We find that there is considerable evidence both from oceanography and geology for the former existence of a large mid-ocean Atlantic land mass. Plato placed Atlantis just west of the Straits of Gibraltar. If we follow his directions to the letter, we arrive in the area of the islands of the Azores, near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. If these were once part of a much larger island—the 400,000 square miles Plato described Atlantis as once having been—then it would answer a long-standing enigma of what happened to the Atlantic Gulf Stream during the Ice Age. The Gulf Stream originates as a western current of warm water between West Africa and South America, enters the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, then leaves the east coast of North America as a warm easterly current, flowing to the Azores, and turns northward to travel to Britain and Norway. It is the heat carried by the Stream that gives northern Europe a much milder, more temperate climate than it normally would have for such latitudes. This is made apparent when we realize that London exists on the same latitude as the cold and barren plains of Labrador.
Now during the Ice Age, northern Europe was covered by a thick blanket of ice. Temperatures all over the world were generally cooler at that time, but the Gulf Stream should still have been warm enough to have prevented the glacial ice from covering at least Great Britain and portions of Scandinavia. As it was, the ice buried the location where London now it under a mile of ice, and the glaciers pushed as far south in central Europe as Berlin.
The only explanation is that during the Ice Age some barrier existed in the mid-Atlantic that prevented the Gulf Stream from reaching northern Europe, and that toward the end of the Ice Age this barrier was suddenly removed and the Stream established its present route. The proposed “barrier” would have been situated exactly where Plato placed Atlantis: An island of the size and location that Plato specified would have been more than sufficient to divert the path of the Gulf Stream. What is more, it is at precisely that time Plato said Atlantis sank—11,500 B.P.—that paleoclimatologists note dramatic changes took place in ocean temperatures and European weather patterns, in part caused by a change Gulf Stream route.
Many myths and legends the world over preserve a memory of Atlantis as having been Paradise, the home of the gods and heroes—the origin point from which many peoples either received the gift of civilization, or escaped when the land was lost. Plato tells us that the fertile plain of Atlantis grew all manners of foods and vegetation, having a temperate to tropical climate, sheltered by the mountains in the north from boreal winds. As we already noted, up until twelve thousand years ago, the Gulf Stream was blocked from reaching northern Europe by the presence of Atlantis where the Azores are today. Because of this, Atlantis received most of the Stream’s warmth and tempering effects on wind and plentiful rainfall, before it was diverted back toward the south. At the same time, cold ocean currents and icy winds descending from glacial-covered northern Europe were stopped by the towering Atlantean mountainsin the north of the island. Thus, Atlantis had an ideal, garden-like climate, at a time when most of Europe and North America were in the grip of the Ice Age.
During this era, judging from Plato’s description, the Atlantean people possessed a high civilization, commanding great wealth and power. In contrast, all the known prehistoric civilizations, both in the Old World and the New, were at this time either just beginning to acquire the rudiments of civilization, or at least had a civilization on a very simple level. In Plato’s record, we read that Athens was not more than a prehistoric wooden fortress, and the people of the Nile had yet to acquire the status of a grand culture it was later to become. To them, and the rest of the pre-emerging known civilizations, Atlantis—with its civilization fully evolved and its empire far-flung and expanding—would have appeared as an island of cultural wonder and ease. And it is the memory of just such a place, and its location in the area of the Atlantic, that is found in practically every mythology and religion.
Core samplings and observations made throughout the Atlantic—from the Azores and along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to the Caribbean and on the continental shelves—support the existence of a former large oceanic island. In 1913, French geologist Pierre Termier analyzed lava particles taken from the sea bottom at a depth of two miles just north of the Azores. He discovered the particles to be tachylyte, a form of lava which is vitreous and not crystalline—which means it could only have solidified in air. Because the disintegration of such lava occurs within a relatively shor time, Termier dated the rock at 12-13,000 B.P.–10-11,000 B.C.E. He concluded: “The entire region north of the Azores and perhaps the very region of the Azores was very recently submerged, probably during the epoch which geologists call the Present.”
