In a recent report by the Telegraph newspaper from the UK, an aeronautical engineer states that Google Ocean (which allows web users to virtually explore the ocean), an extension of Google Earth, has found the lost city of Atlantis.
A near-perfect rectangle on the ocean’s bed can clearly be seen approximately 998 km/620 miles off the North-West coast of Africa, near the Canary Islands (coordinates: 31 15’15.53N 24 15’30.53W).
The legend of Atlantis has excited the public imagination for many, many centuries. It was the Greek philosopher Plato who first recorded details of the city that “sank beneath the ocean after its residents made a failed effort to conquer Athens around 9000 BC.” Earthquakes and floods also contributed to its underwater resting place.
Plato described it as an island “larger than Libya and Asia put together” in front of the Pillars of Hercules – the Straits of Gibraltar. He said Atlantis was a land of fabulous wealth, advanced civilisation and natural beauty destroyed by earthquakes and floods 9,000 years earlier.
Google, no doubt not displeased with the attention it’s new resource has garnered, has stated that the lines infact represent sonar data collected from boats. Bathymetric (sea floor terrain) data is frequently collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea bed. The lines that were believed to be Atlantis were actually the lines reflecting the path of the boat as it gathers the data. The blank spots between each of these lines is more a sign of how little we actually know about the world’s oceans.
Launched recently, Google Ocean allows users to swim around underwater volcanoes, watch videos about exotic marine life, read about nearby shipwrecks, contribute photos and watch unseen footage of historic ocean expeditions.
Google Earth has been responsible for many important discoveries including a pristine forest in Mozambique that is home to previously unknown species and the remains of an Ancient Roman villa.