Ever since, we were little we have heard of Atlantis, the famous island named after the Greek mythology which had sank to lie under the sea after a violent earthquake.
Although the philosopher Plato described the island both in size and location (it was positioned near Gibraltar). Till date, there is no evidence that such a civilization existed, nor have any remains been found. This also made us skeptical about the existence of lost city of Atlantis.
However, we would be surprised to know how many cities today are under the sea because at the time they could not win the battle over water.
We still can find some old deposits and remains on the mainland, but, undoubtedly these sunken cities are even more spectacular in the deep sea.
Given that, it is estimated that only 3 to 5 percent of the ocean floor has been explored till the date. It is not surprising that we can find many surprises. The ocean hides great secrets from our history, and who knows … Within thousands of years, is it possible for our city to be one of those sunken cities?
Today we want to show you 10 spectacular sunken cities of ancient world that are existing at the bottom of the ocean for different reasons. If you are passionate about diving you may be able to add one of these destinations to your list of upcoming trips.
1. Pavlopetri, Greece
Pavlopetri is the for different reasons which was submerged due to earthquake. It is one out of thousand cities who had been sunken due to earthquake.
Despite its antiquity, you can still see some structures in the city as clear as the streets.
It is located in front of the south coast of Laconia, dates back from the Bronze Age in Greece and therefore, it is supposed to link with a fundamental historical contribution for Greek culture and literature.
Although not much is known about the port cities of this time. It is assumed that Pavlopetri was a very important city as it had a perfect situation for trade in the Mediterranean. The ruins still offer us buildings, chamber tombs, patios and untouched streets.
From what has been explored this area, there have been a series of digital recreations that let us see what the city was like when it was on land.
2. Port Royal, Jamaica
Port Royal was one of the most amazing archaeological findings on the coast of Jamaica. This was one of the favorite places for pirates that was abounded with alcohol, festivals and prostitutes.
It was a rich land because the plantations were very good and the inhabitants could have a good quality of life. However, in 1692 a large earthquake decided to submerge it under the sea.
This natural disaster caused more than 2,000 deaths, and religious fanatics treated the phenomenon as a divine punishment for the many sinful feasts. Although, it is harder to see the city day by day. It is a historically rich city for sea explorers, since this historical monument has been freezing with time.
3. Dwarka (Gulf Of Cambay) India
In the Gulf of Cambay, it is believed that the city of Krishna (Indian deity) existed. The legend has it that when he died, the city sank behind him to a great extent. Today many people designate it as a Hindu pilgrimage site.
One can find its ruin in the present day Dwarka city just neat to off the coast. As it might planned to build near the bank of Gomati river but unfortunately, it had abandoned and submerged eventually. There are some mentions of this city in Mahabharata (an epic Hindu literature in sanskrit language).
Being found in the year of 2000, its ruins are known as Khambhat Cultural Complex.
The ruins that remain in it are perfectly geometric, something that draws much attention from explorers and researchers that has been the subject of study since 1983.
4. The Pyramids Of Yonaguni Jima, Japan
Pyramids of Yonaguni is a strange geometric construction found in the Ryukyu islands of Japan. Researchers and archaeologists aren’t still sure whether it is a man made monument or natural. But some pictures of its terrace that was cutted into triangular areas, amazed us how it can be possible for any natural disaster to give it a perfect geometric shape.
It seems that this city dates back to 4,000 BC, when sea level was much lower and therefore these constructions were possible.
The entire monument consists sandstones and mudstones that is supposed to have been accumulated 20 million years ago in the sea.
Here are some findings of Yonaguni that hints it is just more than a monument, perhaps an ancient civilization:
L shaped rock, a star shaped platform, 10 meter straight wall, a 7 meter long stone column, and two closely spaced pillars.
5. The Lost Villages of Ontario, Canada
This submerged place distinguished it with respect to the previous cities. Since, it is not an ancient civilization in this case; but on the contrary, it was submerged in 1958.
