Mountain View Travel Guide
Dream on: After a U.K. tabloid boasted it found the mythical lost city of Atlantis on the souped-up Google Ocean, the non-evil giant was forced to issue a statement declaring that the city is, in fact, not real.
According to Plato, the island kingdom of Atlantis was a major naval power before sinking overnight. According to aeronautical engineer Bernie Bamford, the ruins of Atlantis are located at 31 15'15.53N, 24 15'30.53W in Google Ocean -- unless it's some nefarious plan of the supposedly non-evil corporation to drive conspiracy theorists crazy.
Google counters that the strange patterns Bamford spotted are just a by-product of their scanning system, like the shots of nudists or porn-store-visitors captured by their roving cameras. But hey, that's no fun! Who wants to believe that?
· Google dismisses "Atlantis" find [BBC News]
· Has Google Ocean Found the Missing City of Atlantis? [Jaunted]
Ok, so Kazumura Cavern is technically a lava tube and not a cave. But it's close enough for us, and the spelunkers that love this massive subterranean complex that honeycombs Hawaii's Big Island don't seem to quibble about definitions either. Lava flows created most of the caves hundreds of years ago while moving under the surface on the way out to sea. When the flows dried up and the tubes emptied, a fantastic system of lava caves remained. Underground, Kazumura spans more than 50 miles along the eastern flank of Kilauea, an active volcano to this day.
These caves are fragile in many places and the lava rock is extremely jagged. (In other words, watch where you step.) Spectacular hardened lava waterfalls in a rainbow of brown and orange are the hallmark of the caves. Skylights open up to the outside in many places and the tubes themselves rarely dip more than 60 feet below the surface. Though 50 miles of the passages have been mapped, that's only a fraction of the total subterranean acreage. A great way to see this natural wonder is with Kiluaea Caverns of Fire, a soft adventure outfit whose knowledgeable guides run tours through the caverns.