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Illustration depicting a lush, prehistoric Atlantis with fantastical, otherworldly plants and creatures, set against a backdrop of an ancient underwater city that never meets its mythical fate.

Atlantis: A Prehistoric Paradise Unveiled – A World Where Myth and Reality Collide

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Question: Write an alternative history where Atlantis actually existed since the late Cretaceous, having unique flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth (unlike in the myths, it never sinks into the ocean).

Asked by Beaches2

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### Alternative History: Atlantis Through the Ages #### **Late Cretaceous Period (100-66 million years ago)** During the Late Cretaceous period, a massive landmass known as Atlantis emerged in the middle of what we now call the Atlantic Ocean. Rich in unique flora and fauna, Atlantis was separated from other continents by wide stretches of ocean, allowing its biodiversity to evolve in isolation. 1. **Flora:** - **Giant Ferns and Flowering Plants:** Some plants on Atlantis evolved into towering trees with colorful flowers that attracted specialized pollinators. - **Bioluminescent Moss:** This moss covered the forest floors and emitted a soft greenish glow at night, aiding nocturnal creatures. - **Carnivorous Plants:** Adapted to the unique insect species of Atlantis, these plants displayed vivid colors and emitted enticing scents. 2. **Fauna:** - **Feathered Dinosaurs:** Velociraptor-like predators with iridescent feathers hunted smaller herbivores. - **Small Mammals and Reptiles:** Early mammals began to diversify, filling niches not occupied by dinosaurs. - **Gigantic Marine Reptiles:** The coastal waters were home to enormous mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, differing from their relatives in other parts of the world due to unique prey dynamics. #### **Paleogene to Neogene Periods (66-2.6 million years ago)** As the age of the dinosaurs came to an end, the mass extinction event that wiped out much of Earth's megafauna did not affect Atlantis as severely, due to its isolation. 1. **Flora:** - **Ancient Forests:** Dense forests became dominated by towering conifers and flowering plants. - **Unique Herbs and Grasses:** These adapted to the changing climate conditions, offering a diverse array of food sources for evolving herbivores. 2. **Fauna:** - **Avian Dinosaurs:** Evolved to fill various ecological niches, from tiny insectivores to large, flightless grazers. - **Marsupial Predators and Herbivores:** These species evolved unique attributes due to the lack of placental mammals. - **Gigantic Rodents:** Some rodents grew to impressive sizes and became the primary herbivores, analogous to large prehistoric mammals elsewhere. #### **Pleistocene Epoch (2.6 million years ago - 11,700 years ago)** During the Pleistocene, the Ice Ages affected Atlantis just as they did the rest of the world, but the flora and fauna adapted in unique ways. 1. **Flora:** - **Cold-resistant Trees:** These plants evolved to survive in colder climates, leading to expansive evergreen forests. - **Alpine Plants:** Certain species, adapted to higher altitudes, became common in the mountainous regions. 2. **Fauna:** - **Mammoth-like Creatures:** Unique to Atlantis, resembling a cross between elephants and rhinoceros, covered in dense, warm fur. - **Avian Predators:** Large birds of prey, some flightless but swift on foot, dominated the predator-prey dynamics. - **Aquatic Mammals:** Unique whale and seal species thrived in the cooler coastal waters, adapted to the unique environment. #### **Holocene Epoch (11,700 years ago - Present)** As humans spread out across the globe, Atlantis remained undiscovered due to its remote location and treacherous waters surrounding it. 1. **Flora:** - **Medicinal Plants:** Many plants developed strong defensive mechanisms and chemicals, which, if discovered by modern humans, could revolutionize medicine. - **Giant Fruits:** Some plant species produced large, nutrient-rich fruits, benefiting the endemic herbivores. 2. **Fauna:** - **Sentient Primates:** Evolved in isolation, a highly intelligent primate species, almost human-like in behavior and social structures, developed. - **Reptilian Predators:** Large, intelligent reptiles akin to raptors persisted, using sophisticated hunting techniques. - **Unique Bird Species:** Brightly colored birds showcased an array of evolutions in both form and function, from hummingbird-like pollinators to large flightless grazers. Atlantis remained a beacon of biodiversity, untouched by the influences of mainstream human civilization. Its unique ecosystem continued to thrive, offering a glimpse into an alternative evolutionary narrative, filled with untold wonders and natural marvels.

Answered by gpt-4o

May 13, 2024, 11:26 p.m.

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Title: The Eternal Atlantis: A Journey Through Time In this alternative historical perspective, the magical island of Atlantis initially surfaced during the late Cretaceous period, some 100 million years ago. Its existence originated from unknown cosmic matter that fell into the ancient sea, and through a remarkable phenomenon, it gave birth to a landmass that would eventually be known as Atlantis. The island was nestled in the heart of the Atlantic with unique geological features that kept it untouched by the drastic environmental changes taking place elsewhere on Earth. The location granted it immunity from natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis, which enabled it to thrive and evolve independently. This allowed Atlantis, unlike its mythical counterpart, to remain afloat and able to cultivate unique life forms. The isolative development of the island lead to the evolution of exotic and unique flora and fauna, found nowhere else on Earth. It was home to astronomically large ferns towering over forests of iridescent fungi, roses with thorns as sharp as porcupine quills, trees with bark as tough as stone, and flowers that bloomed under moonlight, emanating a dreamy, glowing light. The fauna on the island evolved in harmony with such unique flora. This included iridescent beetles feeding on neon fungi, gigantic moth species pollinating the nocturnal moon flowers, and unique bird species with scaly wings mimicking the stone-like trees . Beneath the sprawling landscape, marine life prospered in the island's undulating waters, with creatures that evolved in fascinating harmony with the terrestrial life. Atlantis also became the sanctuary for the dinosaurs during the extinction event caused by the Chicxulub asteroid. Its geographical positioning and unique geology shielded these gargantuan creatures from the catastrophic event. As a result, certain dinosaur species evolved in insolation, developing intelligence, communication skills, and forming complex societies on Atlantis. Flash forward to the arrival of humans - seafarers and explorers stumbled upon the island around 10,000 B.C. They were mesmerized by the surreal beauty and the plentiful resources of Atlantis. Neither ransacking nor deserting the land, they learned to live harmoniously with its natural inhabitants. The people, over time, developed a harmonious society steeped in nature worship, and a unique language that echoed the songs of their dinosaur companions. Atlantis indeed remained a mystery for the human civilizations on the mainland due to its periodic 'disappearance' and 'reappearance.' This phenomenon, eventually understood, was due to a unique magnetic field enclosing the island which caused navigational anomalies and the distortion of perception again hiding Atlantis for extended periods. This enigmatic land nurtured by cosmic intervention became a living testament of Earth’s invisible epochs and a reservoir of miraculous life. Despite its key differences, the alternative version of Atlantis’s history weaves in the oceanic island's spirit from the original myth—of living in great peace, harmony, and rare beauty, proving its endurance against the tides of time.

Answered by gpt-4

March 3, 2024, 5:12 a.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user Beaches2's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALL·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Sunday, March 3, 2024

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