Reader Mail: What the Heck are These Weird Tracks on the Bottom of the Ocean?

Reader Mail: What the Heck are These Weird Tracks on the Bottom of the Ocean?

Weird tracks on the bottom of the ocean

When it comes to mysteries, there’s no better place for hiding them than the bottom of the ocean. In fact, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as much as 95% of the world’s oceans remain unexplored.

And yet some people don’t believe in sea monsters.

Well, thanks to the advent of the internet, we can do some of that exploring from the comfort of our computer chairs, and you never know what sorts of strange stuff will turn up. Our pal Samuel Burgan (AKA IceBurg) was doing just that, and found a bunch of bizarre markings on the ocean floor, so he sent a few snapshots our way.

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Sam writes:

Hey guys, Iceburg here. I don’t know if this is your kind of thing or not but here it goes:

I was playing around with Google Earth a while back and noticed something strange on the ocean floor.

Starting off the East coast off South Carolina, just past the continental shelf, at about 33° 0’10.32″N  75° 9’26.39″W, there are strange tank-like tread marks heading East to West. I initially thought it was just a photo stitching artifact until I followed it all the way to  32°16’38.84″N  55°11’48.71″W, where the tracks stop, make an abrupt turn, then double back to continue on their course.

There are places where the trail crosses other trails. They appear to go all the way to the mid Atlantic ridge, at least that’s where I finally lost them.

Thought they might be satellite sweeps, but they stop and turn around. Wild stuff.

I’ll try to attach some pics. Check it out for yourself.

the weird undersea tracks turn around and cross themselves

The weird markings go on for miles and look almost as if someone has been driving a huge tank on the seafloor, and when I say huge, I mean HUGE. In fact, judging from the size of the tracks, the giant sea-tank would have to have treads around several city blocks wide.

What could be making these strange formations? An undiscovered species of gargantuan underwater eels? Alien spacecraft safely occupying the depths of our oceans? Secret military machinery? It’s hard to not let your mind wander when considering the more fantastic possibilities.

Regardless, I managed to stop daydreaming long enough to do a bit of googling and I might have found at least one possible explanation for the strange drag marks: they might be ship tracks.

According to Google themselves, ship tracks are the leftover traces of an oceanic depth measuring process called “echosounding”. Google previously wrote about the process when many of their users thought they might have stumbled onto remnants of Atlantis on Google Earth several years back.

From their blog:

Picture 6

You see, it’s actually quite hard to measure the depth of the ocean. Sunlight, lasers, and other electromagnetic radiation can travel less than 100 feet below the surface, yet the typical depth in the ocean is more than two and a half miles. Sound waves are more effective. By measuring the time it takes for sound to travel from a ship to the sea floor and back, you can get an idea of how far away the sea floor is. Since this process — known as echosounding — only maps a strip of the sea floor under the ship, the maps it produces often show the path the ship took, hence the “ship tracks.” In this case, the soundings produced by a ship are also about 1% deeper than the data we have in surrounding areas — likely an error — making the tracks stand out more.

While there is a decent chance that this might be what Sam stumbled onto, the only thing that keeps bothering me about the echosounding theory is the second image showing the the tracks turning in on themselves and shifting around all willy-nilly like. One would imagine that boats generally travel in straight lines.

Any ship captains, oceanographers, or underwater alien spacecraft experts want to weight in on IceBurg’s discovery?

Have your own weird discovery you want to share? I want to hear it! Find me on Facebook, on twitter @WeirdHQ, or leave a comment below!


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Greg Newkirk

Greg Newkirk

Editor-In-Chief at Week In Weird
Writer, adventurer, and professional monster chaser, Greg Newkirk is the founder and Editor-In-Chief of Week In Weird, Director of The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult and one-half of the prolific investigative duo Planet Weird. Learn more about Greg.
Greg Newkirk
Greg Newkirk

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Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
JillV
3 years 1 month ago

Giant sea slugs

or

the mermaids are getting organized and forming an army to do something about that sonar. I’m rooting for the mer-people.

Mr. E
3 years 3 months ago

Notice how the image gets cleaner over geographic structures or areas where the “tracks” go over. This is because it is in fact the sonar imaging; these are clearly the same thing Google explained.

Sean
3 years 3 months ago
I think the key here is that it’s too easy to assume what google earth shows is an accurate representation of what is actually there, when in fact the hundred or so websites about google earth glitches and so on should prove otherwise (i remember the purple crystalline underwater city, and the giant strips of tape holding northern Canada together) Google earth is fully subject to glitches and visual flaws that are a byproduct of how the images are stitched together. No good reason to assume these are anything more than that (in this case, the sonar theory). When someone… Read more »
Chew
3 years 3 months ago

If they were tank tread tracks they would be uniform in size, shape and width and they wouldn’t abruptly start and stop at the base of the seamounts. If you follow the tracks all the way to the west the tracks narrow to a point.

