Most kids have heard of the lost city of Atlantis. Whether through books read at school or movies watched at home, the tale of the lost city of Atlantis has been told many times in many different ways.

But is it true? Was an entire city simply lost at some time in the past? If so, where did it go? And where is it today?

The legend of the lost city of Atlantis dates back to around 360 B.C. when it was first mentioned in the works of Greek philosopher Plato. According to Plato, Atlantis was an advanced island nation that conquered many parts of Western Europe and Africa around 9,600 B.C.

The only clue to its location was Plato’s statement that it sat “in front of the Pillars of Hercules.” The Pillars of Hercules are the mountaintops that border the sides of the Strait of Gibraltar at the western edge of the Mediterranean Sea.

After Atlantis failed to invade Athens, Greece, it allegedly sank into the ocean “in a single day and night of misfortune.” Plato’s account makes it seem like Atlantis may have fallen victim to a natural catastrophe, such as a volcanic eruption or an earthquake.

Scholars point out that Plato’s account may have been based upon legendary stories that had already been told for many years. Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, most scholars believed the story of Atlantis was purely fiction.

It is only in modern times that people have started to believe that Atlantis might have been a real place. The story of Atlantis has inspired many works of science fiction. The name itself has become synonymous with the idea of the existence of advanced prehistoric lost civilizations.

Given Plato’s account, most people who believe Atlantis was real think it was located in or near the Mediterranean Sea. Over time, though, many other locations have been suggested, including areas in the Caribbean and even Antarctica!

In 2011, Professor Richard Freund from the University of Hartford claimed to have found evidence of the lost city of Atlantis in the marshlands of the Doñana National Park mud flats in Spain. Based upon his research, he speculated Atlantis could have been destroyed by a tsunami.

Although a team of archeologists and geologists have used radar, satellite imagery and underwater technology to study the site, no one can know for sure whether Atlantis has truly been discovered or not. And so the mystery lives on!

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    • Hello, Abanoub, we’re glad you’re back today! We love to Wonder with you– and we think your question is AWESOME! Unfortunately, the city of Atlantis has not been found, officially! It is believed to be near the Mediterranean, but no one knows for sure. Check out our Wonder today to read more about it! :)

  1. We enjoyed learning about the Lost City of Atlantis, even though we came to the conclusion it is still lost!

    We noticed the use of alliteration in the next wonder and we think it is about recycling.

    • Hello, Wonder Friends in Mrs. Karr’s class! We are so glad you are joining us to discover the City of Atlantis on this glorious Friday! :)

      We like your point about alliteration… we hope you have a happy weekend full of WONDERing! Thanks for sharing your SUPER, sensible guess for tomorrow! :)

    • WOHOO, that’s great news, Bryleigh! We LOVE when great Friends like you have been WONDERing about something– now we can Wonder together!! We hope you continue to Wonder about cool, lost cities and fascinating places today! :)

    • Great question, Jacob! We hope you liked today’s Wonder… we will have to go on an adventure to find this lost city… it is still not truly discovered.

      Here’s an excerpt from today’s Wonder:

      “Given Plato’s account, most people who believe Atlantis was real think it was located in or near the Mediterranean Sea. Over time, though, many other locations have been suggested, including areas in the Caribbean and even Antarctica!”

      We bet you can find more information about this lost city with a bit of research and lots of WONDERing! Great work today! :)

    • Great question, Noemi V! We’re glad you’re here, WONDERing with us today! We have LOTS of Wonder Friends who are always using their imaginations and creativity to Wonder up new and exciting things! Also, we LOVE when our Wonder Friends share their very own Wonders with us! Who knows, maybe something that you’ve been WONDERing about can be a Wonder of the Day® on Wonderopolis! :)

      You can nominate your very own Wonder here: http://wonderopolis.org/nominate-wonder/ and we’d LOVE to hear from you! :)

  2. Some books actually tell you Atlantis is real. I think that Atlantis would be really cool to see. This is a fun mystery to ponder. It really has us wondering!

