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Ancient city discovered underwater remains shrouded in mystery

Ancient city discovered underwater remains shrouded in mystery

Built in ancient times, the city has been underwater for decades after the area was flooded

Exactly how old this ancient city is might be is something we just don't know but experts are working hard to uncover the mysteries of this place.

There's just one problem - the entire city has been underwater for several decades.

Sometimes know as 'the Atlantis of the East', estimates on how long Shicheng - or the Lion City - has been standing go between 600 years and almost two millennia, but what we do know is that it's really old and it's underwater.

As for why it's underwater, turn the clocks back to 1959 and the Chinese government decided that the area could do with a hydroelectric power plant.

And to run it they needed lots of water so they told around 300,000 people to relocate and the city was flooded, creating the Qiandao lake.

Being underwater has preserved much of the submerged city.
Simply Scuba/YouTube

You might think that spending over 60 years submerged more than 100ft below the water level would be incredibly destructive for the ancient city - but instead it's helped preserve things almost exactly as they were.

That's because the water used to make the artificial lake contained no corrosive elements or marine biology, so the old city has been kept pretty clear of the kinds of decay you'd expect with time and being submerged in a lake.

Shicheng is home to stellar architecture from eras past but we don't know everything about the place quite yet.

With it being underwater, the ancient city can only be visited by experienced divers as, according to indy100, it was opened up to tourists in 2017 after being 'rediscovered' in 2001.

You'd need to have experience in deep water, night diving and exploratory diving to be allowed down there, and little by little teams of divers are mapping out the ancient city which has sat at the bottom of a lake for decades.

Beneath the man-made Qiandao Lake is the ancient city of Shicheng.
Yang Bo/VCG via Getty Images

At present, they've found a total of 265 archways in the submerged city, decorated with carvings of dragons, phoenixes and lions.

Eventually we'll have the complete picture of what Shicheng looked like before it was flooded, but for now there are parts of the ancient city which remain a mystery to modern memories.

The BBC also reports that the city walls date back to the final days of China's Ming dynasty while there is also architecture from their successors the Qing, the final dynasty of emperors in China.

Divers are trying to map out not just the streets and structures but the building interiors as well.

It'll be a long job, but the views must be spectacular.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/SimplyAndScuba

Topics: World News, China, Weird