Underwater pyramids of Yonaguni. Sightseeing in Japan

Yonaguni is an underwater city. Japan

Japan is an island country with an impressive number of islands. Most of them have something unusual. Think, for example, of the smallest municipality on the volcano island of Aogashima.

Now we will tell you about another Japanese island, located in the westernmost part of the country. It’s Yonaguni Island. But it’s not really about the island, although it undoubtedly has an appealing island charm. We, like the rest of the world, were interested in its coastal waters. Or rather, what is hidden in them. In the 1980s, something was found off the coast of Yonaguni that defies the very history of the world.

The island itself is known among divers as one of the most picturesque places to dive. A large number of hammerhead sharks can be seen in the vicinity. They are mostly safe for humans (but that doesn’t mean they don’t attack) and are very graceful. Therefore, many divers come to the island.

Yonaguni has special diving schools and its own tourist association. So one day in 1986, Kihachiro Aratake (at that time the director of the island’s tourist association), while searching for new places to dive, came across surprisingly flat and regular rock structures at a depth of a few meters. They were very reminiscent of the structures, rather like pyramids. One of them went down 25-27 meters to the bottom and had very flat planes.

The Underwater City of Yonaguni

In many sources such photo appears, but in fact there is no such pyramid in Yonaguni.

After several dives it was established that the dimensions of the underwater complex are approximately as follows: the central part has a height of slightly more than 40 meters and a base of 180 by 150 meters. The pyramids’ surfaces have steps, lozenge-shaped ledges and smooth edges. Located underwater pyramids near the shore at a depth of 25-30 meters.

Yonaguni on the map

  • Geographical coordinates 24.435431, 123.011148
  • Distance from Japanese capital of Tokyo is about 2100 km
  • The nearest airport is located directly on the island of Yonaguni, 5 kilometers from the underwater pyramids

This sight of the world has no specific name. Usually it is called “Pyramids of Yonaguni” or “Underwater City of Yonaguni. But in any case, if you hear a phrase with the word Yonaguni, then most likely we are talking about this underwater complex.

Research underwater pyramids

An interesting fact is that the Monument of Yonaguni somehow did not interest the world’s scientific community. The underwater city has been virtually ignored by archaeologists. The pyramids were discovered in 1986, and the first scientific expedition took place only in 1997. The money for the research was allocated by Yasuo Watanabe (a major industrialist from Japan). The expedition included, in addition to professional divers and the Discovery Channel film crew, Graham Hancock and Robert Schoch.

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Natural Formation Theory

Graham and Robert put forward the theory that the underwater pyramids of Yonaguni are the result of natural forces. In particular, the composition of the monument indicates this. It is sandstone, which can be cracked, forming regular geometric shapes. Sandstone layers have an interesting property of stratifying at an angle of 90 and 60 degrees to each other. In the process of stratification, they form such interesting structures.

In addition, there are periodic earthquakes in this part of the world. As a consequence, the sandstone is even more prone to cracking. However, the participants of the expedition suggested that human influence cannot be completely ruled out. Perhaps these are ancient mines or quarries. But nevertheless the main accent was made on natural occurrence of Yonaguni pyramids.

The Underwater City of Yonaguni

Evidence in favor of artificial origin of pyramids

Probably the mystery of pyramids would be attributed to nature, if Masaaki Kimura, professor of the Japanese Ryukyus University has not interfered. Having dived to the Yonaguni monument and examined it very carefully, Kimura began to insist on the version of artificial origin. As evidence, he presents a number of facts.

Yonaguni schematic

  1. For example, in the vicinity of the underwater city were found man-made artifacts such as bas-reliefs, stones with symbols and holes, some primitive tools
  2. Features of the “architecture” of the underwater complex can also be attributed in favor of its man-made origin. There is a trench, which has two internal angles 90 , as well as double megaliths, which, according to Kimura, were installed here on purpose. These megaliths have straight edges and square corners. Schematically, the sight of Japan looks like this True, skeptics are trying to refute it, pointing out that the sea currents are able to move very large objects underwater. And currents in the vicinity of the island can be quite strong
  3. Not far from the underwater pyramids, a human head was found. Do not be alarmed, it is only carved out of stone and is about 7 meters in height

Scientific controversy

Robert Schoch, who was part of Graham Hancock’s expedition, originally stuck to the natural formation version of the monument, but after meeting with Professor Kimura, partially changed his mind. Both scientists agreed on the theory that the monument itself is most likely of natural origin (that is, the rock has not moved or erected anywhere), and that the flat surfaces, right angles and other non-standard for nature structures are the work of man.

