Lost civilizations, Mysterious sunken cities And legendary Atlantis itself Vanished beneath the waves.
Patrick, There is a huge amount of unrecorded human history beneath the ocean’s surface that we don’t know very much about at all.
Imagine if we could empty the oceans, letting the water drain away, to reveal the secrets of the sea floor.
Now we can, using the latest underwater technology, Piercing the deep oceans and turning accurate data into 3D images.
Is this a huge underwater temple carved by a mysterious lost civilization?
Narrator, Why are these perfectly circular stones lying at the bottom of a bay in the Aegean Sea?
Simon, There are shapes on the seabed that just don’t make sense.
Narrator, Are these just rocks or the remains of an ancient city?
Jon (over radio), Parts of this are just beginning to be revealed for the first time.
And is the real site of Atlantis finally about to be revealed?
-people want to believe in places like Atlantis.
They want to believe in other worlds.
Stories of sunken cities have fascinated for millennia.
The most tantalizing of all: Atlantis, First described by ancient philosopher Plato, a dazzling civilization destroyed by the gods as punishment for human pride.
-people connect to that story and it’s because of this idea of an ancient civilization, a utopia that we’ve evolved from Narrator.
2,000 years later, the idea of Atlantis continues to fascinate A-list archaeologists And the producers of B-list movies.
Man (over TV).
Atlantis is the story of those who, like today, would use the marvels of science to conquer and enslave Atlantis.
A world that worships strange gods of science, of science, a science gone berserk.
-plato would have loved this.
Okay, He would have had a great time.
He would have said: ‘at last, you know, people are listening to me, People are taking my story seriously’, And he would have enjoyed this immensely.
Narrator, Using science, not science fiction, draining the oceans exposes new evidence about Atlantis And other stories of great sunken cities around the world.
As the waters recede from around the remote Japanese island of Yonaguni, a mysterious formation begins to appear.
Could it be the creation of an advanced ancient people?
Yonaguni lies in the East China Sea.
The waters here are perilous.
Schools of Hammerhead Sharks patrol amid powerful currents.
Typhoons frequently batter the island.
For divers, it’s the ultimate challenge.
Kihachiro Aratake is one of the pioneers of diving here.
Kihachiro, The water was crystal clear.
I felt as though I was looking down from the seabed, from the sky.
Narrator Searching for a new dive site, he makes a startling discovery.
-i saw a steps-like formation, like terraced fields.
I thought for a moment it was similar to the Machu Picchu ruins, So I named the spot: the submarine ruins.
It’s an extraordinary spectacle.
The size of five football fields, Smooth-sided walls rise up to the summit, the height of an eight-story building.
Flights of stone steps climb up from the base And on every side the shapes and forms are strikingly regular.
-it can’t be formed naturally without human involvement.
It couldn’t be like that, Narrator.
So what could it be?
It’s impossible to investigate the structure fully by diving.
The only way is to conduct a survey using the latest scanning technology, Hironobu.
Although the shallow waters around Yonaguni Island are close to human habitation, we don’t know much about them.
It’s an unknown frontier.
Drain the Oceans
Using sonar scans, Hironobu Kan records a complete digital map of the sea floor
Using this data, it’s possible for the very first time to drain away the waters and reveal what lies beneath in exact detail.
The summit of the mysterious structure begins to appear (waves crashing).
Water pours off its smooth terraced layers, exposing them once again to the sky, And with the monument left high and dry, its true scale becomes clear, Vast, imposing and spectacular.
The incredible discovery attracts worldwide attention.
Divers journalists and TV crews flock to Yonaguni, all asking what could this mysterious structure be?
And scientists come here too.
Among them is Professor Masaaki Kimura, one of Japan’s top marine geologists.
When I dived underwater to explore it, I felt right away that it must be a man-made structure.
He finds several features that he believes indicate human activity.
The Triangle Pool
-Here you’ll see something that looks like the front gate of a castle.
It’s like a tunnel, and you go through it.
On the far side of the tunnel, a road loops around to a flight of steps Watched over by two mysterious stone objects.
-there are mound-like bulges here and here, and if you look at them, you’ll find turtles with their necks extended on both sides.
According to ancient Japanese folklore, the dragon God Ryujin lives in an underwater palace watched over by turtles.
To Professor Kimura, this indicates that the monument is so important it needs guarding.
And that’s not all.
-if you go up this path, you get to this place.
This portion is triangular.
That’s why it’s called the triangle pool, Since this is fairly big and shallow as well.
You can relax in it.
Also, the sea surface is very close to it and it’s warm due to the sunlight.
You feel chilly after you come out of the deeper area down there and you can warm up here.
But the monument’s most striking feature is its wide, flat terraces, Large enough to support thousands of people.
Professor Kimura believes the gateway, stairs, turtles and terraces all point towards one purpose -Judging from its shape, I think they used it as a castle.
But to prove his theory, Professor Kimura needs more: the artifacts of those who once lived here.
He scours the structure looking for clues and discovers what look like primitive tools.
Then, hidden behind one of the great walls, the most remarkable find of all -Look at this.
A symbol is inscribed here and here’s a hole.
Probably they hung this article like this, And here’s something looking like a letter.
Maybe it could be a kind of a talisman to protect people from evil.
For Professor Kimura, the case is closed.
The artifacts and the monument’s regular shapes prove that humans lived here 8,000 years ago.
After that, rising sea levels claim the territory of this lost race of master builders.
But is that the real story of Yonaguni?