Modern-day Atlantis: Mind-blowing underwater cities

Once upon a time, there was a really advanced city, some would say even too advanced for its time. The legend says that one day, the ocean swallowed the city and it was never seen again. This is a legend most of you heard about: the legend of Atlantis. We still can’t be sure whether Atlantis existed or not but what we can be sure of is that there are several once great cities that today lie underwater. In this article, we’ll share some of the most mind-blowing underwater cities of our time that you probably didn’t hear about, or how I like to call them, our modern-day Atlantis.

Shi Cheng, China

Shi Cheng, also known as The Lion City is one of China’s most popular tourist attractions today. The city was founded during the rule of the Han dynasty around 2000 years and was bhzonce the economic hub of the eastern province Zhejiang. However, the amazing architecture and intriguing statues didn’t save the city from flooding in the 1950s when the government decided to build a new hydroelectric power station. Today, all of the amazing sculptures and buildings are around 130 feet under water. What’s left of the Shi Cheng is a flooded city with a size roughly equal to 63 football fields.

Shi Cheng, China

Port Royal, Jamaica

Port Royal was famous as the ‘Pirate hub of Jamaica’ and as the ‘Most sinful city of the world’. Reading about this city, I totally see where ‘Pirates of the Caribbean got its inspiration from. In 1692, after the big earthquakes that hit Jamaica, Port Royal was swallowed by the ocean. Most of the inhabitants died. Some people still claim that this was God’s punishment for the “most sinful city in the world’ which today lies forty feet below the ocean.

Are you planning to visit Jamaica soon? Check out a list of the best places to visit in Jamaica.

Port Royal

Villa Epecuen, Argentina

32 years ago, one of the most famous spa towns in Argentina vanished when the Lake Epecuen completely flooded the town after the heavy rains. 5,000 people lost everything they had with the blink of an eye. In 2009, the lake began to recede and in 2011 the town got back one of its inhabitants. Pablo Novak is currently the only inhabitant of Villa Epecuen.

Villa Epecuen

Cleopatra’s Palace, Egypt

Near the coast of Alexandria lies the ancient palace of Cleopatra. According to most scientists, the city ruins have been cast into the sea after an earthquake 1600 hundred years ago. A lot of ancient artifacts were found in the flooded city, including the grave of Cleopatra and the temple of Isis. Unfortunately, the ruins are still not open to visitors, but we hope that’ll change soon. There’s a lot to see down there.

Cleopatra palace: underwater cities

Baia, Italy

The city of Baia was the Las Vegas of ancient Rome. The city was famous for its hot springs and its bohemian status, attracting noble people from around the kingdom. By 1500, the former luxurious city was abandoned and the water levels flooded the city, drowning everything in it. Today, the ancient city remains are ‘partying’ 20 feet below the surface.

Jal Mahal, India

The water palace of Jaipur, located in the Man Sagar Lake is a real jewel of the Rajput architecture style. The palace is at least 300 hundred years old and it was flooded after an accident with the local dam. The first four floors of the palace are completely flooded and when the water levels are the highest, the only thing you can see is the rooftop. This palace is open for visitors and it looks even more glamorous at night.

underwater cities

Dwarka, Gulf of Cambay, India

This city was supposedly the ancient home of Lord Krishna and was once considered to be a myth. However, the ruins discovered in the 2000s prove that this city wasn’t only an Indian tale. The ruins are located 130 feet beneath the ocean surface, confirming that Dwarka is one of the seven oldest cities of India. Artifacts taken out from the ruins have amazed archaeologists, with the oldest ones dating back to as early as 7500 BCE.

Dwarka, Gulf of Cambay: underwater cities

Curon Venosta, Italy

The city of Curon is located beneath the Recia Lake near the border of Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. Curon was flooded after WW2 when the building of a dam went wrong. The only thing left on the surface is the bell tower of the biggest church in Curon. The lake freezes during winters and you can literally walk to the tower, knowing that there’s an entire city below your feet. What’s even more interesting, people claim that they still occasionally hear the bell ring from the tower, despite the fact that the bell was removed 30 years ago.

