Ocean explorers must have one of the most terrifying and interesting jobs in the world. Imagine being surrounded by the vast blue nothingness of the deep sea days on end, seeing sights that would terrify most of us out of our wits, for the off chance to discover something no other human has seen before.
While most of them come away from their adventures with nothing more than empty pockets and fantastic swashbuckling stories, every so often they make intriguing discoveries which usually leave us wondering: how much don't we know about our planet?
During a diving expedition off the coast of Bimini Island in late 1968, three friends encountered what looked like a long "pavement"-like structure lining the ocean floor, around 5 meters in depth. Later dubbed the "Bimini Road", these structures stretch for over half a mile, and are formed by round stones of various sizes and thicknesses running from north-east to south-west along the ocean floor of the North Bimini coast in the Bahamas.
The precision of the formation is convincing evidence that this is not the work of nature, but a man-made formation. But what was the reason for this formation? What was it used for and why is it now on the ocean floor? At the end of the tabular road is a pronounced hook, giving it a formation similar to the letter "J". The structure is believed to be around 2,000 years old. Some explanations indicate that the structure was either a road or part of a temple structure, but the exact purpose or use of this structure, and whether it formed part of a bigger picture, remains a mystery.
1,200 years ago the city of Heracleion, one of ancient Egypt's greatest port cities, disappeared beneath the Mediterranean sea.
No one was looking for the city, and in fact it was somewhat of a legend, mentioned only in a few ancient texts. As luck would have it, Franck Goddio, a French archaeologist who was searching for 18th century French warships, discovered a massive statue of a face floating beneath the surface, which led to the remarkable discovery of the ancient city: further discoveries included 64 ships buried in the ocean mud, giant 5m tall statues, ancient tablets inscribed in ancient Egyptian and Greek, and a whole lot more.
It is believed that the city was submerged as a result of a rise in sea levels along with some cataclysmic event, possibly a tidal wave or earthquake. We'll probably never know for sure, but scientists say that the research and discoveries in the City of Heracleion will probably continue for another 200 years – indicating the wealth and scope of this amazing discovery.