Brazilian Atlantis: the underwater continent

A Brazilian and Japanese research submarine has discovered evidence of an underwater continent 900 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

Is it Atlantis, the legendary island mentioned by Plato back in 360 BC?

The question might be answered by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and the Geology Service of Brazil (CPRM) in the next months.

Several rock structures and clear evidence of granite at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean have been unveiled and may confirm the thesis of a former continent that existed before the Americas, Africa, and Europe.

"South America and Africa used to be a huge, unified continent," explains Shinichi Kawakami, a professor at Gifu University.

"The area in question may have been left in the water as the continent was separated in line with the movements of plates."

The lost city of Atlantis, the holy grail of underwater science researchers, might be a step closer to reality.

Shinkai 6500, the submarine that conducted the discovery, will keep its studies in the offshore regions of Brazil.

"If it is the case that we find a continent in the middle of the ocean, it will be a very big discovery that could have various implications in relation to the extension of the continental shelf," adds Roberto Ventura Santos, CPRM geology director.

Top Stories

The number of seaside communities whose beaches are losing sand is growing exponentially. What are the explanations for coastal erosion, and what can be done to mitigate its devastating impact?

Welcome to the Drake Passage, the world's most dangerous sea route, home to 65-foot-plus waves. Here's why the 620-mile stretch between Cape Horn and Antarctica is treacherous and has become the ultimate extreme sailing adventure.

There is a place on Earth where the difference between low and high tide reaches 53.6 feet (16.3 meters). It's the Bay of Fundy in Canada. You've got to see it to believe it.

A fourth global coral bleaching wave is sweeping the world's oceans.