“Scientists” Discover Ancient Relic with Google Earth

Thursday, 26th March 2009 by

Thanks to the excellent high-quality imagery in Google Earth, some "scientists"1 claim to have discovered a 1,000-year-old forgotten relic of the fishing world.

Just off the coast of Wales they spotted this large v-shaped row of rocks beneath the water - which looked like a traditional British fishing weir. This was a fishing method whereby the tide would bring fish through the gaps in the rocks, which would then be blocked by wattle fences when the tide turned to flow out again.

The only problem with fishing in this way was that it was far too effective - this was so well known that the Magna Carta, published in 1215, actually includes the following clause:

(33) All fish-weirs shall be removed from the Thames, the Medway, and throughout the whole of England, except on the sea coast.

So our intrepid "scientists" actually took a trip to Wales to check out in person what they had found, and sure enough, one underwater scuba adventure later, they emerged smugly from the water like some sort of Internet-savvy Indiana Jones'.

How would "scientists" cope these days I wonder, without Google Earth to help them do their research?

Thanks to Frank at the GEarth Blog and Jason Kottke.

  1. I have no proof of their credentials. ↩︎