Scientists discover 'Brazilian Atlantis' off Rio coast
Scientists are learning that there may be many such lost continents.
Geologists think they may have found another lost continent, after studying rocks brought up from the sea floor off the coast of South America. The rocks, discovered near Rio de Janero, Brazil, suggest a now-lost continent could have once stood next to modern day Brazil, but sank into the ocean.
Telltale rocks were dredged from the seafloor two years ago and recently analyzed by the Brazilian Geology Service. Granite rocks harvested from a location about 900 miles southeast of Rio, suggest they were once part of a continent now believed to have sunk beneath the waves of the South Atlantic. Scientists have long suspected the site could be the location of a lost continent because it rests high above the surrounding sea floor.
That distinctive geologic feature is known to scientists as the "Rio Grande Elevation."
There is no likelihood that humans previously knew the continent, as it sank millions of years ago, following the separation of the South American continent from Africa. Still, the Brazilian Atlantis is part of a growing list of now-submerged continents that scientists are finding.
Last year, scientists found evidence of another lost continent off the southern coast of India.
The discovery of these long-lost landmasses are rewriting what scientists know about the primitive geography of the planet. They suggest that at one time, sea levels were lower and greater landmass may have existed than does today.
They also make people curious about the legendary continent of Atlantis, which was once described by the Greek philosopher Plato. According to Plato, Atlantis was the home of a great, advanced civilization that was destroyed when a cataclysm caused their continent to sink into the ocean.
Although historians say the legend of Atlantis is just that, a legend, we do know that ancient civilizations have been lost to cataclysms before. For example, the Minoans, the ancient inhabitants of the isle of Crete, were wiped out by a massive tsunami that swept their island following the eruption and sinking of a volcano in the Mediterranean.
It's reasonable to imagine such things have also happened in prehistoric times and destroyed ancient landmasses, although the loss of such lands likely occurred over millions of years and long before civilization emerged.
Still, it's fascinating to consider and exciting to know that great discoveries still remain in the world's oceans.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
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