On the TV animation, 'Super-Friends', viewers were introduced to the undersea city of Atlantis and its capital in the episode 'World Beneath The Ice', first shown in 1978. In the episode, viewers were told of a civilization of polar people who had lived for thousand and thousand of years beneath the ice in the North Pole. Fearing an oil pipeline from the surface dwellers (understood to mean the human population) would soon be leaking into their world, resulting in the rising of temperatures, a Viking-like warrior leader named Torhana notified the High Council (comprised 6 members).
The council decided to begin the next ice age in order to stop the advancing surface civilization. With the aid of the freeze ray, Torhana and his warriors moved into the Seven Seas to freeze all surface ships and put them in cold storage then beamed the whole planet into a blanket of ice. By the end of the episode both Wonder Woman and Superman called for tolerance.
"In the world beneath the ice, sound waves must do the work of the eyes as well as the ears, providing the only clues about what may lie ahead in the often treacherous waters," Lee Dye reported in 1985. "But sound waves behave much differently under the ice cap than they do in the open ocean, clouding the 'picture' provided by such instruments as sonar, which is essentially an underwater radar system, and listening devices that should be able to distinguish between the sounds made by another submarine and the sounds of ice crashing against ice."
Speaking to 'The Los Angeles Times', physicist turned oceanographer, James Wilson, who was on a five-year government-funded research project, made known, "The transmission of sound is just totally different there (near the North Pole). It's just a completely different world. The Arctic has been a scientifically ignored area. We're on the frontier of understanding what makes the Arctic work."
The researchers reportedly discovered that sound waves were bent down sharply and then upward as they traveled beneath the ice cap, much the same as a window glass refracted the sun's light. Lee Dye was told, "The sound waves then strike the bottom of the ice and are either reflected back into the deep, or more often are scattered in many directions by the uneven surface, blurring any image that might be received by sensory devices."
James Wilson acknowledged it was not clearly understood why the sound waves were bent so extremely but believed it could have something to do with the level of salinity, the extremely cold temperatures and the high pressures created by the weight of the massive ice fields. 'The Los Angeles Times' continued, "The bottom of the ice field, which is floating on the ocean, is very inconsistent, reflecting the dynamic forces that mold the field.
"For example, giant pressure ridges form on top of the ice when two fields crush together, leaving a long scar across the ice field that may rise as high as 50 feet. The surface ridges are eroded by weather, but the same type of ridges form on the under side of the ice, where they are shielded from the weather. Those underwater formations, called 'keels', often extend down into the water as much as 150 feet, and that kind of formation can have a major impact on sound waves."
James Wilson informed the world beneath the ice cap was a quiet world, deprived of the main source of sound waves in the open sea – passing ships. However, as Lee Dye understood, "It has its own symphony, of sorts, created by the powerful forces that shape that hostile region. That is especially true in the winter when storms grind continent-sized chunks of ice against each other, forming pressure ridges that could be insurmountable to anyone on foot.
"The formation of a pressure ridge is accompanied by 'an almost rhythmic rumbling which has certain characteristics that we can detect' with sound sensors, easily distinguishing those phenomenas from the sounds made by a submarine." James Wilson also made the point, "The underwater sounds are replete with all sorts of biological life."
"For some 20 million years," 'The New York Times' reported, "a region of the world comparable in size to Europe has remained hidden under Antarctic ice. Now (in 1978), systematic surveying with airborne radar is bringing to light its entombed mountains, ice-buried lakes – some more than 100 miles long – and deep troughs testifying to past upheavals in the Earth's history.
"Radar probing has shown that the Antarctic ice in places is more than 15,000 feet thick, but, here and there beneath it, are tablelands and great sedimentary basins similar to those of Australia and Africa. The three continents were a single land mass 60-million years ago. Although the covering ice sheet is relatively smooth, the landscape that has been revealed beneath it is, in some regions, extremely rugged.
"Along the 135th meridian, close to the western boundary of France's territorial claim, Adélie Land, a north-south escarpment has been discovered that is more than 8,200 feet high in some places and 160 miles long. East of it lie a trough with an ice-laden floor several thousand feet below sea level." The primary goal of ice sheet probing in West Antarctica was said to assist in assessing the possibility of a rapid slippage of a large section of ice into the sea that would raise global sea levels. West Antarctica was the region south of the American, and its cover of ice was regarded by some glaciologists as unstable.
'The New York Times' also mentioned, "In East Antarctica, the vast continental block south of Australia and Africa, more than a million square miles of ice-buried terrain have already been mapped on a series of flight lines 30 to 60 miles apart. These have charted a series of mountains completely buried beneath the ice in the vicinity of the Soviet inland base, Vostok. They are known as the Gamburtsev Mountains."