According to the ancient Greeks, Atlantis was an island located in the Atlantic Ocean beyond the Straits of Gibraltar. It was an island paradise that sank into the sea one day. Since ancient times, many people have tried to explain the legend of Atlantis or to find what remains of the island.
The tale of Atlantis comes from the Greek philosopher Plato, who lived in the 300s B.C. In two of his works, the Timaeus and the Critias, he relates that the famous Athenian lawgiver Solon had heard the story of Atlantis when he visited Egypt. In the very distant past, a great island as large as North Africa and the Near East combined existed in the Atlantic Ocean. The island belonged to Poseidon, who fell in love with a young woman of the island named Cleito and married her. Poseidon built a city on the island, and on a mountain in the center of the city, he built a palace for Cleito. The couple had ten children, and in time Poseidon divided the island among them, giving each a section to rule.
Atlantis was said to be a paradise where no one had to work hard, every type of wonderful food grew there, and animals were plentiful. Poseidon had created a stream of hot water and a stream of cold water for the island. It had a glorious culture with wonderful palaces and temples. The kings were rich in gold, silver, and other precious metals. The people of Atlantis lived in a golden age of harmony and abundance.
However, that is until things began to take a turn for the worst. The gods began to intermarry with humans and the Atlanteans became greedy for more than they had. They decided to conquer the lands around the Mediterranean. Angered by the Atlanteans' behavior, Zeus sent an earthquake, or perhaps a series of earthquakes, that made Atlantis sink into the sea in the course of one day and one night.
While it is believed that the Atlanteans perished, that is far from the truth. Due to being the followers of Poseidon and considered to be people of the water, the Atlanteans developed the amazing ability to adapt and evolve underwater. As a result, they became one of the earliest known mer-folk. However, they could no longer visit the surface, and sightings of them are extremely rare, which could also explain the sightings of mermaids by sailors. As time went on, their social structure and technology advanced and expanded.