For example, this massive formation, nicknamed “Turtle”, is out of the theory of the natural origin of the complex.

Yonaguni. Turtle

This formation is called the Turtle. Don’t forget to read at the end of the article a summary of a legend, possibly related to the Pyramids

Scientists are also arguing about the age of the underwater city. Analysis of stalactites found in a cave near the pyramids suggests they are at least 10,000 years old. As stalactites cannot be formed in water, we come to the conclusion that the entire territory of the pyramids was submerged just 10,000 years ago. This fact also challenges the official history according to which 10,000 years ago the man was still huddled in caves and hunted mammoths. Naturally, he “did not grow up” up to construction of such pyramids in those times. From here it turns out the following: or generally recognized history is not quite correct, or … one of two. Probably that is why the scientific community did not take this discovery seriously. But Masaaki Kimura himself believes that the pyramids are about 5,000 years old, and that they were submerged only 2,000 years ago because of an earthquake.

Scientists are still arguing about the age of the find and its origin. Anyway, the discovery of Yonaguni pyramids is an important step in the exploration of our planet. After such a find, Yonaguni became known not only to all divers and scientists, but also to many fans of the search for ancient civilizations. It is no secret that there are still undiscovered underwater attractions on the planet, such as the famous Bimini Road in the Bahamas.

Interesting facts about the pyramids of Yonaguni

  1. The Japanese government has NOT recognized the complex as a cultural heritage site
  2. Professor Masaaki Kimura has researched the phenomenon for over 15 years and even risked his reputation to be the first to express confidence in the artificial origin of the pyramids
  3. The number of artifacts found in the complex under water and on the coast was about the same
  4. One Japanese legend tells of the fisherman Urashima. One day he went as usual to the sea, but instead of fish three times caught the same turtle. And each time he let it go. In despair, the fisherman directed the shuttle to the shore, but a large ship came in his way. It was sent by Otohime, daughter of the Dragon Lord of the Seas. It turned out that the turtle was Otohime. She invited Urashima to her palace under the water. A great feast was held in the fisherman’s honor. Urashima spent three whole years in the palace, but felt homesick and decided to return. Otohime gave him a box as a farewell gift, which can only be opened at the most difficult moment in life. When Urasima came back home he saw that 300 years had passed and everyone he knew was no longer alive. He became very sad. The fisherman opened the box and immediately turned into a crane. And Otohime turned into a turtle again and went to the shore to meet Urashima. This is where the famous Japanese dance of turtle and crane came from. Perhaps the pyramids of Yonaguchi are the palace of the Lord of the Seas and the “Turtle” is a monument to his daughter Otohime.

The Underwater City of Yonaguni on the photo

Yonaguni underwater complex

Straight, level trench

The Yonaguni Underwater Pyramids in Japan

In 1985, a sensation occurred in the world of fascinating discoveries: On the Japanese island of Yonaguni, washed by the waters of the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea, the likeness of pyramids was discovered in the coastal underwater zone. Yonaguni is the westernmost island of Japan, occupying only 28.88 square kilometers of territory, with a population of 1,581 people. The outline of the island resembles a compass arrow extending from west to east; its eastern tip is symbolically called “Agari-zaki,” meaning “place of sunrise. The western end is called “Iri-zaki”, which translates as “the place of sunset”. Diving and hammerhead shark watching are done in the island’s coastal waters.

The underwater world in these places is very picturesque: the abundance of colorful fish with exotic colors among the red “bushes” of corals is a magical picture that attracts numerous fans of diving.

