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6 Sunken Cities That Actually Exist (Unlike Atlantis)

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When someone mentions sunken cities, people always think about Atlantis first. After all, the lost city has been the subject of countless literary works and has even astounded audiences in the superhero film Aquaman. However, it is still unclear if Atlantis actually exists. It is believed that Plato wrote an allegory on what could happen if people grew too greedy.

We have yet to find out if Atlantis is real. In the meantime, there are several amazing sunken cities around the world that deserve some attention as well. Here are six lost cities that have been submerged in water.

1. Baiae

The city of Baiae close to Naples is only partially underwater but it has quite an interesting story. It was once known for its mild climate, luxurious vegetation, and hot springs. Unfortunately, that came with the residents’ hedonistic lifestyle.

It is believed that the more extravagant part of the town became submerged in the sea due to volcanic activity.

2. Dunwich

How does one English town go from being the largest thriving communities to being underwater? Dunwich dealt with a succession of storms in the 13th and 14th centuries that severely eroded the coastline.

Although residents tried to keep the town afloat, Dunwich was swallowed by the seas. There are reportedly four churches, a toll house, and several residents that can be found underwater.

3. Ravenser Odd

The medieval town of Ravenser Odd in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England was an important port during the day. It also gained notoriety for being home to several pirates in the 13th century.

The town flourished for several years but simply couldn’t handle all the storms that came its way. It was largely destroyed by the Grote Mandrenke storm of January 1362 and has been underwater ever since.

4. Heracleion

Here’s an Egyptian city that was once believed to be a myth. It is believed that Helen of Troy and her lover Paris visited Heracleion but nobody could find the sunken city.

It was finally discovered in 1999 by an archaeologist named Franck Goddio. The city is said to have succumbed to the waters at the end of the eighth century AD.

5. Atlit Yam

Source: Wikimedia

The submerged Neolithic village is located off the coast of Atlit, Israel and is believed to be between 8,900 and 8,300 years old. This makes Atlit Yam one of the earliest sunken cities known to man.

It is unclear how the town ended up being underwater but scientists are careful not to bring artifacts out in fear that they would decay immediately. However, one of Atlit Yam’s most interesting features is a stone circle similar to Stonehenge.

6. Shicheng

Source: Europics/CEN

The Lion City is famously referred to as China’s Atlantis. However, it is different from the other sunken cities in the list for one amazing reason: Shicheng was deliberately submerged in 1959.

The city was submerged to make way for the creation of the Xin’an Dam but Shicheng thrived despite being underwater. Its 600-year-old structures are remarkably well-preserved due to the icy waters and continue to draw in divers who want to see the amazing site.




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