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Those not familiar with Santorini should know that the entire island is a massive volcano with a collapsed center. The huge crater in the center of the island, about 12 kilometers wide at its widest part, is flooded with sea water and today serves as the island’s idyllic port. In the center of this watery crater, there is a tiny, uninhabited island that allows Santorini to match Plato’s description. Based on its striking resemblance, volcanic composition and other similarities, is it possible to assume that Santorini may have been the location where the crown city of Atlantis once stood? Many skeptics disagree, saying the massive volcanic eruption of 1600 BC must have hugely altered the shape of this island. Several geological studies and other recent conclusions, though, point to quite the opposite. Surprisingly, it appears that the pre-eruption Santorini resembled Plato’s city of Atlantis site even more.


In 1991, it was established by Druitt and Francaviglia that the ancient island of Santorini was made of concentric rings of land and sea even before the eruption. In fact, there is only one significant difference between the modern and prehistoric Santorini. It was determined that the outer ring of the caldera that currently makes the primary island was nearly solid, with only a single opening to allow ship access into the watery center of the island. Today, the post-eruption Santorini has 3 openings that allow ships to enter into the watery caldera. Moreover, the small island in the center of the caldera, prior to the eruption of Santorini 3,600 years ago, was a much bigger island—big enough to match Plato’s description and to hold the entire city center along with the temple of Poseidon.

Santorini prior to and after the volcanic eruption of 1600BC

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