Archaeology & History
Ancient 'lost city' turns out to be gas leak
By T.K. Randall
June 3, 2016 · 5 comments
The structures turned out to be natural, rather than man-made. Image Credit: US Navy/Christopher Perez
Underwater ruins off the Greek island of Zakynthos have turned out to be a geological phenomenon.
When divers came across an extensive series of courtyards and ruined structures in the shallow waters of the Mediterranean, their first thought was that they'd stumbled on a long-lost civilization.
Now though, following an extensive study of the site, researchers have revealed that the 'ruins' aren't actually man-made at all but are instead the result of a prehistoric gas leak.
Thought to have taken place during the Pliocene era more than 5 million years ago, this extensive release of methane from beneath the sea floor resulted in the formation of structures which, to the eyes of archaeologists, had looked a lot like the ruins of an ancient city.
"The disk and doughnut morphology, which looked a bit like circular column bases, is typical of mineralization at hydrocarbon seeps," said lead study author Professor Julian Andrews.
"This kind of phenomenon is quite rare in shallow waters."
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