A German research team announced the discovery of dense clusters of manganese nodules on the ocean floor. Using a mesh net intended to scoop up marine life, the researchers accidentally brought up balls of manganese ore from over three miles below the water’s surface.
According to LiveScience, some of the round manganese nodules were as large as bowling balls. Underwater cameras revealed that the ocean floor was littered with the metallic nodules, many of which resemble pancakes. Though similar nodules have been discovered on many ocean floor locations, experts say this is the largest patch of manganese nodules ever found in the Atlantic. Where did the ball formations come from?
The researchers are not quite sure. “I was surprised, because this is generally not the place you think of for manganese nodules,” said the German expedition’s chief scientist, Colin Devey.
According to secular models, underwater manganese nodules form very slowly, gradually adding new layers over millions of years. However, scientists admit that the origin of the balls remains a mystery. Dr. Jake Hebert, a physicist with the Institute for Creation Research, believes the nodules did not form over millions of years. Rather, he says, the formations likely formed very quickly.
“These metallic pellets provide strong evidence that most seafloor sediments were deposited rapidly, not slowly and gradually over millions of years,” Hebert wrote in an article this month. “Are these nodules evidence of the Genesis Flood?”
Hebert points out apparent flaws in the methods secular scientists use to date the nodules. “Secular scientists claim that nodules grow at the extremely slow rate of just a few millimeters per million years,” he explains. “Yet manganese nodules have consistently been observed growing in lakes and man-made reservoirs, as well as on debris fragments from World Wars I and II, at rates hundreds of thousands of times faster than these calculated rates.
This is just one more indication that there are serious problems with radioisotope dating methods!” Hebert argues that the scientific models of creation scientists provide better explanations for why the nodules form and where they are located.
“In the millennia after the Flood, sediment deposition would have eventually slowed to today’s ‘slow and gradual’ rates,” he writes. “Hence, nodules are found mainly in the uppermost sediment layers because these upper layers were deposited slowly enough to allow nodules to grow.”
When the Great Flood of the Bible is taken into account, Hebert adds, the nodules are no longer a mystery. “Batches of manganese nodules are just one of many geological features that are difficult for secular scientists to explain, but they make sense in light of the Genesis Flood,” he asserts. Kenneth Patrick, a Christian geologist, arrived at a similar conclusion in a December 2010 article for the Journal of Creation.
“According to paleontological and radiometric dating methods, the nodules are supposedly multi-millions of years old, the result of extremely slow growth rates of just millimeters per million years,” Patrick explained. “However, actual observations have revealed that nodules can grow in excess of 20 cm within hundreds of years, a growth rate several orders of magnitude faster.”
“In addition,” he continued, “nodules are found only at the top of the ocean floor, with the greatest density within the first 5 m of sediment and decreasing in size at greater depths. This contradicts the idea that ocean sediment accumulated gradually and continuously over millions of years. Rather it suggests a period of rapid sedimentation that has subsequently waned, a scenario that is consistent with the events of Noah’s Flood.”