The yellow brick road to Atlantis? Incredible rock formation spotted on ocean floor near Hawaii 


The ‘yellow brick road’ to Atlantis? Deep-sea researchers spot incredible rock formation while exploring the Pacific Ocean floor near Hawaii

  • Deep-sea researchers have spotted a rock formation that resembles a ‘yellow brick road’ off coast of Hawaii
  • They said: ‘What may look like the road to Atlantis is really an example of ancient active volcanic geology’
  • Feature was located in Liliʻuokalani Ridge in the Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Pacific
  • The crew of Exploration Vessel Nautilus caught sight of the formation and described it as a ‘yellow brick road’ 

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It may look similar to the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz, or perhaps a hidden path to the mythical lost city of Atlantis.

But deep-sea researchers who spotted the incredible rock formation say it is actually an example of ancient active volcanic geology on the ocean floor near Hawaii.

The strange-looking feature, which resembles a road paved in cobblestones, was located in the Liliʻuokalani Ridge in the Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM) in the Pacific Ocean.

PMNM is one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world – bigger than all the national parks in the US combined – and researchers have only explored about three per cent of its sea floor.

The crew of Exploration Vessel Nautilus research ship caught sight of the formation and described it as a ‘yellow brick road’ and ‘the road to Atlantis’ in a video of the discovery.

This may look similar to the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz, or perhaps a hidden path to the mythical lost city of Atlantis

But deep-sea researchers who spotted the incredible rock formation say it is actually an example of ancient active volcanic geology on the ocean floor near Hawaii

But deep-sea researchers who spotted the incredible rock formation say it is actually an example of ancient active volcanic geology on the ocean floor near Hawaii

The yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz, which looks similar to the rock formation discovered, is pictured above

The yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz, which looks similar to the rock formation discovered, is pictured above

‘It’s the road to Atlantis,’ a researcher on the radio can be heard saying.

‘The yellow brick road?’ another adds, while a separate member team member calls it ‘bizarre’ and ‘crazy’.

The team said: ‘What may look like a “yellow brick road” to the mythical city of Atlantis is really an example of ancient active volcanic geology!

‘Our Corps of Exploration have witnessed incredibly unique and fascinating geological formations while diving on the Lili*uokalani Ridge within Papah*naumokuakea Marine National Monument.’

Nautilus spent most of April studying the geology and biological systems of ‘seamounts’ – underwater mountains with volcanic origins. 

The team added in a statement: ‘At the summit of Nootka Seamount, the team spotted a “dried lake bed” formation, now IDed as a fractured flow of hyaloclastite rock (a volcanic rock formed in high-energy eruptions where many rock fragments settle to the seabed).

‘The unique 90-degree fractures are likely related to heating and cooling stress from multiple eruptions at this baked margin. 

‘Throughout the seamount chain, the team also sampled basalts coated with ferromanganese (iron-manganese) crusts from across different depths and oxygen saturations as well as an interesting-looking pumice rock that almost resembled a sponge.’

The strange-looking feature, which also resembles a road paved in cobblestones, was located in the Lili¿uokalani Ridge in the Papah¿naumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean

The strange-looking feature, which also resembles a road paved in cobblestones, was located in the Liliʻuokalani Ridge in the Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean

The crew of Exploration Vessel Nautilus caught sight of the bizarre-looking rock formation while exploring Hawaii

The crew of Exploration Vessel Nautilus caught sight of the bizarre-looking rock formation while exploring Hawaii

They said: 'What may look like a "yellow brick road" to the mythical city of Atlantis is really an example of ancient active volcanic geology!'

They said: ‘What may look like a “yellow brick road” to the mythical city of Atlantis is really an example of ancient active volcanic geology!’

The image above shows an artist's impression of the mythical lost city of Atlantis which researchers mentioned in their discovery

The image above shows an artist’s impression of the mythical lost city of Atlantis which researchers mentioned in their discovery

The E/V Nautilus research ship is pictured above. The rock formation was spotted during Ocean Exploration Trust's Expedition NA138 to explore the Papah*naumoku*kea Marine National Monument (PMNM), in partnership with the NOAA Ocean Exploration and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

The E/V Nautilus research ship is pictured above. The rock formation was spotted during Ocean Exploration Trust’s Expedition NA138 to explore the Papah*naumoku*kea Marine National Monument (PMNM), in partnership with the NOAA Ocean Exploration and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

The exploration vessel is operated by the non-profit Ocean Exploration Trust, which livestreams what its remote-operated diving vehicles see in the deep.

The bizarre rock formation was spotted during Ocean Exploration Trust’s Expedition NA138 to explore the Papah*naumoku*kea Marine National Monument (PMNM), in partnership with the NOAA Ocean Exploration and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Nautilus has recorded all sorts of unusual sea life, including dumbo octopuses and ‘piglet squids’. 

An E/V Nautilus spokesperson said: ‘Our exploration of this never-before-surveyed area is helping researchers take a deeper look at life on and within the rocky slopes of these deep, ancient seamounts.

‘These studies will help provide baseline information on the living communities of seamounts which can inform management and conservation measures.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk