Sometimes, when we find ourselves searching for something in particular, our quest may get shadedncient Underwater Volcanoes Discovered by some other surprising discoveries that make us forget about our initial plan. A group of scientists in Australia was looking for baby lobsters deep inside the ocean and came back with a highly interesting piece of news. Australian researchers discovered a series of huge volcanoes near the coast of Sydney.
There are presently four silent and extinct volcanoes laying on the sea floor, situated 250 km off Sydney in no less than 5 kilometers of water. The largest one is about 1,5 kilometers across the rim and can rise up to 700 m from the sea floor.
The four giant volcanoes were discovered with the help of sonar mapping on the sea floor by Australia’s ocean-going research vessel investigator. The discovery was made last month during a search for nursery grounds of larval lobsters.
The surprising volcano jewelries are at least 50 million years old and appeared near the boundary of a very old ridge that separates two ocean plates. New technology allowed for this kind of breakthrough discovery. The volcanoes were hidden to the human eye by now, as the sonar on Australia’s previous research vessel couldn’t map the sea floor to such great depths. With the previous technology, half of Australia’s ocean territory remained out of reach.
The cluster shelters four volcanoes which are calderas, known to form after a volcano erupts and the land around it collapses, shaping a crater with 1.5 km across the rim and rising 700 meters from the sea floor. These wondrous shapes of nature are believed to be windows into the seafloor, as Richard Arculus, world leading expert on volcanoes, states.
The ancient underwater volcanoes discovered off Sydney coast share with us the story of how New Zealand and Australia got separated some time ago, no less than 40 to 80 million years back in time. Nature keeps on surprising us by offering little sneak peeks into the past, to make us understand the pace, trace and shape of evolution back from the times when we were primitive enough to only exist, without questioning the world around us.
Image Source: theguardian.com