Scientists are suggesting that the volcanic explosion that obliterated much of the island that might have inspired the legend of Atlantis apparently triggered a tsunami that traveled hundreds of miles.
The islands that make up the small circular archipelago of Santorini, roughly 120 miles (200 km) southeast of Greece, are what remain of what once was a single island, before one of the largest volcanic eruptions in human antiquity shattered it in the Bronze Age some time between 1630 B.C. to 1550 B.C.
Speculation has abounded as to whether the Santorini eruption inspired the legend of Atlantis, which Plato said drowned in the ocean. Although the isle is often regarded as just an invention, the explosion might have given rise to the story of a lost empire by helping to wipe out the real-life Minoan civilization that once dominated the Mediterranean, from which the myth of the bull-headed ‘minotaur’ comes.