Scientists Baffled How Giant Reef Ended up in Australian Outback
on 9/22/2008 (0)
Under, Down - A 650-million-year-old underwater reef discovered in the middle of Australia's outback has left scientists scratching their heads about how a reef ten times the size of the Great Barrier reef could end up on land.
|My, what a big reef you have... |
The reef was discovered by three Melbourne scientists in Southern Australia. The section of the reef still remaining is 20 kilometers wide and 1100 meters at it's highest point.
"If this was a small reef, it is possible the someone or something could have moved it, but this is simply too big to be moved by any means known to man," associate Professor Malcolm Wallace told Smooth Operator.
There are currently two prevailing theories as to just how the reef ended up inland.
First is that it was moved there by some kind of gigantic dinosaur that has yet to be discovered. Unofficially known as the "Bettyasaurus" after Wallace's overweight mother-in-law Betty, the dinosaur would have to stand nearly a thousand feet tall and have the strength of one hundred Godzilla's in order to move such a large piece of reef.
"Bettyasaurus was the biggest of all dinosaurs and had a great dislike for aquatic life," speculates Wallace. "She moved the reef onto land simply to spite them, in affect killing off thousands of species in one fell swoop."
The other theory, posed by Wallace's colleague Jonathan Giddings, is that reefs once were mobile creatures with millions of legs that allowed them to travel freely across the ocean, pillaging and plundering like some kind of prehistoric pirate.
"We must remember that this was over 650 million years ago, the world was a very different place back then," said Giddings. Giddings believes that the giant reef ruled the ocean but was tricked into leaving for dry land and ultimately died because of it.
"The reef was powerful but not so smart," said Giddings. "He saw amebas growing legs and moving onto land and thought, 'Why not me?' Unfortunately for the reef, it became lost in the outback and eventually died of dehydration."
Wallace is currently searching high and low for the Bettyasaurus while Giddings is seeking some evidence of legs on the reef. Whichever theory is proven to be correct promises to shake the foundations of scientific knowledge as we know it today.
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