveland!  There it is again!  No wait, it’s over there!

This time it’s buried in mud in the middle of Spain (you heard ’em), probably under the plains, since in Spain that’s mainly where the rain falls.

No, really.  Not even in the ocean this time.  You guys found Spanish Pompeii and you decided that’s probably Atlantis?

Yes.  This particular incarnation of Atlantis was swamped by a tsunami, making it an even more suspicious Atlantis, the kind that decides to cash in on Tsunami Fever.  Hey, you guys are interested in Atlantis, right?  And you’re interested in tsunamis?  Well, check this out – we found it before tsunamis were all the rage, so it’s kind of an indie Atlantis.

Yeah, it’s indie all right.  Are you guys smoking crack or what?

Scientists.  Guys.  Ladies.  Gang.  Whatever.  You have to stop deciding that every city-like structure you find which isn’t sitting on a hilltop is Atlantis.

There’s not much Atlantis literature out there, you know.  Plato talked about it, 2600 years ago and said something about the Straits of Gibraltar and a rocking music scene and that it sank.  And nearly all of the remaining work on it is either Stargate: Atlantis, Aquaman comics, or it’s some kind of completely baseless, childish work of fiction.

The scientific approach favored by Atlantis hunters is, anytime someone finds a cube-shaped rock underwater off the coast, they look around and see if anything within a thousand miles could be mistaken for the Straits of Gibraltar, and then they say, Hey.  Maybe that’s Atlantis.

And you know, headlines can be nice and vague, right?  All you have to do is put in a qualifier – Unconfirmed Reports Suggest Atlantis Is Under New York City!

Or in this case, Atlantis Found, Scientist Claims!

It’s a perfectly true headline, but only because there’s really a scientist claiming it, not because the scientific community has agreed this is Atlantis.  In fact, given the six or so sentences we know about whatever Atlantis was (we know more about Xanadu and Valhalla and Hoth), I don’t see how they’re ever going to prove that any given group of ruins were once Atlantis.

Hold on – I just found Atlantis too, in my butt.  Atlantis Found, Blogger Claims!

Let me be clear.  None of you jackasses found Atlantis.  You found some other city that was destroyed by something watery.  That’s a pretty common way for cities to get destroyed, I imagine, since as far as we know, there weren’t nuclear bombs 2600 years ago.

And anyway, if you found Atlantis, and there’s not a glass dome over it, and no mermaids are swimming around in it, and there are no sea monsters, then who cares?

Seriously, guys – who the hell cares?

You’re just taking advantage of the famous name – like anytime someone finds a tooth within a hundred miles of anything Amelia Earhart flew over, same thing.  Could bone fragment belong to Amelia Earhart?

Then later, well, we don’t know.  We sort of doubt it, there are an awful lot of people.  But it COULD be!  The mystery endures!

No, it doesn’t.  It’s not a mystery.  That’s a bone fragment, and this a two thousand year old bullfighting arena or something.  If you didn’t find any Stargates or aliens or mermaids or even anything glowing green, then YOU.  DID.  NOT.  FIND.  ATLANTIS.

It’s like the Professor says – bring me a bag of Bigfoot’s droppings or shut up.  That is all.


1 Comment

Posted by on March 20, 2011 in News/Commentary, Uncategorized


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One response to “Atlantis Without Mermaids Is Not Interesting

  1. mustangman

    July 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Guess what, I have met a person who said that they in one of their past lives that were fron atlantis and it was not a city but it was as big as a country and they tryed to warn the people but no one would listen they were very far advanced people .


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