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Tsunami destroyed ancient 'paradise' in North Sea

Tsunami destroyed ancient 'paradise' in North Sea

Waves batter the North Sea coast many centuries after Doggerland disappeared. (AP Photo/dpa, Carsten Rehder)

So where did the inhabitants of an ancient "paradise" in the North Sea known as Doggerland go? Under the waves of a giant tsunami about 8,000 years ago, according to a new study.

UK researchers say an enormous landslide off the coast of Norway triggered a 16-foot tsunami that swamped the low-lying land mass and likely wiped out any humans, reports the BBC, which spoke to a German professor not involved in the study who called Doggerland "paradise ... in Mesolithic times." Rising sea levels had been encroaching on the area over the course of thousands of years, and the tsunami may have been the death blow.

Doggerland is now beneath the waves entirely, notes the Huffington Post. "It was abandoned by Mesolithic tribes about 8,000 years ago, which is when the Storegga slide happened," says one of the Imperial College London researchers.

While fishing boats in the North Sea routinely pull up artifacts of prehistoric life, archeologists have been unable to find signs of Doggerland humans from after the landslide.

"It is therefore plausible that the Storegga slide was indeed the cause of the abandonment of Doggerland in the Mesolithic," writes the research team in the journal Ocean Modelling.

(In other oceanic news, a shipwreck off South Carolina is being searched for fabled riches.)

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