The disaster is due to the construction of a maritime road that caused the water to deviate over the city. On the morning of July 1, 1958, a great wall was swept away by the sea and the flood began, which lasted four days and caused all the villas submerged in the sea.
At present, when the sea level is low, it is possible to distinguish the foundations of the buildings that was an astounding example of civil engineering. If we treated it as a small island, even the surface of highest zones of these towns remained in the surface. It is an area that is very close to the coast and merges very frequently.
6. The Lion City, China
We have seen ancient civilizations sunk by natural disasters, or modern cities flooded with human error. But do you imagine one of the prettiest cities sunk on purpose to create a dam?
Being drowned in a serene lake, this submerged city once contained memorial arches, dragon carvings and a labyrinth of adorned temples.
This city was once a major centre of economics and politics of ancient times in the eastern part of Zhejiang. Despite of having the quint footprints, the site was flooded intentionally by the Chinese authorities in 1959 in order to build a hydroelectric power station.
Well, that’s what happened with the Lion City of China. It still retains many majestic monuments that can be appreciated well in the depths. In the 50s, it was decided to sink this city that had been built during the Han Dynasty (25-200 AD).
In 1959 the hydroelectric dam of the Xin’an River was finished and a large artificial lake was created where this city was buried.
Despite what it may seem, the aquatic visit to this city is one of the main claims of the country by tourists. If the city was beautiful on land, the truth is that its current location under the sea gives it extra value.
7. Sunken City Of Alexandria, Egypt
One of the most important sites in the history of mankind that is ruled by the Cleopatra (a queen of Egypt). Dates back to 1600 years ago, this site is submerged due to a large number of Tsunamis and earthquakes that shook the area completely.
A group of archaeologists decided to venture into the sea depths and came to find a large city in 1988. Amazingly, the city is well preserved despite the passage of thousand of years
Historians have discovered several columns of red granite, various statues, sphinxes, temples, columns and the foundation of the palace that is known for the queen Cleopatra.
All elements have been left in the depths since the Egyptian government decided to leave everything in its place and not to make an underwater museum.
8. Phanagoria, Greece/Russia
Being the largest Greek city of ancient time, Phanagoria was located in Taman peninsula, divided with the two plateaus marked in the direction of eastern shore of the Cimmerian Bosporus.
This site served a mighty emporium for the traders and public between the southern side of the Caucasus’ countries and the coast of the Maeotian marshes.
At present, the ruins of city is located nearly to the west of Sennoy in Krasnodar Krai, Russia.
9. Lake Reschensee, Itália
Before the intentional flooding of the towns of Graun and Reschen, all the constructions of the place were demolished. It is due to the local power company that planned for a dam construction for electricity generation. After the success of plan, the ancient towns have been deserted and drowned.
What is visible at the present, is a 14th century church tower from Graun town (or a bell tower or a campanile). The ruins of 163 buildings are now the shelter for fishes and eels and are only visible to divers.
However, the tower of the church of Reschen continued standing. The structure can be visited in winter when the lake freezes. During the flood season, visitors can dive on this site.
10. Submerged City Of Heracleion, Egypt
The lost city of Heracleion has its mentions in the Egyptian legends. Herodotus described it as a city of wealth but it has now drowned apparently under the sea. Archaeologists and divers have begun to discover its treasure and now the historians are able to describe what the society was in the period of pharaoh. This sunken city is also known as Thonis or Heracleion Thonis.
More than 64 ancient ships’ remnants were discovered beneath the sizeable layers of sand and clay that majorly covers the sea bed. Bronze structures, gold coins and precious stones are some of its major discoveries that indicates the city had served mainly for trading purpose.
Giant statues have been found and brought to the surface with various smaller statues of minor gods and deities.
Stone slabs with Greek and Egyptian inscriptions, limestone sarcophagi, and many mystical relics have been known from this ancient city.