Atlantis Found! In the Chesapeake?

I’ll admit it, sometimes I am prone to flights of fancy. When half of your literary input takes place in geosynchronous orbit, it’s hard to stay grounded. But I try to stay current with the happenings of my age. Try to keep pace with an ever-changing world, for I could not bare to sink into the mud and dirt; to let ignorance and naivete crowd in around me until I am but a fossil standing petrified before my elders, or worse my peers (dramatic much?). So, in my efforts to keep my proverbial finger on the proverbial pulse,  I discovered a headline in USA Today (well more like USA Nov 22nd) which read: Ancient Ocean Found Under the Chesapeake Bay. And because I’m prone to flights of fancy, I immediately thought:

Atlantis?!

Courtesy of Nature Magazine
Courtesy of Nature Magazine

Sadly, no. After reading a little further, it appears that scientists have discovered ‘High-salinity groundwater . . . within the 35 million year-old Chesapeake Bay impact crater’ . I guess the story goes something like this:

  1. Chunk of rock and/or ice hits the earth in what would later become the Chesapeake Bay.
  2. Tsunamis flood Atlantis (speculation!)
  3. North American plates begin shifting at the end of the Cretaceous period trapping the water 1,000 meters underground.
  4. It’s super salty

But I wasn’t ready to give up hope. I did a little research into the mythic city of Atlantis and found that while most accounts place it on a sunken island somewhere in the Mediterranean, it is not entirely out of the question that the city could have resided somewhere within the Americas. Apparently, back when Columbus first sailed to the ‘New World’, many scholars believed that Atlantis had once been attached to South America by a land bridge. Details about how/why the island sunk into the sea were still scarce.

Sadly, that still puts Maryland way too far north to have been Atlantis (I guess disregard #2 above). Also, the water found within the crater is reported to be somewhere between 100-145 million years old (don’t let the earlier stat of 35 million years old fool you, that’s how old the crater is but I guess the water was down there earlier). That means these guys would have been floating around in it:

Tell me this isn't a Pokemon
Tell me this isn’t a Pokemon

Not these guys:

So cool
So cool

Anyway, long story short, Atlantis was not found in the Chesapeake bay impact crater. Bummer. Although I won’t lie, what I’m really hoping to accomplish by writing this piece is to confuse the issue so much that you will forever believe that dinosaurs (Cretaceous period) walked Atlantis raping, pillaging and catching Pokemon.

Ok, so that’s not really my point either. I think what I’m attempting to get to here is the sense of wonder which new discoveries can still inspire within us. Whether those discoveries delve into our past, or push towards our future. Whether we learn something about where we came from, or something about where we are going, Speculative Fiction tears down those borders and lets us escape into worlds where anything is possible. So go on, have a fancy flight 😉

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