Scientists think they’ve found the lost city of Atlantis — which got us thinking about the endless wellspring of pop culture that the legend has provided.
Atlantis has played a role in literature, movies and TV ranging from Aquaman to “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” to “SpongeBob SquarePants.” The idea that there was a “lost” civilization under the sea — and the possibility that we lost all kinds of enlightenment and advanced technology as a result — is a great hook on which to build a story. No wonder it’s endured since the era of Plato.
But the science part is pretty fascinating too: Using satellite imaging, ground-penetrating radar and other techniques, a group of researchers has discovered what they believe to be remnants of a city buried under marshland in southern Spain, near Cadiz. They think the city was wiped out by a tsunami about 2,600 years ago, which may have been the impetus for Plato’s account of Atlantis.
Their findings are the subject of a National Geographic Channel special, “Finding Atlantis,” that airs at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday (March 15). (An artist’s rendering of what Atlantis may have looked like is above.)
A clip from the special is below — and so is the opening to the 1977-78 series “Man From Atlantis,” which starred Patrick Duffy as the title character, who could breathe under water and swim really, really fast. The show was canceled after one season, and Duffy moved on to “Dallas” the following year.