There are a lot of different wonders on Earth, no doubt about that. We’ve covered other natural wonders on land here and here but never the actual underwater beauties. So, now it’s time to give you some underwater destinations that you should definitely visit for your next holiday.
1. Yonaguni Monument, Japan
This monument was discovered in 1985 by a diver who noticed a rather strange rock formation. The formation is very angular, has straight edges, and tiered planes, looking almost like a pyramid. Other than that, it has some locations like waterway, chambers, pools, and others. It’s like a sunken stone-age castle, don’t you think?
However, this monument is still a subject of debate. Some claims that nature can’t possibly form such precision and flat surfaces. Others claim that the stratigraphy is normal for sandstones in areas with tectonic activity. Manmade or not, this monument provides us beauty and a mystery that needs solving.
2. Green Lake (Austria)
Imagine diving in emerald waters or swimming while being surrounded by lush woods and a view of the mountains. Isn’t that perfect for nature lovers? You can find such scene in Styria, Austria, hidden in the Hochschwab mountains and forests.
When it’s autumn or winter, this lake is small and only around 90cm deep, albeit no less beautiful. But when spring comes, the melting snow from Karst Mountains floods the lake, causing the water levels to rise and submerge everything for summer months.
So the park, filled with benches, paths, little bridges, and the green meadows around it becomes an underwater landscape. It’s going to be large and deep enough for scuba diving, and the water is crystal clear. It’s so wonderful you won’t believe your eyes at first take.
3. Dos Ojos, Tulum, Mexico
Cenote diving gives you one of the clearest view because of minerals and fresh water that flows in it, and Dos Ojos is no exception to that. This cenote has double entry points and that’s why it gets the nickname “Two Eyes”.
If you prefer snorkeling, great, because what you’ll see will take your breath away. But if you prefer exploring tunnels and underwater caves, then scuba diving is more perfect for you. With good preparation, you might come to a connecting point to Sac Actun, because it turned out that Dos Ojos and Sac Actun are actually one giant continuous cavity. Just remember that cenote/cave diving is only for the experienced and professionals.
4. Shi Cheng China
Compared to the one in Japan, this underwater ruin is a real sunken city. It’s called the grand city of Shi Cheng which was established around 1300 years ago during the Eastern Han Dynasty. The city was once a source of wealth and power in the eastern province of Zheijang.
In 1959, government decided to flood the valley along with the city in order to make a river dam and build a new hydroelectric power station for the city. The ancient city, sunken 26-40 meters deep, was temporarily forgotten until recently.
Divers rediscovered it and found that the city hasn’t eroded much. Elaborate sculptures, engravings, as well as the walls and wooden details remain remarkably intact. So if you’d like to dive deep and discover oriental kind of Atlantis, then you know where to go now.
5. Orda Cave, Ural Mountains, Russia
If you’re a pro diver, likes underwater caves, have explored Dos Ojos, and you’re looking for something more challenging, Orda Cave could be what you’re looking for. This 5km gypsum crystal cave system is located under the Ural Mountains. Because of the surrounding minerals, the water is sublimely clear here, giving you visibility of over 46m.
But remember, this cave is a relatively unexplored place and it’s a vast diving location with similar cave features. No matter how experienced and professional you are, cave diving always has fatal consequences in spite of the breathtaking view that you’ll get. So if you want to go there, make sure to always be careful and respectful.
6. Baiae (Italy)
This is another Atlantis-type of destination that you should consider. Baiae used to be an extravagant city of ancient Rome, where people would do a lot of parties and other hedonistic activities. This city was also emperor Nero, Cicero, and Caesar’s favorite spot for vacation.
However, when the Saracens attacked the city in 8th century, the city crumbled down and the rising waters submerged it completely. Today, you can visit the ancient ruins in one of the world’s few public underwater archaeological parks in Italy.
Some parts of the city are still pristine, like the (presumably) floor tiles and some roman statues. There, you can imagine yourself how the city would look like and how Roman people spend their wealth in Baiae.
7. Fernando De Noronha, Brazil
Do you think swimming in great barrier reef is a bit overrated and you want to preserve the underwater nature? Do you still wanna dive or swim in warm waters with splendid marine landscape and rich sea life? Pack your bags and go to Fernando De Noronha.
This place is an archipelago with 21 islands, about 300km away from the Brazilian shore. When you dive in there, you can see tunnels, canyons, rocks, and a lot of sea life like sea turtles and small sharks. The visibility reaches up to 50m, so you will see everything. Just don’t tear up and fill your goggles with tears.
If you want to go here, the best time is every time except March to August, because it’s rainy season there and it’s going to take over the archipelago.
8. Silfra fissure, Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
Iceland is like the dream destination for nature lovers. It’s not only breathtaking on land, but also underwater (and not to mention so environmental-friendly). The perfect evidence would be Silfra fissure. If you’re looking for a diving spot with different experience, look no further.
How different can it be? Well, you can have the chance to swim between two continental plates here. There’s a crack between Eurasian and North American plates that gets wider about 2cm each year. As a result, you can have a great time diving or snorkeling with impressive water visibility. Also, experiencing wonderful geological feature from up close? That’ll be awesome!
9. Cleopatra’s Palace (Egypt)
Who doesn’t know Cleopatra? She was the last female pharaoh and is famous for her reputed beauty and love affairs with Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. Some time after her death, her palace at Alexandria had to crumble down because of catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis in 4th and 8th century.
The palace remained unrecognized underwater until a team of archaeologist discovered the site in the 1990s. There were huge limestone blocks from fallen buildings, coins, amulets, jewelry, rings, glassware, hairpins, and two perfectly preserved sphinxes which supposedly guarded Cleopatra’s temple. You can still see and explore the ruins of Cleopatra’s Palace in Alexandria.
10. McMurdo Sound, Antarctica
Many people go to Antarctica for sightseeing, but never exploring the world below. Little did they know that there are such diving wonders as McMurdo Sound. But it’s natural anyway, because this area is very well hidden from the curious eyes of human beings, hence the pristine and unspoiled condition.
The wildlife is also incredible around here. There are seals, orcas, adelie and emperor penguins, jellyfish, and many more. You can spot peaceful underwater creatures too when you’re lucky. The only downside is that McMurdo Sound is an important area for researchers and scientists, so you need to have a special permit to explore this cold underwater ice cave.
Ready to temporarily switch to underwater vacationing now? Which of the places above have you visited? Tell us your story in the comment below, or if you have other underwater wonders, be sure to let us know. Don’t forget to like this article if you enjoyed reading it, and happy diving!