Canadian researchers using a miniature submarine to probe the sea floor off the western tip of Cuba have discovered stone structures deep below the ocean surface that may have been built by an unknown human civilization as far in the past as 6,000 ago, about 1,500 years earlier than the great Giza pyramids of Egypt.

?It?s a really wonderful structure which looks like it could have been a large urban center,? says Soviet-born Canadian ocean engineer Paulina Zelitsky, of Advanced Digital Communications (ADC). She says the structures may have been built by unknown people when the current sea-floor actually was above the surface. Volcanic activity may have caused the site to sink to 2,100 feet beneath the Caribbean Sea.

In July 2000, ADC researchers used sophisticated sonar equipment to identify a large underwater plateau with clear images of symmetrically organized stone structures that looked like an urban development partly covered by sand. From above, the shapes resembled pyramids, roads and buildings. Cuban scientists had long known the structures were there, but did not have the money or equipment to investigate them. American companies are not allowed to operate in Cuba due to the long-running U.S. embargo of the island. ADC plans to return to the site in January.

This past July, ADC researchers, along with the firm?s Cuban partner and experts from the Cuban Academy of Sciences, returned to the site. They sent a miniature, unmanned submarine called a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) down to film parts of the 7.7-square-mile area.

The images confirmed the presence of huge, smooth, cut granite-like blocks in perpendicular and circular formations, some in pyramid shapes. Most of the blocks, measuring between about 6.5 and 16 feet in length, were exposed, some stacked one on top of another. Others were covered in sediment and fine, white sand. This description closely matches the recent discovery of sunken pyramids of the coast of Japan.

This discovery provides evidence that Cuba at one time was joined to mainland Latin America via a strip of land from the Yucatan Peninsula, another area where pyramid building was common. Zelitsky says, ?There are many new hypotheses about land movement and colonization, and what we are seeing here should provide very interesting new information.?

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