The island of Santorini is located in the Aegean Sea, just off the coast of mainland Greece. Around 3,600 years ago, a devastating volcanic eruption destroyed the island and the Minoan Civilisation that lived on it. The Minoans were a Bronze Age society in the Aegean Islands, frequently claimed to be the first advanced civilisation in Europe. The destruction of Santorini and the disappearance of the Minoans has led some researchers to theorise that Santorini is the lost island civilisation that Plato refers to in his writings.
Santorini was originally known as the Island of Thera, and together with the Island of Crete, was the setting for the Minoan civilisation, named after the great mythical King Minos. Amongst other achievements, the Minoans constructed luxurious palaces, roads, and had a written language. The Minoans disappeared mysteriously from history, and the sudden disappearance of this powerful nation have caused some to believe that Thera (Santorini) is the legendary Atlantis.
Scientists and Historians believe that around 1600 B.C., 'a massive earthquake shook the volcanic island of Thera, triggering an eruption that spewed 10 million tons of rock, ash and gas into the atmosphere. Tsunamis that followed the eruption were large enough to wipe out Minoan cities throughout the region, a devastation that may have made the Minoans vulnerable to invaders from the Greek mainland.' 
Robert Ballard, the explorer who discovered the wreck of the Titanic, believes that the legend of Atlantis is a 'logical' one, due to the high earthquake and flooding activity that has permeated history.
The destruction of the Minoan Civilisation on Santorini may therefore be the real historical and geographical disaster that Plato has based his Atlantis myth on.