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Have You Heard of Greece’s Mysterious ‘Lost Underwater City?’ Well, It’s Not What You Thought…

For years, scientists have been stumped by the mysterious stone-like pillars and the apparent cobblestone pavement on the seafloor off the coast of Greece’s Zakynthos Island. It seemed to be an ancient city, long ago engulfed by the sea. But the bigger mystery was in what was missing. There were no artifacts, no signs of civilization. It didn’t seem like much of a city at all.

After geologist Julian Andrews and his team examined the chemical composition of the strange structures, they found that, indeed, it wasn’t a city. The “human-made” structures were actually made of dolomite, inadvertently constructed by microbes.

Andrews’ determined the disc-like and cylindrical formations occurred naturally, as tiny lifeforms who lived in the sediment gathered around to devour methane leaking from the seafloor. The oddly familiar concretions formed during the microbial oxidation process some 5 million years ago, and were exposed as the surrounding sediment eroded away.

While the truth may not be as exciting as a lost city swallowed by the sea, these gorgeous structures are still quite the sight to behold. While they may never have been home to humans, marine life in the Mediterranean have deemed the “lost city” to be a suitable home.

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