In 1924, an Eastern Cable Company repair ship was sent to a spot 800 miles north of the Cape of Good Hope in order to retrieve a broken cable between the Cape and St. Helena Island. When the grapnels were lowered, the found the broken cable at a depth of three-quarters of a mile. The mystery was, when the cable had been laid in 1899, the depth recorded at this point had been 2,700 fathoms, or just over three miles. What this means is that within just 25 years, the ocean bottom had risen almost two miles. This finding serves as an example of what tremendous forces are at work beneath the Atlantic Ocean floor, forces that can not only raise land relatively quickly, but could probably also sink land, like Atlantis of old.
Ten years later, in the summer of 1934, the Woods Hole Institute research ship, appropriately named Atlantis, took tow-dredgings from off the Georges Bank and Cape Cod, at depths of 8,000 feet. What the expedition discovered were fossil-bearing rocks from the late Tertiary period which showed they had been cut out by river action since that time. H. C. Stetson, commenting on this finding in the Bulletin of the Geological Survey of America, said: “A fall and rise of sea level of the order or magnitude which the evidence demands, coupled with the shortness of time within which it must have taken place, approaches catastrophic.”
Another oceanographic survey, performed in 1947-1948 by the Swedish Deep Sea Expedition aboard the Albatross, took core samplings from along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. What amazed the researchers involved was that several cores, from a depth of two miles down, revealed the remains of fresh water diatoms or algae, below a layer of marine sediments. One core, taken from 8,000 feet, off the Sierra Leone Ridge 578 miles from the west coast of Africa, contained more than 60 species of diatoms all exclusively fresh water type.
Swedish pale botanist R. W. Kolbe regarded this sample as evidence of a strata laid down by fresh water, while his colleague, geologist Rene Malaise, concluded that the diatoms had lived in a fresh water lake once above water. Conservative researchers attempted to explain the presence of these diatoms as being the result of a “turbidity current” having carried the micro-life from the African coast and deposited them in their present position. As Kolbe pointed out, however: “If ever we should accept the faint possibility of a turbidity current flowing from the African coast and dumping its load of fresh water diatoms at a distance of 930 km from the coast, it remains to be explained how it was possible for this current not only to carry its load such a distance, but, at the same time, to climb uphill more than 1,000 meters before dumping the load on top of a submarine hill.”
A year later, in the fall of 1949, Professor M. Ewing of Columbia University published a report on more findings made along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge of a curious nature. Ewing observed: “One was the discovery of prehistoric beach sand brought up in one case from a depth of two and the other nearly three and a half miles, far from any place where beaches exist today.” Beach sand is formed as the result of the action of waves pounding a seashore, in shallow water, and in the action of rain, winds and extreme temperature changes—events which do not take place deep beneath the ocean.
A second mystery involved unexplained differences in sediments on the foothills of the Ridge. As Ewing described it: “Measurements clearly indicate thousands of feet of sediments on the foothills of the Ridge. Surprisingly, however, we have found that in the great flat basins on either side of the Ridge, this sediment appears to be less than 100 feet thick.” Ewing called this a “startling fact,” because such a lack of thick deposits in the basin suggests a relatively young age for the formation of the present Atlantic undersea floor.
The type of sediment deposits found were also striking: Samples dating at 11,000 B.P. from the western half of the North Atlantic showed ocean mud, but those from the eastern side—especially in the region where Plato placed Atlantis—revealed granite, mud stones, rocks striated by glacial action, land soil and loose gravel.
Just a problem or two: The Azores are volcanic and have no continental platform. They are essentially volcanic mountain tops that are a product of extrusion from plate boundaries. Please see below;
As to the Gulf Stream, recent research has called the long held impact of such into question;
For more on the Gulf Stream, please see below. Note dominant flow areas.
And Abe is most correct about the out-of-date information in your reference, not to mention the interpretation of the data. In addition, Jochmans is a, shall we say, questionable (!) source.