Google Ocean marks (unsurprisingly) aren’t Atlantis

Paul Raven @ 25-02-2009

Leading on from one discussion of reporting style to another, did you hear the one about how the new Google Ocean maps of the sea floor revealed a rectangle the size of Wales comprised of straight lines intersecting at right angles? In exactly the place that some ancient writers suggested as the location of Atlantis?*

seabed markings on Google Ocean - not actually Atlantis, OK?

Well, sorry to disappoint, but it turns out that the markings aren’t the work of an ancient civilisation or marauding aquatic aliens after all:

The scientific explanation is a bit less exotic, but we think it’s still pretty interesting: these marks are what we call “ship tracks.” You see, it’s actually quite hard to measure the depth of the ocean. Sunlight, lasers, and other electromagnetic radiation can travel less than 100 feet below the surface, yet the typical depth in the ocean is more than two and a half miles. Sound waves are more effective. By measuring the time it takes for sound to travel from a ship to the sea floor and back, you can get an idea of how far away the sea floor is. Since this process — known as echosounding — only maps a strip of the sea floor under the ship, the maps it produces often show the path the ship took, hence the “ship tracks.” In this case, the soundings produced by a ship are also about 1% deeper than the data we have in surrounding areas — likely an error — making the tracks stand out more.

Of course, Google are probably just feeding us the line their reptilian overlords want us to hear in order to keep the Secret Mysteries out of the hands of the slave races; the truth is down there, kids. Never stop believing.

[ * – Yes, the Telegraph again. Once the fuss has died down over the initial story, we’ll start getting the human interest pieces about how drug-addicted immigrant Polish ship captains – having successfully abducted Princess Diana and Madeline McCann – are now giving hardworking British taxpayers some form of gay Atlantean cancer.]

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4 Responses to “Google Ocean marks (unsurprisingly) aren’t Atlantis”

  1. Jonathan M says:

    Oh Dude!

    Did you see the frankly AWESOME take the Sun had on this?

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2255989.ece

    The side-bar is one of the best things I’ve read in ages. The “Top Philosopher” Plato explains how Google Maps completely confirms his theories. Despite the fact that he died over two thousand years ago. It’s even got a picture of a bust!

  2. jon says:

    So why don’t these patterns appear all over the place on Google Earth’s oceans, hmm? But *sigh*, I admit that Google’s explanation is the most likely one.

  3. Mr G says:

    hmmm, its a very dificult one to explain and a hard one to brush off the minds of Atlantis enthusiasts once a flame has lit. Google has published a very good reason for the lines shown on the ocean floor, but you cant help but wonder about the little things that dont add up. If you look closely, there are more lines to the east of this rectangle, closer to the coast…a sort of perfectly allinged boxes. And if you studdy the whole thing you will notice that they all join up, like a series of roads. Another thing is why here? This is the long predicted site for the lost city and the coincidence is questionable. Finaly, why are these lines not seen ANYWHERE else?

    This all points to a conclusion that ither ‘they’ dont want a crowd of geologists and arceologists sticking their nose in the ocean and would rather do without the hastle…..or….more likley….the human imagination is a very wiered and wonderful thing, making us belive the things we want to, drowning us in the fantacy exitment and nish nosh that clouds the truth.

    :)answer a question by asking another:)

  4. john says:

    thats interesting there was something said about that on the website http://www.atlann.com