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Lake Michigan Stonehenge
January 5, 2009 1:42 PM   Subscribe

A year and a half ago, a professor of underwater archeology at Northwestern Michigan University discovered a pattern of stones 40 feet below the waters of Lake Michigan. The story has been surprisingly under-reported, given that the Stonehenge-like structure is potentially estimated to be 10,000 years old. One of the stones even appears to have a mastodon carved on it.
posted by jon_hansen (42 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hmm. It "appears to have a mastodon carved in it," I guess, but some grilled cheese sandwiches appear to have pictures of the Virgin Mary on them. I see pretty pictures in cloud formations all the time, but that doesn't mean someone put them there.
posted by craichead at 1:46 PM on January 5, 2009


Don't underestimate cavemen! If movies have taught me anything, it is that they built the pyramids.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:48 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


What's even more amazing is that Dirk Dorfman, professor of cryptozoology at NMU, also recently discovered evidence of a dinosaur-like sea-creature or "monster" swimming just off shore in Lake Michigan! Man, those professors at NMU really know how to discover things that conveniently help propel their careers!
posted by billysumday at 1:52 PM on January 5, 2009


Yeah, like the Earth is 10,000 years old.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:56 PM on January 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


The key words here are that they were "standing stones". That can't be confirmed from these pics, but thats the only thing that would make me suspect that their theory is correct.
posted by JohnR at 1:56 PM on January 5, 2009


Whatever the answer might be, the very suggestion is interesting enough to think about – where underwater archaeology, prehistoric remains, and lost shipwrecks collide to form a midwestern mystery: National Treasure 3 or Da Vinci Code 2. Even Ghostbusters: The Return.

I was thinking more Weekend At Bernies III: Clovis-a-go-go
posted by CynicalKnight at 2:02 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Where's Aquaman? This is actually pretty cool, all sniping aside. Can't see it becoming a tourist attraction though. We are talking about Michigan here.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:06 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, it's Northwestern Michigan College. We have a university center, though.
posted by Dr-Baa at 2:08 PM on January 5, 2009


Underreported by whom? A quick Google search shows dozens of hits regarding Dr. Holley's purported mastodon carving.
posted by FormlessOne at 2:09 PM on January 5, 2009


I bet Sufjan Stevens is recording a new single about this.
posted by Brodiggitty at 2:12 PM on January 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


"One of the stones even appears to have a mastodon carved on it. "

That's a bit of a stretch, but if you see the mammoth in the rock, go outside and look at the clouds: they'll blow your mind, maaan.
posted by mullingitover at 2:16 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Check out the PDF on the first link. The mastodon is more convincing in photos there.
posted by JohnR at 2:19 PM on January 5, 2009


Sonar images are cool.
posted by Artw at 2:22 PM on January 5, 2009


petraglyphs or it didn't happen
posted by bottlebrushtree at 2:28 PM on January 5, 2009 [14 favorites]


There are some more cool photos in the pdf document and I agree with JohnR, it seems a bit more like a carving from the pdf photos.
posted by furtive at 2:29 PM on January 5, 2009


the Stonehenge-like structure is potentially estimated to be 10,000 years old

Hmmm, a little oversold, no? I mean Stonehenge looks like this, and the boulder on page 21 of this PDF is just a teensy little bit smaller...(scientist in drysuit for reference purposes only). The original said 'Stonehenge-like circle', which yes, may be reasonable as to their general stoney-circley-ness, but not really in any other way.

I assume the date estimate is derived from when the area flooded? That would make it very old indeed, and I'm incredulous for that reason. Glacial desposits are more likely, though I'm sure they had a geologist take a look before claming it to be humanmade...
posted by Sova at 2:47 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


None of this changes the fact that one can be a professor of underwater archeology, which is cooler than fuck.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:55 PM on January 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Other stuff found underwater that is awesome and the scientist says is natural, but it sure looks man made.
posted by Science! at 3:15 PM on January 5, 2009


a professor of underwater archeology at Northwestern Michigan University discovered a pattern of stones 40 feet below the waters of Lake Michigan.

