At BACKPACKER, we have some serious map wonks, but even we wondered exactly why Google decided to map the ocean floor. (Personally, I've always wanted to hike the Mariana Trench, but still.)
Now we know: It's for finding lost civilizations. While scanning Google Maps, a bored English aeronautical engineer spotted bizarre pattern of rectangular, symmetrical lines off the coast of the Canary Islands under almost 18,000 feet of water. Located in the Madeira abyssal plain 600 miles offshore, these lines closely resemble 100-mile long streets. His conclusion? Atlantis!
Don't put on your flippers and get ready to party with Ariel and Namor just yet, though. Google explains that the lines are probably just sonar lines reflecting the patterns of the criss-crossing boats that mapped the ocean floor. However, the mighty Google doesn't have an explanation for the mysterious blank spots in between.
“Bathymetric (or 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.”
Not exactly proof of Atlantis, but intriguing nonetheless. In the end, of course, there's only one way to find out for sure. I'll go get my snorkel and floaties.
Via The Goat