An entire drowned city has become the world's most mind-boggling scuba-diving attraction. Consider booking a trip to Qiandao Lake, China, where you can wreck-dive a 1,800-year old flooded metropolis.

Lost beneath the rising waters of an artificial lake back in 1959 after the construction of a nearby hydroelectric dam, the city is "approximately the size of 62 football fields," DesignTAXI reports, and it includes as many as 265 well-preserved stone arches.


Contrary to descriptions on other sites, the city is not "lost" so much as deliberately sacrificed, a Han Dynasty settlement now almost reef-like in appearance, sleeping and slowly fossilizing under more than 100 feet of water.

Like an ancient Chinese variation on J.G. Ballard's classic novel The Drowned World, the city is now, ironically, a very well-preserved example of Han Dynasty urbanism.

But is this the fate of all coastal metropolises in an age of rising sea levels, to become nothing but picturesque adventure tourism destinations for future travelers, the littoral ruins of a global civilization reduced to silt-covered backdrops beneath the sea?

If so, at least our ruins will be beautiful.

Book your own trip with Big Blue SCUBA. [Fubiz, DesignTAXI]

All images via Fubiz/DesignTAXI/Inhabitat/Wikimedia/Big Blue SCUBA