the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Original)

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Carolyn Silver:
Author  Topic: the Mid-Atlantic Ridge 
Carolyn Silver

Member # 2287

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   posted 01-28-2006 05:34 PM                       
Howdy, boys and girls. Is there a scientific basis for more of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to have once been above water than it is now? You betcha! And if that is the case, it's only a small leap to say that it was the place that Plato was talking about! No other place would make sense if you're taking into consideration that he was talking abut a "large island" outside the Straits of Gibraltar.
Posts: 403 | Registered: Jan 2005;f=15;t=000581#000000

Carolyn Silver:
Meanwhile, let us take a fresh look at the Atlantic Ocean to see if the theory of continental drift might still leave room for a missing continent there. When a computer was used to reassemble the continental jigsaw, the fit across the Atlantic was found, with some adjustment, to be fairly satisfactory. But that picture does not take account of a fascinating underwater feature known as the mid-Atlantic Ridge. This mountainous ridge, nearly two miles high and hundreds of miles wide, runs in an S-curve down the Atlantic midway between the Americas and Africa and Europe, following the contours of those continents and marking its course above water with a number of islands, such as the Azores, Ascension Island, and Tristan da Cunha.

Carolyn Silver:
As early as 1883 Ignatius Donnelly suggested that the mid-Atlantic Ridge was a remnant of Atlantis. But most modern geologists and oceanographers consider that, far from being the relic of a continent that sank beneath the sea, the ridge was forced upward from the ocean floor, probably by volcanic activity. One theory is that as the continents drifted apart they produce a huge fault line that is a center of earthquake and produce a huge fault line that is a center of earthquake and volcanic action. Some of the earth's molten center has erupted through this crack and built up into a ridge, even rising above the waves in several places. However, there is evidence that this explanation may have to reviewed before too long.


A diver taking part in A.R.E.s Poseidia 75 expedition to Bimini in the Bahamas examines an encrusted marble column found about a mile south of the Bimini Road. In 1968, what appeared to be a vast underwater road was discovered off Bimini, and the next year the columns, of which this is one, were found.

Seabed cores taken from the mid-Atlantic Ridge in 1957 brought up freshwater plants from a depth of two miles. And in one of the deep valleys, known as Romanche, sands have been found that appear to have been formed by weathering when that part of the ridge was above water level. In a 1969 a Duke University research expedition dredged 50 sites along an underwater ridge running from Venezuela to the Virgin Islands, and brought up granitic rocks, which are normally found only on continents. Commenting on this discovery, Dr. Bruce Heezen of the Lamont Geological Observatory said:

"Up to now, geologists generally believed that light granitic or acid igneous rocks are confined to the continents and that the crust of the earth beneath the sea is composed of heavier, dark-colored basaltic rock... Thus, the occurrence of light-colored granitic rocks may support an old theory that a continent formerly existed in the region of the eastern Caribbean and that these rocks may represent the core of a subsided, lost continent."

A recent report on the nature of the Atlantic seabed appears to confirm that there is at least part of a former continent lying beneath the ocean. Under the heading "Concrete Evidence for Atlantis?" the British Journal New Scientist of June 5, 1975 reported, "Although they make no such fanciful claim from their results as to have discovered the mythical mid-Atlantic landmass, an international group of oceanographers has now convincingly confirmed preliminary findings that a sunken block of continent lies in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The discovery comes from analyzing dredge samples taken along the line of the Vema offset fault, a long east-west fracture zone lying between Africa and South America close to latitude 11 "N".


The report goes on to state that in 1971 two researchers from the University of Miami recovered some shallow-water limestone fragments from deep water in the area. Minerals in the limestone indicated that they came from a nearby source of granite that was unlikely to occur on the ocean floor. More exhaustive analysis of the dredge samples revealed that the limestones included traces of shallow-water fossils, implying formation in very shallow water indeed, a view confirmed by the ratios of oxygen and carbon isotopes found in the fragments. One piece of limestone was pitted and showed evidence of tidal action.

The researchers believe that the limestone dates from the Mesozoic era (between 70 and 220 million years ago) and forms a cap "on a residual continental block left behind as the Atlantic spread out into an ocean." the New Scientist observes that

"The granitic minerals could thus have come from the bordering continents while the ocean was still in it infancy. Vertical movements made by the block appear to have raised it above sea level at some period during it's history.

