Atlanteans are the only extant members of the original asgardian species. They comprise one of the few non-homo sapiens species that inhabit Earth and are outwardly no different from humans in physical appearance. The difference lies within their biological construction and is one of the few amphibious humanoids that inhabit Earth's oceans. Genetically, they are distant cousins to the kryptonian species.
The species hails from a star system 65 light-years from Earth. At first, their interest in Earth was scientific, with only one small research colony located where present-day Atlantis is in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Then war erupted between Krypton, Asgard, and the Thanagarian League, which devastated all three. The last survivors of the destroyed world of Asgard fled to Earth - which was a remote, if not hidden, colony. There they settled in Atlantis, expanding out to the colony of Neresia and others. All forming the new kingdom of Atlantea.
Now, almost 2,800 years later, the species evolved and adapted to their new home and environment. But fear of extinction has kept the species isolated with minimal contact with the other Earth species. In that time, the former asgardian - now 'atlantean' - species has developed into an amphibian species. They can breathe underwater through a unique gill oxygen filtration system in their lungs. Also, their natural asgardian strength, which is much higher than homo sapiens, has allowed them to be well-suited to the pressure of ocean depths. Today, almost all atlanteans can breathe and exist underwater, with only a handful that hasn't developed that ability. That 1% that can't are aided by Atlantea gene therapy to induce the evolutionary change when they are young.
Atlantea scientists note that the evolutionary changes are, as with any species, still ongoing. An example of this is a low level of near-touch/touch-based telepathy many atlanteans use to communicate.
Atlanteans look human from all outward appearances. They share the same physical appearance traits such as hair, eye, and skin color varieties all modified by region and environment. Yet, the true difference lies underneath.
The members of this species have certain evolutionary adaptations that allow them to better survive underwater, especially against ocean pressure. At least 99% of the members of this species are amphibious because of a filtering mechanism in their lungs that naturally extracts oxygen from the surrounding water. This works in conjunction with their greater than human strength and musculature, which assists in this process. However, their lung filters have limits. They cannot reliably pump and process oxygen from certain depths without special breathing apparatus because the water pressure and density are too great for an atlantean.
When on land, their strength allows for greater than human ability to jump, lift, or run, but is not at all true 'superspeed'. Likewise, their amphibious lung filters are collapsed when in the open air, allowing them to remain moist, protected, and allow the lungs to work like a human's would.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Because of the isolationist mindset that pervades all atlantean ethnicities, the species is primarily located in settlements scattered across the Atlantic Ocean. Some have resettled in the Asia-Pacific region but have yet to move among the islands and their inhabitants there. However, the isolationist trend is lessening in the Pacific group more so than the Atlantic.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Aside from their natural amphibious abilities and super-strength, 20% of the species has been developing a touch-based or close proximity telepathy method of communication. Those that lack this ability must use atlantean technology that simulates this ability between individuals who are wearing the aqua-pathy devices.
Civilization and Culture
Average Technological Level
Atlantean societies have lost much of their knowledge of astrophysics from their asgardian forebearers, focusing instead on their new watery environment. But in the 2800 years under the Earth's oceans, they enjoy very advanced technology and knowledge surrounding genetics and biology.
Major Language Groups and Dialects
Because of their long isolation, there is a single atlantean language. The various atlantean ethnicities have regional terms and slang but to date the root language encompasses 99% of what atlanteans speak.