A team of researchers were astonished to find an odd geological feature that they declared looks like “the road to Atlantis” in the middle of an unexplored part of the Pacific Ocean last month.
The team was searching to investigate underwater structures known as seamounts – formed by volcanic activity.
As shown in EVNautilus‘ YouTube video, the crew of Exploration Vessel Nautilus caught sight of a strange-looking formation while studying an area of the Pacific Ocean called Liliʻuokalani Ridge, located in the United States’ Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
While documenting their findings live, the scientists were shown coming across a formation that first appeared to be a man-made brick road with distinct rectangular blocks.
STRANGE ROCK FORMATION DUBBED ‘ROAD TO ATLANTIS’
Scientists jokingly wondered if the yellow brick path found at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean could be the ‘road to Atlantis’, a fictional island mentioned by Plato, a philosopher during the 5th century BCE, around 2,400 years ago.
The lost city of Atlantis was alleged to be an imperial superpower in the ancient world, possessing over 10,000 chariots and a large number of bulls and elephants.
As the crew caught sight of the formation, a researcher on the radio can be heard describing the pathway as “the road to Atlantis,” before another scientist responds by asking if they mean “the yellow brick road”. Watch this take place in EVNautilus‘ YouTube video.
What may look like a yellow brick road to the mythical city of Atlantis is really just an example of ancient active volcanic geology, the crew explained.
In the caption of the YouTube post, EV Nautilus clears up the confusion:
“At the summit of Nootka Seamount, the team spotted a ‘dried lake bed’ formation, now ID’d as a fractured flow of hyaloclastite rock – a volcanic rock formed in high-energy eruptions where many rock fragments settle to the seabed,”
The team also state that the “unique” pattern of fractures in the rock, giving it its cobbled formation, is probably the result of repeated heating and cooling over time due to multiple volcanic eruptions.
Their exploration of the never-before-surveyed area is helping researchers take a deeper look at life on and within the rocky slopes of the deep, ancient seamounts.