By Jonathan Gray
A HIGH-SPIRITED FILLY, WAS THE PRINCESS.
She could down alcohol with the best of them. The binge had gone on all afternoon. I don’t know what triggered the idea. It may have been a dare. Or just plain and simple curiosity. In any case, what I shall relate to you shortly is almost beyond belief…
GRADUALLY RISING SEAS
For 4,000 years, the world’s sea level has been inching up. The Hadji map of 1559, whose original source dates back thousands of years, shows a land-bridge between Siberia and Alaska, which existed when the original map was drawn. If the ocean between these two land masses were lowered 100 feet today, there would be a dry-land path between them.
According to some oceanographers and geologists, the ocean level may have been as much as 500 feet lower than today. Ireland was connected with England; the North Sea was a great plain; Italy was joined to Africa, and exposed land cut the Mediterranean into two lakes.
Since then, the rising seas have engulfed coastal land and islands, turning isthmuses into straits and large islands into underwater plateaus. Along many of the world’s shorelines are lost islands, now deep below the sea, with remains of cities, palaces and temples.
THE CONTINENTAL SHELF
In fact, most of the continental shelf, which marks the true boundaries between the ocean basins and the continental areas, now lies under a mean depth of 430 feet of water. (It ranges from 300 feet to about 1,500 feet.)
The present continental shelf probably defines the edge of the oceans as they developed during the post-Flood glacial peak.
With the ice melt and the draining or evaporation of inland basins, the seas rose, with minor fluctuations, to their present level.
“The ocean basins can thus be characterized as overfull – water not only fills the ocean basins proper, but extends out over the low margins of the continents.” So notes a panel of geologists. (J.V. Trumbull, John Lyman, J.F. Pepper and E.M. Thompson, “An Introduction to the Geology and Mineral resources of the Continental Shelves of the Americas”, U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1067, 1958, p.11)
Oceanographers and geologists generally agree that a dramatic,
rapid rise of water occurred several thousand years ago. This
has slowed to about 1.5 feet per century.
Around the world’s coastlines are undersea river canyons, which were once above the ocean. Such canyons cannot be cut underwater.
* The submerged Hudson Canyon, one hundred miles long and hundreds of feet deep, could only have been formed above water when this extension of the Hudson River was dry land.
* Off the coast of Europe are the Loire, Rhone, Seine and Tagus canyons. The drowned Rhine Valley runs under the North Sea to disappear between Norway and Scotland – showing that the North Sea was dry land.
* Numerous other canyons were cut at the edge of the former ocean basin (now submerged) : La Plata in Argentina, the Delaware and St. Lawrence in North America, the Congo in West Africa. Off the African west coast are submerged river canyons whose rivers no longer exist in the now-arid land.
All these canyons were cut out above water. Now they are submerged.
ANCIENT MAPS SHOW NOW-DROWNED ISLANDS
The curious Bauche map was copied from sources whose origins are lost in antiquity. This ancient “treasure map” portrays correctly the location of the Canary Islands and the correct outline of an underwater plateau which formed their extended shape before the oceans rose.
Anciently, the Greek islands would have been larger and more numerous, as well. The Ibn Ben Zara map of 1487 (likewise copied from charts apparently thousands of years old) does in fact show many islands which are now under water.
In the Mediterranean, earth movements resulting from earthquakes and volcanoes account for most of the submerged cities, but not all. Because of the general rising of the water level of the Mediterranean, large sections of cities well known to history are now under water.
Among these are Baise (a sort of ancient Las Vegas), numerous points along Italy’s western coast, cities along the Adriatic coast of Yugoslavia, parts of Syracuse in Sicily, Lepis Magna in Libya, as well as the ancient harbours of Tyre and Caesarea.
Helike is believed to lie on the sea bottom near Corinth. In ancient times this sunken city was a tourist attraction for Roman visitors to Greece. They used to pass over it in boats, admiring the ruins visible through the clear water. The statue of Zeus, still standing, was clearly visible on the bottom.
ROADS DISAPPEAR INTO THE DEEP
A thousand feet offshore from the island of Melos are the ruins of an ancient city at a depth extending to 400 feet. From it there branch out roads, descending even deeper – to unknown destinations.
