Atlantis is a fictional island founded by half god-half human beings that suddenly sunk into the ocean. While it is just a product of Plato’s imagination as an allegory on the hubris of nations, it hasn’t stopped a lot of people from looking for that fabled city. Of course, if what they only want is to get a glimpse of towns or settlements that are now underwater, there are actual places like that today. These underwater abandoned places have an eerie vibe, echoing the stories of people who once lived there. These sites are unnervingly well-preserved.
|Photo Credit: China Underground|
Shi Cheng (Qiandao Lake, China)
Also known as the “Lion City” and “China’s Atlantis of the East,” the loss of Shi Cheng while Qiandao Lake was being reconstructed is considered a big tragedy. In 1959, the region was flooded, drowned the city in 40-meter-deep water. It was forgotten until 2001 when the Chinese government conducted an expedition to discover what was left. They found well-preserved old stone buildings.
|Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons|
Villa Epecuen (Buenos Aires Province, Argentina)
Villa Epecuen was considered one of Argentina’s most popular tourist spots during the 20th century. However, it didn’t stay that way. In 1985, heavy rains broke the nearby earthen dam, flooding the town and its hundreds of businesses. Since then, the city has been covered with salty waters. According to Mental Floss, an online site that delivers smart, fun, and shareable content in an upbeat and witty environment, Villa Epecuen has revealed salt-encrusted trees due to the long-term weather pattern in the city.
|Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons|
Vilarinho da Furna (Terras de Bouro, Portugal)
Vilarinho da Furna was once a tiny but vibrant village. It was known for its remarkably democratic way of life until the city was drowned by a local power company to create hydroelectricity for the region. It was reported that the village was founded by the Romans in the 1st century CE. It flourished for two millennia before being flooded by the Portuguese Electricity Company in 1972. What’s fascinating about this underwater site is that its remnants can still be seen during dry periods in the spring and fall.
|Photo Credit: Mark Bonica via Flickr|
Petersburg (Lake Strom Thurmond, Georgia)
Lake Strom Thurmond is known as a great tourist destination, but what many people don’t know is that it conceals the once-thriving town of Petersburg. It was believed that Petersburg was established in 1876 and quickly became a key outpost in the tobacco industry. However, the US Army Corps of Engineers began filling the valley in 1952 to create a lake. This is because the city’s industries fell into decline and were completely deserted in 1844. Since then, the town has been abandoned and forgotten.
|Photo Credit: Let's Travel More|
Thonis-Heracleion (Canopic Mouth of the Nile, Egypt)
Thonis-Heracleion has been featured in many ancient stories and considered one of the most important cities in the ancient world. According to List Verse, an online site that publishes lists that intrigue and educate, it served as Egypt’s trade capital for over a millennium after settling about 4,000 years ago. However, it slowly sank as the city was built on a series of small islands in a wet lowland area. It was also surrounded by waterways and canals.
|Photo Credit: Gizmodo|
Lost Villages of Ontario (Ontario, Canada)
A part of Ontario, consisting of eight villages, was submerged, along with a part of Canada’s Highway 2, back in the 1950s. It was believed that this part of the city was one of the oldest in the country, which was first built in the 1700s. However, the US and Canada started a joint project to connect the Great Lakes to the Atlantic. It allowed ships to travel as far inland as Minnesota. Although the project succeeded, it drowned eight villages. As of now, all of them remain submerged at the bottom of a busy shipping lane and inaccessible.
|Photo Credit: Repretel|
Potosi (Táchira, Venezuela)
Potosi was once a vibrant Andean village with 1,200 inhabitants. However, the town was flooded in 1985 when a nearby river was dammed to create a hydroelectric plant. For a long time, the only marker that remained of the town was the church’s steeple, seeming to mark the grave of an entire city. In 2010, El Nino severely affected Venezuela, which triggered a drought throughout the country. After a long time, Potosi was again on dry land. Many of the old residents took this opportunity to visit their old home and pay their respects before it was submerged once again when the rains came.