The mysteries of Atlantis have continued to confound researchers, historians, and conspiracy theorists for years. Supposedly written of gloriously by the ancients (notably Plato), and sought after by curious modern explorers, the lost city was reportedly a bastion of naval and technological prowess, where powerful ancient peoples once ruled the world. Since then, Atlantis, like so many other ancient mysteries, remains wrapped in myth.
This may explain why, when photographs surfaced of an apparently ‘sunken city’ off the coast of Bali near Pemuteran, a wave of buzz rippled across the internet. Had Atlantis been found? A lot of people speculate that Atlantis may have been around Indonesia, though other sources claim it existed near the Grecian island of Santorini, or possibly even North America. Nonetheless, the eerie pictures of a coral-soaked underwater city, with its temple gateways and dormant gods were enough to prompt the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism to look into the 100-feet-deep mystery.
Speculation was quickly silenced, however, when the city turned out to not be as fantastic as some people originally imagined. The pictures that were circulating were indeed pictures of a ‘Temple Garden,’ but one that was created five years ago, not 5,000.
The pictures were taken by 43 year-old Paul M. Turley, owner and purveyor of Sea Rovers Dive Bali, a diving company in Bali. The garden was made and sunk five years ago to give divers somewhere to ‘play’ underwater, and to also bring attention to Coral Reef Preservation.
There was some publicity when the ‘city’ was originally sunk in 2005, but not enough to stick in the public’s memory. Turley, upon hearing that a miraculous discovery might have been made off the coast of Bali, said
“When I heard about the story about a discovery in the news I had a good laugh [...] We sank the temple garden as a fun idea and to do something different and the people that have dived it have loved it. Perhaps our publicity wasn’t good enough as no-one knew about it, but now I guess another great mystery has been solved.”
For now, the ‘real’ Atlantis remains a mystery.