The Drudge Report this morning relayed the breathless headline from the [UK] Sun:

Is this Atlantis?

Google Oceans photo of the supposed Atlantis, found at the UK Sun
Map from Atlantis … spotted on ocean floor

THIS is the amazing image which could show the fabled sunken city of Atlantis.

It shows a perfect rectangle the size of Wales lying on the bed of the Atlantic Ocean nearly 3½ miles down.

A host of criss-crossing lines, looking like a map of a vast metropolis, are enclosed by the boundary.

They seem too vast and organised to be caused naturally.

Gee, it’s nice to see a newspaper decide things based on how they “seem.” We all know that things must always be the way they “seem,” don’t we? The earth certainly “seems” flat on most occasions … so I guess that’s how it must be, no?

Fortunately there is a ready explanation for this, as reported by CNET:

It pains me to say that I am the winkler of bad tidings. For I have discovered the words of one of those excitement dampeners employed by Google official job title “spokesperson.” …

“In this case, 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. The fact that there are blank spots between each of these lines is a sign of how little we really know about the world’s oceans.”

Whew! It’s good to know that “seems” still does not equal “veracity,” and that critical thinking is still alive and well somewhere in the vast, increasingly-credulous world of the mass media.

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