back to article Upgrade eliminates Atlantis from Google Earth

The latest update to Google Earth has resolved the software error that caused some to suspect the lost city of Atlantis had been found in the Atlantic Ocean. For the last three years, Google Earth has shown what appears to be a grid on the sea floor between the Canary Islands and the mid-Atlantic ridge that bisects the ocean. …


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  1. Gordon Fecyk
    Black Helicopters

    Forget Atlantis, what about Rapture?

    Would You Kindly visit these coordinates in Google Maps? 63 2 N, 29 55 W

    Does that still exist in Google Earth? Hmmmm?!!!1!one

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      You need to zoom out a couple of times

      Yeah, reminds me of some distopian science fiction (Lem I think) where there were ad-board on the moon surface :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Like a Coka-Cola logo visible from Earth... sounds more like Heinlein, maybe "Revolt in 2100"

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          Arthur Clarke did it first. Some scientists were spraying sulphur out of a nozzle on the moon, to measure the moon's very slight atmosphere IIRC. The public were told the effects would produce a glow visible from earth and that going out to watch would be a good idea.

          It turned out that someone had taken a fat bung to replace the nozzle with a "Coca Cola" shaped one.

          I think that story's in the "Tales from the White Hart" collection, I need to check that though........

          1. BorkedAgain
            Thumb Up

            Not Sulphur...

            ...sodium. But yes, I'm pretty sure it was a Clarke short. One of a series around a scientific outpost on the moon. Gosh, that takes me back... :)

      2. david 63

        VRH - you've got me thinking now. I remember the story involving a character called Ike Witt. Can't find it now. Could well have been Henlein but today google is not my friend.

        It's going to worry me all day.

    2. The BigYin

      @Gordon Fecyk

      I appear to be seeing blue. Lots of it.

  2. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Atlantis was in the Mediterranean, anyway.

    Most of it is still there, and it is being excavated.

    I saw a TV programme about it last year.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


      or Alexandria?

  3. LaeMing

    Processing Glitch?

    If anything I would have thought it looked like plate-tectonic cracks in the seabed, not streets of a sunken city.

    1. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge
      Big Brother

      Memory hole

      Yes but it still has to be removed because Atlantis does not exist and people are interpreting this wrong.

  4. FIA Silver badge

    "It’s a sad fact that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our own terrestrial ocean-floor terrain."

    Why is it?

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      The surface of the moon is not covered in a couple of miles of water.

      Just over half of the moon's surface is visible from my back garden with my telescope (given enough time, and the various wobbles that allow us to see a bit more than half). Using bigger kit, and the odd lunar orbiter, you can see a lot more. It is also a lot easier to walk on the moon's surface (ask Neil), than on the bottom of the oceans, thousands of meters below (ask any scuba diver). Getting to the bottom of the ocean is relatively simple, of course. Getting there alive is quite a different matter.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Of course, "easy" is relative. The Apollo program cost almost $200b, inflation adjusted. Spend that on walking on the ocean floor!

    2. NomNomNom

      There's nothing there anyway (both moon and ocean floor) no point going

      1. David Harper 1

        There's cheese, Gromit!

        You obviously missed the excellent documentary "A Grand Day Out" by that nice Mr Nick Park.

      2. Darren Barratt

        Really? You don't think that exploring the majority of the earths surface is worth doing because there's "nothing there"?

        Ocean crust is reletivly thin, lets get some geothermal heat plants going down there

  5. nichomach

    They got to you, didn't they, Iain?

    Who was it - the NSA? Majestic 12? The Illuminati? THEY CAN'T BURY THE TRUTH FOREVER, YOU HEAR ME????

    *froths at mouth and collapses, twitching*

  6. Anonymous Coward

    You know...

    That grid is the size of New Jersey, eh? Here I thought Manhattan long blocks were bad... I'm thinking that it'd be OK to drive rather than walk even if your work is only five blocks down the street.

    1. Thomas 4

      I daresay.....

      New Jersey would be considerably improved by dumping it at the bottom of the Atlantic.

      1. Peter Ford


        certainly would

        1. Jedit

          Wales at the bottom of the ocean?

          How would this improve the place? The only difference would be it wouldn't rain as much.

          1. NomNomNom

            i didn't realize there were so many wikipedia haters

            1. Anonymous Coward


              Yeah, on that subject, I saw a headline the other day something like this: "Jobs report could help Obama in election" ...and I'm like, damn, the guy's been dead for months and he's still shakin' things up. If he's having this much impact down here, imagine what he's up to up there - I can see it now: He does a presentation to Heaven's host - God thinking of investing, and Jesus is looking at an iPhone, saying, "Damn, this thing looks pretty good... but I'm gonna have to get pockets sewn into my robe. Who the hell makes these things, anyway?"

              I mean, I've heard of people getting into politics after their business careers are over, but this is ridiculous.

              You've also got to wonder what he used to file the report, not to mention where he filed it from. I guess we'll probably have to wait until either death or the iPhone 6 to find out.

