Scientists have discovered what appears to be a brick road at the bottom of the sea off Hawaii and have dubbed it the “yellow brick road” to Atlantis.
Not all roads lead to Rome.
Some paths seem to head towards the center of the ocean – like the one recently spotted by scientists in the Pacific which they dubbed the “road to Atlantis”.
Late last month, oceanographers aboard the Nautilus EV The ship was exploring the floor of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, an underwater volcanic mountain range off the coast of Hawaii, when they came upon what looked like a well-preserved brick road in the bottom of the sea, the New York Post reports.
On April 29, researchers were amazed to see such a structure about 1 km underwater, near the top of Nootka Seamount.
“It’s the road to Atlantis”, we hear a scientist say in the background of the sequence, referring to the mythical lost underwater city.
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“It’s a really unique structure,” added another.
“It’s the yellow brick road,” said a third researcher.
“Are you kidding me? This is madness,” said another voice.
Only about 3% of the 1.5 million square kilometers (an area somewhat larger than the Northern Territory) in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument area has been recorded, although its peaks are known to rise to more 4.8 km from the seabed and the summit just 60 m below the surface of the water.
The underwater city of Atlantis
The legend of Atlantis dates back to Plato Dialogswritten around 360 BC – the first of all records of the lost city in history.
In the philosopher’s writings, the city was a metaphor for the corruption of power, wealth and industry.
In other words, it was created strictly as a plot device, reminiscent of the Emerald City in L. Frank Baum. The Wizard of Oznot the stuff of prehistoric folklore.
Additionally, there is no trace of archaeological or geological evidence that a sunken city ever existed.
Researchers aboard the Nautilus had fun when they dubbed the remarkable clip “Follow the ‘yellow brick road’ to the geological features of the Liliʻuokalani Ridge Seamounts” for social media, but explained the true nature of the formation brick in the caption.
“What may look like a ‘yellow brick road’ to the mythical city of Atlantis is actually an example of ancient active volcanic geology,” they wrote.
What the team had actually seen was later identified as hyaloclastite, “a volcanic rock formed during high-energy eruptions where many rock fragments are deposited on the seabed,” they said, while that the “single 90 degree fractures” that made it look like stone laid for a road are likely the result of “heating and cooling stresses from multiple eruptions”.
The current mission, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, aims to better understand how the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands formed. They also hope to spot healthy coral and sponge communities, which are globally threatened.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and has been reproduced with permission