The Bimini Road: Ancient Ruin or Natural Formation?

April 27th, 2016, 9pm

It was 25°C with few clouds. The breeze was gentle.

Bimini, Bahama Islands. Huge stone blocks, laid out straight and level run nearly 2000 feet along the sea floor. With so many right angles and straight edges, it’s easy to believe this underwater structure was man-made. “Not so” say geologists. It’s just natural beach-rock. Or is it? In 1978 the site was featured on an episode of the TV documentary series “In Search Of…”. I was 13 that year, and I credit that episode with instilling in me a lifetime fascination with diving and underwater archaeology. Since that time, I have spent a lot of time swimming around underwater ruins, both ancient and modern. But the opportunity to dive this site - which really started it all for me - had eluded me. Until recently. We were in Bimini to film some Great Hammerhead sharks and managed to arrange a charter with Neal Watson and the folks from the Bimini Big Game Club. The road is about a mile offshore of the north coast of the island, and the trip out took about 40 minutes. The site did not disappoint. It really is a “lane” of uniform rectangular stones that resembles a road, or as some have suggested, a harbor wall. The water was warm and clear, the tropical marine life abundant, and all in all it was just a really pleasant dive. An ancient ruin? Well, as regular as the stones are, they are rounded in many places - resembling cushions more so than hand-cut block. We couldn’t find any evidence of tool marks, I’m sorry to say, and I just didn’t get the man-made feel of the place one gets at established archaeological sites. The geology indicates the formation is natural limestone formed by erosion, and similar sites do exist as near as the Dry Tortugas and as far away as Tasmania. Coupled with the absence of artifacts or archeological evidence, I just don’t believe it is man-made. Was it still a great dive? You bet! Would I go back? In a heartbeat! As for the true origins of the road, I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to visit Bimini to explore the site and decide for themselves. There are still stories of wagon ruts on the stones and Bronze Age artifacts that surface from time to time. Maybe we are missing something. I am the first to admit my conclusions about the Bimini Road are far from authoritative or scientific. Just like Bigfoot, UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster, it’s far more fun to believe than not…

David Wade said thanks.

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Jim Wright

Writer, traveler, search and recovery diver, semi-retired fire rescue service.

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