    • We are oh-so-happy that our Wonder Friends in Mrs. Adams’ class are using their AWESOME imaginations today! :)

      We think that Atlantis would be one of the coolest field trips EVER! There would be so much exploring, learning, WONDERing and fun! We also really like that you used the word “ponder”– we really LOVE to learn new words! We will be pondering tomorrow’s Wonder in the meantime…

      Thanks for stopping by, Wonder Friends! :)

    • Thanks for sharing your very kind comment, Emily! We are SUPER happy to have an adventurous Wonder Friend like you! :)

    • HELLO Wonder Friend Trina! We LOVE your comment today– we can’t wait to discover what tomorrow’s Wonder will be! :)

      Each day we leave a clue for the next day’s Wonder. You can find it under the “Wonder What’s Next” tab beneath the video. Here’s our clue for tomorrow: “Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is all about turning trash into treasure!”

      We’d love to hear what your guess is! Keep up the great work, Trina! :)

    • GREAT Wonder, Rose!! All of us at Wonderopolis, along with explorers, researchers and scientists, hope to find that lost city of Atlantis someday! However, there are lots of factors that make it difficult to search… especially if it’s believed to be beneath the water! We’ll have to keep WONDERing… but we can imagine what it looks like on our own, too! Great work, Rose! :)

    • Hi there Gina M, thanks for sharing your comment today! Sometimes it’s difficult to think of a city as “lost”– but that’s why it’s fun to Wonder! We bet you can use your imagination to picture what this city looked like!

      Also, the word synonymous is often used to relate one thing to another, like a synonym.

      “The story of Atlantis has inspired many works of science fiction. The name itself has become synonymous with the idea of the existence of advanced prehistoric lost civilizations.”

      In this sentence, the name “Atlantis” makes us think of all the other lost cities that could have existed, but haven’t been discovered. Hearing one thing, “Atlantis”, makes us think of another idea, “prehistoric lost civilizations”. We hope this helps, and we’re excited that you asked such a SUPER question! :)

    • WOW, you probably had a great idea of what today’s Wonder would discuss, Alyssa B! We think it’s an ADVENTURE to Wonder about Atlantis, especially with COOL Wonder Friends, like you! :)

    • Hi there, Kaleyluv, we are glad you’re here today! We think you, and many researchers and scientists, believe in the lost city of Atlantis! It’s incredibly fun to imagine a city that seemed to disappear! We will be WONDERing about the streets, people and businesses that existed in Atlantis! We hope you have a great, WONDERful day! :)

  3. We think tomorrow’s wonder will be about….recycling to make something new…. maybe using recyclable things to make art?

    • SUPER guessing from our Wonder Friends in Mrs. Keeling’s class! :) We LOVE your creativity and we can’t wait to find out what tomorrow’s Wonder will be! Thanks for joining us– happy Friday! :)

    • WOHOO, we LOVE learning new things with great Wonder Friends like you, Skye!! Wouldn’t it be cool to be an explorer, searching for the lost city of Atlantis?! We can’t wait to Wonder with you again tomorrow– thanks for sharing your SUPER guess! :)

  4. I learned some new things from this video and article. I learned first that there was a lost city call Atlantis. Also I learned that the legend of the lost city of Atlantis dates back to around 360 B.C. long before many many many people were born today. Finally I learned professor Richard Freund from the University of Hartford claimed to find part of it. I am very curious if there are any pictures of it?

    • WOW, you did a SUPER job summarizing what you learned about the famous lost city of Atlantis, Jules! We haven’t seen any photos of the lost city, but we bet you could continue to do some WONDERing of your own– what do YOU think it would look like? :)

  5. This is such an interesting wonder!! I would love to research this more. Where is a safe place for me to look for more information on the city of Atlantis?

  6. Wow! My class has really enjoyed your wonder today! We have a book in our classroom library that tells all about Atlantis. The book says Atlantis could be real. What would you say about that? Here are a couple questions & comments that we have for YOU!

    Where is are Atlantis ruins located?
    Which ocean did the ruins get found?
    Was there a ruler there?
    What year was it present in?
    It’s SUPER cool!

    Thanks for giving us so many wonders!

    • WOW, we are so proud of all our Wonder Friends in Miss Stoner’s class– you have been doing a great job imagining the lost city of Atlantis! Your own Wonders are super, too, and we hope you do some research of your own to find some more information! It’s tough to imagine that a city can be “lost”, but there are lots of clues that lead researchers to believe it did indeed exist! Thanks for sharing your comment today! :)

  7. That was really interesting but I found it a bit boring because we didn’t even get to see Atlantis! But they probably will never find it! But if they do then please wonderopolis can you guys post that video on this website!?

