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Unusual discovery at the bottom of the Pacific looks like an ancient road

Researchers came across a remarkable sight in the depths of the ocean when the camera eye captured what looked like an ancient road. Media around the world have picked up on the subject of an unusual road discovered by researchers exploring the depths of the Pacific Ocean. However, what may look like an ancient road
Published: May 11, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 00:42
Unusual discovery at the bottom of the Pacific looks like an ancient road

Researchers came across a remarkable sight in the depths of the ocean when the camera eye captured what looked like an ancient road.

Media around the world have picked up on the subject of an unusual road discovered by researchers exploring the depths of the Pacific Ocean. However, what may look like an ancient road that leads to the mythical Atlantis is actually a geological phenomenon. Specifically, an example of ancient volcanic activity.

Our researchers witnessed extremely unique and fascinating geological formations during a dive at Liliʻuokalani Ridge in Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument. At the top of Nootka Seamount, the team spotted a “dried lake bed” formation, now identified as a fractured stream of hyaloclastic rock. This is a type of volcanic rock formed by high-energy eruptions, during which many rock fragments settle to the sea floor. The unique 90 degree fractures are probably related to heating and cooling stresses from multiple eruptions the researchers wrote on the expedition website.

Not just an ancient road

However, the discovery of the ‘ancient road’ is not the only success that the Nautilus researchers can boast of. The scientists used a remote-controlled roba equipped with cameras to collect many valuable geological samples.

Throughout the chain of seamounts, the team sampled iron-manganese crusted basalts from different depths and with different oxygen saturations, as well as an interesting-looking pumice rock that almost resembled a sponge – the Nautilus scientists conclude the exploration.

Exploration of this site, which has never been studied, has provided a better understanding of the rocky slopes of deep underwater mountains. The scientists studied the microbial communities that inhabit the ferromanganese crusts found on the rock surfaces. They are interested in the properties of the crusts and how they vary in different regions of the ocean basins. Of course, the microorganisms that live on and in them are also the subject of study. This allows scientists to obtain basic information about the assemblages that live on undersea hills. In the near future, this knowledge can be used in management and conservation efforts.


A magnificent and exciting expedition in search of unknown caves in Sulawesi is the topic we have presented in the 19th issue of our the DIVERS24 quarterly magazine! The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge, while the printed version can be purchased in our online shop.

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About author

Julia
My love for scuba diving started as a 12-year-old in the Canary Islands, at which time I took my first Open Water Diver course. This love for the blue turned into a huge passion that accompanies me to this day. Although blue is hard to come by in the Baltic, no conditions are terrible for me. In this sport, I find peace, patience, courage, focus, and balance. I have recently started to engage in underwater modeling and I am fulfilled with this.
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