An unknown metal said to have been used in the sunken city of Atlantis has been found on 2,600-year-old shipwreck near the coast of Sicily. The 39 ingots of ‘orichalcum’ – described by Plato in his writings about Atlantis – are utterly unique. ‘Nothing similar has ever been found,’ an expert said. Plato described Atlantis as glittering ‘with the red light of orichalcum’, and he claimed that it was mined there, and used to build huge, glinting temples to the sea god Poseidon.
The real metal is a brass-like alloy, which was made in a crucible in ancient times. The ingots offer a tantalising hint that Plato’s stories of Atlantis might have been more than myth – many argue that his tale of the sunken city is fiction, meant to illustrate his political theories.
You can read Plato’s description of Atlantis in Timaeus here.