    • Hey there Fliss, we are glad you commented today! We think it would be AMAZING to see what Atlantis really looked like, but it’s still a mystery! This lost city is still undiscovered, even though researchers have been looking for a very long time. We bet you can find some more information about the lost city if you do some WONDERing of your own– there are lots of books and articles about the estimated location and time period. We are glad that you’re using your imagination– we’d love to see what Atlantis looks like one day! :)

  8. Dear wonderopolis,
    I believe it exists but I wonder does it exist? I know I know, its a myth but some claim it is under the sea or it was destroyed. Wonderopolis please reply back.

    • Hi there, Pinky, we are glad you are using your imagination as we Wonder about the lost city of Atlantis! No one knows for sure where Atlantis is, but there are lots of clues that lead us to believe it did, in fact, exist! We are having a great time imagining what the city looked like, who lived there and what they did in their free time! We hope to find an answer for sure… but until then we will keep WONDERing…! :)

    • It would be VERY cool to see Atlantis up close and personal, wouldn’t it, Madison?! Can you imagine putting together the few pieces of information about Atlantis that exist? We bet that would be the most challenging, real-life puzzle we’ve ever encountered! We’re going to use our imaginations to picture what Atlantis looked like– all the people, places and things that existed in the city! We hope you’ll join us– it’s so much fun to Wonder! :)

    • What a great Wonder, Olivia D.! There are many archeologists and geologists who have been searching for clues, or artifacts, from the lost city of Atlantis! We Wonder if you have ever read a fiction story about Atlantis? :)

  9. Hi, I am from China. First of all i would like to offer many thanks for your good job. But I wonder if you can introduce me to a pen pal. We can excange language study. I am good at Chinese. And I am eager to improve my English. Thanks again!

    • Hi there, Edward, we’re glad you are here today! Thank you for sharing your comment, we really appreciate it! :)

      We would love if you came back to visit! Wonderopolis is kind of like a group of pen pals all in one place. Also we are proud of your hard work and determination for improving your English. The more you comment, the more practice you’ll have!

      Keep up the SUPER work, Wonder Friend Edward! :)

  10. Wow this website has a lot of information. Do you have anything to do with dogs because I would love to see it. Thank you so much for this awesome topic.

  11. Hi my name is Siddaarth and I am from Mrs. Caplin’s class. Today’s wonder of the day was inconceivably amazing, because I learned colossal amounts of awe-inspiring facts like: Atlantis could have feasibly been destroyed by a tsunami. Another fact I learned in this Wonder was that: The lost city of Atlantis dated back to around 360 B.C. Using my PC (personal connection) I remember that when I was younger, I played with legos, and there was a group of lego sets that were based on Atlantis. Using my BK (background knowledge) I remember that I used to watch a show called Spongebob Squarepants, and the characters in that show traveled to Atlantis. Was Atlantis practically a nation that fought its own wars,and a nation that had a community were people lived? I did further research about Atlantis, but I did not learn any new facts. I predict the next Wonder will be about recycling because, when you recycle trash it becomes good as new. I think this wonder is truly amazing.

    • You did a great job connecting the Atlantis Wonder to other observations and things you have seen, Siddman! Nice work! We are very proud of all the WONDERing you have been doing about Atlantis– it’s still a mystery but it’s very fun to Wonder about! :)

    • Thanks for your great comment, Joy! We’re glad you enjoyed exploring this Wonder and we hope you learned LOTS of new things…just like we did! :-)

  12. Dear Wonderopolis,
    I have heard stories about Atlantis! It is extremely interesting, and I’m also flabbergasted about how it could disappear in a single day and night! If it disappeared by a volcanic eruption or an earthquake, this is a true conundrum!
    If they failed to invade Greece, why would they just mysteriously disappear? Was it because they were in shame? Or an actual natural disaster?

    Sincerely,
    Kaylee

    • Hey there, Kaylee! We are very interested in the Lost City of Atlantis, too! It’s really a mystery, but scientists and researchers will continue to explore the area to find out the real story! :)

  13. Hi, I am from Mrs. Caplin’s class. I think this wonder was very interesting because I always thought the city of Atlantis wasn’t a real city. I was wondering if Atlantis could be found? I learned many new facts during reading the article such as Atlantis could have been destroyed by a tsunami and also that there was a scientist that first mentioned the city of Atlantis. Since I wanted to know more about Atlantis, I did some research but I didn’t find anything new. I also did some research on the pillars of Hurcules. I was flabbergasted when the article said that Atlantis sank in the ocean in one day and one night. I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about recycling because when trash is recycled, it turns into something new.

