Scientists Spot Bizarre ‘Yellow Brick Road’ in Pacific Ocean

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The path to the Emerald City might travel along the ocean’s bottom. The crew of the  caught sight of a strange-looking formation while studying an area called Liliʻuokalani Ridge in the in the Pacific Ocean.

The feature resembles a road paved in cobblestones. Impressed of the formation described it as a «yellow brick road» and «the road to Atlantis,» and called it bizarre, « cool and crazy in a video released last week.

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Nautilus spent most of April studying the geology and biological systems of seamounts, « underwater mountains with volcanic origins. «At the summit of Nootka Seamount, the team spotted a ‘dried lake bed’ formation, now ID’ed as a fractured flow of hyaloclastite rock (a volcanic rock formed in high-energy eruptions where many rock fragments settle to the seabed),» . The brick-like patterns likely come from heating and cooling cycles connected to eruptions.

The exploration vessel is operated by the nonprofit Ocean Exploration Trust, which , giving viewers a firsthand look at what its remote-operated diving vehicles see in the deep. 

Nautilus has recorded all sorts of beautiful and unusual sea life, including cute and an from earlier this year. The Wizard of Oz-esque formation highlights how these ocean explorations can shed light on processes that are normally hidden away under the waves. Follow the yellow brick road to a greater understanding of seabed geology.

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