Jul 18, 2011

Folks In Atlantis Wore Kilts

I've been sitting on this article for about a week and it's been hiding in the background of my browser, nagging at me to write about it.

Last week geologists discovered a lost continent off the coast of Scotland, a landmass which rose from the seafloor approximately 55 million years ago and then sank into the waters again about a million years later.  That's a mere eye-blink in geological terms, but in the human experience it's obviously quite different.  Imagine if Australia suddenly crumbled into the ocean.  Exactly.

The discovery seems doubly appropriate in light of the nature of this rapid/not-so-rapid rise and fall: the continent, complete with mountains and rivers by the way, was formed by a thermal event beneath the ocean floor which caused the seabed to literally explode upwards and solidify, simultaneously expelling large quantities of methane gas which would have had disastrous environmental effects on the surrounding area.  A subsequent cooling period is likely what caused the island to later sink.

Long story short, a previous period of drastic climate change (i.e. global warming) was responsible for both the birth and death of an entire continent which lasted longer than human civilization.  Seeing as I was still digging my house out of the snow in April and that a record heat wave is currently moving through the midwest and heading for my doorstep, this particular discovery seemed worth sharing.

Check out the full report here.

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