Looking out over the Straits of Mackinac. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Matthew Trump
A team of researchers has discovered a mysterious stone formation beneath the Straits of Mackinac.
Known as SEARCH Inc., the group, which is mostly made up of Native American tribal citizens, had been using a remote-operated underwater vehicle to carry out a 'cultural assessment' of oil and gas pipelines on the lakebed when they came across what appeared to be an artificial stone formation.
The find could have considerable significance - especially given that the last time this region was not completely underwater was likely 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age.
"We didn't expect to find this - it was really just amazing," said group member Andrea Pierce. "My question is, who knew they were there ?"
It's certainly not the first time something like this has been found in the region - back in 2009 the University of Michigan discovered similar formations in Lake Huron near Alpena.
The latest find has sparked some degree of controversy, especially given that if the discovery does turn out to be significant, it could halt further underwater infrastructure development in the area.
Previous surveys of the region had also failed to find any sign of artificial formations.
"Side-scan sonar imagery was used to map the lake bed and we found no submerged cultural resources in the area that was assessed," said Enbridge spokesman Ryan Duffy.
"We have not seen the report from the organization suggesting they have discovered significant features and we do not know if they assessed the same areas we did."
"We would welcome the opportunity to meet and talk with this group."
Efforts to confirm the discovery will likely be at the forefront of efforts over the next few months.
If the formations do turn out to be man-made, they could be a very important discovery indeed.
Source: USA Today | Comments (3)