The North Sea is known to dry out during glacial periods. The last time the North Sea was dry land was 20,000 years ago during the last Glacial Maximum. The area is known to contain settlements that were once above water.
The medieval town of Dunwich in East Anglia, for example, has since crumbled into the sea, and prehistoric remains have been dredged up from the Dogger Bank.
Atlantis has been identified with the island of Heligoland off the north-west German coast by Jürgen Spanuth, who postulated that it was destroyed during the Bronze Age around 1200 BCE, only to partially re-emerge during the Iron Age. This theory was expanded upon by Günter Bischoff and Hermann Zschweigert who looked to the Herzsprung shields for clues. The first two examples of these shields were found in Herzsprung (near Wittstock, NW-Brandenburg) in 1844. The pattern on the shields appears to match both the layout of Atlantis as described by Plato, and the structural layout of Althelgoland (Old Heligoland) prior to its destruction circa 1200 BCE.
Another supporter of this location, Felice Vinci, contends that Plato’s elephants may have been a lingering memory of woolly mammoths that survived on Wrangel Island until as recently as 1700 BCE.
Ulf Erlingsson hypothesized that the island that sank referred to Dogger Bank, and the city itself referred to the Silver Pit meteorite impact crater at the base of Dogger Bank. Robert John Langdon supports the larger location of Doggerland, of which Dogger Bank is a part. Earthquakes have occurred in this region. The 1931 Dogger Bank earthquake measured 6.1 on the Richter Scale. The resulting minor tsunami hit both the British and European coastlines. The most recent North Sea earthquake hit in October, 2013, and measured 2.8.
The Oera Linda book claims that a land called Atland once existed in the North Sea, but was destroyed in 2194 BCE. The Oera Linda Book is a controversial Frisian manuscript covering historical, mythological, and religious themes that first came to light in the 19th century. Modern linguistic analysis has argued that the book is a hoax (Breuker, 1980; Jensma 2002). The name Atland was first given to Atlantis by the 17th century scholar Olof Rudbeck. The date of 2193 BCE is the same year that 19th century Dutch and Frisian almanacs, following traditional Biblical chronology, gave for Noah's flood.
Eckart Kahlhofer has proposed that the Greek for elephant, elephas, is very similar to the Greek elaphos meaning deer, and that Plato wrote about the wrong animal due to a translation error.
Without proof, it is impossible to say if this is the case, but it is possible to conclude that such an error did not occur in Ancient Egypt where the story originates.
In Ancient Egyptian, the words for elephant and deer are nothing alike. The word Ivory ultimately derives from the Ancient Egyptian âb, âbu meaning "elephant". In hieroglyphics it is written:
The Ancient Egyptian word for deer is hnn or henen, written:
The use of the word deer was not very common since it was an uncommon animal in Ancient Egypt. The Persian Fallow Deer and the Barbary Deer, recognized in ancient Egyptian art by the distinctive antlers of the male, were most likely rare exotic imports. In a few tomb paintings deer can be observed among the desert fauna corralled together in large fenced-off enclosures which served as "reserves" for the hunting pleasures of royalty and noblemen. Antler fragments, dating to the New Kingdom, have been recovered from excavations at Deir el-Medina. Thutmose III is recorded to have had deer imported from Syria to become part of his royal zoo. One Gazelle Crown, most unusually, features a stag.
Plato does specify that this animal was a voracious eater. If a deer is the true animal, then it would have to have been a large variety. The elk is the largest species of deer in the northern hemisphere, currently, but there were larger in the past. Megaloceros became extinct circa 5500 BCE. It had an antler span of 12ft. and a height range of between 7-10ft.
Coughlan, Sean. Lost world warning from North Sea, BBC News, April 23, 2007.
Fitch, Simon, et al. Europe's Lost World. The Rediscovery of Doggerland, Council for British Archaeology, 2009.
Flemming, Nic. Submarine Prehistoric Archaeology of the North Sea, CBA/ Catrina Appleby, 2004.
Handwerk, Brian. Stone Age Hand Axes Found at Bottom of North Sea, National Geographic, March 17, 2008.
Leake, Jonathan and Joanna Carpenter. "Britain’s Atlantis under the North Sea," The Times, September 2, 2007.
Martinez, Michael. Danish, Swedish archaeologists announce vast underground city in North Sea, March 31, 2005.
Pitts, Mark. Mapping an Underwater World, Archaeology, Vol.60, No.1, Jan/Feb, 2007.
Rincon, Paul. Sea gives up Neanderthal fossil, BBC News, June 15, 2009.
Sample, Ian. North Sea yields secrets of early man's happy hunting ground, The Guardian, April 24, 2007.