Underwater Lost City Created By Natural Phenomenon

Posted: Jun 3 2016, 6:28am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 3 2016, 6:59am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Underwater Lost City Created by a Naturally Occurring Phenomenon
The ancient underwater remains of a long lost Greek city were in fact created by a naturally occurring phenomenon – according to joint research from the University of East Anglia and the University of Athens (Greece). Credit: University of Athens
  • Lost Metropolis beneath the Sea Surface is a Natural Structure

According to scientists a lost metropolis submerged beneath the sea surface is a natural structure.

Divers found pillars and pavements beneath the sea surface off the coast of the Greek island of Zakynthos. They were led to believe that they had chanced upon an ancient lost city.

Yet science came to the rescue and proved that it was actually a natural phenomenon. The research was published in the Marine and Petroleum Geology journal. This ancient site was formed five million years ago by cataclysmic geological forces.

It was the tourists in the region that had spread the word that the site was an ancient lost city. Yet in actuality such was just not the case. While swimming in the sea, the tourists found the remnants of the natural work and thought they were stone formations that had been carved by human hands from a quarry.

Lead author Prof Julian Andrews, from UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences, said, “The site was discovered by snorkelers and first thought to be an ancient city port, lost to the sea. There were what superficially looked like circular column bases, and paved floors. But mysteriously no other signs of life – such as pottery.”

When the Greek authorities and scientists studied the phenomenon in greater detail, they found it to be purely natural in its scope. There were for example no works of pottery among the ruins. Nor for that matter were there any signs of life there among the stuff that was examined.

After some analysis, the amount of minerals in the site along with the texture of the objects were noted down with alacrity. The site was found to be two to five meters beneath the waters off the coastal Greek city.

Most of the disk and doughnut structures are actually a mineralization of hydrocarbon seepage. These occur in regions of the sea floor where plenty of natural gases are to be found.

The main reason behind the doughnut structures was sub-surface faults which had not completely disrupted the surface of the sea bed. What occurred is most likely a natural plumbing situation beneath the sea waves.

Bacteria in the sediment employed the carbon in methane gas as fuel. This led the sediment to acquire the properties of cement.

The phenomenon is termed concretion. The cement-like structures that got formed were called dolomite. This does not normally form in seawater.

However, it is to be found in microbe-rich sedimentary materials. Most of the structures are remnants of fossils from the Pliocene Age. The barrage of sea currents seem to have submerged the features of that time in prehistory.

Since the earth’s crust is a leaky thing, these structures got formed. There are more examples of similar structures around the world. It is unusual to see such a natural phenomenon in shallow waters though.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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