Diver exploring the ocean floor
(Mirror Daily, United States) Have you ever wondered how old the ocean is? Is it as old as the hills? Researchers say it’s about that age, as they have recently discovered a portion of the seabed that might be the oldest part of the seafloor, ever since the beginning of time. This may reveal new information on the oceans’ evolution.
A new study shows that the oldest part of the seabed is to be found in Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Researchers have been able even to give it an approximate age, which is 340 million years old. The number is important, and it has amazed scientists, as they were used to finding younger ocean crusts, such as 200 million years at most.
Roi Granot (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) was the leader of the study, and he acknowledges the importance of the discovery, as he declares:
“The results shed new light on the tectonic architecture and evolution of this region and have important implications on various geodynamic processes.”
The components in the oceanic crust hold information on the way they formed, as well as on the period the process of formation took place. Researcher Granot and his team have been gathering samples from the seabed for years, and now they finally can enjoy the results of their work, through this discovery. Garnot stated for Business Insider:
“It would mean that this ocean was formed while Pangea, the last supercontinent, was still in the making.”
If further research proves that this statement is true, then it means that part of the Mediterranean Sea was also a part of the Tethys Ocean, one of the primordial oceans of the world. This is the researchers’ suggestion too. This will also mean that the Mediterranean Sea is actually 140 million years older than anyone would have expected.
Before this Mediterranean piece was found, the oldest part of the ocean floor was thought to be one near Japan.
Specialist Granot and his team published the study in Nature Geoscience (journal), on August 15.
The news is exciting for both the scientific community and the people who love going to the seaside. So the next time you get to visit the Mediterranean Sea, don’t forget you are near one of the oldest samples of ocean floor ever discovered. It may change the way you perceive the experience. Enjoy this privilege and thank the researchers for that.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia