Researchers debate existence of Atlantis
Researchers are no closer to finding the location of the lost city of Atlantis, saying they are confused by Plato's account of its disappearance.
Plato, more than 2,300 years ago, wrote Atlantis disappeared into the ocean in just one day after violent earthquakes and floods.
During a conference of Atlantis researchers held earlier this month in Malta, Marc-Andre Gutscher of the European Institute for Marine Studies, noted Egyptians who told Plato the Atlantis story may have used a different definition of "years," meaning the destruction of Atlantis occurred more recently than thought.
The conference reached no firm conclusions. But researchers did agree on 24 criteria a geographical area must satisfy to qualify as a site where Atlantis could have existed.
The criteria include the existence of: hot springs, northerly winds, elephants, enough people for an army of 10,000 chariots and a ritual of bull sacrifice.
Geologist Floyd McCoy of the University of Hawaii-Kaneohe said most of Plato's description of Atlantis is ambiguous and open to interpretation, Nature reported.
McCoy told the conference, "With the information we have from the ancient text, it may never be found -- if indeed it ever existed."
Copyright 2005 by United Press International