              You've been a great audience. I'll be here all week. You should try the steak, but only if you think you can get a conviction.

          2. The Original Cactus
            Thumb Up


            If anything, Wales would be a bit less wet as a result. Sounds good to me.

  7. Peter2 Silver badge

    I was under the impression that the best guess of Atlantis was that there was a factor of ten mistranslation from Egyptian to Greek. With the factor of ten mistranslation Atlantis should have been located 2500 miles west of egypt, and that it had been 9000 years ago. Except, it's not there and there is no record of it.

    If you accept that the translator messed up, it becomes 250 miles and 900 years which fits with Atlantis having been the Minoan empire, and it's destruction being caused by the eruption on Santorini which destroyed 75% of the landmass of the island and caused a 150 foot tusnami.

    I won't pretend to be an expert in that area of history, but in my view the Minoan explanation is the most likely. We don't even know what the Minoans called themselves because the volcanic eruption totalled their home island, destroyed their powerful fleet (150 foot tidal waves don't mix with wooden ships) and wiped out everything within about 150 miles of the shore line which didn't leave many of their trading partners there either, bearing in mind the tiny size of states at the time. Virtually nothing is known of their society, but what we do know does actually seem to match with the recorded stories of Atlantis.

    It's good enough for me, anyway.

    I'm kind of surprised people obsessing about Atlantis wouldn't have known that one.

    1. Steve Graham

      The Santorini/Thera eruption and consequent tsunami is a pretty well-known suggestion for the origin of the myth. However, the archaeologists say that Minoan civilization survived the catastrophe, although possibly weakened, since it was conquered by Myceanean invaders some time in the following decades.

      The related culture on the island of Thera itself was destroyed. Watch this:

      1. NomNomNom

        "However, the archaeologists say that Minoan civilization survived the catastrophe"

        I don't think that's enough to prevent the story getting out

    2. Ian Ferguson
      Thumb Up


      Never heard of that explanation, and if the facts check out (I'm too lazy to check) it sounds very reasonable.

      However, I'm still sticking with the plot of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis as canon... it's much more satisfying.

    3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      If you

      look at the evidence and the description, Atlantis was Santorini before the 1600BC eruption.

      Plato described a city ringed with water ways with only one entrance from the open sea, Santorini looked just like that due to it being built inside the caldera formed by a previous eruption and the emergence of a large island in the middle of the caldera following that eruption.

      The 1600BC eruption destroyed all that, but the citizens did get some warning of it since no one has found any bodies yet in the ruins that remain on the island.

      But its much more fun to annoy the tin foil hatters with even dafter stories since the truth does seem kinda boring

    4. Richard Plinston

      Plato did not say "beyond the mouth of the Mediterranean" as the article would have one believe, he actual said something like 'beyond the pillars of Hercules'. It happens that today this mainly refers to Gibraltar and the Atlas mountains, but in Plato's time there were many navigation markers that were called 'the Pillars of Hercules'.

      Thera/Santorini may also be the explanation for the biblical 'pillar of fire' as it is likely to have been large enough to be seen from Egypt. It also probably caused the day into night with the ash clouds and this would have led to the water turning red and the subsequent plagues of flies, frogs and stuff as the fish died in the ash laden water leading to flies breeding on the dead fish and frogs feeding on the flies.

      1. NomNomNom

        "Thera/Santorini may also be the explanation for the biblical 'pillar of fire' as it is likely to have been large enough to be seen from Egypt. It also probably caused the day into night with the ash clouds and this would have led to the water turning red and the subsequent plagues of flies, frogs and stuff as the fish died in the ash laden water leading to flies breeding on the dead fish and frogs feeding on the flies."

        NOOOOO it was magic. Stop trying to rationalize it. How do you even explain the part where god sends in the orcs to attack?

    5. Lance 3


      Did the Minoan empire perform three hour tours?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why would their be a mistranslation? Numbers are the cornerstone of written language, one of the first things learned when picking up new languages, and it'd be kind of hard to screw that up.

      The most likely explanation is that Plato made it up as a thought experiment and tool for discussing government and society. There is zero in the way of other contemporary sources, zero hard evidence, and for the described society to exist at all would upturn vast amounts about what we know of culture back in them days.

      Personally, I'm sticking with William of Occam on this one.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Easy. Compare modern western languages with eastern languages. English goes 10, 100, 1000, 1000000 but Japanese goes 10, 100, 10000, 100000000. It's easy for somebody to mistranslate 1-thousand to 1-man and accidently translate 10^3 to 10^4.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not easy. We're talking about someone translating a fairly in-depth philosophical work, here. To think that they'd get a simple number wrong and mix up a tadpole with a pointy finger or whatever is pushing the boundary of logic. Especially as numbers are used quite heavily in the text. We'd have to have a translator who could do the job perfectly, apart from sometimes reading numbers completely wrong. Again: Occam's razor points firmly to there being no actual Atlantis.

