11 abandoned underwater sites and the history behind them

An abandoned prison that is mostly submerged underwater in Estonia.

Places that have been abandoned already exude an unsettling aura from the people and stories that once called them home. Undiscovered underwater locations are particularly enigmatic. These haunts are surprisingly well-preserved, hidden beneath the waters of lakes and oceans where the water prevents erosion.

These 11 underwater-buried abandoned cities, structures, and landmarks are listed.

Fabbriche di Careggine in Tuscany has been flooded since the 1940s, but may reemerge in 2021.

Fabbriche di Careggine 2

Fabbriche di Careggine, which was built in the thirteenth century, was abandoned in 1947 when the town was inundated by a dam built on the Edron River.

Since then, the lake has been emptied four times, and according to Lonely Planet, it may be emptied once more in 2021 in order to expose the remains and increase local tourism.

Shi Cheng, China’s underwater “Lion City,” remains preserved at the bottom of Qiandao Lake.

lion city china underwater

Known as “China’s Atlantis of the East,” the “Lion City” is submerged to a depth of around 130 feet.

Since the Xin’an River Hydropower Station was built in 1959, the more than 1,340-year-old city named for Wu Shi Mountain has been under water, necessitating the relocation of 300,000 residents. Its 5 city gates, 265 arches, and decorative carvings from the Ming and Qing eras are all nearly intact thanks to the water’s protective effect against environmental damage.

Vilarinho das Furnas in Portugal dates back 2,000 years.

Vilarinho das Furnas Portugal

The 2,000-year-old settlement of Vilarinho das Furnas had 300 residents until the building of a dam in 1967 caused the region to flood, forcing them to relocate. In the summer, pieces of doors and windows are still visible when the water levels decrease.

Rummu Prison in Estonia was abandoned after the fall of the Soviet Union.

rummu prison estonia

As per Atlas Obscura, the first cell of Rummu Prison was constructed in 1949. According to The Daily Mail, prisoners housed in the Soviet Union were made to labor twelve hours a day at the nearby limestone mine. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was abandoned and soon after that, groundwater swamped it. Partially visible, the structure remains in the water. Exploring it is a risky dive because of the remaining wreckage, which includes equipment and barbed wire.

Nymphas Show Bar in Eilat, Israel, was discovered by a marine biologist.

Nymphas Show Bar eilat israel

Off the coast of Eilat, Israel, marine biologist Gil Koplovitz found an abandoned underwater strip club. In 2013, Koplovitz informed The Huffington Post that the club was previously reachable by a bridge spanning 230 feet and a set of steps that let guests to approach the structure without coming into contact with the water. In the now-vacant bar area, the poles remain upright. The reason for its abandonment is yet unknown.

An earthquake caused the ancient Egyptian city of Thonis-Heracleion to sink.

Herakleion egypt

Off the shore of Alexandria, 64 ships, 700 anchors, 16-foot sculptures, and gold coins from the ancient Egyptian city of Herakleion were discovered by a team of French researchers. The relics were 2,300 years old. A great port city submerged beneath the Mediterranean over a millennium ago as a result of an earthquake.

Port Royal, Jamaica, was also destroyed by an earthquake in the 1600s.

port royal jamaica

Three centuries ago, Port Royal was dubbed the “wickedest city on Earth” by AP News, and it was well-known for its rum, pirates, and prostitutes.

The city was mostly devastated by an earthquake in 1692, but what’s left of it is submerged 40 feet below the surface and is recognized as a National Heritage Site.

The Tower of Curon sticks out of Lake Resia, Italy, the only remnant of the town.

curon tower italy

The 150 people of the village of Curon were forced to migrate when a power company combined two natural lakes to create one enormous one in 1950, according to Italy Magazine. Everything that is still above water is the Tower of Curon. Some individuals swear they can still hear the bells ringing, even though they were removed in 1950.

Mediano, Spain, was flooded to create a reservoir, leaving only a church tower above water.

mediano spain church underwater

The pinnacle of a church tower dating from the 16th century that protrudes into the lake is the last surviving part of the little village of Mediano. In 1974, the valley was inundated to form a reservoir.

The Lost Villages of Ontario in Canada were flooded to create an artificial lake in 1958.

lost villages ontario st lawrence seaway

The Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River were connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway. 6,500 residents of nine small villages had to be moved in order to construct the canals, which resulted in the creation of Lake St. Lawrence, an artificial lake.

On July 1, 1958, the towns were inundated. Now submerged beneath the surface, they are called “The Lost Villages.”

Pavlopetri, Greece, is the world’s oldest submerged town, according to the University of Nottingham.

Pavlopetri Greece

Archaeologists have found pottery objects from the Final Neolithic period (4500-3200 BC), which is 5,000 years ago. According to their discoveries, the Mycenaean town was formerly a hub for commerce and marine colonization.

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