Mythical Places That Might Have Existed
There have always been stories of ancient civilizations and wonders. Some of these places are legendary as great kingdoms or religious importance. Some people believe these places to be very real. Even though they have come down through history as a legend, the places may have actually existed! Below is a list of these locations and where they may be. You can Google Earth some of these locations. I have listed the coordinates below.
TOWER OF BABEL
Coordinates: 32°32′11″N 44°25′15″E
In the Book of Genesis there is a story about a giant tower that was built by the descendants of those who survived the Great Flood. They built the tower to reach heaven, but God destroyed the tower and all the people ended up speaking different languages and were scattered throughout the world. (Genesis 11:1-9 for more information). Could this place have really existed? It’s possible. There are the ruins of a ziggurat (i.e. tower) where Ancient Babylonia once stood, called Etemenanki. The original tower was built around 2000BC and would have been there when the Hebrews (who related the story) were in captivity in Babylon. It was then rebuilt in 610BC as a dedication to the Babylonian god, Marduk. The tower was about 300 feet in height, which would make it just a little shorter than the Great Pyramid at Giza. This is not as impressive as reaching heaven, but it would certainly been the largest tower in the area. The ziggurat was destroyed by Alexander the Great, who wanted to build another tower for himself, but never got around to it. The ruins of Etemenanki still are found today in Iraq. As you can see, if the tower was built and destroyed several times by people of different nations, the Biblical story is not so far off in its understanding of different languages all over the world.
Coordinates: 39°57′27″N 26°14′20″E
The battle of Troy is described in Greek mythology by the poet Homer. There was a great, seven year fight between the united forces of Greece and the city of Troy. All of Greece’s heroes showed up to fight, most notably the half-god, Achilles, who was supposed to have been fathered by Zeus. The Greeks could not get past the great walls of the city of Troy, so, in the end, they built a giant wooden horse and hid in it. The Trojans thought it was a victory gift to them and brought the horse into the city. The Greeks popped out of the horse and took the city. The surviving Trojans fled the city and became what we call the Romans. For centuries, this story was considered a piece of fiction. However, in 1868, archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, decided to look at the ancient stories and find Troy. He did. It was in modern-day Turkey exactly where Homer said it would be. Schliemann found not only one city, but nine cities on top of each other! The seventh city down in generally considered Homer’s Troy.
EL DORADO, CITY OF GOLD
Coordinates: 4°58′38″N 73°46′32″W
The ancient Inca people thought there was a city of gold. So did the Spanish. In the 1500s, when the Spanish were terrorizing the Native peoples of America, a story of a city of gold came into being. The gold-hungry Spanish were always looking for gold and it was told that the chieftains of the Muisca tribe would coat themselves in gold and dive into Lake Guatavita, near present-day Columbia. It was here that the fabled city of El Dorado was said to be. The lake exists. People know where it is and the Spanish killed off the Muisca and dredged the lake…but they only found a little gold. So, they kept looking. Over the years, the location of El Dorado has changed. Some people think it is in Guyana, while others place it in the eastern foothills of the Andes. In fact, explorers have searched all over South America looking for this city of gold. Is the story fake or embellished? Probably a little of both. Early explorers probably exaggerated the cities wealth to get sailors to join them on their expeditions in search of fortune. They are still looking till this day.
THE GOLDEN KINGDOM OF DWARKA
Coordinates: 22.3°N 68.97°E
Similar to Atlantis, the people of India speak of a mythical place known as Dwarka, that was ruled by Krishna, the Hindu god of devotion. The city was supposed to have been built 12,000 years ago and is often described as a fairytale kingdom. They describe the city as being made of crystal and emeralds and having 900,000 palaces. Unfortunately, the city sank into the sea. This does not seem to be unreasonable since we’ve all heard about tsunamis and floods. Today, there is still a city of Dwarka (found on the western seaboard of India in the Gujarat state), but it is much newer than 12 centuries old, but this is not the same place. Hindu people travel to this city to worship Krishna. In 2001, some archeologists decided to try and put this mystery to rest. They went diving off the coast of the current city and – lo and behold – there were ancient ruins at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. They are still looking, but it turns out that, the city may have been built by a Lord Krishna! See the video below:
Coordinates: 47°00′00″N 6°30′00″W
Who hasn’t heard of the Sunken City of Atlantis? It is first mentioned by Plato in his dialogues, Timaeus and Critias, written in c. 360 BC. Atlantis was a city-island west of the Pillars of Hercules (the strait of Gibraltar) between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The existence of the city has been disputed since before Plato put it in writing. It had sunk into the ocean 700 years before he was born. But did it exist? Some scientists believe it is possible. They have looked in several places, including on land! One of the places they have looked in in southern Spain on the mudflats of Doñana. From space, satellites show some sort of circular structure below the mud very similar to Plato’s description. However, other scientists place the ancient city on the island of Minoa, below the Atlantic Ocean, and even off the coast of America! While no specific site has been pinpointed, it seems that the place may have actually existed.