  8. miknik
    Thumb Up

    A sad fact?

    How is it sad that we know more about the surface of the moon than the sea bed? It's freaking AMAZING that we know anything about the surface of the moon!! Space exploration FTW!!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why sonar mapping *here*?

    Ok so the grid lines are caused by sonar mapping from surface ships. Why have sonar ships performed a grid mapping of this particular chunk of ocean floor? What's significant enough that caused somebody to pay a lot of money for some ships to sail back and forth looking at the seabed?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Up


    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Fibre cable laying. The Canaries are a convenient place to split Africa-Europe-S America cables

      1. jake Silver badge


        Transatlantic cables existed before fiber was in use for coms ...

      2. Anonymous Coward

        @Yet Another Anonymous coward

        Awfully quick to reply to that one, eh? It's just common sense you'd ONLY have posted if you were WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HIDE THE TRUTH!

        And isn't it a little suspicious how *reasonable* that explanation is? Seems awfully convenient, doesn't, to have an explanation like that riiiiight at the ready when it's needed.... But has he explained himself yet? Has anyone said one solitary word to explain these troubling findings??

        No! Not a single word! I ask you again - WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE?!!

        1. Jonathon Green
          Black Helicopters

          David W. "WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE?!!"

          Three words: Case Nightmare Green...

          Black Helicopter: You don't want to attract the attention of The Laundry...

          1. NomNomNom

            Are we maybe thinking too deep?

            What if the lines are from above? ie chemtrails? doesn't it make a load more sense that they are lines of chemicals being sprayed by the secret airforce of the New World Order in a bid to test a plan in a remote area of the ocean which they will later apply elsewhere?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed. What is important enough for ANY seabed to be sonarificated? Ergo, every sonar-search bit of seabed is a sunken city.

  10. ZenCoder

    Its a rumor passed down from generation to generation?

    When you carefully examine the evidence, its equally likely Atlantis was the largest sandcastle ever constructed by board children. Repeat the story via word of mouth for a few generations and you get what Plato heard.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Board children? You must mean head binding!!!111!1!one!!!1

      Thus neatly bringing in Ancient Egypt & the Nazca!

      It's a conspiracy of silence! There is no other answer! We're all doomed!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its simple physics, get over it.

    "It’s a sad fact that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our own terrestrial ocean-floor terrain."

    I can see the moon most nights from my back yard it's hardly surprising I know it better.

    It'd really be a sad day if the ocean floor was flying high over my back yard.

    But if you want to mount a mirror some place so my telescope can look into the ocean let me know I'll take a look. until then get over it.

  12. The Prevaricator

    Wales-sized cities

    Some people call Chongqing a city, despite it being nearly 4000 milliWales, at 82401 km2.

    Owing to my lack of being bothered to do any real research, I'll post what the less cautious among us may call a reference:

  13. Ru
    Paris Hilton

    Only preplanned cities get grids

    Ancient Alexandria got one, but that's an unusual example. Pretty much every other city grew organically, and that doesn't lend itself to a neat grid. Why should any hypothetical Atlantis have looked like some west coast US metropolis?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And grids are a disaster

      Even London with its impossibly narrow medieval streets moves faster than Manhattan. At least that is my experience having lived extensively in both.

      There is a reason it is called gridlock.

  14. Tom 13
    Black Helicopters

    But Atlantis IS real.

    It's just that you need to McGyver up a Stargate to get there.

  15. Stu_The_Jock

    But at least Google have a sense of humour . . .

    My personal fave find on google maps so far is this set of walking instructions . . . .

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a city plan

    When I first saw this I thought it was way too large for a city grid so it was a bit silly discussing it in those terms. I have since read what Plato actually wrote (or rather a translation thereof) and it is interesting to note that as well as the city he described a rectangular network of canals which fed the city, covering an area roughly 400Km x 600Km. That makes the google map artefact rather too small, if anything.

  17. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    I always wondered about those who base their beliefs of a "lost city of atlantis" on Plato's accoubt Atlantis. He speaks of a continent larger than Libya and Asia minor and when he says Libya he means Africa. So Plato spoke of a vast continent and the believers think in terms of a city. They really don't think big do they?

    Maybe Plato's account tells us that way back in the day some sailors had discovered the Americas.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "..some sailors had discovered the Americas"

      I think the size given by Plato is a little over the top, but it isn't needed for your point about the Americas. Plato's account is quite clear about the fact that Atlantis was set in the real ocean beyond the straits, and that beyond Atlantis was another land mass which he called a continent. That would be the Americas - so yes I agree with your point.

  18. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    a "vast continent"?

    "a vast continent, larger than Libya and Asia Minor combined"

    By my rough calculations, the area of Libya and Asia Minor combined comes to about 2.3 million km^2. That's less than a third the size of Australia. So not really all that "vast". About the size of Greenland, so it would be in the running for "largest island", I suppose.

    (It's about 110 Waleses.)

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