Marine biologists have discovered a ‘yellow brick road’ illusion on top of the Liliʻuokalani Ridge Seamounts near Hawaii. These formations appear to be neatly divided from each other at 90-degree angles and form a narrow strip, making it appear as if they were arranged by human hands. However, this phenomenon was the result of ancient volcanic activity thousands of feet below the water’s surface.
These brick-like formations are just the result of volcanic eruptions over millions of years and the result of heating and cooling. It was first spotted by researchers riding aboard the E/V Nautilus on April 23rd while remotely operating a submersible at the Nootka Seamount in the Pacific Ocean, northwest of Hawaii. This is almost as crazy as the bioluminescence phenomenon on beaches.
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At the summit of Nootka Seamount, the team spotted a ‘dried lake bed’ formation, now IDed as a fractured flow of hyaloclastite rock (a volcanic rock formed in high-energy eruptions where many rock fragments settle to the seabed). Our exploration of this never-before-surveyed area is helping researchers take a deeper look at life on and within the rocky slopes of these deep, ancient seamounts,” said the researchers.