Japanese scientists claim to have found the lost city of Atlantis the seabed off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, at least if you believe the Japanese media.
The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the Brazilian government have confirmed that they have found a lump of granite which normally forms only on dry land.
Apparently this 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.
Atlantis was supposed to have been a highly developed civilization, but the story goes it sunk into the sea around 12,000 years ago. No trace of it has ever been found it and it is mostly taken seriously by New Agers who think that they had a lifetime there as a Priest of the Sun, or a Priestess of the Moon.
It is strange that the Japanese press is so keep to tie the lump of rock to Atlantis as the Shinkai 6500 manned submersible operated by the Japanese agency has not exactly found any human made structures.
While they have found a granite mass which is estimated to have sunk into the sea several tens of million years ago, it is not exactly the pyramids of a high tech civilisation.
The rock was found on the 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.
The area around it was a large volume of quartz sand, which is also not formed in the sea and the bedrock is believed to consist mainly of basalt rock.
The rise 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.
It would have been above sea level until about 50 million years ago but became submerged over a period spanning several million years.
Shinichi Kawakami, a professor at Gifu University said the granite could have been a part of a big continent before it separated into what is now Africa and 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 warned. The Japanese press already jumped to that conclusion, but also vaulted well past it.