Resia Lake, Italy

Vilarinho da Furna, Portugal

This was one of the oldest villages in Portugal before being intentionally flooded during the dam construction. The village which was flooded in 1972 has been around since the early days of the Roman Empire. The land leftovers still belong to the descendants of the owner of the only surviving house. Unfortunately for them, their property is useless as it’s underwater throughout most of the year.

Vilarinho da Furna: underwater cities

The Yonaguni Pyramid, Japan

The Pyramids of Yonaguni are certainly one of the most amazing sights in the world and one of the most mind-blowing underwater cities. First of all, it’s confusing how did the Egyptian mythological symbol of such size end up just next to the Japanese coast. Scientists are still debating whether the pyramids are man-made or it was a natural occurrence, with both sides not providing enough evidence. Both sides agree on one fact though; the pyramid is older than 12,000 years.

Yonaguni Pyramid: underwater cities

Bonus: Mauritia

This one isn’t really a city, but rather a whole continent. Some scientists in the past claimed that there used to be a piece of land connecting the Indian subcontinent to Mauritius and Madagascar. And there has been some proof about this claim recently. This huge piece of land was swallowed by the sea during massive movements of land across the surface of the Earth. But according to scientists, this wouldn’t have been the best place to live. Mauritia was covered in volcanoes and earthquakes were quite common across the continent.

It’s mind-blowing how most of these underwater cities used to be so important in the past and today most people don’t even know about them. The game of history is surely a fascinating one…

Which one of these unfortunate underwater cities was your favorite? Which one would you like to visit? Let me know in the comments.

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20 thoughts on “Modern-day Atlantis: Mind-blowing underwater cities”

  1. I can’t believe the number of modern-Atlantis around the world. The most fascinating one for me is The Yonaguni Pyramid in Japan whether it’s man-made or not. It’s sad to read about Villa Epecuen in Argentina though. I think because it happened not too long ago.

  2. THis looks so incredible and If they are real, I cannot imagine how many are still undiscovered as water depth still hides a lot. I loved the pyramid in Japan the most, this is truly impressive. I would add to this list underwater ancient city in Turkey, on the south, which was put under water after the earthquake. It looks really impressive to snorkle there.

    • Are you talking about Simena? I recently discovered that place too and was planning to visit as well. I might add an editor’s note and mention it 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. There are so many underwater cities. It’s surprising how many of these were created on purpose by flooding when dams were created. Jal Mahal in India is fascinating since you can visit it when the waters only cover the bottom floors.

  4. I loved the list of underwater cities and great to know about them, as Legend of Atlantis is always interesting for me. I was knowing about Dwarka and visited many times but it is great that it existed 7500 BCE. I never knew about Jal Mahal’s first four floors were flooded and sometimes when the water level is higher then the only rooftop can be seen. Thanks for sharing a very interesting post.

  5. Of course I have heard the legends of Atlantis. But how exciting to read about some real life underwater cities! All of them are intriguing but it’s especially exciting that the ruins of Cleopatra’s Palace might one day be open to visitors.

  6. Woah! I did not know these existing. The Cleopatra’s place is definitely on top of my bucket list now and I hope they will someday open to visitors. These underwater cities are very interesting. Thank you so much for sharing these. I got so excited reading your post.

  7. Whoa! This is a rather unusual concept to travel! I’m super glad to see that there are 2 sites from my country, India!
    Yes, when they first discovered the 7500BCE artefact in Dwarka, it made major headlines in the art / history/ archaeology communities.
    I really hope the excavations there resume and more information is unearthed!

  8. Your article is soooo interesting. I never thought there were so many cities submerged around us and the story behind each one is so fascinating. I have never been to any of these places but the idea of going underwater and seeing these places sounds so fun.

  9. I’m not a fan of underwater to be honest but when I saw these photos, my heart skipped fast and was really happy seeing them. I want to see them in real person. I just wish I know how to dive or swim. This is a very good read. I’ll share this to my bestfriend.


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