It would therefore seem that there is a lost continent in the Atlantic, but unfortunately for Atlantists, it evidently disappeared long before man appeared on earth. Most scientist remain convinced that there is no likelihood of finding the Atlantis described by Plato in the area of the mid-Atlantic Ridge. As L. Sprague de Camp comments in his Lost Continents, nearly all of the ridge, except for the small and mountainous Azores region, is under two or three miles of water, "and there is no known way to get a large island down to that depth in anything like the 10,000 years required to fit in with Plato's date for the sinking of Atlantis." He also points to a report published in 1967 by Dr. Maurice Ewing of Columbia University, who announced that "after 13 years of exploring the mid-Atlantic Ridge, he had "found no trace of sunken cities."

Carolyn Silver:
Atlantists reply that Dr. Ewing could have been looking in the wrong places, or perhaps too close to the center of the destructive forces that plunged Atlantis into the ocean. Some Atlantists have suggested that the original Atlantic landmass broke up into a least two parts, one of which sank long after the other. Perhaps Plato's Atlantis was a remnant of the continent that oceanographers now appear to have detected in the Atlantic, and perhaps it was not submerged until very much more recent times. The bed of the Atlantic is, after all, an unstable are and one that has given birth to numerous islands, then swallowed them up again. In 1811, for example, volcanic activity in the Azores resulted in the emergence of a new island called Sammrina, which shortly sank back again into the sea. In our own time, the island of Surtsey, 20 miles southwest of Iceland, has slowly risen from the ocean. Surtsey was formed during a continuous underwater eruption between 1963 and 1966.

If Atlantis did exist in the Atlantic above the great fault line that runs between the present continents, it would certainly have been plagued by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Is it mere coincidence that Plato should have situated his lost continent in an ocean that does apparently contain such a continent, and in an area subject to the very kind of catastrophe he describes? Atlantists think not.



On the other hand, there are some Atlantists who believe that the destruction of Atlantis was brought about not by geological events but by a man-made disaster, such as a nuclear explosion. According to the Cayce readings, the Atlanteans achieved an astonishingly high level of technology before the continent sank, around 10,000 B.C. They invented the laser, aircraft, television, death rays, atomic energy, and cybernetic control of human beings, and it was the misuse of the tremendously powerful natural forces they had developed that caused their destruction.

Cayce is best-known for his apparent ability to diagnose illness even in people whom he had never met. This ability was tested by a group of physicians from Hopkinsville and Bowling Green, Kentucky. They discovered that when Cayce was in a state of trance, it was sufficient to give him the name and address of a patient for him to supply a wealth of information about that person, often drawing attention to medical conditions of which the physicians were then unaware, but that subsequent tests on the patient proved to be correct.


This work alone would appear to justify the description of Cayce as America's most talented psychic. And if one aspect of his clairvoyant powers could prove so successful, it seems reasonable to give a fair hearing to other psychic statements he made, however, fantastic.


Cayce's sons, who help run the organization set up to study his work, admit that their life would be far simpler if Edgar Cayce had never mentioned Atlantis. Hugh Lynn Cayce comments:

"It would be very easy to present a very tight evidential picture of Edgar Cayce's psychic ability and the helpfulness of his readings if we selected only those which are confirmed and completely validated. This would not be fair in total, overall evaluation of his life's work. My brother and I know that Edgar Cayce did not read Plato's material on Atlantis, or books on Atlantis, and that he, so far as we know, had absolutely no knowledge of this subject. If his unconscious fabricated this material or wove it together from existing legends and stories in print or the minds of persons dealing with the Atlantis theory."

Edgar Evans Cayce makes the comment that,

"unless proof of the existence of Atlantis is one day discovered, Edgar Cayce is in a very unenviable position. On the other hand, if he proves accurate on this score he may become as famous an archaeologist or historian as he was a medical clairvoyant."

If, as his sons and thousands of followers believe, Edgar Cayce's readings were supernormal and not the product of reading the works of others, it is certainly an intriguing case. There are, for example, some fascinating similarities between Cayce's descriptions of Atlantis and those of occultists such as Madame Blavatsky, Rudolf Steiner, and W. Scott-Elliott, including references to the Atlanteans telepathic and other supernormal powers, their advanced technology, their moral disintegration, and the civil strife and misuse of their powers that finally caused their demise. Cayce's readings also mention Lemuria, or Mu. Either Cayce was psychically readings the works of these earlier writers, or he - the they - really were 'tuning in' to the past.

