The Yonaguni Ruins

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The Yonaguni Monument is a submerged rock formation off the coast of Yonaguni in the southernmost area of the Ryūkyū Islands.

Yonaguni Ruins. | Masahiro Kaji

The surrounding waters off Yonaguni in Japan is a popular diving spot during the winter months for the abundance of hammerhead sharks in the area. In the mid 1980’s, Kihachiro Aratake, a director of the Yonaguni-Cho Tourism Association, while searching for an ideal spot to view the sharks, chanced upon some singular seabed formations that resembled architectural structures. Soon after, a group of scientists led by University of the Ryūkyūs’ Masaaki Kimura, inspected the discovery.

The site of the Yonaguni Ruins has since become a favorite attraction for divers even if they have to endure strong currents.

Diver in Yonaguni. | Vincent Lou

In 1997, Yasuo Watanabe, a Japanese industrialist, sponsored an informal expedition with notable names from the industry such as fringe theorist and geologist Robert Schoch, pseudoarcheology writers Graham Hancock and John Anthony West, a few sport divers, a film crew from Discovery channel and photographer Santha Faiia. A book was also written about the Yonaguni Ruins by freediver, Jacques Mayol.

Acclaimed marine geologist Masaaki Kimura, a Professor Emeritus from the Faculty of Science of the University of the Ryūkyūs, Okinawa, claims that the rock formations are man-made stepped monoliths.

However, scientists estimate that the formation is several thousand years old and was created even before human beings were capable of creating such a structure.

Yonaguni rock formations. | Vincent Lou

There are also others who doubt that the site is completely natural. This makes the Yonaguni Ruins even more intriguing for many visitors who marvel at the amazing rock formations. Whether its man-made or natural, the decision is left to the imagination of the beholder. The question is, has anyone considered the possibility that it may have been created by aliens from outer space?