February 06, 2012, 3:52 PM — Poor Atlantis just can't catch a break.
First the legendary city/island/continent/Donovan song sinks into the Atlantic Ocean (or maybe the Mediterranean Sea) "in a single day and night of misfortune," as described by Plato, the Greek philosopher and bass player for Donovan.
Now, Google has erased Atlantis from this Earth. Well, from Google Earth, anyway.
The search giant got Atlantis-ophiles excited nearly three years ago when some people noticed what seemed to be a grid pattern on the floor of the ocean off the coast of Africa.
To the east, Africa was her neighbor
Across a short strait of sea miles
Not so fast, Google said at the time, explaining that the apparent lines on the ocean floor weren't ruins from the lost city of Atlantis, but "plow marks of seafloor farming by aliens" visiting our planet!
Oh, wait, Google excluded the alien theory too. Actually, Google said the lines were caused by something called "ship tracks," which have nothing to do with ancient vanished civilizations, aliens or '60s Welsh singer/songwriters. But why let a reasonable explanation spoil a fervent belief?
Still, Google allowed the mysterious ocean grid to remain on Google Earth -- until
someone got to them this week, when updated and improved imagery replaced the grid image that caused so much excitement three years ago.
In a statement announcing the change, geophysicist David Sandwell of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), said, "The original version of Google Ocean was a newly developed prototype map that had high resolution but also contained thousands of blunders related to the original archived ship data. UCSD undergraduate students spent the past three years identifying and correcting the blunders."
And as the elders of our time choose to remain blind
Let us rejoice and let us sing and dance and ring in the new
Way down below the ocean where I wanna be she may be.
Well, at least until Google decides to get all sciency on you.