Brice
1 year 11 days ago

Check this out !!
-56.514582, -150.004269

Mike E
1 year 11 days ago

Holy shit, that’s f…n freaky

dd
6 months 18 days ago

check this. 51°16’39.28″N 44°17’32.18″W
squared seafloor… I would be surprised if a fishnet could make such big marks on the bottom. it’s not that they fish with big metal plows right? where talking about a shattered seabed. I think a fishnet could make some marks on the floor but not like this. there are sometimes small mountains across those roads. so fishnets? don’t think so.

bart
10 days 22 hours ago
That squared site clearly proves that it is sonar(echosounding tracks. If you ever used a fishing sonar one of those lines is pretty much exactly what you see on your screen as a continuous feed as you are moving forward. Showing you the ocean floor as you are going along, you look for underwater structure to fish around. Here clearly they used a sonar to get a general idea of the ocean floor in that area, making a large grid like that instead of ovelapping the passes for a detailed view, but taking 10x as long. If you look closely… Read more »
Chris
5 months 9 days ago

That line merges with several others in french polynesia…….

Leonhard
5 days 4 hours ago

Ouchhh !!!

Lan
1 month 18 days ago

As i carefully look at them i think they were only gap of satellite images where oceans body was not totally capture in all levels.

-My English is basic i hope you get my point. its only my initial observation.

Gordon
1 year 15 days ago

I’ve seen those markings many times. Off the coast of Iceland is a good place to see them. I’ve measured some with Google Earth measurements and many are more than 1000 miles long and in very deep water, ruling out the possibility of dredging, fishing, and other ocean activities. Watching a special on TV, and many were said to be mysterious and too deep to be man made, but definitely not just a natural phenomenon.

Adam
Adam
3 years 3 months ago

I was watching a special about the discovery of a sunken vessel and they mentioned these. It’s from deep fishing nets that drag the bottom of the ocean. Several sunken ship sites have been destroyed by them.

C.
3 years 3 months ago

I think that about solves it. trawlers still leave out of the Carolinas.

Chew
3 years 3 months ago

They aren’t trawler net marks. Trawler nets aren’t 5 miles ride, trawlers rarely bottom trawl in waters deeper than 100 fathoms, and they don’t drag their nets continuously for a thousand miles.

SylverWyrd
3 years 3 months ago

Those are not machine tracks. The ocean floor is riddled with rifts that are caused by continental drift.

alanborky
3 years 3 months ago
Mmm intriguing. Like you Greg I’d be inclined to go with the echo sounding explanation but every now and then you see manoeuvering patterns which seem to defy the logic of such a scenario. That and they also disturb me somewhat because they remind me of these recurring dreams I’ve been having for years now where I’m wand’ring in and out the Mersey along the beds of the seas and oceans of the world where I keep bumping into there’re all these endless dead people blindly shuffling along. The most recent highly detailed one from about 18 months 2 years… Read more »
Scienceseeker
3 years 3 months ago

The “Echo Sounding Theory” is pure non-sense: since when does SOUND make SHADOWS? Look at the photo, the light source is from the bottom of the pic. You’re trying to tell me that a boat made this triangular shape with its echo sounder, then later on a photo-satellite going over picked up its residual echo sounding and that it had manifested itself into a solid in order to cast a shadow? C what I mean about pure BS?

Chew
3 years 3 months ago

Since at least the US Civil War. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_shadow

These are bathymetric surveys; i.e. depth of the water, using echosounding; they are not photographic images. Where on Earth did you get the idea these are shadows cast by light?

some_fellow
3 months 5 days ago

thank you. really. it’s nice to have at least a modicum of reason, and some level of knowledge (and productive informed skepticism, i think?), in these comments…

Brian Noble
2 years 2 months ago

They are not echo sounder tracks.Echo sounders use sound waves which make no impression on the sea floor. They are not trawlers nets, or the doors, because they do not strike the bottom often and do not result in straight lines of that nature ever.When are people going to finally understand we have alien species living on this planet. They reside in lakes and the ocean. They are mining for minerals and sampling sediment for their own purposes. Try reading Timothy Good’s books or The Third Explanation Amazon Kindle. Wake up and smell the ozone people!

