Atlantis still lost, sea lines explained

Weird lines seen in Google Earth's ocean imagery are not the Lost City of Atlantis, after all. How disappointing.

So Google has finally come out with a formal denial that the Lost City of Atlantis can be seen in Ocean in Google Earth. It's not Atlantis or seafarming by aliens, NOAA's Walter Smith and UC San Diego's David Sandwell, say. In fact the weird criss-crossing marks are "ship tracks," echosounding measurements made by ships, they say.
By measuring the time it takes for sound to travel from a ship to the sea floor and back, you can get an idea of how far away the sea floor is. Since this process — known as echosounding — only maps a strip of the sea floor under the ship, the maps it produces often show the path the ship took, hence the "ship tracks." In this case, the soundings produced by a ship are also about 1% deeper than the data we have in surrounding areas — likely an error — making the tracks stand out more.

OK, but could we find Atlantis on the off chance it actually exists? Yes, but it would be expensive -- about $2 billion. Hmm, compared to various bailouts that doesn't sound like that much money after all. But it would be hard to justify that expense when Republicans are mocking volcano tracking.


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