Micropatrology or the study of small countries is quite peripheral to the subject of Atlantis, but it is a curious fact that a number of the attempts to establish new independent states have their titles inspired by the name of Plato’s lost island. They include Atland, Atlantis, and the Principality of Atlantis & Lemuria. There was even an attempt by Leicester Hemingway, the younger brother of the famous author, to have New Atlantis established and recognised internationally(a). Its ‘territory’ just consisted of a thirty-foot barge off the coast of Jamaica and had as its primary objective the generation of revenue through the issuing of postage stamps.
The Madeira archipelago (a minor Atlantis candidate) in the Atlantic includes the tiny independent Principality of Pontinha(e), which today has bitcoin as its official currency!
Arguably one of the most attractive micronations is the Republic of Uzupis, which occupies less than one sq.km of Vilnius the capital of Lithuania(f). The Republic of Le Saugeais, sandwiched between France and Switzerland is also popular with tourists(g)
>In East Germany, we have “Königreich Deutschland” (Kingdom of Germany) ruled by Peter the First (Peter Fitzek)(j).<
Coins have been issued in the name of a non-existent ‘Kingdom of Atlantis’, by the World Proof Numismatic Association(h), which is a one-man show owned by Edward J. Moschetti.
One of the more ambitious creations is the Empire of Atlantium(b)(c), established in 1981 by three Australians when they declared their independence from the Commonwealth of Australia and proclaimed George Francis Cruickshank as its ruler with the title of His Imperial Majesty George II. Understandably, I worry about the fate of George I! Australia has a number of other micronations as recently reported by the BBC(d).
Places That Don’t Belong is a fascinating “BBC Travel series that delves into the playful side of geography, taking you through the history and identity of geo-political anomalies and places along the way”(i).
>There are currently (March 2023) five micronations within the United States(k), none of which claim any association with Atlantis.<
This strange subject is discussed in a book by Erwin S. Strauss  and additional information can be obtained from the International Micropatrological Society, 4554 McPherson Ave., Saint Louis, Missouri, 63108.
(h) Kingdom of Atlantis Coin, Ruler and brief History (archive.org)
Cuba is a Caribbean island favoured by some as a serious contender for the location of Atlantis.
” A two-page article appeared in the February 1952 edition of the magazine ECOS entitled ’Formó Cuba Parte de la Atlándida?’. Written by Francisco Garcia-Juarez, the press secretary of the Instituto Cubano de Arqueologia (Institute of Cuban Archaeology, or ICA) it posed the question: did Cuba once form part of Atlantis? He explained how members of the Institute were investigating the idea that traces of an Atlantean culture might be found in Cuba and Hispaniola.” This study had been prompted by a suggestion from Egerton Sykes(e).
Some years ago, Leicester Hemingway, the brother of Ernest, claimed to have spotted off the northern coast of Cuba “an expanse of stone ruins, several acres in area”.
In more recent years, it was reported that Paulina Zelitsky and her team of underwater explorers found formations, in 2000 feet of water off the western tip of Cuba that resembled submerged cities.
Although there was a widespread media reaction to Zelitsky’s discovery, many commentators drew parallels with Plato’s city of Atlantis. However, Zelitsky was unwilling to make such comparisons. The story is a myth, said Zelitsky.“What we have found is more likely remnants of a local culture”, once located on a 100-mile “land bridge” that joined Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula with Cuba.
Although further explorations were planned it is reported that the U.S. government applied pressure to have any further funding denied. May 2013 had Zelitsky trying to revive interest in her theories in an interview with Luis Mariano Fernandez(d). However, in 2012, Andrew Collins offered a different account of the Zelitsky funding difficulties(g).
Barry Warmkessel, who is normally just concerned with the threat to Earth posed by asteroids and comets, digressed slightly in an illustrated paper updated in 2015(l). He discusses in great detail the possible destruction of Atlantis by a comet/asteroid impact off the west coast of Cuba.
Andrew Collins is probably the best-known supporter of a Cuban Atlantis. His book and website(a) list eleven points in favour of this theory. He contends that Cuba’s western plain, which stretches from Havana westwards to Pinar del Rio was the great Plain of Atlantis described by Plato. He believes that the main city was located near the present Isle of Youth (Isla de la Juventud) situated in the south of the island. In 2009 Norman Frey wrote a paper(b) supporting the Gulf of Batabanó which lies north of the Isle of Youth as Atlantis’ location at the end of the last Ice Age. He supports his contention with satellite images and the work of Dr Christine Pellech. Frey also claims that the two plains of Cuba match Plato’s description of the Plain of Atlantis(k).
A.R.E. is also a supporter of Cuba as a possible location for the capital of Atlantis. They have suggested an underwater ‘island’ at Zapata, located on the southern side of Cuba, north of the Isle of Youth and just to the west of the infamous Bay of Pigs. This ‘island’ is surrounded by a small ring of water and is about 7 miles in diameter, consistent with Plato’s description of the outer ring of Atlantis. A.R.E.’s Greg Little obtained old depth and bottom contour charts of the site and found that the island was comprised of a series of rings. Little also identified other features in the locality that match Plato’s story; ancient manmade canals north of the underwater island. These canals have been attributed to the Taino Culture, a mound-builder culture present in Cuba about 3,000 years ago that became extinct shortly after the Spanish conquest. Further north there is a mountain range enclosing the area with a wide river running at its base — a further match with Plato. Little also found that the centre of the underwater island is not only the tallest portion but also has several springs on it.
One completely off-the-wall suggestion has been that the Cuban Missile Crisis was instigated to prevent the Soviets from finding Atlantis(f)!!
A project to compile an archaeological Atlas of Cuba has so far identified over 3,000 pre-Columbian sites. Cuba’s westernmost province, Pinar del Rio and the central region of Villa Clara have the highest density of sites, with 500 each(c).
Gerard W.J. Janssen of Leiden University places the voyages of Odysseus in the Atlantic(i). However, although he situates most of the places visited in the eastern Atlantic he does claim(h) that Homer‘s Laestrygonians were to be found in Cuba, an interpretation supported by both Théophile Cailleux and Iman Wilkens.
Luigi Usai has recently (2022) published a number of images purporting to show underwater anomalies off the coast of Cuba(j). As Usai has already designated the central region of the Mediterranean as the location of Atlantis I cannot understand his reason for showing such images. Similar anomalies have been found in various parts of the world and explained by Google as data-gathering glitches (see Satellite Imagery). If any of the rectangular features were city walls or streets they would have been kilometres wide – a nonsensical suggestion.
(f) Archive 2462