Melbourne: Back in 2009, scientists thought they had found the lost city of Atlantis when they spotted a grid-like pattern on Google Ocean – an extension of Google Earth.
But when the ocean map was updated last week with the latest data collected from various researchers and oceanographers, the grid disappeared, News.com.au reported.
Greek philosopher Plato wrote in 360BC that Atlantis lay in the Atlantic Ocean near the Straits of Gibraltar until its destruction.
He described the city as alternating rings of sea and land with a palace in the centre “bull’s eye”.
“Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent,” Plato wrote in Timaeus.
According to Plato’s account, the city sank beneath the ocean after its residents made a failed effort to conquer Athens around 9000 BC.
The strange lines found off the coast of North Africa on Google Ocean covered 160km.
Bernie Bamford, 38, of Chester who spotted the “city” in 2009, compared it to the plan of Milton Keynes, the English town built on a grid design.
“It must be man made,” he told The Telegraph at the time.
Now, a Google update has wiped it off the map.
The technical explanation goes something like this: Scientists bounce sonar (sound) waves off the ocean floor to measure its topography. They give that data to Google to use in Google Ocean. So it turns out the grid design was actually created by overlapping sets of sonar data.
“The original version of Google Ocean was a newly developed prototype map that had high resolution but also contained thousands of blunders related to the original archived ship data,” geophysicist David Sandwell said.
“The Google map now matches the map used in the research community, which makes the Google Earth program much more useful as a tool for planning cruises to uncharted areas,” he stated.