A screengrab from a YouTube video showing the ancient statues. Image Credit: YouTube - NBC News.

Receding Water Levels In China’s Yangtze River Reveals Ancient Buddhist Statues

As a result of a record drought, parts of the Yangtze River have dried up, affecting hydroelectric power, shipping lanes, limiting water supplies, and even exposing Buddhist statues that were previously submerged.

During a severe drought in China, water levels of the Yangtze River plunged, revealing three 600-year-old Buddhist statues. Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua reported that they were on a submerged island near Chongqing.

These three statues date to the Ming and Qing dynasties and were found on the highest reef part of the island. An image of a monk perched on a lotus pedestal is depicted on one of the statues.

As a result of extreme weather conditions caused by climate change, some cities in China have been experiencing temperatures that exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit, including the Yangtze river, the world’s third-longest river.

There has been a 45 percent drop in the rain in the Yangtze basin since July, and forecasters believe the hot weather will persist through September. According to a statement released on Sunday, the area faces a “grave situation.”

Due to the extremely high temperatures and the drought, there are severe power shortages, the statement continued. More than 400 million Chinese people depend on the Yangtze River for drinking water, as well as global shipping routes.

Similar treasures have been revealed by Europe’s unprecedented drought. For nearly a century, the water levels of the Danube, which flows from western Germany to the Black Sea, have been at their lowest. Several German warship hulks that were sunk during World War II were exposed near Prahovo in eastern Serbia; many still contained live ammunition and explosives.

As a result of the drying of a dam in Spain, a prehistoric stone circle has been discovered. This ring of megalithic stones is known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal and is believed to date back to 5000 BC. Located in the province of Caceres, the stones overlook the Valdecanas reservoir.

German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier discovered the circle of stones in 1926, but the region was flooded in 1963 during Francisco Franco’s regime as part of a rural development plan. As a result of fluctuating water levels in the dam, archaeologists have only been able to access it four times since then.

We also recently reported severe droughts in the United States, with extreme conditions persisting in Texas. There, receding waters in the Paluxy River revealed a series of Dinosaur Footprints that would have otherwise been impossible to see.

A 2012 study, when the tracks were last exposed, found that the tracks belonged to two types of dinosaurs, theropods and sauropods.


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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