When divers off the shores of the Greek island Zakynthos saw what seemed like circular columns and concrete floors, it was thought that they have found the remains of a long lost civilization.
However what was believed to be the ruins of a forgotten civilization was a natural occurring occurrence. Ina new research which has been published in the Marine and Petroleum Geology journal today, the underwater site was the work of a natural geological happening around five million years ago.
A joint team of researchers from the University of East Anglia in the UK and the University of Athens in Greece analyzed the formations which outwardly looked like circular column bases, and tiled floors and realized that they were the work of microbes and not some lost Greek civilization.
The sites were investigated, and the depth of the sea was two and five meters. Such geological phenomenon occurs at depths varying from many hundreds to thousands of meters deep.
The archaeologists who first surveyed the site noted immediately the lack of other signs of human inhabitation like the lack of pottery, coins, and other signs commonly associated with human activities.
Analyzing the structures, the researchers found the presence of a mineral called dolomite, a calcium byproduct produced by microbes that feed off methane. Bacteria which inhabit around a source of gas excrete calcium which reacts with methane to form hard cement-like structure.
So it is not an ancient civilization but an old gas leak seeping through subsurface faults. The tubular structure was established as the microbes collected around the gas jets. However, there is no methane leaking out today but must have been some 5.3 to 2.6 million years ago in the Pleiocene era.
The latest news has been a sort of damper for folks who enamor a well-lost city story. The results are proof that technology is making us better understand what is human made and what is caused by natural phenomenon.