Sunken cities & shipwrecks: 'Drain the Oceans' exposes the sea's secrets
Did an asteroid really kill the dinosaurs? Have we found Atlantis? This Nat Geo documentary aims to solve mysteries by exposing evidence hidden beneath the waves, writes Claire Keeton
Take a (sunken) treasure hunt. Cross it with a mystery, or rather, mysteries. What you get is a clue to the theme of Drain the Oceans, a new documentary series that exposes secrets of the sea hidden far below its surface until now.
Want proof of how the dinosaurs were obliterated? Was the legendary city of Atlantis found off a Japanese island? How close was Hitler to building a nuclear bomb? (For that, drain a deep Norwegian lake). How did one of the seven wonders of the world, the lighthouse of Alexandria, look in ancient Egypt?
Using new underwater technology, Drain the Oceans attempts to piece together these puzzles by mapping and modelling historic ruins, natural wonders and shipwrecks on the sea bed.
Pioneering underwater scanning technology makes it possible for marine archaeologists and geologists to collect and study - and dispute - evidence from the ocean's floor for the first time.
Three-dimensional digital images created from the data and exceptional photography and footage give a glimpse into the unseen and unrecorded history of the planet's watery realm.
WATCH | The promo for Lost Worlds of the Mediterranean, an episode of Drain The Oceans
"Imagine if we could empty oceans, letting the waters drain away to reveal the secrets of the sea ... " is how each episode of the Nat Geo series begins.
Legends of Atlantis is the first one I watched. Described thousands of years ago by the Greek philosopher Plato, Atlantis was reputed to be home to a glorious civilisation.
But, says Plato, the gods destroyed Atlantis because of human pride, and the story of this lost civilisation remains "an idea which fascinates A-list archaeologists and the producers of B-list movies"...