10 Extraordinary Sunken Cities and Settlements Of the Ancient World

The remnants of the royal palace of Cleopatra were discovered off the shores of Alexandria.

The archaeologists and experts have discovered ancient cities and settlements that are completely submerged in water. It’s still unknown how they got underwater or who placed them there. People, in general, are fascinated with the idea of having Atlantis. The marine explorers have not been able to locate any solid pieces of evidence as yet, but certain theories indicate that it existed in the past.

For this particular article, we have gathered 10 ancient settlements that were once thriving cities but submerged in water over the decades. Atlantis could be one of them, to be honest.

Pavlopetri, Southern Greece.
The 5,000-year-old sunken city in Southern Greece. Source: Discovery

1) Ancient Greece: the sunken city of Pavlopetri:

This particular city was sunk almost 5000 years ago. No one truly knows its name. We have no idea who built the city and how it ended up in the water. However, people have developed all sorts of conspiracy theories about it over the decades.

Yonaguni Jima
Pyramids of Yonaguni Jima, Japan. Source: Wikimedia commons.

2) Yonaguni Jima, The Japanese Atlantis:

It is evident that pyramids, in general, were part of various cultures, including Japan. The pyramids that were found in Japan are quite mysterious. The said structures were constructed around 10,000 BC. Also, multiple experts state that these resemble the ones in Mexico and Central America.

Lake Van ruins
Ruins of a 3000-Year-Old fortress in Lake Van. Source: mirrorspectator.com

3) The Submerged castle in Lake Van, Turkey:

Lake Van in Turkey has a striking blue colour and is one of the tourist attractions. However, below the surface of water lurks another ancient town. According to the experts, the remains are approximately 3,000 years old; they have been built during the region’s Iron Age Urartian period.

Mahabalipuram
The submerged heritage of Mahabalipuram. Source: Southampton.ac.uk

4) The Submerged temple of Mahabalipuram, India:

Mahabalipuram is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is famous for its cave temples and architecture built around 8th century AD. According to the local myths, the shore temple was once part of a larger temple structure which featured seven pagodas.

cleopatras palace
Sphinxes and statues from Cleopatra’s sunken palace. Source: Travel Notes

5) Heracleion, Egypt; The Lost City of Cleopatra:

Lost for approximately 1600 years, the royal palace of Cleopatra was finally discovered off the shores of Alexandria. A team of archaeologists and marine explorers, led by Frenchman Franck Goddio, began unearthing the sunken palace in 1998.

City of Olous
The sunken city of Olous. Source: greekboston.com

6) The Sunken City of Olous, Crete:

Olous is an ancient, sunken city located at the present-day town of Elounda. This particular place was established in Minoan times. Olous was one of the hundreds of cities of ancient Crete with over 30,000 residents.

Qiandao Lake
The Underwater Lion City in China’s Qiandao Lake. Source: Sport Diver

7) The Lion City, Lake Qiandao in China:

Underneath the ancient waters of Lake Qiandao in China, there are remains of cities and towns that used to be part of two regions called Chun’an and Sui’an. The water body is also known as the Lake of the Thousand Islands.

Fuxian Lake's Ancient Ruins
Fuxian Lake’s Ancient Ruins. Source: Travel China Guide

8) The Ancient Underwater City in Fuxian Lake, China:

Fuxian Lake is located in Yuxi and is quite famous mainly because it contains ancient ruins. According to the tales that surround the lake, two fairies visited the earth and passed by this lake. They were reluctant to leave and turned themselves into two statues with their hands on each other’s shoulders, which is the meaning of “fuxian” in Chinese. Moreover, the ruins are believed to be of ancient Dian Kingdom.

Home town of Lord Krishna
Home town of Lord Krishna. Source: Dailymotion

9) Dwarka, India:

According to the stories that surround Dwarka, the ruined city was Lord Krishna’s home town. The place was initially considered as an old wives tale, but it was indeed discovered 131 feet below the ocean. The experts and marine explorers were utterly astonished when they stumbled upon this ancient site.

City In The Gulf Of Cambay
An ancient city in the Gulf of Cambay. Source: thetravel.com

10) The Sunken City of Cambay:

Scientists and marine explorers stumbled upon the ruins of an ancient city off the coast of India in the Gulf of Cambay. Artefacts from the city have been carbon-dated to about 9,500 years ago.

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