The mysteries of the ocean have always fascinated people, leading to countless myths about the deep sea. However, the discovery of a real Lost City beneath the waves has shed new light on this fascination.
Located west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge mountain range, hundreds of meters below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, this rocky, towering landscape is a wonder to behold. It consists of massive walls, columns, and monoliths stretching more than 60 meters tall.
While it’s not the home of a long-forgotten human civilization, the hydrothermal field, known as the “Lost City,” is a significant discovery. Discovered in 2000, it is the longest-lived venting environment known in the ocean, unlike anything else ever found on Earth. Experts believe it could offer insight into ecosystems that may exist elsewhere in the universe.
For over 120,000 years, snails, crustaceans, and microbial communities have thrived off the field’s vents, which spout out hydrogen, methane, and other gases into the surrounding water. Despite the absence of oxygen, larger animals such as crabs, shrimps, and eels survive in this extreme environment.
The hydrocarbons produced by its vents were not created by sunlight or carbon dioxide but by chemical reactions deep on the seafloor. This discovery has implications for how life on our planet may have originated and how it could exist on others in the universe.
Microbiologist William Brazelton believes this ecosystem could currently be active on the moons of Saturn and Jupiter or even in the past on Mars. The Lost City even has a monolith named Poseidon, after the Greek god of the sea, measuring over 60 meters high.
Efforts are underway to have the Lost City listed as a World Heritage site to protect this natural phenomenon from human destruction. Poland has already won the rights to mine the deep sea around the thermal field, prompting concerns about the potential unintended consequences of disrupting this unique environment.
In the end, it’s clear that while we may never unlock all the mysteries of the deep, each discovery brings new questions and possibilities. So, sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter to stay updated on the latest discoveries about the ocean’s hidden wonders and have your say in our news democracy!