Noble full of gas
1 year 11 months ago

What a load of crap

Brian Noble
1 year 10 months ago
At least ten years of my time was spent as a science journalist. There may (or may not be) a good explanation for these tracks. No one however has come up with a realistic one yet. The point is, it doesn’t take a lot of research to realise we are not alone. It does however take an interest in science and an open mind. Michio Kaku once said, “A species a 1000 years ahead of us would look just like magic, 500,000 would take them anywhere they wanted to go, and do anything they wanted to do – anywhere!” Are… Read more »
John
1 year 3 months ago

Brian, with all/any due respect, lay of the smoke dude.

“which make no impression on the sea floor.”

If you think that is the point, your logic centres are severely flawed.

R Mace
3 years 3 months ago

ascension island Has tracks all around it..

3 years 3 months ago

Ancient roadways of past civilizations perhaps???

Scienceseeker
3 years 3 months ago

Using standard aerial photo techniques, those “tracks” are are more like super-wide construction roadways complete with strange shaped buildings and vehicles on them. There are tall structures on & alongside the roads. This could be some kind of manufacturing site. A big site!

Note how the individual road segments goes down inside the small craters & cracks; this rules out a large tracked vehicle making these marks, because it would span the hole, leaving no track-mark down inside. The tracks look as if constructed in long single rolls from the inside roll out.

Capt. Avatar
3 years 3 months ago

Cthulhu

phil
3 years 3 months ago

Mecha-Cthulhu

Will
3 years 1 month ago

Honestly the tracks that doubled back may have been from a ship surveying for a sunken ship, especially since the tracks pass back over several anomalies as if to check if they are natural or not.

Dan
3 years 6 days ago
The ocean is expansive, and we have been to only a very small portion and we we have mapped only a portion as well. These anomalies you see are really from the data captured from ocean vessels that survey that path. Most ships, like aircraft travel in a straight lime for long distances and so you see these long lines running across the floor of the ocean where a ship was surveying as it traveled. Those other areas that have less detail on either side of the line are really low resolution surveys, or even guesstimates. And so, they have… Read more »
mark
2 years 2 months ago

these show on google satellite. sonar does not show on satellite images.

Joel
2 years 27 days ago

Except these are not satellite “images,” at least not ones made by light. Look at the shorelines, you can clearly see where it switches from images to ocean floor height data. The Bahamas really stand out for this.

anna
2 years 7 months ago
Hi Guys, I have noticed these strange markings too. There is an especially interesting one off of the coast of Madagascar….southeast of the island. It is really quite unique compared to those, say, off of the coast of Oregon (those were the first tracks I noticed). Seem a bit large to be made by ships. There is much to be found via satellite imagery. I am an archaeologist and we sometimes use images to search for temples in Central America. I have never really looked at the ocean til recently. Who knows, these may be explained away like the complex… Read more »
Brian Noble
2 years 2 months ago

Problem is photo experts from Bristol have said quite clearly that the Mars face photos have been scrubbed and doctored through filters. Why would NASA do that? Think about it.

Mari
7 months 25 days ago

Madagascar – that is the general area of mythical Golconda/Lemuria /Kumari Kandam – the famed Atlantis location extending from the southern part of India extending way down to the south pole. Interestingly the south Indians (Bangaloreans etc) have one of the brightest minds in computer science and language skills.

The deep sea tracks are almost a pentagram shape in the region of greek islands – another proposed site of submerged Atlantis!

david
2 years 6 months ago
Hi greg..and anna…there might be an explanation for this from what i know..but..you can called it crazy…but it is actually a little bit “religious”…There is a relief in one of the ancient heritage who tell about this too.. it is the great vehicle from the age of solomon..as described in the world wonder of borobudur,indonesia..(in our country the topic is quite intersting in these recent years..that borobudur temple is solomon heritage..not budha heritage) It s more than one..you can see it more in pacific too..and south of australia..it also has various wide from around 4 km to 14 km..yes..it is… Read more »
trackback

[…] Strange Tracks on the bottom of the ocean […]

mark
2 years 2 months ago

these (roadways) led me here, i look at areas that may have been above sea level during the ice ages and may have been human occupation sites. a road way would connect towns or cities and will intersect at major sites. i notice that these (roads) do just that.

jpKomando
2 years 20 days ago
I my opinion Google is like many other corps, forced into misinformation. There are human entities that manipulate Natnl Govts, includint U.S. president and congress. If there is any finding that is earth shattering, they will confiscate and then ‘Leprechaun’ it (over supply false readings). Those trackings seem to have been left so long ago, that over time even ocean bottom drifting have covered up part of the track, then reappear over a hundred miles later along the same straight path. There is some commonality in these tracks. They are all an average of 5 miles wide. The most amazing… Read more »
Brian Noble
1 year 10 months ago