Jacques Costeau found on the sea bottom another paved road far out in the Mediterranean. Sicily was once joined to Italy by land over which ships now sail.
GIGANTIC SUBMERGED RELICS
Off Morocco, on the Mediterranean side of Gibraltar, marine archaeologist Dr. J. Thorne has investigated an undersea wall. The wall extends for 9 miles atop a submerged mountain 120 feet below the surface. Some of its stones are each larger than 2-story houses (about as large as those used in the gigantic foundation of the Baalbek temple of Lebanon). Dr. Thorne observed roads going down the mountain further into unknown depths.
ATLANTIC OCEAN RUINS
In 1985, several hundred miles east of the Azores, a Russian submarine under the command of Nikolai Seleznev, was filming the ocean floor with a special deep-diving camera, when, at a depth of 120 feet, they noticed a string of stone columns and then a massive dome-topped building.
“We couldn’t believe our eyes,” he said. “We were viewing an entire city with magnificent boulevards and avenues and they were lined with what looked like temples and halls, government buildings and homes.”
Suddenly their power flickered. The engines shut down on their own and then the needles on the instruments, including clocks, began to quiver and run backward. Many of the crew began to hallucinate. The terrifying experience ended as suddenly as it began, after about
15 minutes. (Australasian post, January 30, 1986)
Other explorers have reported a mysterious energy field in the area.
THE PRANK THAT KILLED A CITY
The sunken city of Ys is placed traditionally close to the French coast. Here was played out an intriguing story of juvenile delinquency. It is reputed that Dahut, the daughter of Gradlon, king of Ys, during a drinking bout with her lover, opened the city floodgates with a stolen key, to see what would happen….
(In case you haven’t guessed, the sea rushed in and the whole city went under, forever!)
THE DAY THE SEA BROKE THROUGH
England was once part of the European mainland, with a land bridge between present-day Dover and Calais. During this initial early period, settlers probably trekked across the intervening valley unimpeded. But soon the rising sea level became noticeable.
I can imagine a grandfather standing one day on a hilltop with his grandson. They look down on the valley below. The old man points and says, “The sea comes further up that inlet now, than when I was a boy.”
Perhaps that grandson lived to see that first, historic high tide go roaring all the way through the valley, scouring out its sides, joining the North Sea with the Channel.
In locations all around England and Wales are submerged forests. Trawlers have brought up fragments of oak trees in their nets. The oaks grew where now are 60 fathoms of stormy water.
MORE RECENT INUNDATIONS
Denmark: Off the coast is the small island of Nordstrand. It is the last trace of a large tract of rich farmland that, as recently as 300 years ago, was covered by an inrush of the sea. Six thousand people and their homes were swept away.
Holland: In the thirteenth century, the slowly rising North Sea suddenly rushed inland over parts of low lying Holland and formed the big inlet called the Zuider Zee, destroying 30 villages and 80,000 people. Last century, the Dutch reclaimed this rich land with dykes.
England: During the reign of Henry II, one of the most important seaports of England was Shipden in Norfolk on the east coast. It had a large and beautiful church famous all over England. Five hundred years ago, Shipden was swallowed up by the sea – church, dock and all.
The Dover Strait is still widening by about one foot a year. There are, of course, places where land has been built up with earth eroded from other sites. But the overall result has been loss of land.
Again, not all underwater ruins resulted from the rising sea level. In some cases the land actually sank under. Nevertheless the rising ocean is still slowly but steadily wearing away the coastlines of the world. Generally the erosion is scarcely noticed. At times, however, the waves suddenly gulp down wide stretches of land without warning.
Its the same story around the world… in the Indian Ocean and also
In fact, I was recently invited to conduct a seminar series the Solomon Islands in the south west Pacific. The news was given me of a low-lying island in the Solomons which was recently abandoned by its inhabitants, who have migrated to land likely to survive longer.
Currently the sea level is rising at the rate of 1.5 feet (45 centimetres) per century. It’s a pity… some of our most exotic low-lying tropical islands seem next in line to be swallowed up.
PS: Below are the global sunken coast lands in Europe and Asia and Africa visible in red color. SEE OUR RELATED ARTICLES BELOW: