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5 Lost Cities

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Atlantis: The Utopian City
Plato claimed that Atlantis was a real, bustling place. See more pictures of Greek philosophers.
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According to­ the Greek philosopher Plato, Atlantis was a bustling society, filled with wealth, architectural marvels and a thriving culture. While Plato's colorful descriptions of Atlantis are widely believed to be fictional, some historians think the city existed, although their guesses as to when and where vary widely. Plato noted that the island of Atlantis disappeared 9,000 years prior to when he wrote about it, but some scholars think this number was transcribed or translated incorrectly because 900 seems more plausible. Some archaeologists have theorized that Atlantis was located in the Greek Islands and was sunk by a volcanic eruption. Still others hypothesize its location to be underwater near the Caribbean, Ireland, South America or even Antarctica [source: National Geographic].

Whether or not Atlantis actually existed, the idea of this utopian city has enthralled many to such an extent that numerous books, movies and documentaries have glamorized it and sought to solve the mystery of its disappearance. As recently as February 2009, an aeronautical engineer made headlines worldwide when he claimed to have found Atlantis using the Google Ocean tool, which allows users to comb through thousands of photos of ocean landscapes. To date, the jury is still out on the matter of whether the underwater city off the northwest coast of Africa is actually Atlantis. [source: Telegraph].