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Scientists May Have Found 'Atlantis' Off the Coast of Brazil

Update Date: May 07, 2013 02:49 PM EDT

The legend of Atlantis is well-known. First mentioned by Plato over 2,000 years ago, Atlantis was believed to be a continent that housed an advanced civilization and that sank into the sea. The continent, which was believed to be somewhere between South America and Africa, was generally believed to be a myth. However, a Japanese expedition claims that some version of "Atlantis" may be real. Deep-sea explorers discovered a land mass off the coast of Brazil that appears to be land that sunk into the ocean.

According to the Telegraph, the material was discovered 8,000 underneath the surface of the ocean. Located 900 miles off the coast of Brazil, the steep cliff was composed of granite and  quartz, two materials that are rarely found in the ocean - but are quite plentiful on land.

"This could be the Brazilian Atlantis. We are almost certain but we must bolster our hypothesis. We will have final [scientific] recognition this year when we conduct drilling in the area to retrieve more samples of these rocks," Roberto Ventura Santos, a prominent official at the Brazilian Geology Service, said, according to Agence France Presse.

However, others are not so convinced that it is an entire lost continent. According to the Japan Times, Shinichi Kawakami, a professor at Gifu University, said that the land mass may have been a piece that broke off when South America and Africa split from one another. "South America and Africa used to be a huge, unified continent. The area in question may have been left in water as the continent was separated in line with the movements of plates," he said to the newspaper. "The concept of Atlantis came way before geology of the modern age was established. We should not jump to the Atlantis [conclusion] right away."

Researchers came to the conclusion that the material was granite after examining video data. However, Kawakami says that researchers need to compare the material with granite in Africa and South America first in order to determine that the land mass is an entirely new continent.

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