    • Hi there, am7wonder! It’s so much fun to Wonder about cities that aren’t actually there… it’s a mystery adventure! We can’t imagine how a city could sink so fast, but we will continue to Wonder about the lost city of Atlantis! :)

    • We have been WONDERing about the lost city of Atlantis, too, Joey! We bet there is a lot of information available about different theories on Atlantis– we think you can do some WONDERing of your own to learn more about this mysterious place! :)

    • Hi there, Wonder Friend Lisa! While there is a lot of research about the Lost City, scientists still don’t know exactly where it was located! It’s a mysterious place, but keep up the WONDERing! :)

    • WOW, what a great idea for a Wonder, Knzy! We’re glad you’ve been thinking about the great philosopher and mathematician! :)

    • Hey there, Wonder Friend Shelby! We do a lot of research to find the information included in each Wonder! We talk to experts, go to the library and research online, too! Thanks for WONDERing with us! :)

  14. We like wonderopolis since we’re doing a repot on the lost city of Atlantis got any other information?

  15. Hey Wonder! I was reading this for a school project, and I got to wondering… Plato said it was an advanced civilization, and that it had technology past Greece’s time. Maybe it did sink under the waves of the Mediteranean sea but its technology allows it to not be found. It could be real but our technology is so…outdated compared to theirs that they can easily hide from it. Another idea is that it doesn’t exist. Plato said it sank under the waves because it couldn’t invade Greece. Maybe that was a propoganda story for Ancient Greece, a technological advanced city was destroyed by Greece’s power. Just some ideas I would love to hear your opinion and others opinion on. Thanks!

    • Hey there, Wonder Friend George! :)

      It sounds like you’ve been doing a great deal of WONDERing– way to go! The Lost City of Atlantis is a mystery… many scientists, archeologists and historians are still searching for remains of this city. All the theories are so interesting to Wonder about… we hope you’ll keep up the great work! :)

  16. We think that Atlantis is a fake. There is no real scientific evidence that it exists. It has always just been a legend to us and is a bit silly. If all that was said in this post is real, um, we don’t know what to say.

    Bye!

    • Hey there, Thea and Kendall! We are glad you’ve made a decision about the Lost City of Atlantis! Many scientists are still looking for clues for the Lost City, but we’re glad you shared your thoughts about it! Happy Wonder Wednesday! :)

  17. Hi Wonderopolis,
    I’m doing a project about Atlantis and if it’s real or not. This wonder really helped me and I have a question for you, you guys write so many wonders so where do you get all your info. from? Just in case once you guys don’t have a wonder about something.
    Bye

    • We hope you have a WONDERful time learning about the lost city of Atlantis! We do lots of research before we write a Wonder, and we always check and double-check our information and articles before we post them! Thanks for sharing your comment, Hunza! :)

    • Great question, Camron! No one really knows, since we haven’t found the lost city. In fact, it may not even exist at all. Yet, if it did, what would you think if would look like? Thanks for WONDERing with us, Wonder Friend! :-)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Where is the lost city of Atlantis?
  • How old is the legend of Atlantis?
  • Was Atlantis a real city?

Wonder Gallery

turquoise water in front of ruins shutterstock_103596431Vimeo Video

Try It Out

What if Atlantis isn’t really lost at all? What if it’s hiding? What if Plato’s writings were just the first step in a clever plan to help the people of Atlantis vanish from society?

Put on your imagination cap and do some creative thinking today. Pretend you’re a citizen of modern-day Atlantis. Yes, it does really exist and you’re a descendant of the people who first went into hiding hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

You know the secrets of Atlantis: where it is, why it’s hidden and what treasures it holds. And you plan to keep those secrets.

Write a short story that explains how you go about your day-to-day life as a member of a super-secret, hidden society that explorers from around the world and throughout time have been searching for in vain. Feel free to share your story with other Wonder Friends by posting it on Facebook. We can’t wait to read about YOUR Atlantis!

Still Wondering

In Science NetLinks’ Collapse 1: Why Civilizations Fall lesson, children explore the factors that contribute to the collapse of a civilization.

Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is all about turning trash into treasure!

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