ATLAS OBSCURA

Essential Guide: The Lost Cities Edition

Hidden in the depths of the sea, buried under hillsides, swallowed up by the jungle, or consumed by the wrath of the heavens – lost cities have fascinated, ever since Plato told the story of Atlantis:

Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others. […] But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all the warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea.

Many people have gone in search of lost cities — believing in tall tales and ancient legends. Con-men, archaeologists, showmen, and adventurers have traveled over the mountains of Afghanistan, through the jungles of Cambodia, across the deserts of Jordan, and into the very strangest parts of the world, full of hope. But as many have discovered, finding a lost city can be the easy part — what happens next is when things get interesting… 

Atlas Obscura Presents Our Essential Guide to Lost Cities