Feeling a bit adventure-deprived? Why not skip the beach and strip malls in favour of something a little… older? Check out some of these submerged cities! Most of them are now museums and open only to those game enough to scuba dive down to the ruins, but they are still amazing and indeed, home to a lot of underwater creatures.
1. Alexandria, Egypt
Alexander the Great found Alexandria over 2000 years ago. This region was ruled by queen Cleopatra, and was submerged underwater over 1500 years ago due to earthquakes and tidal waves. Underwater archeologists found the land of Antirhodus, which held Cleopatra’s palace. These royal quarters include statues of goddesses and sphinx resembling that of Cleopatra’s dad. These artifacts are still underwater and open for tourist visits!
This YouTube video is quite interesting too! http://youtu.be/lRp-Yxxx78g
Dwarka is one of the most ancient cities of India. This city is of utmost pilgrimage importance. Dwarka is said to be the city where lord Krishna was born, and at the end of his lordship or era, the oceans rose and submerged the whole of Dwarka. This lost city is submerged off the North Western coast of India, near the Gulf of Cambay. The city is five miles long and two miles wide, and carbon dating estimates the site to be almost 10,000 years old. The discovery was particularly astonishing to scientists as the area predates all other finds in the area by at least 5,000 years, suggesting a much longer history of the civilization than was first assumed. Additionally, architectural and human remains were still intact.
Most of the architectural beauties have been raised from ocean bed and have been converted to temples for tourists to visit. However, an underwater museum is under way which displays the relics and the neighborhood of the city.
3. Yonaguni Jima
An island near the southernmost tip of Japan is said to have submerged due to earthquake over 2,000 years ago. The ruins include a structure resembling a pyramid, which is a source of confusion amongst archeologists whether they are man-made structures or have been naturally formed due to prolonged years of compression. Lack of confirmed history has prevented building of any museum in the area, but the ruins are still open to professors and tourists for visit.
The submerged city of Samabaj, ducked in Lake Atitlan is said to be more than 200 years old. Studies have shown that this land was once inhabited by Mayan pilgrims before it went underwater. Archeological mapping found spiritual monuments, altars etc., indicating an extremely important place from spiritual point of view. This submerged island is also a popular place for shooting mystery movies.
5. Pavlopetri, Greece
Pavlopetri is the oldest submerged settlement, dating back to 5000 years. Even after being the oldest, its settlements show complete layouts of streets, courtyards, architecture house settlements and so on. It is one of the most amazing underwater settlements, however in a constant threat of being damaged by thieves, anchors and pirates. A must visit… If you dare!
6. Port Royal, Jamaica
During the British colonialization, Port Royal was said to be the most ‘wickedest’ city due to its occupancy by pirates, smugglers and prostitutes. This city however, did not exist very long. A 1692 earthquake resulted in the inundation of Port Royal into the ocean. Excavations have extracted certain documents, building materials etc. This area is still being developed and is a popular tourist destination!
7. Baiae, Egypt
Baiae was one of the most important cities of Ancient Rome. A city with lavish homes clustered in terraces all around the bay. It is said to home villas of great Roman Kings such as Julius Caesar, Hadrian etc. Due to high amounts of volcanic activities around Baiae, over a course of 2000 years, the ground level of Baiae kept rising and falling, which ultimately led to it being submerged. The villas and buildings underwater have been explored by many, and are open for tourist visits. Underwater tourism is the peak for this particular city due to its ornate villas and splendid history.
Feeling like an Indiana Jones moment coming on? A love for history, mystery and scuba diving mastery is all you need to enjoy your adventure trip! Pack your bags and get ready for some underwater action. 😀
PS Have you been to any of these sites – or an underwater city somewhere else? (Atlantis Hotels notwithstanding!) Let me know what you thought!