I smell tenure!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:29 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I used to do this thing in school where I'd pour over a long ribbon on monochrometer data looking for patterns of peaks. They would fall off in a fairly regular pattern and have a characteristic spacing that went x, x+n, x+2n, x+3n, and so on. Of course the thing is, they were mixed in with roughly a million other little peaks so you'd often find yourself staring at a zigzag line like you were looking for patterns in the clouds.

At the time I was warned that I'd catch myself "finding" these things in data that had nothing to do with this sort of apparatus/phenomenon I was working with and feel like an idiot. And this did come to pass.

I'm beginning to suspect that underwater archeology and physical chemistry have a lot in common.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:53 PM on January 5, 2009


I don't see anything like a mastodon in there. Even the red line drawing of a mastodon they added barely looks like a mastodon.
posted by justkevin at 4:08 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


That mastodon in the picture without the fanciful red guiding line looks more like an angry face than anything else.
posted by Lizc at 4:18 PM on January 5, 2009


That's nothing. Look at what they found in Lake Mendota.
posted by zippy at 4:28 PM on January 5, 2009


I mean Stonehenge looks like this, and the boulder on page 21 of this PDF is just a teensy little bit smaller

I hear that Spinal Tap had the same problem. Maybe one of the designers wrote "inches" where he meant to write "feet"?
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:46 PM on January 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


one can be a professor of underwater archeology, which is cooler than fuck

I agree! I came here from the baby elephant post, via a link that looks like this:

« Older A year and a half ago, a professor of underwater a...

Before I clicked, I was thinking "underwater astronomy? underwater art history?"
posted by moonmilk at 4:50 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Amazing - I live in Chicago and yet hadn't heard about this yet. Thanks for the great post!
posted by agregoli at 5:01 PM on January 5, 2009


I don't understand why everyone seems to think this is so unlikely.
posted by hermitosis at 5:02 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not clearer in the PDF. If anything I see a rather mutated cetacean in that one, not a mastodon. It's pareidolia.
posted by edd at 5:14 PM on January 5, 2009


Hermitosis, because the provided evidence is far from absolute.
posted by parallax7d at 5:16 PM on January 5, 2009


OH. MY. GOD.
posted by gwint at 5:16 PM on January 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


The other sonar scans with the boat, buggy, junk pile and stuff is pretty cool.
posted by flipyourwig at 5:21 PM on January 5, 2009


Dirk Dorfman is my new porn name.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:53 PM on January 5, 2009


Hmm. A mastadon? I don't even see a circle of stones.

But who knows? Maybe the Wisconsin Atlanteans wanted to keep their stone circles secret.
posted by washburn at 6:06 PM on January 5, 2009


Where's Aquaman?

*blinks, rubs eyes* Huh? Wha happen?
posted by Aquaman at 6:13 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I read the first sentence as "..professor of underwear archaeology..." which seemed like a pretty cool job, too.
posted by ltracey at 6:16 PM on January 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


After looking at the photographs (nicely framed in circular), I am reminded of the man in the moon.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:56 PM on January 5, 2009


You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:57 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


What washburn said. Where is this purported circle of stones supposed to be? A circle with more than three points on it, please?
posted by eritain at 8:03 PM on January 5, 2009


I read the first sentence as "..professor of underwear archaeology..." which seemed like a pretty cool job, too.

Well, sure. You get to see Paris, you get to see France.
posted by dhartung at 11:35 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey! Me, too! I studied those damn photo-sonar things (could be crappy CGI for all I know) for hours (well, many long minutes anyway) and couldn't find any circles. This is BS that will be cited by von Daniken freaks and accompanying weirdos for years. "Scientists found megalithic circles under Lake Michigan but now the government is covering it up because they want to pretend Atlantis never existed!"
posted by CCBC at 11:54 PM on January 5, 2009


Those aren't stones... they're fingertips.
posted by Artw at 12:14 AM on January 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


The lost city of the Ziox!

Underwater Art History
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 AM on January 6, 2009


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