Yonaguni underwater pyramids in Japan

Sensational find

Kihachiro Aratake, a diving instructor and owner of a small hotel, was a frequent diver in the blue waters, filming particularly beautiful corners of the underwater world for tourists. In the spring of 1985, once again diving in a new location, he suddenly saw a mass of rock rising up and extending quite far. Astonished, Kihacharo realized that he was facing an extraordinary object that required serious study, and he reported it to the official authorities and the press. Newspapers and magazines began to print the news, interpreting the appearance of this mysterious underwater structure in different ways. From that moment on, a detailed survey of all sites in near-island waters began, which became a sensation in scientific archaeology.

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Description of the underwater pyramids

Initial investigations revealed that stone objects occupy an extensive area almost all around the southern shore of the island. The central structure is a massive rock formation that is called a monument and is a rather complicated structure, based on a high platform that is 200 meters long, 150 meters wide and 25 meters high. There are flat terraces on it, which go down in massive steps. The architecture of this structure resembles the pyramids of the ancient Incas, confirming the hypothesis about the man-made origin of the underwater city, as they called the strange object later.

Yonaguni underwater pyramids in Japan

This name is not coincidental, because continued surveys revealed a stone fence made of huge boulders and a road, as if encircling the city-monument. Masaaki Kimura, professor of geology at Ryukyus Okinawa University, who has been studying the underwater city for many years, found that part of the peculiar fence was made of pieces of limestone that had never been found here. This observation allowed him to argue that the limestone was brought here from other places specifically for construction.

He gave many more evidences of artificial formation of stone pyramids: round holes up to 2 meters deep, traces of ornamentation of geometrical figures on the rock stones, remains of sculptural images with traces of carving and even, as Kimura claims, traces of welding.Just as the creation of Egyptian pyramids still remains a mystery, the construction of underwater giants is also difficult to explain. Correct sharp edges of structures, strict symmetry of steps also indicate the man-made origin of objects, so now scientists are looking for an explanation of why and how long they remain underwater.

Yonaguni underwater pyramids in Japan

Another researcher of underwater structures Shoch does not rule out that the base may be a natural rock formation used by ancient people as a platform for the construction of the city. At first, he generally ruled out human involvement in the formation of the underwater monument, but changed his mind under the influence of the facts presented by the Japanese professor.

Evidence of human participation in the creation of the pyramids

During the expeditions, discoveries were made which confirmed Kimura’s theory about the man-made origin of the underwater pyramids. At a depth of 15 meters a sculpture carved in stone was found, on which you can see the long arms, reminiscent of the hands of the Egyptian Sphinx; the headdress. According to the professor, the sculpture resembles a sculpture of the ancient king of Okinawa.

Yonaguni underwater pyramids in Japan

Divers swimming around the platform saw carvings on the rocks, similar to ancient hieroglyphs; carved images of animals. Researchers have found stone tables with inscribed symbols reminiscent of Egyptian writings, which have not yet been deciphered. Scientists believe these tables contain historical information about the possible sunken city. Kimura’s many-year study of underwater ruins has established a number of similarities with ancient excavations on land: the semicircular arch in the underwater platform corresponds exactly to the entrance to the ancient castle Nakagusuku, which belonged to the Ryukyu imperial dynasty, found during excavations in Okinawa.

Professor Kimura’s Evidence

According to his calculations, these underwater structures are more than 5,000 years old, and the professor goes on to argue that the found objects are the remains of an ancient city, an entire complex of buildings including sculptures, castles, a stadium, and connected by road infrastructure. According to the inquisitive scientist, all the objects were flooded during a catastrophic earthquake, when there were huge changes in the Earth’s crust, a giant tsunami was formed, the waves of which buried the ancient buildings. To support his theory, he studied the stalactites and stalagmites of underwater caves, which can only form above water for a long time.

Yonaguni underwater pyramids in Japan

He concludes that they are 5000 years old and have sunk together with the stone structures, which are the creation of human hands. So far, no one can make a definite conclusion, and the mystery of the underwater pyramids will continue to excite the minds and imagination of researchers for a long time to come.

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