Despite the fact that most of the earth’s surface (71%) is covered by water, what lies beneath is still largely a mystery. Humans have explored less than 5% of the world’s oceans, which hold nearly all of the water on our planet. Yet even with our limited underwater expeditions, we have already discovered some amazing things.
Take the Yonaguni Monument, off the coast of a Japanese island. These strange subsurface ledges, pillars, wall and star-shaped platform are believed by many to be some sort of ancient manmade architecture; but no one knows for certain what they are, or were.
There is also a surreal underwater forest, in the mountains of Kazakhstan, submerged after an earthquake created a natural dam.
The cold water has preserved the trees, and the limestone deposits give the water a mystical turquoise hue.
The Antikythera Mechanism was also pulled from the deep… this artifact is an analogue computer and model of the solar system used to predict astronomical positions and act as a calendar. It was built sometime between 150 and 205 BC, and the technology and knowledge demonstrated in the mechanism was lost to civilization and only appeared again in Europe during the fourteenth century.
It was discovered in a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Scientists were perplexed after finding these underwater crop circles off the coast of Japan, and it took almost a decade to figure out their origin.
Male pufferfish construct these elaborate designs to act as nests and attract females to lay their eggs there. They design the ornate patterns and even decorate the edges with shells and pieces of coral.
Imagine seeing this while you’re swimming in a lake? There is an entire city submerged in a lake in China. Shicheng, the “Lion City,” was built during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-200) and a hydroelectric project in 1959 created the Qiandao Lake that now covers it.
Full video here.
The ancient city remains undisturbed, about a hundred feet below the surface, although the lake itself is a popular tourist destination.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Maybe the most incredible underwater find can only be truly appreciated from a satellite view high above…the largest submarine canyon in the world, the Zhemchug Canyon, lies below the Bering Sea.
It has a vertical relief of 8,530 feet and is deeper than the Grand Canyon. It is so bit that it’s impossible to take in its magnitude as a whole unless viewed from the sky.
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