Australian researches aboard a large government research vessel named “Investigator” have accidentally stumbled upon a range of ancient underwater volcanoes while searching for small lobster larvae. The experts estimate that the four (4) newly discovered volcanoes have stayed hidden and inactive for roughly 50 million years.
Moninya Roughan, doctor from the University of NSW, gave a statement revealing that the night of the discovery was the last of the voyage and that the crew had already set their course from Forster to Sydney. But the ship just happened to go over the volcanoes.
What happened was that they were lucky enough to have swathe mappers that constantly went throughout the cruise. There were also two (2) support staff members that were always watching the output and they reported any and all features. At one point one of these guys came up to Dr. Roughan and told her that he just spotted some new volcanoes which have never been discovered.
The sight can be found at 250 kilometers (over 15o miles) off of Sydney, deep under the surface of the water. The largest volcano rises 700 meters (2.000 feet) from the sea floor.
The volcanoes are now what the scientific community refers to as “calderas”, meaning that the land around them collapsed after an eruption, and experts believe that they might hold the answer to why Australia and New Zealand have separated from one another somewhere between 40 and 80 million years ago. The working theory is that the geological plates shifted several times and caused the two (2) countries to split.
Professor Iain Suthers, the chief scientist on the research vessel, gave a statement of his own to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, saying that the discovery feel like something one would see on the cover of a geology book. He went on to add that it’s a remarkable structure which would be magnificent to stare at if we could drain the ocean of water for just a few short seconds.
The research team admitted that the discovery could have easily gone unnoticed as they were on the last day of a 15 day voyage, but the discovery was made likely by Investigator, which is equipped with sonar that has the ability to map the sea floor at any given depth.
Image Source: independent.co.uk