5 Real Ancient Underwater Cities

The Yonaguni Monument or The Japanese Pyramid, Japan

These underwater structures is located just South of the Yonaguni Island which is one of the many islands of the Yaeyama Islands. Yonaguni has been a good place for divers to observe hammerhead sharks.

So, the structure was found by Kihachiro Aratake, a diver from Japan during one of his diving excursions at the shore of Yonaguni Island in 1987. This is when he found something unusual. Something that appears to be a man-made, terraced structure under the sea.

According to experts, the structure dates back to about 10, 000 BC and they argued that it could just be a natural formation rather than man-made. But the cuts found in the structure seems to be too straight, too parallel and too angled that people are more inclined to believe that it is definitely man made.

There are more evidence pointing towards it being a man-made structure such as pillars, ancient engravings and even something resembling a monument that has a “face”. Even so, the origins of who built the pyramid in Japan is still unknown.

Lion City of Qiandao Lake, China

Qiandao Lake also known as Thousand Island Lake is a man-made lake. In 1959, the valley at the base of the Wu Shi mountain was flooded to create a reservoir and a hydroelectric station.

The valley was a settlement area and because of the flooding project, the government had to relocate around 300,000 people disregarding the villages and farmland. This includes the submersion of the ancient Lion city which is located at the foot of the mountain.

Now the city is 40 metres under water and incredibly well preserved. The place now acts as one of the most popular tourist attraction and a ground for people and divers to explore and research.

Cleopatra’s Palace, Egypt

Alexandria, the city founded by Alexander the Great which rivaled Rome in wealth and size was also where Cleopatra’s Palace was believed to be located. In 1998, the ruins of the palace was then discovered underwater.

It is believed that the ruins sank into the sea because of a series of earthquake between the fourth and eighth centuries. The site includes the city’s royal quarters such as temples, military barracks and outposts and massive private complexes preserved underwater.

Archaeologists have also found the palace complex where Cleopatra and Mark Antony called home and the place where she committed suicide.

The site is not yet open to public but an underwater museum is currently being built and their future features includes the normal exhibitions above water. And for the still submerged treasures there would be underwater tunnels, diving facilities and a glass submarine.

Phanagoria, Russia

Phanagoria is the largest Greek ancient city which is now on Russian soil. One third of the city is underwater where most of the underwater portion of the city is covered with sand settlement

In Roman history, it was said that there was an uprising in 63 BC where a huge part of the city was burnt while the wife and children of Mithradates VI was murdered by the angry mob. This story was thought to be mere fiction or mythology which was commonly made by the Romans.

But they found proof that the people in the stories were real when they found the gravestone of the wife of Mithradates VI in the ruins. Divers have also found other artifacts left behind by those who once occupied the city and other marble foundation that was once the base of massive statues.

Why the city was abandoned is still a mystery and what’s left of the ruins above the ground have been buried under 7 metres of dirt.

Port Royal, Jamaica

Port Royal was a city in southeastern Jamaica. It was intended as a centre of shipping commerce in the Caribbean Sea. At first, port royal was the homes of privateers that were issued letters of marque to raid any Spanish ships. The letter of Marque was a government license to attack and capture enemy vessels.

But when the governments stopped issuing these licenses, the privateers became pirates and Port Royal became the city of pirates. So Port Royal was where the pirates from around the world could enjoy food, alcohol, women and their parties. It was dubbed as the most wicked and sinful city in the world.

But it didn’t last forever because in June 1692 a massive 7.5 earthquake hit Jamaica sinking Port Royal and killing over 2000 people with it as if its retribution or a cleanse for all the sins that occurred there. Seeing how they were pirates, a lot of valuable artifacts has been found there.


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