This episode of National Geographic's Naked Science centers on the fabled lost city of Atlantis, believed to have been destroyed by a natural disaster an estimated 11,000 years ago. The filmmakers explore ancient ruins in four Mediterranean and Caribbean locations in an effort to confirm or dispel theories of where - and if - Atlantis may have been.
Writer Ignatius Donnelly first sparked public interest in the search for Atlantis in the 19th century, a quest that has continued to maintain its momentum through present day. First introduced by the writings of Plato, Atlantis is said to have been an advanced, sophisticated civilization rich in art and culture. It is widely believed that a tsunami brought Atlantis to its end, and commonly assumed that its remains are underwater. The filmmakers cite certain details from Plato's depiction of the doomed metropolis, such as the city's layout and ritual practices like animal sacrifice, and use them as a gauge to determine if any of the sites they visit could indeed be the remains of the legendary city.
The filmmakers travel to Malta, the Bahamas, Greece and Cuba to evaluate ancient architecture both above and below the sea as we learn some of the historical reasons for selecting these locations. For example, Nazi party leaders were the first to focus on Malta. The SS had a vested interest in locating Atlantis, as they felt their "super race" may have originated there and finding evidence of it would prove their superiority. In the 1940s a self-proclaimed psychic named Edgar Casey predicted Atlantis would rise again near the Bahama's Bimini Islands. In 1968 an underwater rock formation now known as the Bimini Road was discovered, leading some to theorize that these large, flat structures are remnants of Atlantis.
Interviews with tour guides, researchers and general Atlantis enthusiasts paint a fuller picture of both the mythical society and those who seek it, balancing arguments for its existence against skepticism and wonder. A fun and unique travelogue, Naked Science: Atlantis takes viewers on a playful and whimsical trans-Atlantic journey that stimulates the imagination and provokes one’s curiosity.