OMG! Did Google Earth find Atlantis?

The we-know-everything tech giant is saying that what appears to be a street-grid pattern on the ocean floor is not the mythical lost city that some people swear is down there somewhere.

Google is officially denying widespread Internet rumors that its Google Earth software located the mythical sunken city of Atlantis off the coast of Africa. Either that, or Google is totally trying to hide something. Since I always appreciate a nice juicy conspiracy theory, I'm going to go with the latter.

Is this Atlantis? Apparently not, according to those meanies at Google. Google Earth

From what it sounds like, a British aeronautical engineer was playing around with the new Google Earth 5.0, which includes undersea data , and noticed something funny off the coast of Africa, about 600 miles west of the Canary Islands, that resembled a pattern of a street grid. According to the United Kingdom's Press Association, the pattern of streets equated to an area the size of Wales.

In case you've had more important things to read about for the past few thousand years, Atlantis was a legendary island city first mentioned by Plato, allegedly a hard-core naval power located somewhere near North Africa that disappeared when it sank into the ocean. Guess global warming was a problem back then, too.

Anyway, most people think that Plato made it up, kind of like how those guys in Georgia made up the story about shooting Bigfoot , but others just won't stop believin'.

So this guy is trawling the ocean floor with Google Earth--ah, if only we had that kind of free time on our hands--and was quick to announce his discovery. It looks like The Telegraph reported the story first, adding that the exact coordinates are 31 15'15.53N, 24 15'30.53W.

Recently, Google's mapping products have revealed everything from a creepy dude walking around with a sniper rifle to what appear to be U.S. drones in Pakistan.

But when it comes to Atlantis, Google totally had to rain on everyone's parade. "It's true that many amazing discoveries have been made in Google Earth, including a pristine forest in Mozambique that is home to previously unknown species and the remains of an ancient Roman villa," a statement from Google read. "In this case, however, what users are seeing is an artifact 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."

I smell a cover-up!

In other news, that pendulum map on last week's "Lost" was totally awesome.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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