Atlantis - the lost civilization! Has there ever been a myth so tantalizing to our romantic fancies? Over the years the land of the noble and artistic people who disappeared suddenly beneath the sea has been located by overactive imaginations in several places: the Bahamas, Indonesia, the North Sea, South America, Spain.

The most enduring version of the legend can be traced to the Greek philosopher Plato, who described Atlantis as a sizable country and placed it beyond the "Pillars of Hercules" -  present-day Gibraltar - as indicated in the map below.

Newer investigations show, however, that Plato misread data in Egyptian manuscripts and multi­plied both the age and the dimensions of Atlantis by a factor of ten.

A drastically smaller and more re­cent Atlantis could have been located easily at the site of the cataclysmic 15th century B.C. Santorini explosion, and many scientists are convinced that this is the answer to the mystery.

Indeed, surveys undertaken of the past 30 years have established that the size of Santorini before the explosion matches the Egyptian specifications, and excavations have turned up remains of an advanced civilization on the last rocky remnants of the island.