Hopes that the lost city of Atlantis had been found on Google Earth have been shattered.
Keen observers had spotted what appeared to be the outline of a vast city - the size of Wales - on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.
But the criss-crossing lines, located 600 miles west of the Canary Islands, were explained by Google as sonar data collected as boats mapped the ocean floor.
A spokeswoman said: "It's true that many amazing discoveries have been made in Google Earth including a pristine forest in Mozambique that is home to previously unknown species and the remains of an Ancient Roman villa.
"In this case, however, what users are seeing is an artefact of the data collection process.
"Bathymetric (or sea floor terrain) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea floor.
"The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data.
"The fact that there are blank spots between each of these lines is a sign of how little we really know about the world's oceans."