Bottom trawling in the area photographed is illegal. It does happen however, but the mouth of the net is the size of a football field weighed down with ballast. This causes the nets to drag up everything in their path.Coral,unwanted fish, etc.. etc,. and creates huge sediment storms, which tend to obliterate the seabed marks made. They do go beyond 4 miles or so before hauling nets. They could not possibly have caused the photographed lines.They may be a camera anomaly or they may not. They are are not caused by illegal trawling.

obama luigi
1 year 10 months ago

Proof that it’s echosounding: if you look at the sea mountains off the coast of Massachusetts these tracks go right over them and it’s only in those tracks that you can see Tue geography in detail. It would also make sense that they went over these mountains to measure the height.

Don’t dismiss an idea just because you don’t think it’s true

M
1 year 9 months ago
These ‘tracks’ are the paths boats have taken from harbor to harbor(look at Hawaii going to the mainland) the tracks are a result of the ships radar constantly scanning for obstacles along it’s journey. This means highly detailed images of the sea floor in a line only and these stand out from the rest of the blurred surrounding sea floor which is not scanned. Look at Google earth and turn the sea conservation icons on and you’ll see the boats zigged and zagged on various locations that are monitored and/or protected likely tracking fish or coral reef. The rest obviously… Read more »
Ivan
1 year 9 months ago
Marty
1 year 7 months ago

I think i may have found a vehicle large enough to make those tracks and it is still on the ocean floor, if it is not a vehicle of some sort it is most definitely something not natural. Check it out at: 34.000343, -119.033221

Tom Freeman
1 year 6 months ago
I think the problem is that you are not looking at a photograph. The maps are a composite of depth information gathered by ship soundings, or other mapping equipment. Where these have been, the data is collected and mapped, and since many of the autonomous equipment just goes back and forth in an area, the data appears in straight lines. Look off the coast of southern CA or near Woods Hole you will see data in similar straight lines. So, the lines are not really there on the sea floor, they are created as part of the mapping process. Where… Read more »
Aardvark
1 year 4 months ago

These lines are off the Northwest coast of the US and Canada as well.

1 year 4 months ago

Here is another shot off the coast of the Northwest U.S. (see website)
Dome in center appears to be nearly 2 miles across.

Donald L. Engel
1 year 3 months ago

I found an even more interesting site. It’s a “plowed field” at 8 degrees, 25’56” S. by 107 degrees, 59’09.55″ W. The “plowed field” is a 125 by 167 miles rectangle with “roads” that go directly toward Guerrero, Mexico, and San Jose, Costa Rica.

Be Daring
1 year 24 days ago
As Tom Freeman states, we are not looking at a photograph, we are looking at a composite of information gathered over many different time frames by many different techniques. This accounts of the variation in resolutions, and that is what this is all about, really. If you take a look at the tracks, you can see that they are only really tracks because they are made up of a line of much higher resolution ‘imagery’ than the surroundings. This is most likely because whatever technique used to record the data was recording at a much higher resolution than whatever, or… Read more »
Wayne Petrucci
1 year 9 days ago
I think everyone here needs to wake up! Start with the the you tube video: why NASA has not formerly answered why we have not gone back to the moon. Take a close lose look at the moon under high definition mode (in app purchase) in The Apple Solar Walk App, then start recognizing similar crablike objects that are blurred on the ocean floor. The theory is aliens have been mining the moon for some time. Now there is a tank with two wheels that are not completely blurred out if you look closely. It is a 100% clear there… Read more »
Wayne Petrucci
9 months 17 days ago

Actually, It turns out I was the one who needed to wake up! After posting my thoughts, I soon after realized we are not talking about aliens or even sonar tracks. Unfortunately, I honestly believe mercurybc’s comments following mine and Pascalsnor video is “more on track!”

mercurybc
11 months 11 days ago
i have couple of days ago put a question on yahoo answers : https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20150915074240AACxMC6 : What is this 500 miles long ,4 miles wide, belt shaped 9 parallel lines under water south of Spain and Sardinia ? the link of pic on google is : https:[email protected],0.4166068,32407m/data=!3m1!1e3 those who say these are tank tracks ,do they know those tracks are about 4 miles wide ?! i have found several other anomalies on ocean floors , may be i make a video on youtube for them, there are geometrical shapes staying alone by themselves on ocean floors in magnitude of 100 miles,… Read more »
James
10 months 12 days ago

Sorry to give a boring scientific explanation, but these markings are the artefacts of sonar mapping. Google Earth is a composite of several satellite and sonar maps, some at high resolution, some low.
Sonar mapping is done as a series of tracks, the scanning done sideways, so individual sonar records appear as lines parallel to, or radiating from, the ship’s track.
A good example is:

https:[email protected],-88.6169071,24297m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

in the Bay of Mexico. Here the ship’s track, and the side-scanning sonar pattern, is easily visible.
Sorry, it’s not the handiwork of aliens or a long-lost civilisation.

