Great Plain and Mountains of Atlantis

Plato – “Looking towards the sea, but in the centre of the whole (Atlantic) island, there was a plain which is said to have been the fairest of all plains and very fertile”…“it was smooth and even, and of an oblong shape, extending in one direction three thousand stadia, but across the centre inland it was two thousand stadia.”

Plato’s Caribbean Atlantis argues that the now-submerged Venezuelan Basin closely matches the size, shape, and geographical features of Plato’s “Plain of Atlantis”. The submerged Venezuelan Basin is rectangular (oblong), flat and featureless (smooth and even).

Plato also gives quite precise dimensions in stadia for the size of the Plain of Atlantis – 3,000 by 2,000 stadia. A stadion (plural stadia) is an ancient standard distance measure, here assumed to be 209 metres. If the assumed length of a stadion is 209 metres, then Plato’s dimensions for the Plain of Atlantis are about 630km by 420km, which gives it an area of just over 260,000km2.

Map of Atlantis
Hispaniola and Puerto Rico (Top); Beata Ridge (L); Aves Ridge (R); Venezuelan Basin (Centre) - Source: Modified From Google Earth

The submerged Venezuelan Basin’s dimensions are about 700km west to east from the foot of the Beata Ridge to the foot of the Aves Ridge. It is about 400km north to south from Hispaniola and Puerto Rico to the Southern Caribbean Deformed Belt. These dimensions closely match Plato’s for the Plain of Atlantis – approximately 630km by 420km. The total area of the submerged Venezuelan Basin is about 280,000km2, which is very close to Plato’s 260,000km2 for the Plain of Atlantis.

Plato – “The surrounding mountains (around the Plain of Atlantis) were celebrated for their number and size and beauty, far beyond any which still exist.”

When they were above sea level, the Beata and Aves Ridges bordered the emergent Venezuelan Basin to the west and east, extending over the entire north-south length of the Plain of Atlantis. Suppose the Plain of Atlantis once was the emergent Venezuelan Basin and had “surrounding mountains”, as Plato describes. The Beata Ridge could then be called the “Western Mountains” and the Aves Ridge the “Eastern Mountains” of the Atlantic Island.

When the Venezuelan Basin emerged and formed the Plain of Atlantis, its northern margin would likely have been at about the same level as the southern coastal regions of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. The combined mountain ranges of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico may then have formed the Plain’s “surrounding mountains” in the north – the Atlantic Island’s “Northern Mountains”.

The combined length of the mountains of the Atlantic Island would have been about two thousand kilometres, with a continuous height from 1,000 to 3,000 metres above the Great Plain of the Atlantic Island.