Whatever the result of future investigations around the splendid temples and palaces of Crete, or in the depths of the Thera basin, there will still be people who continue to look for convincing case for the identification of Plato's Atlantis with the Minoan civilization of the Aegean, but their opponents argue that the existence of such a civilization - however striking it similarities with Atlantis - does not preclude the existence of an even great civilization in the Atlantic. The finds in the Bahamas remain to be verified, and the discovery of what appears to be a submerged continent in the Atlantic adds a new dimension to the Atlantis mystery.

Whatever prompted Plato to write about Atlantis, he could never have dreamed that he would start a worldwide quest for the lost continent. Perhaps, as his pupil Aristotle hinted, "he who invented it, also destroyed it." Yet through a fortuitous accident - or a canny understanding of the human spirit - Plato hit upon a story that has struck a responsive chord in people's minds and hearts down the centuries. Whether his story was fact or fiction, a distorted version of real events or a fable that just happened to tie in with reality, it has managed to enchant, baffle, and challenge mankind for over 2000 years.

The persistence of the Atlantis legend is almost as intriguing as the lost continent itself. What is it that keeps the Atlantis debate alive? Is it a longing for reassurance that men and women once knew the secret of happiness, and really did inhabit a Garden of Eden? Is it the thrill of the search - the hope of finding a master key to unlock the secrets of the past? Or is it simply man's thirst for mystery itself - for something grand and inexplicable, larger than himself? Certainly popular interest in the mystical side of Atlantis is always most intense when the life of the spirit is in the greatest disarray - during the latter half of the 19th Century, in the aftermath of Darwin's bombshell, for example, and during our own time.

The day may yet come when the key is found and the mystery of Atlantis is solved once and for all. The solution may be simple or complex. It could be sensational or disappointingly dull. We may already suspect the answer, or it may surprise us. Either way, it would rob the world of one of its most fascinating enigmas. Atlantis has intrigued and inspired people for a very long time. Perhaps, for the time being, we should be glad that the answer has not yet been found, and that Plato's lost continent remains just beyond our grasp.

Carolyn Silver:


The Importance of Oceanography

The geological aspect of Atlantis is the most important facet of the whole issue of Atlantis. If the geological story of this planet does not support the existence of a large island in the midst of the North Atlantic, then, to make a long story short, Atlantis is down the tube. Therefore, establishing the feasibility of such a landmass geologically is of paramount importance. In the case of Atlantis, geology and oceanography are closely entwined.


The center of the geological story of Atlantis is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Other related aspects are confined to the ocean bottom in the vicinity of the Ridge, therefore these areas will be the focal points of this study. Since I am not an oceanographer myself, I will rely on the special reports and scientific papers of oceanographers and geologists who have done work in these areas in the past. The brief data outlined below includes those supplied by two giants in the field of oceanography, Drs. Bruce Heezen and Maurice Ewing, both of the prestigious Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory at New York's Columbia University, as well as those of other well-known marine research institutions.

Don't let anyone tell you that the discovery of Plate Tectonics (involving "continental drift") disproves Atlantis in any way. I've heard professionals in the field make statements like, "This doesn't leave any room for Atlantis!", or "the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is made of basaltic material, it can't be part of a continent!" We will let you decide after you have looked at the evidence.


Professional geologists have endeavored to make Plate Tectonics (which is the backbone of modern geology) the enemy of Atlantis (Speicher, 1972). Nothing could be further from the truth. Plate Tectonics is what created and what destroyed Atlantis. It is also what has made it such an unreliable dwelling place for plants or animals, and the landmass we have chosen to call Atlantis may have gone in and out of existence several times over a period of many millions of years. It was not always the same size or the same shape, and it doubtless had different categories of flora and fauna during these different periods of time. In geological terms it doesn't take long for a landmass to develop some sort of collection of flora and fauna. In a mere thousand years, all kinds of trees, grass, weeds and bushes will cover any landmass making its appearence in a temperate or tropical zone. Such growth couldn't care less whether the land was made of continental (sial) or basaltic (sima) material. Or whether it was officially a "continent" or not. Greenland is an island. Plato called Atlantis "a large island". So if it was as large as Greenland (a pretty big place), it would still be an "island". 


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