In Robert Sepehr’s book Species with Amnesia, he claims that lower sea levels allowed there to be land bridges that connected Atlantis to Europe. When you take a closer look at his claims and the evidence he provides, it begins to sound very sketchy. I am going to dig a little deeper into his claim that lower sea levels during the Ice Age revealed land bridges that connected Atlantis and Europe.
First things first, we need to know where Sepehr claims Atlantis was located. In his book he suggests that Ignatius Donnelly was correct in his configurations, so I will follow that trail. Donnelly was the first person to suggest a group of islands about 900 miles west of the Portugal coast could be the remaining mountain tops of Atlantis. The islands he was referring to are known as the Azores islands.
Sepehr follows Donnelly, using as evidence a map drawn by Donnelly over a century ago. He cites this map in his image reference in the back of the book as “a scanned image of a map of Atlantis. Atlantis, The Antediluvian World 1882.” In my opinion as a college student this is a decent citation: I can find the source of this image easily. The map itself, however (drawn by Donnelly), is not good evidence for Sepehr's claim. It's not actual scientific data.
Charles Schuchert has already done some of the dirty work for me in proving Donnelly's theory wrong in his paper “Atlantis and the Permanency of the North Atlantic Ocean Bottom" (1917). The paper can be found here. Charles was an American invertebrate paleontologist and the director in the development of paleogeography, that is as it sounds, using the history of geology to study the placement of lands and seas. Now if you have the time and I’m not pressuring you, feel free to read all about him too, at the link from the Encyclopedia Britannica found here.
Now if you can buckle up for a wee bit of a storyline. In his paper Charles examined a lecture given by Pierre-Marie Termier. Termier was a French geologist from the turn of the 20th century. Pierre suggested that this area of the ocean was recently submerged and said it quickly sank 10,000 feet below the sea. Pierre’s evidence for this claim was tangled up in a story about the findings of splintered minerals that were thought to be vitreous lava. The splinters came from a ship that was designated to lay submarine telegraphic cable in an area North of the Azores islands. Pierre was no joke: he studied and taught for many years. In fact, he was the vice-president of French Academy of Sciences in 1930. Sadly, he was caught up in the whole Atlantis theory as well. You can read his theory in the Smithsonian’s annual report from 1915 here.
Charles disagreed with Pierre and he analyzed his lecture in great detail. He declared these three things in his paper found here:
"(1) that the Azores are volcanic islands and are not the remnants of a more or less large continental mass, for they are not composed of rocks seen on the continents; (2) that the tachylytes dredged up from the Atlantic to the north of the Azores were in all probability formed where they are now, at the bottom of the ocean; and (3) that there are no known geologic data that prove or even help to prove the existence of Plato's Atlantis in historic times.”
What does that mean? Now, I am not a geologist and I doubt you are either but the debate was based on what was scraped up by the cables for the submarine communications that were broken and had to be retrieved continuously from the ocean floor, in which often got twisted and tangled. The materials found on the cables is what they are debating. They were discussing what was found (volcanic matter) and what one would expect to find (ocean floor mud). They both had different ideas as to what that meant. Pierre believed the volcanic matter proved the existence of Atlantis and that it had recently sank. Charles however argued the findings proved the formations were millions of years old and it did no help in proving the existence of Atlantis.
A more recent study done by the Geological Society of the American Bulletin coincides with Charles’ declarations. It concluded that core samples taken from the Azores, are steep sided volcanic seamounts that rapidly drop a little over 3000 ft. to an underwater plateau. This plateau has been in existence for millions of years. Marine deposits of Pleistocene shorelines and the sea level indicate the Azores islands have not sunk at any significant level. In fact, there is evidence that leads them to believe they had actually risen during the late Pleistocene. You can go and check for yourself here, this is only an abstract and you’ll need an account to access the information, but I can’t help you there.
On page 61, Sepehr provides another map showing a landmass in the mile of the Atlantic. In the image reference section of the book the only information that is given are the words “a scanned image of a map showing the mid-Atlantic ridge, when the sea levels were much lower during the ice age.” So I typed those same words into my trusty Google bar. I found the same picture from his book. I clicked on it and it led me to Sepehr's own website.
I couldn’t find another unrelated copy of this image. I am sorry, but this is not reliable evidence. The map is key to his argument, and yet I can't track down the ultimate source.
The claim about lower sea levels revealing a land mass and a land bridge to Europe is basically the backbone to his entire theory. If no actual proof can be shown to support his hypothesis he has no real case. Now, proving that there wasn’t any ancient civilization on a lost island, that is someone’s else cross to bear. The mid-Atlantic ridge is real, but there is no evidence that it was ever part of a land mass that was exposed when the sea level was lower.
Now what does this all mean and what does it say about Robert Sepehr’s claims? Well to sum things up, he did not do his homework very well. And the scientific evidence of core samples taken by qualified research teams proves that his claims are incorrect and that his timeline is a little off, but only by a few million years or so. So Robert, you got some explaining to do. Two unreliable maps with absolutely zero scientific evidence in them is not proof. Good try, sir, but not good enough for this gal.