When we hear about the tales of lost cities, not many can resist thinking about Atlantis. Atlantis- a lost mythical island that submerged underwater some 11,000 years ago. Atlantis was invented by Plato 2,300 years ago who claimed that the city to be ancient Utopian civilization. The city was punished for its greed, bad morals, and hypocrisy and thus bared the wrath of God.

But while Atlantis is purely fictional, there are other cities out there that due to misfortune sank deep under the ocean only to be discovered later.

Here is a list of 6 sunken cities lost underwater

Yonaguni Jima

The Yonaguni Jima is what we remember as Japan’s Atlantis. Off to the coast of Ryukyu Islands there lie strangely even shapes that are assumed to be manmade. The ruins belong to an ancient civilization that submerged some 10,000 years ago. The structures include a staircase, arches, and other shapes that hint towards the possible existence of an ancient civilization we lost with time. While there lay many others who simply believe these structures naturally, however, the debate continues.

lost sunken cities


Divers planning a visit across Alexandria should keep certain points in mind.  As you will be below 15 feet deep in the Mediterranean Sea it’s important to look out for sharks the modern inhibitors of the lost city. Alexandria’s remains lie literally a few feet off the coast, while Thonis-Heracleion rests a little farther off the coast of today’s Alexandria. The ruins consist of 2,000 years old shipwrecks, dropped anchors, even gold treasures, all perfectly well preserved. The Alexandria ruins will soon be on view under a proposed Underwater Archeological Museum of Alexandria.

Alexandria succumbed to earthquakes and a tsunami following an earthquake in the eastern Mediterranean near Crete in the year 365. It sank the island of Antiohodos taking down queen Cleopatra’s palace and Alexandria’s old lighthouse, once a wonder of the ancient world.

Port Royal

On June 7, 1692, the port city of Jamaica experienced a terrible earthquake 1400 years ago followed by a huge tsunami that hit the coast of the city. The city was home to some of the most notorious pirates and thus the world deemed it as an act of God. Be it an earthquake or a punishment, the city is still preserved underwater and a few items have been removed and placed in the museum of Jamaica.

But unlike Jamaica, not every sunken city was a result of a catastrophe, some drowned by a combination of a more gradual process.


Pavlopetri in Greece is one of the oldest submerged lost cities of the Mediterranean Sea. It is believed to be 5,000 years old and is unique in the way that everything in the town is completely planned including streets, buildings, and even tombs. A combination of earthquakes over the years and sea-level rise gradually caused the city to sink. Pavlopetri dates back to the Bronze Age and occupied from the third millennium until 1100 B.C. 

lost sunken cities


Dwarka is a mythological utopian city that is believed to lie somewhere under the ocean. It is an ancient north-western state of Gujarat that is said to have sunk beneath the Arabian Sea. In 1988, the Marine Archaeological Unit of India started underwater excavations, as a result, many artifacts have been discovered underwater such as stone blocks and pillars; however, the exact age of these findings are still being debated. A series of natural calamities swallowed the city approximately 3,500 years ago.

San Roma de Sau

San Roma de Sau is a 1,000 years old village of Romanesque, which sank due to a man-made flood following a reservoir. All the inhabitants shifted inland taking all their belongings with them and even the exhume of their dead loved ones. The village was abandoned before it was ultimately submerged underwater leaving behind the only visible the spire San Romà de Sau church, which has been above the waterline all of the last 55 years.

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