The mysterious underwater structures at Yonaguni

April 5, 2010

Photo: Masaaki Kimura

Yonaguni Island is a part of Japan’s Ryukyu archipelago. In 1986 under the water around it were discovered what some people say are the ruins of an ancient civilization and others believe it is only natural formations.

Masaaki Kimura is a geologist for Ryukyu University. He has studied the site (also known as Yonaguni Monument) for the past 15 years. He believes that the underwater rocks are the remains of a city 5,000 years ago. It is based on the dating of stalagmites found in caves that collapsed while the city alleged.


He claims to have found marks and symbols carved into the stone and also rocks carved with animal forms. He has also identified ten structures in Yonaguni and five more similar structures on the main island of Okinawa. The ruins cover a 300 x 150 meters area.

The structure include the ruins of a castle, a triumphal arch, five temples and at least one large stadium, connected by roads and waterways and protected in part by what could be huge walls. The largest structure is a monolithic pyramid, which rises to a depth of 25 meters.

Photo: Masaaki Kimura

The city sank 2000 years ago in one of the major earthquakes that hit this part of the Pacific Ocean. In fact, on 4 May 1998, a part of the island and the ruins were destroyed by an undersea earthquake.

But not everyone believes as Kimura. Robert Schoch, professor of science and mathematics from Boston University, is convinced that none of the stone structures is the work of human hands. He said these geological formations are well known and they’re specific to a region with seismic activity.

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Taiwan at left. Yonaguni Jima in the middle of the map (Google Maps).

Further information:


Ancient archaeology: Yonaguni


The mysterious underwater pyramid structure at Yonaguni

Japan Ancient Underwater “Pyramid” Mystifies Scholars

Investigating the Yonaguni Underwater Monuments

Diving for Lemuria

An Enigmatic Ancient Underwater Structure off the Coast of Yonaguni Island

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