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The Atlantropa

Atlantropa was a huge construction and colonization idea produced by the German architect Herman Sörgel in the 1920s.

He intended to connect the continents of Europe and Africa throughout the partial evaporation of the Mediterranean Sea (drain 1/5 of the Mediterranean sea), allowing millions of Europeans to get a new life in what would become the Eurafrican supercontinent (Atlantropa). The new supercontinent would provide food for 150 million people.

The idea was caused by the then-new understanding of the Messinian salinity crisis, a pan-Mediterranean geological event that took place 5- 6 million years ago.

The basin of the Mediterranean Sea is hydrologically deficient, which means that it loses water by evaporation rather than gains by the supplying of rivers.

Its primary object was a hydroelectric barrier to be built crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, which would have produced enormous amounts of hydroelectricity (365.000MW) and would have led to the lowering of the surface of the Mediterranean Sea by up to 200 meters (660 ft), opening up significant new territories for settlements.

Sicily and Italy become huge, and the Greek Islands are merged to form one large landmass. More than 240 kilometres (150 miles) of new lands have been reclaimed from the sea all along its former borders more so in Turkey. As it turns out, Soergel expected that this project would add at least 660,000 square kilometres (over 250,000 sq miles) to the base of the neighbouring countries of the Mediterranean, or about the equivalent of the combined landmasses of Germany and Italy.

Land that would have surfaced had Atlantropa happened

Land that would have surfaced had Atlantropa happened

The plan offered five huge barriers as well:

  • The Strait of Gibraltar
  • The Strait of the Dardanelles
  • Within Sicily and Tunisia to provide a highway and additionally lower the inner Mediterranean
  • On the Congo River beneath its Kwah tributary to refill the Mega-Chad basin contributing freshwater to irrigate the Sahara and building a shipping way to the heart of Africa
  • Suez Canal enlargement and locks to sustain Red Sea connection 

The plans didn’t quite work out so well for Sorgel. The Germans have lost WWII, things have taken another way, as Germany’s idea was to capture all of the areas required to build the dams with sufficient materials gained and no permit required.

Below is an imaginary map of Europe if the Nazis still managed to win the Second World War and implement the Atlantropa project.

Atlantropa: if the Nazis still managed to win the WWII


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