Strange Pillars

What's at the bottom of the Pacific? Pillars.


1. Strange Pillars

*radio static*

Log: final entry, Dr. K. Solace…whatever today is, I don’t care.


The active sonar quit for good nineteen minutes ago. The MiniNaut is now completely blind five thousand metres under the Pacific. *laughs* for those of you watching at home, this will be the last episode.

No engine, no life support, no nav, but the comms is at a hundred percent. Miracle of quantum entanglement, everybody.

Chen, if you’re hearing this, forget about tenure; your thesis just got annihilated.

The freak hydrothermal that knocked out propulsion is manmade. There are vents all over the seafloor, square ones. Nature doesn’t do squares.

They line up in a staggered chevron, and unless you’re exactly where I am the current kicks you out…not that you’d want to be where I am *laughs*.

Or would you? Gotta say, there are worse places to die in.

This…underwater mag-rail, has taken the MiniNaut to a…*pause* you know the Pantheon? Replace that triangular roof with giant statues.

There are pillars all over the places, hundreds of metres tall. They’ve *mumbling* fluted channels, but in spirals, and the tops end not in scrolls but *pause* like a spouting fountain. White, coral-like texture. Fractal designs everywhere.

It’s as if the classical Greeks had access to modern mathematics.

They serve as pedestals for – oh no one will believe this. The two pillars closest to me now, both about…two hundred metres tall, are holding up a statue of a pterodactyl.

You think I’m joking *laughs*.

I’ll move closer with the passive steering. Let’s see if the current will let me. *background noise* move it you piece of *metallic grating* alright alright, fine. Five metres left is good enough.

The pterodactyl’s two legs are set on the pillars, which are roughly fifty metres apart. Now imagine its wing span – it’s mind-blowingly huge. Curious. It’s very angular, and key features such as face and claws have been omitted, but artfully…rather minimalist *chortling*.

On the right-side pillars is a…like a giant lizard…when blown up to this size it’s hard to distinguish the species. Hey, maybe it’s another dinosaur, wouldn’t surprise me.

Now kids, that’s two out of two dinosaurs on top of giant pillars under the sea. Any questions *laughs*.

No? Not funny? Then fire me, I don’t care.

*extended laughing and indecipherable rambling*

*pause in transmission*

Sorry about that folks, air’s getting thin up here *laughs*. I’ve manualised the oxygen supply but there isn’t much left to work with. Two hours, maybe three if I speak slow.

Let’s continue the show shall we?

I’m increasingly convinced that the pillars are made out of dead coral. They must’ve been grown in the shallows and then sunk to the abyssal plains. Judging by the state of erosion…to be so well preserved in this current, I put them between fifteen and forty thousand years old.

If I could grab a sample, the analyser could deduce the exact age and source of the coral based on its time-dependent chemical composition. *pause* Oh I forget, the analyser runs on engine power *laughs* never mind then.

The spotlight is waning. Auxiliary battery about done. A couple more statues, come on…the tour’s just getting started *laughs*.

Another giant creature; a mammal. Fur is meticulously detailed even in its eroded state. I don’t recognise it…a short-necked horse? From the Eocene, certainly. No modern mammal looks like that.

Oh, this one’s familiar. Mammoth. One tusk missing. Broken? No, surface angular and symmetric, almost like a socket. Someone was planning on adding to it.

Light blinking. I will run the cycler to give it a few more seconds.

One last statue…

Should’ve expected it. Bipedal, straight spine, no fur.


Wait a minute. It’s missing its head. This is not like the tusk. Clean surface, no undulation – it was removed by a sharp tool.

What in the world –

Oh, lights out.

Well, it’s been a good ride folks, but the show’s over. Huddle in your warm beds, watch your late night TV. Chen, cancel all my appointments for next week *laughs* and the foreseeable future.

Hang on.

I hear something. But the sensors are broken so what -

It’s coming from somewhere below. The angle – I can’t see. How loud must it be to get through all this water?

It got a rhythm to it. Two taps, bang. Two taps, bang.

Sounds like…

Hammer and chisel. 

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