The Nephilim in the Old Testament were the offspring of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” before the Deluge, according to Genesis 6:1-4. Many early translations of the OT, as well as the King James version, preferred to translate the original Hebrew word as ‘giants’.
The World Heritage Encyclopedia offers a range of theories regarding the etymology of the word(a). Wikipedia has further background information on the subject(c).
In more recent times it was the work of the late Zechariah Sitchin that revived interest in the Nephilim, the Anunnaki and the existence of extraterrestrial visitors in ancient times. Unlike the more than dubious claims of Erich von Däniken, Sitchin’s ideas appeared to have a more reliable scientific foundation. However, this foundation was composed of Sitchin’s own interpretation of Sumerian texts, which has been heavily criticised(b).
In 2019, Ryan Pitterson, tried to revive the idea of a connection between Atlantis and the biblical Nephilim, but failed miserably. He is the author of Judgement of the Nephilim , which he claims to be “the first comprehensive biblical study of the nephilim.” Promotional interviews for the book gave him his fifteen minutes of fame, which is more than this book deserves.
>Petros Koutouplis has also published a paper on Graham Hancock’s website, in which he investigates the biblical origins of the Nephilim and the possibility that they were ‘giants’, based on the evidence of the language of the Bible(d).<
Pareidolia is the technical term to describe the human tendency to mentally construct familiar images from random visual stimuli, both dynamic and static, such as clouds, fires, mountains, trees, toasted bread, vegetables etc., etc., etc. The links below(a)-(e) give many examples, some funny, some pathetic. The Fortean Times magazine provides regular examples.
Readers will by now be asking what this has to do with Atlantis. Well quite frankly, very little, except that a recent book by the Columbian author, Santiago Martínez Concha, entitled Atlantis devotes a large part of this slender volume to photos of mountains where pareidolic images of heads are claimed to have been carved by ‘giants’ which the author identifies with the nephilim of the Old Testament. The book is available as a free Kindle download(f) and quite frankly it is overpriced at that. [offer no longer available as of April 2014]
Perhaps even more pertinent is the claim by Doug Yurchey that Atlantis had been situated in the Atlantic and connected to twelve colonies by a perfect grid(g), one of which was in Canada and marked by an Indian head! This perceived image is a classic case of pareidolia.
Another example is what is known as ‘The Carpathian Sphinx’ in Romania’s Brucegi Natural Park. A pathetic attempt to construct a serious theory linking this natural rock formation with the Egyptian Sphinx is the subject of a 2014 feature-length YouTube video by filmmaker Oana Ghiocel(h).
A collection of 20 images with a claimed religious significance has been published on the website of The Telegraph website in the UK(i).
(b) https://forum.schizophrenia.com/t/pareidolia/8739 (see elephant ear image above)
(g) https://www.world-mysteries.com/newgw/doug_atlantis_pg.htm (link broken July 2020)