Sub discovers signs of legendary Atlantis

Japan agency finds unique granite mass off Brazil coast


A large mass of granite has been found on the seabed off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, suggesting a continent may have existed in the Atlantic Ocean, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the Brazilian government announced.

A Brazilian official said the discovery of the granite — which normally forms only on dry land — is strong evidence that a continent used to exist in the area where the legendary island of Atlantis, mentioned in antiquity by Plato in his philosophical dialogues, was supposedly located.

According to legend, the island, host to a highly developed civilization, sunk into the sea around 12,000 years ago. No trace of it has ever been found.

The finding was made using a Shinkai 6500 manned submersible operated by the Japanese agency. The seabed where the granite mass was discovered is estimated to have sunk into the sea several tens of million years ago. No man-made structures have been found there.

It is the first time such research using a manned submersible has been conducted in the South Atlantic. In late April, the agency used the device to explore the Rio Grande Rise, a seabed more than 1,000 km southeast of Rio de Janeiro. At a depth of 910 meters, it found a rock cliff around 10 meters in height and breadth.

After analyzing video data, the agency concluded it was granite. Also discovered in the area around it was a large volume of quartz sand — which is also not formed in the sea. The bedrock is believed to consist mainly of basalt rock.

The rise itself stretches around 1,000 km at the widest point, and is considered part of the continent left behind when South America and Africa split apart more than 100 million years ago. The agency said it assumes the area was above sea level until about 50 million years ago but became submerged over a period spanning several million years, based on fossils found in the nearby seabed and other data.

According to the agency, the Rio Grande Rise is the only plausible area that could possibly have been dry land in the past.

Despite the latest discovery, however, experts remained cautious about jumping to conclusions about Atlantis.

Shinichi Kawakami, a professor at Gifu University versed in planetary sciences, said the granite could have been a part of a big continent before it separated into what is now Africa and South America.

“South America and Africa used to be a huge, unified continent. The area in question may have been left in water as the continent was separated in line with the movements of plates,” he said.

Kawakami said researchers must look further into the composition of the granite and see if it matches the granite now found in Africa or South America.

“The concept of Atlantis came way before geology of the modern age was established. We should not jump to the Atlantis (conclusion) right away,” he said.

  • Mark Garrett

    Great. Now Japan will get into a territorial dispute with Brazil over sunken islands!

    • Aroon

      Noo… That would be China coming after Japan for the sunken island.

  • Simon Oak

    What has this to do with Plato and Atlantis if we’re talking about 50 million years ago?

    • Mombasa69

      Granite which normally forms only on dry land was found well below current sea levels, suggesting that this area was once above water.

    • alanborky

      “The agency said it ASSUMES the area was above sea level until about 50 million years ago”.

      We shouldn’t allow the bogeyman of Atlantis to cause us to forget even round the British coast they’re finding traces of civilizations which seemingly became submerged at the end of the Ice Age and then there’s the submerged civilization traces now being discovered in sunken caves round the American coast.

      Even if the granite and the quartz sand started sinking millions of years ago there may’ve been enough islands supported by it just long enough to explain the increasing likelihood of Pre-Clovis visitors.

      • Glen Douglas Brügge

        Yes, I know that we lose land to the ocean, but the claim is that this land sunk 50,000 million years ago. This would have been well before recorded history, and well before any developed city building was being conducted by our ancestors. How could this legend have persisted for 49 plus million years? Unless, this area was exposed and then sunk beneath the waves in recent times – but that is not what I am gathering from the article. Atlantis is purported to have been a highly complex and developed society – this stands separate from the fact that humans could have visited the area. I am sure that is highly likely – but I doubt they built cities on the spot. If Atlantis did exist as claimed by the Greek legends, I would think it would be elsewhere and far more recent.

    • Glen Douglas Brügge

      I was wondering the very same thing – 50 million years is a lot longer than 12,000 years ago…

      • I think the point is not necessarily that THIS is Atlantis, but that the concept of “sunken continents” (as in the Atlantis and Mu legends) are now quite plausible. Granted, the continent probably didn’t “sink” per se, but there are entire continent sized areas that have been submerged with the rise of the oceans after the previous ice age. What secrets do these sunken continents hold and what is forever lost to the annals of history due to rapid deterioration from salt water?

      • TimMullins

        Basically, that’s it. We will undoubtedly discover more of our history just off some coast, about 300 feet down someday. The civilization just discovered in Saudi Arabia, which may date back as far as 50,000 years (but definitely 12,000), in conjunction with sites like Gobekli Tepe have finally convinced Archaeologists that our history extends back much further than the Bronze Age Fertile Crescent. Add the fact that no man made material will last longer than 10,000 years? Who knows what we will find. I’m just happy to see this new shot of open mindedness myself.

    • Adil Ali Chaudhry

      there was a large foot print found in south africa dating 200 million years old >.< just saying

    • Brad Coff

      Let us not act like Plato knew all of the details about a civilization that supposedly sunk thousands of years before his birth. I highly doubt that he knew the exact location or even the date since Im sure the only information about Atlantis around at that time was muddled and only hearsay that had been told and retold for a very long time.

    • Well the 50 million years ago mentioned is just a theory, and should be received as such. There are thousands of old cities under the sea ranging from 15 to 1200 meters below sea level. This would seem to be closer to 15,000 years ago if you go with my theory. That Antarctica ice use to connect South America and Africa 15,000 years ago. That much melted ice, would cause these civilizations to go underwater, and if a huge chunk of that ice suddenly fell off in the middle. A huge tsunami would no doubt wipe out whatever little continent was in the middle of the atlantic ocean.

