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Scientists searching for shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico found something else instead

Scientists Discover Rare Asphalt Volcano

Scientists searching for shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico instead found something they say no one has ever seen before.

The researchers from Texas A&M's Galveston branch had already found three shipwrecks roughly 175 miles off the coast. So they sent two remote-controlled vehicles to investigate what they believed was a fourth. But it wasn't quite what they expected.

KHOU reports, "So this is a very substantial asphalt volcanic structure ... a volcano of asphalt. Tar shooting from beneath the floor of the gulf, solidifying as it hits the near freezing water."

Researchers have nicknamed the structure "Tar Lily." It measures 20 feet in diameter and about 10 feet at its highest point.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "Although the asphalt volcano appears to be dormant for the moment, the size of the extrusions suggests that there may be more asphalt below that might get squeezed out in the future."

As for the shipwrecks, researchers a Texas A&M believe they likely sank together in a storm.

Researchers have found a variety of artifacts on the early 19th century vessels, including "navigational equipment, muskets, cannons, roles of suspected hides, tallow and even medicinal supplies like ginger used to treat sea sickness."

The age of the volcano is unknown, although colonies of coral growing on it suggest it's at least 100 years old.

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leftisrighthippy May 01 2014 at 3:09 PM

The question is where is the EPA on this ? I mean somebody has got to stop this I mean its not natural umm well........ it is natural but someone has to stop it I mean if this were BP O Bama would sue them for 30 billion - can we sue G O d ?

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1 reply
petfschr4 leftisrighthippy May 01 2014 at 3:16 PM

How can you imply that BP was not responsible and make such an ignorant comparison ?
Does your hatred blind you from reality? And the environment is in good shape too, right?

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1 reply
imhhc petfschr4 May 02 2014 at 8:45 AM

Just read his made up name, handle thingy. That should explain his intelligence, or lack thereof.

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garylee123 April 30 2014 at 8:31 PM

Just the LaBrea Tar Pits underwater.

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STEVE April 30 2014 at 8:18 PM

Near freezing water in the Gulf of Mexico, that's a good one !

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tbplayer44 April 30 2014 at 7:52 PM

Man Made Global Warming is the culprit... just say it already.

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bakeman52963 April 30 2014 at 7:48 PM

Lets drill for the oil man!! F===k those Arabs!!

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1 reply
fubigonam68 bakeman52963 April 30 2014 at 9:13 PM

did you mean frank.......?

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PATRICE788 April 30 2014 at 7:46 PM

Wow that cool I'm going to research that!

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gb0493bh April 30 2014 at 7:37 PM

Lets see,,,,,,,, if,, you break down the elements of Asphalt,,,,,,, uh,,do you get the EPA mafia morons bowing up and banning all possible imagined,, indangered species sites in the Gulf of Mexico,, or all the countries bordering the entire Gulf of Mexico? WHO in mexico, or the USA is going to prosecute mother nature for doing a no-no? And the #1 stupidido is,,,,,,? sadly,, the USA jackasses?

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eulerckt April 30 2014 at 7:35 PM

I'm really surprised this event is called 'rare'. Oil deposits are exposed due to erosion on the ocean floor with great frequency, especially near subduction zones. Far more is naturally leaked into the ocean than we have spilled, either purposefully or accidentally.

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2 replies
slowhanddean eulerckt April 30 2014 at 9:23 PM

But that just fit anyones political agenda.

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slowhanddean eulerckt April 30 2014 at 9:23 PM

Oops the word doesn't should be in there somewhere.

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darbyfair April 30 2014 at 7:18 PM

Are they sure that this is not the remains of the Malasian Airlines?

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thorrsman April 30 2014 at 7:06 PM

That tar and oil seeps from the bottom of the Gulf is already known.

I guess that it is not known widely enough.

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