UPDATED: Google Ocean watchers may have found Atlantis
Chicago (IL) - A Google Ocean image of an underwater section of the Atlantic ocean at 31 15'15.53N 24 15'30.53W is drawing wide attention as a possible location of the lost city of Atlantis. The location is about 700 miles off the coasts of Morocco and Portugal and fits in very nicely with the whereabouts of Atlantis, as described by Plato.
Image taken from Google Ocean, a feature of Google Earth -- an interactive 3D view of the globe as seen from space. Google Earth allows viewers to go on virtual aerial tours of many famous places on Earth. I can personally speak from experience that such a tool is an excellent few hours spent with the family. "Oh, daddy, remember when we went there?"
The sharp outlines and uniform wall-like structures seen in the image are believed by many to be completely unnatural and the result of manmade activity and his structures. What can be seen clearly are several nearly straight lines, near perfect rectangles and what may be roads extending out toward dry land. The structure is currently under several thousand feet of water and was only recently made available thanks to the Ocean extension of Google Earth.
The aeronautical engineer who originally discovered the site has identified a "perfect rectangle" in the shot, noting also that the grid lines look like an aerial map with roads extending out.
According to the article, "Plato described [Atlantis] 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."
Some other interesting finds with Google Earth have included a previously unidentified forest where researchers found several new species of butterflies, snakes and plants. In addition, Google's Street View cars have captured some unexpected images -- like this recent deer collision, as well as what could possible be a new trend -- flashing the Google Street View car as it drives by. Aerial images taken from high orbiting Google Earth satellites have also captured some lower resolution images of nude sunbathers -- and these folks were in their own fenced in back yards. Police agencies have also used Google Maps to find hidden drug plantations visible only from the air.
See The Daily Telegraph.co.uk.
UPDATED: February 23, 2009 - 6:32am CST
I hate to shatter everybody's hopes, but this story has been debunked by Google. According to a follow-up article on The Daily Telegraph.co.uk, a Google spokeswoman said, "What users are seeing is an artefact of the data collection process. Sea floor terrain data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea floor. The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data. The fact that there are blank spots between each of these lines is a sign of how little we really know about the world's oceans."
A blow to Atlantis searchers, the lines are reportedly just erroneous data from the paths boats took while mapping the sea bottom.
Sorry, guys. Atlantis continues to be a myth. :) Or does it?