Underwater Stairs Created By Microbes

There are two types of underwater lost cities that are known to geologists: those created by humans, and those that aren’t. The so called “natural” cities have been of particular interest to geologists who haven’t been able to confirm how these so called wonders are created.

Tourist divers in Zakynthos, a Greek island, made an interesting discovery. The divers took photographs of what looked to be remnants of some ancient paved stone path with colonnades. They uploaded the pictures to the Internet which prompted the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, a Greek organization, to investigate what these images really were. During the investigation no coins, pottery, bones or other remnants of a typical human civilization could be found, indicating that perhaps this strange walkway wasn’t made by humans after all. Instead, what was discovered was fascinating.

After biochemical analysis it was found that the smooth stone structures were in fact created by microbes – according to the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology. The underwater landscape was extensively examined, including how various chemicals including carbon, oxygen and strontium in the stone structure were created. It was found that microbes responsible for this magnificent relic were a type of bacteria that reduces sulfate in the sediments of the rock. These bacteria thrived from methane that seeped through the nearby bottom of the ocean. Through a complex biochemical process, the microbes altered the chemistry of the sea soil, creating conditions which allowed carbonate rocks full of manganese to form.

Through an almost perfect process, as methane seeped through the ocean floor, the bacteria synthesized a sheet-like structure of these rocks which looked like paving stones. Additionally, as the environment and methane concentrations changed slightly, other structures were created from these bacteria that resembled wheels. Carbon dating showed that this process of events happened most likely 3 million years ago over a process of thousands of years. What’s left is a relic from this ancient time, far older than any human civilization, that was mistaken for an underwater Atlantis of sorts.

Study Source: Science Direct

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