The Eye of The Sahara

From the time I learned about Plato’s story of Atlantis I’ve been completely fascinated by it. I’m certainly not alone in this fascination and I think my thoughts about it have been shaped by the books and movies about it. I’ve considered the existence of Atlantis a very interesting possibility but not a very likely one. From the media I’ve consumed on the subject I’ve always assumed that if Atlantis had existed, it would have been located somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean and would be so far below the ocean that it wouldn’t be able to be seen. After all, most of the books and movies generally shows Atlantis ending by being swallowed into the ocean in some climatic and devastating tsunami of carnage. What if Atlantis was once under the ocean but now on dry land? Very dry land.

There is a place in Africa which strikes a remarkable resemblance to the description of Atlantis given by Plato. Officially known as the Richat Structure, it is also known as the Eye of The Sahara or The Eye of Africa due to it’s appearance from satellite photos. The structure features a mountain range to the north while the main area of the structure is comprised of 2 raised rings of earth with a third central solid ring. These rings are located within a circular valley. This natural structure is believed to have been formed no more recent than 2.6 million years ago.

A topographic reconstruction (scaled 6:1 on the vertical axis) from satellite photos. False coloring as follows: • Brown: bedrock • Yellow/white: sand • Green: vegetation • Blue: salty sediments

In order to picture the Richat Structure as Atlantis all we really need to do is picture the raised rings being above water while the surrounding valley being below water. From the salt sediments in the lower areas of the structure it’s not too far fetched to say that at one time it was filled with salt water. At the time that Atlantis is believed to existed this area would have been lush with vegetation and not at all the dry land that we see in today’s time.

Africa itself is considered to be the cradle of civilization so I find it fitting that a possible location of an advanced society be located here. And while Plato’s description of an advanced civilization may bring to mind all sorts of fantastic accomplishments we may need to take a step back for a moment and realize that the advancements of the Atlanteans may not actually seem advanced in today’s terms. After all, what we saw as advanced in the 1800’s seems primitive in todays terms. In 100-200 years our own advancements which we are so proud of may make us look as if we’re cave men bashing on our keyboards with clubs.

I am just a guy bashing on his keyboard with a club and have no real authority to speak certainly on matters such as this. But, I find it to be a fascinating possibility. Whether or not the Richat Structure is Atlantis, we should certainly be open to the possibility that what we’ve believed all along may not be correct. This will be the type of thinking to allow advancement and growth in our civilization.

If you’re as curious about this subject as I am you may find the following links fascinating and enlightening reads.

Leave a Reply