Within months of Google Earth becoming live in 2005 discoveries were starting to be made. We are not talking about crop circles or messages scrawled on rooftops either, at a point in time when scientists believed that they had a relatively good understanding of the planet on which we all co-exist they were making new and major scientific discoveries that have been both exciting and strange.
Three Discoveries Made on Google Earth
The Land that Time Forgot
A group of British researchers were looking at Africa using the new Google Earth when they just happened to notice a richly forested area around Mount Mabu in Mozambique, before long it dawned on them that they were looking at something that they had never seen before, or even knew existed.
Somehow they, and the whole of the scientific community were totally oblivious to the existence of what turned out to be the South Africa’s largest rainforest. When they finally travelled to the destination they found an ecosystem that had been left untouched, filled with rare and unique species of plants and several new species of animal life from butterflies to giant snakes.
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An Ancient Ancestor
At the end of 2007 Professor Lee Berger was using Google Earth to research some caves around Johannesburg, as he continued to look he managed to identify around five hundred sites which he believed could contain the bones of our ancestors.
In the summer of 2008 he travelled to one of the sites that he identified in his original survey with his family for a closer investigation, when his dog ran off into the high grass. In pursuit of the dog Berger’s son fell head first over what turned out to be the greatest fossil discovery relating to the evolution of the human species.
What they discovered were the two million year old fossil remains of an adult female and a young boy, something which had never been seen anywhere before. It was discovered that this ancestor had a small though advanced brain, much longer arms and legs than a modern human and an advanced pelvis. This step in our evolutionary history was named Australopithecus Sediba, and is considered to be a possible missing link in the evolutionary history of mankind.
Roman Villa - The Lost Civilisations
Using Google Earth to view his home town of Sorbolo in Italy, Luca Mori an Italian IT specialist noticed a strange geographical feature on the satellite images. A shaded oval measuring around 500 yards in length with some nearby shadowed rectangular shapes close by. He discovered that the oval shape was the remains of a long dry river and it appeared that the rectangular shapes were long buried structures.
Discovering what looked like the remains of an ancient settlement he got in touch with some local archaeologists who when they started to explore the site, discovered the remains of what turned out to be a Roman Villa or village that dated back over 2000 years. A chance discovery led to one of the most remarkable archaeological finds in the region.