The legend of Atlantis is a tale by the Greek philosopher Plato of a technologically advanced civilization that was sunk under the waters by the gods due to their greed and immorality. Whether you believe it existed or not doesn’t really matter, because this list is about other cities that suffered a similar fate as Atlantis itself, minus the gods’ involvement. There are many ancient cities lying at the depths of the oceans, just waiting to be discovered. Some already have! Here are five of those cities.
Up until 1999, the Egyptian city of Heracleion was thought to be nothing more than a myth. It is believed that the city once stood at the mouth of the Nile Delta, though now it is submerged under 150 feet of water in the Bay of Aboukir. The site is still under ongoing excavation, but so far, numerous colossal statues of Egyptian and Greek gods measuring up to 16 feet have been found. Archaeologists have also uncovered hundreds of slabs of stone with both Greek and Egyptian writings inscribed on it, as well dozens of sarcophagi and lots of gold coins.
In December 2000, the lost city of Cambay off the west coast of India was discovered by chance while scientists were conducting research on pollution in the area. Lying 120 feet beneath the waters are the remnants of a long-forgotten city that is believed to be over 9,000 years old, making it at least 4,000 years older than the Indus Valley Civilization. Human remains, sculptures and sections of walls are all that is left. One possible explanation for the city’s current state is that it became submerged due to the rising waters of the last ice age.
Neapolis is another city that was constantly written off by historians as nothing more than a fable until its rediscovery in 2017. This lost city was a major industrial area at its peak, supplying large quantities of fish sauce to the Romans. But an unexpected tsunami caused by an especially powerful earthquake of at least magnitude 8.0 wiped Neapolis off the face of the Earth and in the memory of mankind for a very long time. So far, there have been very few treasures found, though archaeologists have uncovered several fish barrels.
4. Ravenser Odd
Ravenser Odd was a medieval, autonomous pirate town in Yorkshire, England where citizens were exempt from paying taxes. They also had their own mayor, prisons, courts and even gallows. Over time, the sea started reclaiming the land—walls began to collapse and the populations fled, robbing and looting the churches as they did. Then came the Great Drowning of 1362, when a ferocious storm with abnormally huge tides pulled the city into its depths for good.
Unlike the other cities that were ravaged by mother nature, the Chinese city of Shicheng or Lion City was purposely flooded in 1959 to make way for the Xin’an Dam. In the process, over 300,000 people had to be relocated from the area so construction could begin. At the time of its demise, the city was a little over 600 years old with stunning classical Chinese architecture that is still lying in the dam’s murky waters. The city is well-preserved too, and there are regular opportunities for divers to explore the area.
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