Scientists have found a "Yellow Brick Path" in an Never-Before-Seen Pacific Ocean. An expedition to the deep-sea ridge just north of the Hawaiian Islands discovered an old dried-up lake bed with a yellow-brick trail.
The research vessel Nautilus, currently mapping the Liliuokalani ridge inside the Papahnaumokukea Marine National Monument, stumbled upon the strange image (PMNM).
PMNM is one of the largest marine protected areas in the world, larger than any national park in the United States, and only 3% of the seafloor has been explored.
The Ocean Exploration Foundation is pushing the limits of this interesting situation, which is more than 3.000 meters underwater, and best of all, they have set up their systems for everyone to observe.
Researchers are streaming live footage every day, and a video that garnered a lot of attention when it was posted on YouTube recently includes a moment when researchers aboard the deep-sea craft were stunned on their way to Oz*. “Road to Atlantis,” one of the researchers on the radio yells excitedly. Another voice said, “A road of yellow bricks?” he replies. “This is so weird,” adds another member of the team: “Are you kidding? This is crazy.”
The lake bed, which the researchers discovered on the summit of the Nootka seamount, looks surprisingly dry despite being thousands of kilometers below the ocean. Speaking on the radio, the team notes that the ocean floor almost looks like a "cooked crust" that can peel off.
In a small part of the research area, the volcanic rock was broken in a surprisingly brick-like fashion. “These unique 90-degree fractures are likely linked to heating and cooling stress from multiple explosions in the baked margin,” the caption for the YouTube video explains. The effect at first sight can easily be mistaken for a path to a dazzling new world. And in one respect this is not entirely wrong.
E/V Nautilus takes us on a journey to parts of our planet we've never seen before. Following this brick path is a sign that we are headed in the right direction and that we may soon learn a lot more about Earth's hidden geology.