Deep sea scientists have released a video showing a ‘bizarre’ geological formation that they have already named the Yellow Brick Road. However, the section of seabed making the headlines is nowhere nearly as strange as the ‘Devil´s piles’ the researchers skipped over.
An oceanic expedition examining a deep sea ridge to the north of the Hawaiian Islands recently discovered a dried-out lake bed that looks like a human built road. The visual similarity caused the team of scientists involved in the discovery to jokingly mention the “yellow brick road” and “the road to Atlantis.”
According to a ScienceAlert article the team of researchers from the Ocean Exploration Trust are “pushing the frontiers of this wilderness… more than 3,000 meters below the waves,” and the imagery they are sending back certainly is stunning. As for the geological wonder, it is located atop a deep sea ridge within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM), one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world.
Following The Yellow Brick Road
The so-called Yellow Brick Road was discovered by the Nautilus deep sea exploration vessel. You can read all about the 2022 E/V Nautilus expedition here. The team were surveying the Liliʻuokalani sea area to the north of Hawaii. Liliʻuokalani was the last sovereign monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom and ruled until the kingdom was overthrown at the beginning of 1893 AD.
The research team’s YouTube video revealed a range of fascinating sea creatures and they searched for archaeological evidence. This deep sea exploration effort is the first of its kind in the area, and showing some crazy stuff, so they use the words ‘bizarre’, ‘insane’ and ‘awesome’ a lot. When they come upon the geological feature over which all the fuss is being made, one of the researchers enthuses “It’s the road to Atlantis,” while another screams “this is crazy.”
If You Thought That Was Crazy, Check This Out
About a thousand meters deep on the summit of the Nootka seamount, one of the team says the ground looks like “baked crust that could be peeled off.” Then one of the scientists calls the rock formation bizarre. While the geological feature he was referring to, that has made the headlines, is not actually bizarre, in geological terms, the pillar like formations featured at 17.55 mins, which one of the team refers to as “Devil’s piles” are indeed geologically bizarre.
The Devil’s Piles the team came across in their deep sea explorations. ( YouTube Screenshot / EVNautilus)
Devils Postpile National Monument protects and preserves the Devils Postpile formation. Towering up to 60 feet (18 meters) high, this geological example of columnar basalt displaying hexagonal geometry can also be seen on the other side of the Atlantic.
On a shoreline in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland , about three miles (4.8 km) northeast of the town of Bushmills, the Giant’s Causeway features 40,000 interlocking basalt columns in a similar stepping stone structure to those featured in the scientist´s Liliʻuokalani video. The Irish formations range in height from 12 meters (39 feet) and can be as wide as 28 meters (92 feet).
A Team Of ‘Ologists’, Without The ‘Geo’
Returning to the Yellow Brick Road, a YouTube commenter killed the mystery in one simple post which was featured in the ScienceAlert article. They said the so-called unique 90-degree fractures are likely related to “heating and cooling stress from multiple eruptions at this baked margin.” The only reason the team were so excited is because they don’t see such formations every day, whereas, if it was a geological team they might have passed over it without so much as a comment. But for sure, a geology team would have spent a week on the Devil’s piles.
Modern mythology is paved with several underwater geological features caused by historic tectonic movements and volcanic eruptions. Perhaps the most infamous is the Bimini Road rock formation near North Bimini island in the Bahamas. Measuring about a kilometer long and comprising linear rectangular limestone blocks, many writers claim this was also a road to Atlantis. And it was from this name given to the Bimini Road that the Nautilus researcher got his reference for the tablet-like geological feature shown in the video.
The team say they have “a whole lot more to learn about Earth’s hidden geology .” And what is fantastic about all this research is that it is available for us all to follow in real time, because every day live footage is streamed from E/V Nautilus deep sea RVs.
Top image: The deep sea geological formation dubbed the “Yellow Brick Road” by the researchers that found it north of the Hawaiian Islands. Source: YouTube screenshot / EVNatilus
By Ashley Cowie