We may never know the full extent of the ocean’s many mysteries, but we’re always guaranteed to be confronted with something unexpected. Case in point: A recent discovery of a rock formation that bears a strong resemblance to the Yellow Brick Road from The Wizard of Oz.
The aquatic path was found by the Ocean Exploration Trust vessel Nautilus in Liliʻuokalani Ridge in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, one of the largest marine conservation areas on the planet. A remote camera was able to net footage of the cobblestone-esque path, which was shared by researchers on YouTube:
The “path” is likely a flow of hyaloclastite rock that has repeatedly heated and cooled, leading to a fractured formation. Team members of the Trust who observed it in real-time alternately described it as “baked crust,” while another speculated it could be “the road to Atlantis.”
The Nautilus previously captured the toxic “hot tub of despair” in the Gulf of Mexico, a curious “purple orb” in California, and a stubby squid that looks like something you’d fetch out of a claw vending machine.
With just 3 percent of the area’s seafloor mapped and the crew live-streaming their footage on a regular basis, there’s no telling what other sights Nautilus might encounter next.