India has no volcanoes, but is indeed frequently victimized by devastating earthquakes. So, we are left, on this account, with the Indies and with Thera as probable locations, and with the other volcanic regions of the globe as rather unlikely candidates. The non-volcanic regions can perhaps be safely excluded from our list.
Indonesia is the most volcanically active region in the world. This is attested within historical times by cataclysms such as the explosive eruption of the volcanoes Krakatoa and Tambora, and of others such in the region of Indonesia. Sunda Strait the site of the ferocious Krakatoa volcano is indeed the giant volcanic caldera of this semi-submarine volcano. Lake Toba, in Sumatra, is deemed earth’s largest volcanic caldera, fully 100 km across.
Another immense volcanic caldera of the region, having a comparable size, is the one of Lake Taupo, in New Zealand. All these giant calderas result from huge volcanic explosions which occurred in relatively recent geological times, some 70 kya (kiloyears ago). So, the geologic record of the region indicates the reality of incomparably large disasters and the possibility of worldwide cataclysms of fire and water of the nature described by Plato and others in relation to paradisial Atlantis.
The tektites that line a substantial portion of the oceanic beds of the region with an immense strewn field is further evidence of still larger cataclysms there, in the farther past. These tektites are believed to result from a cometary or asteroidal impact which occurred at about 700 kya, that is, well within the times of Man in the region. Tektites are glass beads, sometimes of a large size, resulting from such huge impacts, which cause the melting and the ejection of the silicic rocks that underlie earth’s crust.
5) Tropical Climate and Two Crops a Year
The tropical, pleasant climate of Atlantis is one of the central features of Plato’s Atlantis. The fact that the great philosopher was not idly inventing, but knew his marbles, is patent everywhere in his account. To start with, there is the issue of the two crops a year that he specifically mentions. The Greeks of Alexander were marveled by this fact when they witnessed it in the Indus Valley.
Two crops a year generally of rice, wheat or barley occur not only in the Indies, but almost everywhere in the Far East. They are the result of a felicitous combination of events that is unique of this vast region of the world. In the summer, the meltwaters of the Himalayas and other mountain glaciers of the region provide the riverine floods that are used to irrigate the crops. This is done by means of an artfully arranged network of dams, canals and terraces quite like the ones described by Plato as existing in Atlantis.
Such a feature is particularly observable in the Indus and the Ganges valleys, not to mention Indonesia, China and neighboring regions. It is only in Peru and the rest of the Incan empire that we find something comparable, even though of a far lesser scale.
The second yearly crop and sometimes even a third one is afforded by the monsoon rains that fall abundantly in the region during the winter months. The monsoon winds, loaded with moisture and coolness, are also very useful for navigation. Again, they are a very special feature of Paradise in texts such as those of Homer, of Hesiod and Josephus, as well as of several other Classical authors.
The monsoon winds are mythically the same as the legendary Boreas that blew from Hyperborea, the legendary site of Apollo’s Island of the Sun. This island is also called by names such as Hypereia, Delos, Erythia, Phoenicia, Ortygia, etc.. In reality, all such islands were allegories of the paradisial island of Taprobane (Sumatra).
Many other facts mentioned in the Critias confirm the tropical nature of Plato’s Atlantis: the rain forests, the palm-trees, coconuts, rose woods, incense trees, pineapples, bananas, etc.. Of course, there is also Plato’s mention of “this felicitous island under the sun”. This expression means, in ancient parlance, the same as the modern one of “equatorial”, that is, “lying under the path of the sun in the skies”.
We must recall that Plato’s Atlantis flourished during the last glaciation, an epoch when global temperatures were 5 to 10 C below the present. Then, most temperate and polar regions were gelid, and entirely covered by mile thick glaciers. So, great civilizations necessarily based on agriculture and cattle herding could only exist in tropical and equatorial regions such as those of South India, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Central and South America, and North and Central Africa and the Near East.
The advocates of icy regions such as the North Sea, Antarctica, the Arctic and such, appeal to farfetched explanations like Pole Shift and instant Continental Drift. But these events are wholly outside the realm of scientific geology, and should not be accepted unless some factual evidence develops to support their claim.
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