  • Chris Boots

    why is it whenever someone finds a lump of interesting rock under water some nut job always starts screaming Atlantis?

  • Shahid Raja

    it is the legacy of the continental drift and has nothing to do with Atlantis theory

  • Habidaccus

    Good points all. The only connection this has to Atlantis is that it’s in the same area. Dumb.

    • TimMullins

      Same area? Not really. Even that is off. The same area would be on a line from the entrance of the Med to somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. This is a good several thousand knots south of the Pillars of Hercules.

      • Habidaccus

        Since you decided to nitpick, let me clarify that when I said the same area, I meant the same “ocean”. Happy?

  • Karthick

    I thought the headlines read Atlantis…

  • AmIJustAPessimistOrWhat?

    samba in Altantis?

  • TheFreeMarketeer

    “Experts remained cautious about jumping to conclusions about Atlantis.” But newspapers do not?

  • Aroon

    Why can’t it be some other civilization? Why Atlantis? Unless there is trade mark of Atlantis on the granite?

  • Totally bogus headline. No manmade structures, millions of years off, and, oh, by the way, thousands of miles from the area indicated by Plato as the location of Atlantis. This is not a story about Atlantis, or even anything remotely related to it. This kind of quasi-journalistic sensationalist exploitation is deplorable. It’s tantamount to blazing the headline “Bigfoot Captured!” on a story about someone rescuing a cat from a tree. Shame on you, Japan Times!

    • elenitatsgirl

      Plato said Atlantis was located out side the columns of Hercules, which is Gilbraltar

  • Kevin Roelofs

    All of this easily explained by an Expanding Earth, not Pangea Super-Continent. The GRACE project has pretty much confirmed this when it found Climate and Gravity are one and the same.

    • Starviking

      The Expanding Earth theory is fringe science, and the final nail in its coffin was provided by the GRACE satellite: the change in Earth’s radius is statistically insignificant – 0.1mm per year.

  • hoppyhayes

    …. granite which normally does not form in the sea. Well maybe it did this time? I have never understood why people are so taken with Atlantis. There is only one original reference, and it is from that old Greek (I am too old and too sick to look up his name) and that is it. Do we have some kind of racial memory, is that why we are so taken with it?

    • elenitatsgirl

      not true, the story of Atlantis is not greek, it is Egyptian. Solon learned about Atlantis in Egypt and took the story back to Athens!

  • Isn’t it possible that the granite could have been carried to its destination by glacial movements, even locked in floating ice that found its way there from elsewhere. The granite needs to be sampled then it can be determined as to where in the world it is from. The rising sea levels is a great theory as well, regardless of what the reason actually is be assured that whatever the correct answer is is very likely to be simple.

    • I was thinking the same, I don’t know anything about the currents on the East Coasts of America tens of millions of years ago except for the Mexican Gulf. I’m no professor, but this could somehow have been carried to the ocean in a glacier and spent some time as an ice block in the ocean before melting in the southern parts of the Atlantic. Sounds much better than just being an ancient village/island from the previous ice-age.

  • Don

    Sea levels dropped what? About 400 feet at the height of the last ice age, meaning that their should be all kinds of human settlements and other man made structures that are now under water all over the world.

    • Chan Mac

      To date there are 250 cities that have been found under the ocean around the world. We really do have Amnesia…

  • D.a. Trappert

    China has just claimed it as part of its sovereign territory.

  • Henry Major

    I’ll bet there’s oil…

  • Lance L Landon

    Structures underwater have been photographed off the western coast of Cuba a few years ago.

  • elenitatsgirl

    who know if Atlantis existed but, there must of been a previous advanced civilization of which we don’t know as records of it have almost banished completely.

    How could the Americans Indians perforate stone with such precision that only with a diamond point drill can be done?

  • Plato was ancient Greek’s Jules Verne.

  • Cam

    More PR for the Shinkai 6500 that came out in 1989. At that time some journo described it as ‘the deepest diving submersible in history’ ignoring the history of the ‘Trieste’.

  • Matt

    Let’s use the proper accepted name: Punt in place of Plato’s fictitious name of Atlantis. Which was just a given name. And the language of Punt is still spoken in some parts of the world. It was an island nation that spanned the equator such as Polynesia. People were living there because of an ice age. They were slavers it has been reported. 22 million of them reportedly died when their main island, (like Maui) sank when the sea levels rose. They call that day “All Saints Day.” The Catholics celebrate it so they must know a lot about Punt but don’t tell. Or not? India knows of Punt. Maybe Indians have records about Punt? If they were anyone at all, they would have left a huge impact on Egypt and any other trading nation of the day. Babylon, or Sumaria. If Sumaria? Then the Sumarian scrolls should have records of trade with Punt. Imagine that N. America must have been under glaciers in their day.

  • man of the house

    It makes me glad to see that many people have been researching pre-deluvian cultures and mythology. Our history lies therein

  • buddesatva

    Welcome to the web, the perfection of mis-information. Stupid headline.

  • mr_bellows

    You know what i think; that maybe these Japanese resources would be better spent CLEANING UP RADIATION IN JAPAN. I mean really; how useful is this research to the world today? I would argue it is a complete waste; a complete waste of money and brain power. Scientists need to get their heads out of their corporate sponsors a$$ and focus on what they are actually contributing to the betterment of humanity…what a waste.