A Lost Underwater World?

A couple of days ago, a team of geologists announced the discovery of an “ancient, lost landscape” submerged deep within the North Atlantic Ocean. In other words, a lost world. How did it get there?  And what the heck happened to it?

A Lost World?

This “lost world” is approximately fifty-six million years old.  Before it sank to the bottom of the ocean, it probably connected to Scotland and possibly Norway as well.  Using data and core samples intended for oil companies, a team of geologists at the University of Cambridge discovered traces of eight major rivers, numerous mountains, and signs of organic life (including pollen and coal).

It looks for all the world like a map of a bit of a country onshore.  It is like an ancient fossil landscape preserved two kilometers beneath the seabed. – Nicky White, Senior Researcher

Intriguingly, the core samples show evidence of marine life, both above and below that for land-based life.  This indicates that the land started under the ocean, rose to the surface, and then submerged again, all in two and a half million years.  How is this even possible?  It’s due to something called the Icelandic Plume.

The plume, obviously centered under Iceland, carried hot magna from deep inside the earth to a point right beneath the crust.  The magna grew especially hot, causing it to spread out via a series of ripples.  The geologists believe that these ripples pushed the land upwards until it broke through the ocean surface.  When the ripples passed, the lost world sank again.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

This particular landscape appears to have predated humanity.  However, the Icelandic Plume is not the only one of its kind.  In all likelihood, there are other lost worlds out there, waiting to be discovered.  Who knows?  Maybe one of these days, we’ll even find a lost world with traces of people on it.  Maybe, assuming it actually exists, we’ll even find Atlantis.

What’s inside the Lost Mayan Tomb?

Three weeks ago, a team of archaeologists peeked inside a small hole hidden deep within the ruins of Palenque and in the process, became the first people in 1,500 years to see the inside of a lost Mayan tomb.  So, what did they find?

The Classic Maya City of Palenque

Palenque is a set of spectacular Mayan ruins located in southern Mexico.  They date from as far back as 100 BC.  After the decline of the Mayan civilization, they were swallowed up by the jungle and lost for centuries.

Many years ago, a royal necropolis, or cemetery, sat within the city limits of Palenque.  At some point, a step pyramid structure now known as Temple XX was built on top of the necropolis.  In the process, the builders covered up a vaulted tomb.  It is believed by some that this tomb belongs to Yohl Ik’nal, who ruled Palenque from 583-604 AD.  However, others believe that it comes from a slightly earlier time period.

Recently, a team of archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History used a tiny video camera to peer into the tomb.  They discovered that the room contains a sarcophagus, pottery dishes, and pieces of a funerary shroud made from jade and mother of pearl.  They also discovered that the red-painted room contained remnants of an intriguing mural, depicting at least nine figures, painted in black.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

As many of you know, I will be releasing my first novel in the upcoming weeks.  Afterwards, I’ll be conducting a multi-week expedition to Palenque and other Mayan ruins scattered throughout southern Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala.  The chance to study these wonderful monuments from up-close is a very exciting opportunity for me.  I’m looking forward to visiting Temple XX and taking a closer look at this ancient tomb.  Hopefully, it will yield a wealth of new information.  And with any luck, it will allow us to shed light on many of the mysteries that continue to surround the ancient Mayan civilization.

Where is Cleopatra’s Tomb?

Cleopatra VII is of the most significant women in history.  She ruled or co-ruled Egypt for over twenty years.  Her great beauty, enrapturing personality, and affairs with the likes of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony have become the stuff of legend.  On August 12, 30 BC, she supposedly committed suicide by inducing the bite of an asp (although one modern theory holds that she was deliberately poisoned).  For centuries, explorers have searched for Cleopatra’s tomb.  So, where is it?

Cleopatra’s Tomb?

Amazingly, after more than two millennia, Cleopatra’s tomb (which is believed to also hold Mark Antony) might be on the verge of being unearthed.  The expedition to find Cleopatra’s tomb is led by Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, and Dr. Kathleen Martinez who hails from the Dominican Republic.  They began initial work several years ago, focusing primarily on the temple of Taposiris Magna, which lies west of Alexandria.

Several circumstantial details point to the temple as a possible burial location.  It’s surrounded by a cemetery, which appears to hold people of some means.  This indicates the presence of an important nearby tomb, possibly one belonging to royalty.  Also, the expedition unearthed a separate temple dedicated to Isis, the deity from which Cleopatra claimed to be reincarnated.  Other clues, such as coins depicting Alexander the Great, provide evidence that the tombs in the area are of the right time period.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

Last month, the expedition completed a radar survey of the temple, which pinpointed three deep shafts.  They believe that one of these shafts might serve as the final resting place for Cleopatra and Mark Antony.  While the existence of Cleopatra’s tomb has yet to be confirmed, these three shafts represent the most promising lead in centuries.  If by some chance, the burial is discovered intact, it could prove to be one of the greatest treasure troves of all time…not just in terms of gold and artifacts but in terms of knowledge as well.

