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Yonaguni Monument: Mystic Pyramid & the Lost City of Atlantis also Known as underwater Machu Picchu

Yonaguni Monument: The Mystic Pyramid and the Lost City of Atlantis

Lying off the coast of Yonaguni, the southernmost part of the Ryuku Island in Japan is the Yonaguni Monument, Pyramid like a massive underwater rock formation. A debate still lies among the eminent geologists whether the site is completely natural or modification of a natural site or a manmade artefact.

During the early 1960s Kihachiro Aratake, a young diver while scouting the diving sites on the remote island of Yonaguni and discovered the monument under the water that left him in astonishment. He described it as “underwater Machu Picchu”, which is known by its present name.

Lying close to the shore between 15 to 40 feet (4.5 to12 m), the monument composed of several terraces and steps as well as formations representing personal interpretation. Archaeologists and geologists have found traces of ancient civilizations living on the planet millions of years ago.

The rectangular monument’s bedrock layered by sandstone and mudstone is more than 165 feet long and 65 feet wide. A number of scholars have visited the site and the origin of the monuments is still uncertain.

According to some scholars, men built the stepped pyramid monument. Besides, there are several straight lines and carvings in the structure. There are other formations as well that suggest a submerged ancient city of Atlantis. These facts contend the structures are at least 5,000 years old and belong to a long lost civilization- possibly the legendry Lemuria or Mu.

Other scholars claim the monument as natural formation shaped over the years by the underwater currents. They have reached to the conclusion depending on the symmetry of the rocks that have never be pronounced and reported the structures appearing to be made up of solid rock rather than distinct rocks. The later suggests activities of humans and the formation of pyramid-like monument structures and further argued that alleged carvings are naturally occurring.

The Japanese archipelago stretching nearly 4,000 km from Kamchatka in Russia to the island of Taiwan, off the coast of China’s mainland. The extreme south-western tip is the small island of Yonaguni, just a scant 100 km from Taiwan. It is quite small expanding less than 30 sq. km with only 1700 residents and is the most famous for the creatures found in water: Hammerhead sharks.

There are lots and lots of hammerhead sharks, which are ubiquitous that attract divers all over the world in swimming with them, thereby discovering various things and artefacts under the oceans. In 1986, a representative from the Yonaguni tourism board went exploring the southernmost tip of the island looking for a hammerhead diving spot for promotion. Another creature that attracts the travellers are the Yonaguni horses that stand just a meter tall and roam free on the island.

Reaching the Yonaguni Island is not smooth and simple between the inhabited Okinawan Islands. There are one or two flights a day from Ishigaki Island and three a week from Naha. You can also board a ferry running two trips a week from Ishigaki with returning journeys on different days, takes four hours, and can be a rough journey as well.

If you love adventures, seas, underwater monuments and sharks Yonaguni Island is your destination. During the winter months, hammerhead sharks congregate around the island, and if you go between December and February, you will almost certainly get a chance to see them.

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