The oceans are pretty fascinating and mysterious. We have no idea how big it is and how many species it houses. Apart from the huge marine ecosystem, the ocean bed is home to many ruins, which once stood on the land during their prime time. These historical ruins have now become a part of the marine ecosystem with thousands of marine lives resting in these structures. Scroll down to find out more about five such fascinating underwater ruins. By Swastika Mukhopadhyay
1. Port Royal, Jamaica
Named as the wickedest city of the world, Port Royal once bustled with debauchery and pirates. The port was prone to minor earthquakes but never realised that the loose soil or shallow water table on which the city stood, would crumble due to one such earthquake. On June 7 1962, an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale led to the liquefaction of the soil and 33 acres of land went swooshing down under the sea. Today, the port exists, perfectly preserved underwater illustrating the 17th century life at Port Royal.
2. Thunder Bay, Michigan
Welcome to the graveyard of ships, where the ocean bed displays an exhibition of numerous sunken ships. Thunder Bay is situated on the Northwestern shores of Lake Huron where almost 800 shipwrecks are preserved under the National Marine Sanctuary. The fresh water from the lakes keeps the ruins preserved and intact. Apart from archaeologists, the Thunder Bay also gets keen tourists and divers who have the option to explore these ruins, either by diving in or experiencing it through a glass-bottomed boat cruise.
3. Atlit-Yam, Israel
Situated eight metres below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea, lies the ancient Neolithic village Atlit-yam. This underwater preserved village dates back to between 6900 and 6300 BC. The archaeologists have been studying the area since 1984, but the cause of the submersion still lies unknown. While some scholars indicated that a tsunami might have caused the destruction, others put forward the theory that Atlit-yam was exposed to rising sea levels that led to the contamination of the freshwater and thus the city went down.
4. Baia, Italy
A spa in the Roman times? Considered as one of the most popular getaways in the Roman Empire, this resort town saw many visitors. These visitors used to spend their time relaxing in the town’s natural hot springs. Due to volcanic activity that gave birth to the hot springs in the first place, parts of the town sunk down that led to evacuation and ultimately isolation. Today, Baia has an archaeological park, which is half submerged and half above water. Visitors can participate in museum tours and dive in to explore its underwater exhibits.
5. 8000-Year-Old Yonaguni Jima, Japan
The ruins are located in the southern coast of Yonaguni. The remarkable man-made artefacts are made out of stone and stand erect to this day. These structures are estimated to be about 8000-years old, which raise questions on its exquisite craftsmanship since such carving technology did not exist back then. Some theories suspect that these might be the remains of the missing continent of Mu while others claim this to be the product of some unexplained geological processes. But the latter stands more unlikely since these ruins feature perfectly carved hallways and staircases. The beautifully carved arches resemble the architectural style of the Inca civilization.