Sun newspaper 'scoop' has implausibly ordinary explanation

Rediscovery of the lost city of Atlantis using Google Ocean, as reported in the Sun newspaper last week, is unexpectedly now revealed as being nothing of the sort, according to a UK broadsheet, The Guardian.

The Sun journalists reported finding a peculiar network of lines on Google Ocean apparently lying 3.5 miles beneath the Atlantic on the sea bed 620 miles off Africa.

However, a statement in the Guardian newspaper from developers at Google Earth gave a much less dramatic version of the story:

Read the Guardian news story on Google Ocean here.

“In this case, however, what users are seeing is an artefact of the data collection process. Bathymetric (or sea floor terrain) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea floor. The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data. The fact that there are blank spots between each of these lines is a sign of how little we really know about the world’s oceans.”

A commentator on the paper’s website added:

It’s basically the equivalent of zooming far too far into a normal digital photo and claiming the fact it’s all made up of squares to be evidence of artificial structures. There are whole sections of the internet devoted to conspiracy theorists doing this to NASA photos as evidence for alien civilizations, so it struck me as instantly familiar.