A planetary scientist for the Japanese space agency remade a video created by NASA to show the ancient landmasses ancient humans used to migrate to different continents. The hidden natural features were revealed by draining away Earth's oceans.
NASA's video was originally released in 2008 after it was made by animator and physicist Horace Mitchell. Recently, planetary scientist James O'Donoghue, who previously worked for the American space agency, remade the video to add a couple of interesting features.
Remaking NASA's Video
In his own version of the video, O'Donoghue added a tracker that shows how much water has been drained. He also slowed down the clip to clearly show the emerging land masses as they become visible following the disappearance of the oceans.
The planetary scientist noted that he decided to create a slow-motion version of the video to show how much underwater landscape will be instantly revealed once the water level drops by a few meters. Even though much of the world's hidden landscape emerged after the water level dropped to around 7,000 metres below sea level, a lot of land masses can already be spotted after the oceans drained by just 10 metres.
"I slowed down the start since, rather surprisingly, there's a lot of undersea landscape instantly revealed in the first tens of meters," he told Business Insider.
Revealing Earth's Hidden Features
As the water disappeared, several natural features that have been hidden underwater for tens of thousands of years began to emerge. Some of these prominent features include the world's longest mountain chains in the mid-ocean ridge. Around 90 percent of this natural feature, which in total stretches almost 60,000 kilometres across the planet, is hidden underwater.
Other prominent features revealed in the video are the land bridges that connected continents. These bridges were mainly used by ancient humans to migrate from one continent to another, crossing from Europe to the UK and from Siberia to Alaska.
"When the last ice age occurred, a lot of ocean water was locked up as ice at the poles of the planet," O'Donoghue explained. "That's why land bridges used to exist. Each of these links enabled humans to migrate, and when the ice age ended, the water sort of sealed them in."