The documentary titled The Legend of Atlantis: Drain the Oceans is a marvelous feat in the field of archaeological development to uncover what lies hidden under the ocean bed. Untangling the legendary story propagated by Plato, the city of Atlantis is a fairy-tale land full of possibilities and unrivaled archaeological potential. However, the question is, how can the Legend of Atlantis be decoded? To solve this mystery, The National Geographic team has executed a mission to reveal exciting evidence of emerging civilizations over the years that are seemingly close to the legend of Atlantis itself. 

The documentary is meant to target collecting evidence from underwater using advanced technological means that virtually ‘drain the ocean’ to decode the remains of the past and decipher if these remnants are indeed linked to the Lost City of Atlantis. 

Youtube for Architects: Legend of Atlantis- Drain the Oceans by National Geographic - Sheet1
Legend of Atlantis: Drain the Oceans IMDb_National Geographic. (2018).

At first glance, the title of the movie leads the viewer to believe that the archaeological team has indeed found remains of the lost city at a particular location. It isn’t until one progresses deep into the documentary that one realizes that the title is an indication of the state-of-the-art research methodology that has helped these researchers to discover the deluged historical life at a whole new level. It is awe-inspiring to imagine that technology has made such a significant leap in the 21st century. As the documentary title itself suggests, ‘Drain the Oceans’ can be an audio-visual reality.  

What can Architects and Designers learn from this documentary? 

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Legend of Atlantis: Drain the Oceans. IMDb_National Geographic. (2018)

The documentary The Legend of Atlantis: Drain the Oceans, has a lot to offer for architects and designers to get inspired by. As the film proceeds, the several insights that the researchers and professors have proclaimed give a strong foundation for architects and designers to comprehend and base their theoretical exploration on significant facts and figures. 

Moreover, the research and theoretical interrogation process which these professionals follow provides a precedent for the architects and designers to use for their future works. It is important to note that the realm of theoretical work and its methodology, regardless of the subject area, is a commonality that brings together professionals from different walks of life. 

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Legend of Atlantis: Drain the Oceans. IMDb_National Geographic. (2018)

An important lesson that architects can learn from this documentary is the unraveling of built structures under the sea. These seemingly Brutalist structures, albeit having an unknown architect, show early signs of how monumental structures could potentially have been designed and built. Although the researchers argue that the monumental structure is a result of either epic geological forces such as water erosion or a man-made contribution from a mysterious lost civilization, The Legend of Atlantis: Drain the Oceans provides a vital argument that will shape the perspective of the viewer. 

It is interesting to note that regardless of the contributive factor behind this unraveled structure from under the Japanese sea, as architects we see how scale, technique, and aesthetics have always been important elements of architecture that need to be addressed while designing any type of structure. 

Architects can draw inspiration from various elements highlighted in this segment such as steps, triangular pools, and perhaps even castle gateways. The interpretative aspect of this documentary for the viewer is unlimited! 

The truth behind the discoveries- to believe or not to believe?

Most of the discoveries that were shown in this documentary are under forensic scrutiny. Given this fact, the viewer will not be disappointed with the interesting theories which the researchers have to offer. Another such interesting hypothesis that is explored via the latest scanning technology is of rock formations that were claimed by the rising sea waves. 

Lost territories of master builders have been speculated for us viewers to understand and decipher if human life was the reason behind these mystical elements. Were the inhabitants of this peculiar city the reason behind these unique discoveries shown in The Legend of Atlantis: Drain the Oceans? 

Legend of Atlantis: Drain the Oceans. IMDb_National Geographic. (2018)

There is a lot of forensic scrutiny and conflict amidst the researchers and scientists in the documentary when it comes to classifying the artefacts found underwater as having a formal link with the lost city of Atlantis. For architects and designers, this conflict of opinion is also something to learn from when it comes to fortifying our personal architectural theories pertaining to design resolutions. This can be picked up during the documentary when commentary is made about the conceptual ideologies behind deluged cities. 

This commentary entails their conception, execution, and eventual downfall. What can we as future urban planners and designers learn from past historical events to ensure a better civic future? The documentary has plenty of open-ended twists and turns that let the viewer develop a perspective of their own that essentially derives from mystical discoveries underwater. 

Overall, the documentary will propel the viewer to think along one basic question i.e.: how authentic is Plato’s legendary story about Atlantis? How important are the case studies documented in The Legend of Atlantis: Drain the Oceans towards substantiating this theory or perhaps nullifying it? The film has to offer a myriad of possibilities for the audience that takes them on an audio-visual mystery mania amidst a plethora of exciting evidence emerging from past civilizations hidden under the waves. 


National Geographic. (2018). Legend of Atlantis: Drain the Oceans. IMDb. [Photo visualization]


Sidra is an aspiring architect who is deeply fascinated by the influence of architectural writing on the designing capabilities of future architects within the creative industry. She has a particular interest in Landscape Architecture and seeks to investigate its remarkable potential within her motherland- Pakistan.