Pascalsnor
9 months 27 days ago

And this kind of tracks ? Is this sonar too?? 😉
https://youtu.be/kZqR-ORr-qk

Joel
8 months 15 days ago

Yes.

Based on the area, probably being done at the same time as gravity scans to look for oil.

Jonna Mubar (Jedi Apprentice)
8 months 22 days ago

Telecommunications cables, they are. Google search you should of maps for telecommunications cables. Match closely, they do. Exact matches they are not, but my source exact it was not.

Joel
8 months 15 days ago

If these are areas of higher resolution resulting from more accurate sonar scans, it would make sense that those scans are done in area where cables exist or are planned.

VintageNu
7 months 27 days ago

So what about geometry track like this,
https://goo.gl/maps/MeULgKK6nfB2
I dont think its a echo sound from ship track or effects from sonar something…

Delysid
5 months 20 days ago
Actually, VinyageNu’s link, above, to a geometric pattern of trails on the ocean floor provides a very clear & convincing demonstration that these trails are in fact hi-resolution sonar scans for some scientific or industrial purpose. If you zoom in very close, you can readily see that the trails are just hi-resolution scans of a sea floor that around the scan trails is otherwise foggy, because image is from low-resolution scans, maybe be satellite, & smoothed over by Google Maps algorithm — like when you zoom in too far on some remote wilderness spot on land. What the trails in… Read more »
Jim Barnes
7 months 19 days ago

Hi.
I was searching the ocean floor in the mid to north Atlantic and found something interesting. Lon -54.93 Lat 38.37. These also have lines in geometric shapes, and they are strange and rather large. Just wondering if you know of these and if so, are these also the “feedback Distortion” of the echo sound mapping?

Adam
7 months 4 days ago

Haarp related..

Adam
7 months 4 days ago

…the diamond shape between south America and Africa, facing north south..

Anders Brandt
7 months 2 days ago

Lock att 66,0 3,3 east of Island

amador
5 months 23 days ago

The most interesting and engaging field ever for anyone is oceanography. Enough mysteries to create great philosophers out of dudes

Djack
5 months 22 days ago

I am going with telecoms cables. The cable laying ships use vigorous kit to disturb the seabed to lay the cable. But there are two difficulties with this idea. 1) the apparent width of the tracks is very wide. Could this be simple collateral disturbance of seabed material? 2) I am looking at a track from Perth all the way in a clear line to the Seychelles but I cant yet find such a route on any submarine able maps.

GC
4 months 10 days ago

I thought telecom cables too but look off the coast of Peru. There are shapes formed. No one would lay telecom that way.

Dada
5 months 9 days ago

Similar to NAZCA lines….agree?

Delysid
5 months 7 days ago
*sigh* Similar in generating harebrained speculation, yes. But zoom way in on them & it’s boringly apparent that they are strips of ocean bottom, rendered in much higher resolution than the fuzzy low-resolution sea floor around them. The source of that high-res data is, again boringly, sonar scans from ships travelling along the sea surface. The scanning tech covers a stretch of sea floor much wider than the ship itself, which would be a tiny dot in the middle of the path. Thus the convergence of lines on major ports & islands like Hawaii along shipping routes. And thus the… Read more »
GC
4 months 10 days ago

Look off the coast of Peru. There are tons of them including one very large square outlined and then two large squares where it looks like the “tracks” (or whatever they are) went all around in an area to make a square shape.

Adrian Dippel
2 months 13 days ago

17.6197° S, 149.4842° W and -56.514582, -150.004269 are the start and end point of a line but so many other lines intersect at 17.6197° S, 149.4842° W

Adrian Dippel
2 months 13 days ago

Hey me agian. just did research on navy and ship ports around the world and alot of the lines start or end at most of the ports so i am thinking sonar is valid way for this to be a cause of the lines but i dont understand the sharp turns because a ship would have to completly stop and turn to make that sharp of a turn but i am not ruling out it as a possible answer good luck to all people who are doing further research and have fun! 😉

Jeffrey Ambrose
1 month 1 day ago

Look west of navajoa mexico in gulf of calfornia. Weird

CAstillo Daniel
21 days 11 hours ago

15.858729, -79.774435 these holes are what??

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