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.: The prehistoric Isle of Man
The Isle of Man’s early prehistory is fascinating because there are so many theories about how it formed.

Well, it certainly wasn’t a lump of earth ripped from Loch Neath which Cuchulain threw into the Irish Sea. And it didn’t rise from the sea as Atlantis sank. And it wasn’t formed by tectonic movements.

No, the Isle of Man was a piece of the moon which fell to earth in the pre-Cambrian period. Recent geological surveys have shown samples of moon rock taken by the Apollo probes in the 1960s are almost identical to chips of stone taken from Poortown Quarry.

This, in part, explains the Isle of Man’s strange positioning on a map as the North-South axis of the Island follows the line of magnetic North rather than true North. And the reason the Island is spaced so evenly between the UK and Ireland is down to simple gravity: the forces of attraction between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are all but totally equal, so the Island hasn’t shifted position much relative to those countries.

There is, however, another reason which has remained hush-hush until today.

There has been some shift from its original pre-Cambrian point of impact shown on the map above (the Isle of Man is the small, long piece of land in the semi-circular bay of the Northernmost continent), but this has been due to the Island’s momentum as the Earth spins. Because it isn’t anchored in the Earth’s crust, it is very difficult to stop moving.

In the 1980s, scientists discovered it was slowly sinking Southwards after a crop of palm trees began sprouting. In response, the Manx government poured millions of pounds into a secret fund which was used to buy titanium anchors.

These were dropped from the Northern tip of the Island and secured to Snaefell mountain to prevent any further drifting. At the time, it was thought that once the Island slipped out into the Atlantic Ocean past Cornwall, huge waves would swamp and eventually sink us.

This – indirectly – led to the collapse of the BCCI bank which had been contracted to buy the anchors. Massive cost overruns and interest payments meant the bank simply wasn’t able to trade any more, although this was never discussed at the time.

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Written at 16:36 by G
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