In the 1980s, the special rock formations on the seabed in Yonaguni, Japan were found. Some believe that they are created by nature itself, while others believe they are man-made. Other historians have argued that the last time this place was above water was 10,000 years ago. Viewing underwater images, it is hard not to see that it looks like a stepped pyramid. It seems at some angles that an entire small town is visible. In the vicinity, carved rocks have also been found, as well as old symbolic carving. So what is the historical significance of this place?
Yonaguni Island belongs to a chain of islands known as the Ryuku Islands, which stretch Southwest from Japan towards the mainland of China. Yonaguni is the last of the islands of this chain and is only 30 miles from Taiwan. Ten years ago while looking for interesting under-water sites to dive near Yonaguni, scuba diving instructor Kihachiro Aratake, discovered an amazing under-water construct 20 feet below the surface of the water. The construct is defined as being “as if terraced into the side of a mountain,” resembling a grand stand for Sea Gods, or somewhat like an amphitheater with its huge steps and blocks of stone. The construct’s 250-foot base lies 100 feet below the ocean’s surface and rises to a height of 80 feet.
The flat parallel faces, sharp edges, and mostly right angles of the formation have led many people,including many of the underwater photographers and divers who have visited the site and some scholars, to the opinion that those features are human-made. These features include a trench that has two internal 90° angles as well as the twin megaliths that appear to have been placed there. These megaliths have straight edges and square corners. However, sea currents have been known to move large rocks on a regular basis, so some claim the formations as being largely natural claim that they may have been modified by human hands. The semiregular terraces of the Monument have been compared to other examples of megalithic architecture, such as the rock-hewn terraces seen at Sacsayhuaman. The formations have also been compared to the Okinawa Tomb, a rock-hewn structure of uncertain age.
Other evidence presented by those who favor an artificial origin include the two round holes (about 2 feet wide, according to photographs) on the edge of the Triangle Pool feature and a straight row of smaller holes that have been interpreted as an abandoned attempt to split off a section of the rock by means of wedges, as in ancient quarries, including those of the Inca.
Kimura believes that he has identified traces of drawings of animals and people engraved on the rocks, including a horselike sign that he believes resembles a character from the Kaida script. Some have also interpreted a formation on the side of one of the monuments as a crude moai-like “face”.
Supporters of artificial origin, such as Graham Hancock, also argue that, while many of the features seen at Yonaguni are also seen in natural sandstone formations throughout the world, the concentration of so many peculiar formations in such a small area is highly unlikely.
They also point to the relative absence of loose blocks on the flat areas of the formation, which would be expected if they were formed solely by natural erosion and fracturing. If any part of the monument was deliberately constructed or modified, that must have happened during the most recent ice age, when the sea level was much lower than it is today (e.g. 39 m (130 ft) lower around 10,000 years BCE). During the ice age, the East China Sea was a narrow bay opening to the ocean at today’s Tokara Gap. The Sea of Japan was an inland sea and there was no Yellow Sea; people and animals could walk into the Ryukyu peninsula from the continent. Therefore, Yonaguni was the southern end of a land bridge that connected it to Taiwan, Ryūkyū, Japan, and Asia. This fact is underscored by a rock pillar in a now-submerged cave that has been interpreted as a fused stalactite-stalagmite pair, which could only form above water.
Due to these facts, it would date the structure to be at least 10,000 years old (8,000 BCE). Some scholars claim to be able to identify a pyramid, castles, roads, monuments and a stadium, and surmise that the site may be a remnant of the mythical lost continent of Mu.
The existence of an ancient stoneworking tradition at Yonaguni and other Ryukyu islands is demonstrated by some old tombs and several stone vessels of uncertain age – Small camps, pottery, stone tools and large fireplaces were found on Yonaguni possibly dating back to 2500 BCE.
Filed in: History & Mystery