An expedition to a deep-sea ridge, just north of the Hawaiian Islands, has revealed an ancient, dry lake bed paved with what looks like a yellow brick road.
The exploration vessel Nautilus came across the strange sight earlier this year, while surveying the Liliʻuokalani mountain range in the interior. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM).
The PMNM is one of the largest areas of marine protected areas in the world, larger than all of the national parks in the United States combined, and we’ve just explored About 3 percent of the sea floor.
Researchers at the Ocean Exploration Trust are pushing the boundaries of this wilderness, which lies more than 3,000 meters below the waves, and the best part is that anyone can watch the exploration.
a highlight reel Expedition footage posted to YouTube in April 2022 captures the moment when researchers operating a deep-sea rover found the road to Oz.
One researcher can be heard on the radio exclaiming, “It’s the way to Atlantis.”
Yellow brick road? Another voice answered.
Another team member added, “It’s weird.”
“Are you kidding me? It’s crazy.”
Although it lies about a thousand feet under the ocean, the bottom of the lake that researchers discovered atop Nootka seamount looks surprisingly dry.
The team notes on the radio that the Earth is almost like a “baked crust” that can be peeled off.
In one small section, volcanic rock has been smashed in a way that looks strikingly similar to brick.
“The unique 90-degree fractures are likely related to heating and cooling from the multiple explosions in this baked fringe.” is reading Caption for a YouTube video.
At first glance, it’s easy to confuse influence as a path to a wonderful new world. And in a way, that’s not entirely wrong.
Following the brick road is a sign that we are heading in the right direction and could soon learn a lot about the hidden geology of the Earth.
You can read more about the 2022 E/V Nautilus flight here.
A version of this article was first published in May 2022.
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