The Eye of the Sahara, also known as the Richat Structure, is a striking geological feature in the Sahara Desert of Mauritania. It consists of a series of concentric rings and domes that span about 50 kilometers (30 miles) in diameter.
The Eye of the Sahara is visible from space and has been used as a landmark by astronauts and satellites. But what is the origin of this mysterious formation? And could it be related to the legendary lost city of Atlantis?
Some researchers have proposed that the Eye of the Sahara is the remains of Atlantis, the ancient civilization that Plato described in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias.
According to Plato, Atlantis was a powerful and prosperous island that ruled over many lands, until it was destroyed by a cataclysmic event and sank into the ocean around 9600 BC.
Plato also gave some clues about the location and appearance of Atlantis, such as being situated beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the Strait of Gibraltar), having a circular shape with concentric rings of land and water, and being rich in minerals and metals.
The proponents of the Eye of the Sahara-Atlantis theory argue that the Richat Structure matches Plato’s description of Atlantis in several aspects. They claim that the Eye of the Sahara was once an island surrounded by water, and that it was located beyond the Pillars of Hercules before the African continent shifted northward.
They also point out that the Eye of the Sahara has a circular shape with concentric rings that resemble Plato’s description of Atlantis, and that it contains various minerals and metals, such as iron oxide, copper, and quartz.
However, there are many problems with this theory that make it highly implausible. First of all, there is no evidence that the Eye of the Sahara was ever an island or that it was submerged by water.
Geologists have shown that the Richat Structure is not an impact crater, but a dome of sedimentary rock that was eroded by wind and water over millions of years.
The concentric rings are not artificial structures, but natural layers of different types of rock that were exposed by erosion. The Eye of the Sahara is also much older than Plato’s date for Atlantis, as it formed between 100 and 200 million years ago.
Secondly, there is no archaeological or historical evidence that supports the existence of a civilization in or near the Eye of the Sahara around 9600 BC. The Sahara Desert was not habitable at that time, as it was undergoing a period of aridity and desiccation.
The earliest evidence of human occupation in Mauritania dates back to around 10,000 BC, but these were nomadic hunter-gatherers who left behind stone tools and rock art. There is no sign of any advanced technology, architecture, writing, or culture that would indicate a connection to Atlantis.
Thirdly, there are many discrepancies between Plato’s account of Atlantis and the Eye of the Sahara. For instance, Plato stated that Atlantis was larger than Libya and Asia combined, which would make it much bigger than the Eye of the Sahara.
He also said that Atlantis had a fertile plain surrounded by mountains, which does not match the flat and barren landscape of the Richat Structure. Moreover, Plato mentioned that Atlantis had a naval power and traded with other countries, which would imply a maritime access that the Eye of the Sahara lacks.
The Eye of the Sahara is a fascinating geological phenomenon that deserves scientific attention and admiration, but it is not likely to be the ruins of Atlantis.
The theory that links them is based on superficial similarities and speculation, rather than solid evidence and logic. The mystery of Atlantis remains unsolved, but it is doubtful that it will be found in the Sahara Desert.
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