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Google shoots down 'Atlantis' pictures

The perfect rectangle, which is around the size of Wales, was noticed on the search giant's underwater exploration tool Photo: GOOGLE EARTH
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Feb 20, 2009
No, the lost city of Atlantis has not been found. Google Earth images showing what appeared to be a grid of streets on the ocean floor off the coast of Africa were actually tracks left by boat sonar.

The Daily Telegraph caused the brief flurry of excitement among Atlantis hunters by publishing Google Earth pictures on Friday of an unexplained grid on the seabed 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) off the northwestern coast of Africa.

An Atlantis expert told the paper that the grid was located at one of the possible sites of Atlantis, the legendary city described by Greek philosopher Plato.

Google, however, had another explanation.

"It's true that many amazing discoveries have been made in Google Earth -- a pristine forest in Mozambique that is home to previously unknown species, a fringing coral reef off the coast of Australia, and the remains of an Ancient Roman villa, to name just a few," Google said in a statement.

"In this case, however, what users are seeing is an artifact of the data collection process.

"Bathymetric (or seafloor terrain) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the seafloor. The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data," Google said.

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Scientists Find Black Gold Amidst Overlooked Data
Greenblet MD (SPX) Feb 19, 2009
About half of the oil in the ocean bubbles up naturally from the seafloor, with Earth giving it up freely like it was of no value. Likewise, NASA satellites collect thousands of images and 1.5 terrabytes of data every year, but some of it gets passed over because no one thinks there is a use for it.

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