• Germany's news in English

Scientists find sunken islands in the Caribbean

DDP/The Local · 10 May 2010, 12:58

Published: 10 May 2010 12:58 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

During their six weeks in the waters north of Venezuela and west of the Antilles, the experts from the University of Greifswald analysed rock samples from depths of more than 1,000 metres.

The “Meteor” crew then used echo sounding to measure the ocean floor, an exercise which revealed significant differences in depth compared to current marine charts.

In fact, some of the underwater mountains listed on charts did not exist at all, while other areas thought to be flat showed rises of up to 1,000 metres, geologist Martin Meschede said.

The team's biggest surprise came from the samples they dredged from the ocean floor, which showed stones that could only have come from very shallow depths.

Click here for a photo gallery of the expedition.

“We found remnants of coral, snails and algae that are only found in the light-flooded upper level of the sea,” Meschede said.

Story continues below…

As a result of their findings, the scientists believe that the submarine mountains, whose summits now top out at between 800 and 1,000 metres below the surface, were volcanic islands in the Caribbean Sea some 40 to 50 million years ago.

The Greifswald group hypothesises that they were part of a reef that grew on a basalt platform and sank during a seismic event in the ocean’s crust.

Related links:

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:19 May 10, 2010 by JMWinPR
Isn't this about the same time the Greater Antilles were formed?
18:19 May 10, 2010 by Bensonradar
...a deep sea exhibition in April.

I think you mean a DEEP SEA EXPLORATION

they were not visiting an exhibition!
19:17 May 10, 2010 by lindsayliberty
It will be a great place for travel and diving, and I think it can be added to most beautiful places of the world http://magazine.joomag.com/World_Top_100_Beautiful_Places/158
20:13 May 10, 2010 by patmbrown00
I tried to warn them not to overpopulate small islands. They capsize and sink every time.


Hank Johnson D-Georgia

US Representative
20:40 May 10, 2010 by frankbuster
Thirty or forty years ago, there was a special on TV ahowing an area in the Caribbean that had sunk. Showed where roads went from dry land down into the city underwater. It would be very interesting if someone could find it and show it again.

Frank Newman

Kirkland, WA.

22:50 May 10, 2010 by SWB123
Then again there is this from DECEMBER 9, 2009:


Never heard another word about it, and can't find anything, but reproductions of this article on the web. I am beginning to think that the news is all fake, and politics is just pablum for the masses to keep us all occupied while they steal our lunch!
22:52 May 10, 2010 by Jeff34781
"I tried to warn them not to overpopulate small islands. They capsize and sink every time.


Hank Johnson D-Georgia

US Representative "

lmao... well done
22:52 May 10, 2010 by greatmag
They sank 50,000 years ago because of global warming caused by cavemen driving SUV's
00:54 May 11, 2010 by Johnnyrinelander
I know that this sounds logical and I apologize out front for being sane, but couldn't the debris found on the "tops" of these submerged islands have drifted there from someplace else? The ocean can be quite violent at times and simple things like bottles tossed into the sea with messages have been known to wash up thousands of miles away. If surface currents can do this, why not currents under the surface? Just a thought.
02:34 May 11, 2010 by derExDeutsche
I can't believe Gore isn't 'Al'l over this development !!! Oh wait...
04:59 May 11, 2010 by Capt. Sebastian
If this is not some Florida real estate, I will be surprised. Otherwise, thanks for this great piece of news that will really come in handy.
06:11 May 11, 2010 by bugger
Obviously, too many people gathered on one side of each island, causing them to tip over and sink. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Tennessee) explained to Congress that he also feared this would happen to Guam. Obama says it is George W, Bush's fault and places the blame on his shoulders.
07:41 May 11, 2010 by wood artist
I recall an article many years ago, I think from National Geographic, which detailed the fall of the coastal area of a city...I think it was Port Royal...in relatively recent history. As I recall, it was attached to an earthquake or something, but if you looked right off the current shoreline, you could see the old roads and buildings.

Although the timing is off, I can't help but wonder if this isn't more of the same thing. We keep thinking in short timelines, and Mother Nature deals in much longer cycles. I'll bet there's thousands of these types of things out there.

12:00 May 11, 2010 by otheus
@SWB123 -- that satellite imagery can be used to find "underwater cities" is a myth. An example off the coast of Africa led the Mail Online to do some research on this and ended up dispelling the notion. http://bit.ly/bfXVjF
23:23 May 16, 2010 by optomlinson
Question: What do you call a sunken island?

Answer: The ocean floor!

Morons. Oh, not the scientists who did the research; the idiots who paid the bill.

Geological shift happens.
03:18 June 4, 2010 by rdiac
@ SWB123, re that report you mentioned;

http://www.heralddeparis.com/previously-undiscovered-ancient-city-found-on-caribbean-sea-floor/65855 ;

If you look at picture 2, which is supposedly an aerial shot of the ocean floor at a 50 degree angle, you might notice that a couple of the "roads" receding in the distance loose neither colour nor clarity as they get further away.

Photoshop. Sorry mate.
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd