Atlantis is the Holy Grail of mythical islands and nations. First mentioned by Plato, his writings led those searching for it to the Atlantic Ocean, hoping to find the actual island or one that could have inspired the myth. While it has never officially been found, there’s no lack of ancient maps showing its location in the Atlantic. Many frustrated with finding it there have gravitated to other bodies of water where the lighting is better and the islands are easier to find — suspecting those making the original reports were confused, using it allegorically or perpetrating a hoax. That tendency exists even today, as a historian now claims a small rock island near Ireland is actually Atlantis peeking out from the ocean depths. Is it big enough for a hotel and a cruise ship dock?
“Part of it is still above water.”
Matt Sibson, creator of the Ancient Architects YouTube channel, claims in an interview with The Daily Star that he believes the tiny granite island of Rockall in the North Atlantic is the highest point of the sunken Atlantis. Located about 300 km (187 miles) west of Scotland, 420 km (263.0 miles) northwest of Ireland and 700 km (440 miles) south of Iceland, Rockall belongs to the UK as a part of Scotland, although Ireland seems to want this place, which is classified by the United Nations as one of those “rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own.” (Sounds like some places in the U.S. too.) That could change with all of the tourism business generated when Sibson convinces the world it’s Atlantis. If only he had an old map.
Actually, he does, but on it (and some others, including the infamous Zeno map which is a proven hoax) the spot currently occupied by Rockall is called Frisland or Friesland (which is also the name of an unrelated province of the Netherlands).
“Friesland has never been officially identified but featured in many maps between the 1500s and 1600s, before disappearing completely. Why would they make up an island completely in the middle of the ocean? I think there was something huge there, and there is still something there now to prove it – the last remaining part of Friesland.”
Sibson also has a modern, not mythological, reason for the disappearance of Frisland multiple times dating back to 13,000 years ago when Plato’s Atlantis allegedly was still above water … climate change.
“This was when Earth was coming out of the Ice Age and everything was getting warmer but, all of a sudden, about 12,900 years ago, it went freezing cold again. Then about 1000 years later it warmed again and it has been getting warmer to this day.”
Sibson also works in a comet hit, which is a theoretical but still unproven occurrence about the same time that may have created earthquakes, tsunamis and other stresses to the Earth’s crust, causing … you guessed it … the island of Frisland/Atlantis to sink into the Atlantic. Subsequent environmental changes could explain its alleged reappearance and subsequent disappearance on maps from 1500s/1600s and the existence of all that’s left … Rockall.
That’s a lot of extrapolation (which Sibson admits) between the three remote dots of Plato’s writings, old and potentially unreliable maps of a disappearing island, and a tiny disputed rock islet. Some searches of Rockall and especially the area around it would probably resolve this. Actually, they’ve already taken place. In 2013, surveys by Marine Scotland didn’t find evidence of Frisland or Atlantis but did discover four new species – a sea snail, two clams and a marine worm – living around a cold seep, which is a crack in the ocean floor where hot hydrocarbons leak out.
You don’t suppose that crack could be related to the disappearance of Frisland, do you?