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This 'ancient city' below the sea wasn't built by humans

When some tourists snorkeling near the Greek isle of Zakynthos spotted mysterious structures about 20 feet under the sea, the tourists started thinking that they have discovered a lost city.

This 'ancient city' below the sea wasn't built by humans

The tourists should not be blamed for this as the site features what appear to be clusters of cobblestones and symmetrical stone cylinders with Hellenic flair. Anyone can see the waterlogged structures and imagine a bustling square full of artists and philosophers.

The findings of the study were published on Thursday in Marine and Petroleum Geology and it confirms what archaeologists have suspected since the discovery of this "city". It is actually not a city, but the real origin of this so-called city and perhaps even more surprising. These structures were actually built by bacteria.

Archaeologists took dive themselves to see the site for themselves immediately noted a lack of coins, pottery fragments or other signs of life. They also found another explanation, analyzing the mineral content of the "pillars" and "streets."

The structures contain a mineral called dolomite, a calcium byproduct produced by microbes that feed off methane. When bacteria gather around a reliable source of the gas, their calcium excrement can react with methane to produce the cement-like substance.

"Essentially what you've got are bacteria that are fossilizing the plumbing system," study co-author Julian Andrews of the University of East Anglia told Smithsonian Magazine.