The continent of Atlantis was first mentioned by Plato in his writings, but an exact location for the continent has never been established. Atlantis is considered a legend, because no actual evidence of its existence has been found.
The legend of Atlantis springs from stories published by Plato in 360 B.C. in which he described an advanced utopian civilization that had existed about 9,000 years prior. Plato claimed that the civilization was destroyed in a single night by the gods because of the immorality of its people.
Many theories exist about possible location of Atlantis, but no geographic or scientific evidence exists to indicate that any of the theories are true. It is possible that Plato wrote the story as an allegory and did not intend for it to be taken literally. The only event in world history known to be similar to the story of Atlantis is the destruction of the Minoan civilization about 1,300 years prior to Plato's story. The Minoans lived on the island of Santorini, home to an active volcano that wiped out their civilization when it erupted.
The legend of Atlantis has been further popularized by fictional works, such as the novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" by Jules Verne and the song of the same name by Donovan.