Officials Discover Ancient Chinese Underwater City is Perfectly Preserved

A Chinese city, forgotten after it was flooded when the government built a dam that turned the valley it was in into a lake, has resurfaced as an underwater adventure park for tourists.

A Chinese city, forgotten after it was flooded when the government built a dam that turned the valley it was in into a lake, has resurfaced as an underwater adventure park for tourists.

 

AncientOrigins| Metropolis: Shi Cheng, dubbed Lion City after the Lion Mountains that surround it, has lain hidden under 131 feet of water since 1959 to generate hydroelectric power.

The Lion City, otherwise known as Shi Cheng, is an ancient submerged city that lies at the foot of Wu Shi Mountain (Five Lion Mountain), now located about 25 – 40 meters beneath the spectacular Qiandao Lake (Thousand Island Lake) in China. Officials have taken a renewed interest in the sunken city after discovering that, despite more than 50 years underwater, the entire city has been preserved completely intact, transforming it into a virtual time capsule.

slide_337765_3432986_free slide_337765_3432991_free Divers have rediscovered the opulent city. Photo credit

 The Lion City was built during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 – 200 AD) and was first set up as a county in 208 AD. It was once the center of politics and economics in the eastern province of Zhejiang. But in 1959, the Chinese government decided a new hydroelectric power station was required – so it built a man-made lake, submerging Shi Cheng under 40 meters of water.

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After erecting a dam, now known as Xin’an River hydroelectric, the historical metropolis was slowly filled with water until it was completely submerged by the turquoise-blue mass now referred to as Qiandao Lake. Qiandao Lake covers an area of 573 km² and has a storage capacity of 17.8 km³. More than 1,000 large islands dot the lake and a few thousand smaller ones are scattered across it.

A sketch of the Lion City, which remains perfectly preserved underwater. Photo credit.

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