Tsunamis are big news for the last few days and there may be an ancient reason along with a current one.  A group of researchers are saying a tsunami likely destroyed the fabled lost city of Atlantis...and it is underneath mud flats in southern Spain. 

The team's findings are the subject of "Finding Atlantis," a National Geographic Channel special that aired this weekend (and you can watch again tomorrow evening).

University of Hartford professor Richard Freund,  who led the international team searching for Atlantis, told Reuters, "It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that's pretty much what we're talking about."

They used a satellite photo to find the site just north of Cadiz, Spain and used a combination of deep-ground radar and underwater equipment to conduct a survey. They now say in the marshlands of the Donaña National Park they have found Atlantis.


Why the new claim, when there have been so many that never held water (pardon the pun)?   Their belief is the cities nearby were "memorial cities" to Atlantis built by refugees after the city's destruction.   Atlantis, as Plato wrote 2,600 years ago, was an island situated in the Pillars of Hercules - the Straits of Gibraltar in ancient times, it is said.

The cities nearby, Freund believes, are designed to emulate the multi-ringed dominion that would be Atlantis.  Using Plato's writing, Freund says, has led searchers to focus on the Atlantic and Mediterranean.    The search has been on since 2004, when the satellite photos became public knowledge.

Now, we are not going to find alien laser rays or hovercraft or whatever else has cropped up around this thing.   Plato is the only person to ever mention it and, because humans are humans, an entire mythology has built up around it that won't endure the light of truth.

Not everyone is buying that this is Atlantis at all.   Juan Villarías-Robles, who works in anthropology for the Spanish government's research group CSIC, says the television special is exaggerated and lacks any science basis for its claims.

He said while the photos west of Gibraltar seemed to show buried rectangular buildings and concentric circles of a buried city near a beach, it only 'became Atlantis' because of National Geographic interest.     He told the Telegraph, "Richard Freund was a newcomer to our project and appeared to be involved in his own very controversial issue concerning King Solomon's search for ivory and gold in Tartessos, the well documented settlement in the Donaña area established in the first millennium BC.   He became involved in what we were doing and provided funding for probes through his connections with National Geographic and Associated Producers.

"He left and the film company told us the documentary would be finished in April or May. But we did not hear from him and are very surprised it has appeared so soon and makes such fanciful claims."

Villarías-Robles went on to say the entire "memorial cities" idea was false and says his team plan to offer their own conclusions later this year.