The Great Flood: Fact or Fiction?

It’s one of the Bible’s most iconic stories.  Infuriated at the wickedness of mankind, God sent a giant flood to wipe out the earth’s population, saving only Noah, his family, and two of every animal.  Many people consider the story just that…a story.  But in fact, there is evidence to suggest that the Great Flood has a historical basis.

The Mysterious Black Sea?

On July 7, a Bulgarian expedition, led by underwater archaeologist Professor Petko Dimitrov, announced the discovery of the original shoreline of the Black Sea, buried deep beneath the water’s surface (the Black Sea is the smaller body of water in the above picture).  If correct, this evidence could help to support a longstanding theory that at some point in the past, the Black Sea experienced a sudden and tremendous influx of water which would later be recorded in history as the Great Flood.

The Black Sea is a peculiar body of water.  It is a saltwater lake.  Also, its deeper waters don’t mix with its surface waters, leading to a situation in which 90% of it contains very low levels of oxygen (bad for life, but terrific for underwater preservation).  Generally speaking, most scientists agree that it started as a smaller freshwater lake.  Thanks to a breach in the Bosporus Strait, the Mediterranean Sea flowed into the Black Sea, raising its water level and changing its salt content.

Did the Great Flood take place in the Black Sea?

However, the manner in which this happened is one of intense debate.  Did it take place gradually?  Or in one sudden moment of time?  The latter theory is known as the Ryan-Pitman Theory.  In essence, it postulates that the Black Sea experienced a massive deluge around 5600 BC due to glacier melting after the last Ice Age.  The latest findings from Dimitrov’s expedition appears to support this theory.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

Direct evidence linking the Black Sea to the Genesis story of the Great Flood remains skimpy.  However, the gigantic deluge theorized by the Dimitrov expedition would’ve had enormous ramifications for the area and the people who once called it home.  Over time, those ramifications could have changed into the story that we now know from Genesis.  Regardless, this latest discovery seems to indicate that a large, sudden flood did indeed take place in the Black Sea area many centuries ago.  If nothing else, we are one step closer to finally learning the truth about the Great Flood.

Secret Shafts within the Great Pyramid

The Great Pyramid of Giza is, in my opinion, the single most spectacular structure on earth. Constructed around 2560 BC, it has weathered over 4,500 years of natural disasters, wars, and modernization.

Secret Hieroglyphics inside the Great Pyramid?

Even today, with all of our modern tools and equipment, the Great Pyramid remains shrouded in mystery.  New discoveries and theories as to its purpose are common.

The latest chapter in its long saga took place just a few weeks ago.  The Djedi Project announced that it discovered ancient red hieroglyphs inside a secret air shaft that leads out of the Queen’s Chamber.  The shaft is one of two accessible from the room.  Mysteriously, neither one was originally connected to the Chamber and neither one exits the Great Pyramid.

The discovery was made using a micro snake camera engineered to fit through a small hole in a stone door at the end of the shaft.  In addition to the hieroglyphs, the camera also enabled the examination of two copper pins which have been used to support Christopher Dunn’s “power plant” theory.  According to the Project, the latest images indicate that the pins “were more likely ornamental rather than electrical connections or structural features.”  (You can read Dunn’s rebuttal here.)

The images also showed that the other side of the stone door was “finished and polished,” suggesting that it might have served a purpose beyond just blocking the shaft.  Next, the Project plans to examine the far wall to see if it is another door or a solid block.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

The Great Pyramid remains one of the greatest mysteries of history.  While commonly thought to be a giant tomb, not a single burial has ever been discovered inside of it (although that could be due to grave robbers).  In fact, out of more than eighty pyramids along the Nile Valley, (including the sealed Step Pyramid of Sekhemkhet) not a single body has ever been found.

In the absence of bodies, other theories have sprung up to explain the pyramids.  Some of these include: granaries, calendars, observatories, and public works to unite Egypt’s tribes.  Perhaps the most likely alternative theory is that the pyramids were cenotaphs, or monuments to the Pharaohs but not their actual tombs.

Regardless, one thing seems certain…the Great Pyramid has yet to give up all of its secrets.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the best ones are still to come.