Lost City of Nan Madol

On the remote Micronesian island of Pohnpei is Nan Madol, one of the most bizarre lost cities on earth. Nan Madol is a maze of stacked-rock structures along the tidal flats of a shallow coral reef. The immense megalithic stone city, 17 square miles (28 sq. km) in size, resides above and below the ocean’s surface. A local story holds that when Nan Madol was being built a powerful magician living in the well inhabited region on the northwest of the island was solicited, and that his help was a major factor in completing the buildings. In particular, he was responsible for supplying the huge stone "logs" used in much of Nan Madol by "flying" them from their source to the construction site.

Nan Madol is located on the southeast side of Pohnpei island, which lies about 9,920 miles (16,000 km) northeast of New Guinea. Pohnpei is the capital of the newly independent Federated States of Micronesia, and flights arrive daily from the U.S. territory of Guam and other Pacific Rim countries. Pohnpei is part of the Caroline Island chain, and the nearest island with a sizeable population is Guam.

Next to Nan Madol on the southeast corner of Pohnpei is Madolinihmw Harbor, which is known to contain underwater columns in a straight row and assorted sunken ruins, including a so-called “castle,” in 200 feet (60 m) of murky water. Most of the above water ruins lie upon the 90 to 100 artificial islets in “Nan Madol central,” an area of approximately a square mile (2.5 sq. km) bisected by canals and underwater tunnels. The ruins on the artificial islands are mostly square or rectangular in shape, each created out of stacked basalt logs, weighing up to an amazing 50 tons (45,350 kg)! The giant rock slabs are set together like Lincoln Logs, creating walls up to 30 feet (10 m) in height. Strangely, none of the native people on Pohnpei build in stone anymore — today they all live in grass huts, which indicates a regression of culture has taken place.

Carbon dating indicates that the construction of Nan Madol began around AD 1200, while excavations show that the area may have been occupied as early as 200 BC. Some probable quarry sites around the island have been identified, but the exact origin of the stones of Nan Madol is yet undetermined. None of the proposed quarry sites exist in Madolenihmw, meaning that the stones must have been transported to their current location. It has been suggested that they might have been floated via raft from the quarry, but no one has successfully demonstrated the process. Archaeologists have yet to unravel the mystery, and some modern Pohnpeians believe the stones were flown to the island by use of black magic; however, a short dive between the island and the quarries shows a trail of dropped stones.

The largest building of Nan Madol is called Nan Dowas, a massive open-air complex with an inner sanctum. Underground tun­nels connect Nan Dowas to sev­eral of the larger buildings. It is believed that some of these tun­nels go beneath the reef and exit underwater to caves that can be seen while scuba diving. The walls of Nan Dowas are an impressive 33 feet (11 m) in height, and are con­structed of huge stones expertly stacked. Some of the rocks are basalt logs 16 feet (5 m) long in a hexagonal shape, formed naturally through crystallization. Other stones are huge slabs, roughly cut and dressed, and are the largest of the rocks used. Contained within the rock basalt of Nan Madol are large crystals, which are highly magnetized. These heavy basalt crystals are so magnetized that compasses spin out of control when held near the walls.

Among the many mysteries of Nan Madol are the strange mineral findings. During the Japanese occupation preceding World War II, Japanese divers dis­covered platinum coffins near the underwater stone vaults, pillars and monoliths in Madolinihmw, the name meaning “City of the Gods.” Among the recorded Japanese exports of Pohnpei were copra, vanilla, sago, mother of pearl and plati­num. Strangely, the rock on Pohnpei Island and surrounding islands contains no trace of platinum. Further adding mystery, the Japanese divers reported the source of the platinum were watertight tombs containing very large human bones. Giant people of a highly advanced civilization? Could this be evidence of a very old, sunken continent in the Pacific?

Sources :
Sacred Places Around The World 108 Destinations by Brad Olsen;

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