Get ready for kidnapping, romance and a jungle adventure – thanks to the new movie The Lost City.
The film stars Sandra Bullock as novelist Loretta Sage and Channing Tatum as hunky model Alan Caprison in a tale about the search for a priceless relic in a fictional town on a remote island.
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe plays an evil billionaire who wants the spoils for himself while Brad Pitt is a CIA agent and a man of action.
But the plot of a once mighty metropolis teeming with vanished treasures is nothing new.
For centuries there have been fables about actual lost cities as revealed by James Moore…
The Greek philosopher Plato was the first to write about the famous lost city in 360 BC.
He described Atlantis as an advanced civilization and a naval power, but claimed that it eventually disappeared under the waves due to floods and earthquakes.
Some archaeologists believe the home of DC Comics hero Aquaman may be based on a real Minoan city, destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption in 1600 BC on the island of Santorini.
Other experts believe it was in Spain and destroyed by a tsunami.
The infamous Bermuda Triangle was also cited as a possible location after what appeared to be the remains of walls and streets were discovered on the seabed of the North Atlantic.
Atlantis has even been linked to aliens and UFOs, while crazed Nazis searched for it thinking Atlantis was the birthplace of their Aryan “super race”.
In the 1500s, stories arose among Spanish explorers of a golden city brimming with riches and located in the jungles of South America.
It was rooted in local stories of a ruler in modern Colombia who was so wealthy he covered himself in gold dust and washed it in Lake Guatavita.
Adventurers attempted to clear it in their attempt to find the precious metal, while expeditions to find a city made of gold in the region left hundreds dead.
Even British sailor Sir Walter Raleigh joined the hunt to no avail – twice.
Recent and intriguing research has suggested that there are mysterious ruins of forgotten cities in the Andes mountains.
The lost city of ‘Z’
In 1906, the Royal Geographic Society sent British explorer Percy Fawcett to survey the border between Brazil and Bolivia – but he quickly became obsessed with the idea of a lost city.
He found a document from a Portuguese explorer who claimed to have visited such a place in the rainforests of Mato Grosso in 1753.
It has been described as covered in silver and with a network of bridges, roads and multi-storey buildings.
After several failed attempts to find what he dubbed ‘The Lost City of Z’, Fawcett – played by Charlie Hunnam on the big screen – set off one last time in 1925, aged 58, to disappear into the jungle .
Archaeologists have since found the remains of a fortified city known as Kuhikugu in Brazil, believed to have been home to 50,000 people.
For hundreds of years, people have speculated about the true location of the castle and court of legendary 6th-century British ruler King Arthur.
Mentioned in texts since the 12th century, experts have since pointed to evidence that it could have been at Cadbury Castle in Somerset or in the towns of Colchester or Winchester.
Arthurian legend also tells the story of a lost land called Lyonesse, with 140 villages which, like Atlantis, sank beneath the waves off Cornwall one night in 1099.
Nicknamed “American Atlantis”, tradition says that Aztlan is the origin of the Aztec civilization of modern Mexico.
The Aztecs apparently migrated from a luxurious city on a lake in 1064, prompted by signs in the sky.
But the location of the place which means “the land of the north” remained a mystery.
Researchers now believe the round island town of Mexcaltitán de Uribe in Nayarit state could be the location. The earliest manuscripts show Aztecs setting out in canoes from a place that closely resembles them.
This lost medieval port city of Arabia was associated with the fictional Sinbad the Sailor.
Historians know from documents that it certainly existed somewhere in the Persian Gulf, that it had flourished for centuries and was home to 70,000 people, but also that it fell into ruins later.
In the 1960s, archaeologists thought they had found part of it below Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, but the rest is somewhere under the dunes.
The name of a paradise hidden in a valley in the Himalayas was coined by British writer James Hilton in his 1933 novel Lost Horizon.
But it echoed the ancient Tibetan scriptures that spoke of the existence of a handful of such places where harmony secretly reigned.
Historian Michael Wood believes the abandoned Tibetan town of Tsaparang may be the origin of the myth.