Israel’s Geological Institute has discovered a canyon under the water near the Cypriot coast.

The canyon in question, which has been named Eratosthenes (being near to a famous now-underwater mountain with the same name) has been estimated to be as old as five-and-a-half-million-years-old, around the time the Messinian event happened.

Said to have been buried at the dawn of the Messinian times, the canyon has been measured to lie five-hundred meters deep and ten-kilometers-wide.

Geologists say that the canyon must have formed when the Mediterranean Sea level lowered due to rising salt levels. This led to the creation of gravity currents i.e. the proliferation of thick solutions that ultimately caused the seabed to subsidize and destabilized the slopes.

They further mentioned how the discovery of the Eratosthenes canyon puts the Messinian event in a more detailed light.

Often called the salinity crisis – this was an epic geological happening where the Mediterranean Sea fell into a state of total or partial desiccation state.