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Japan's Mystierious Pyramids

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Japan's Mystierious Pyramids


The Yonaguni Monument is a massive underwater rock formation off the coast of Yonaguni, the southernmost of the Ryukyu Islands, in Japan. While many archaeologists and geologists believe that it is a natural formation, some hold the view that some of its features are man-made.

The flat parallel faces, sharp edges, and mostly right angles of the formation have led many people, including many of the underwater photographers and divers that have visited the site and some scholars, to the opinion that those features are man-made. These people include Gary and Cecilia Hagland and Tom Holden who went on underwater expeditions to study and photograph the site as well as Dr. Sean Kingsley a marine archaeologist. These features include a trench that has 2 internal 90° angles as well as the twin megaliths that appear to have been placed there. These megaliths have straight edges and square corners. However sea currents have been known to move large rocks on a regular basis.  Even some of those who see the formations as being largely natural admit that it may have been modified by human hands. The semi-regular terraces of the Monument have been compared to other examples of megalithic architecture, such as the rock-hewn terraces seen at Sacsayhuaman. The formations have also been compared to the Okinawa Tomb, a rock-hewn structure of uncertain age.

Other evidence presented by those who favor an artificial origin include the two round holes (about 2 feet wide, according to photographs) on the edge of the Triangle Pool feature, and a straight row of smaller holes which have been interpreted as an abandoned attempt to split off a section of the rock by means of wedges, as in ancient quarries. Kimura believes that he has identified traces of drawings of animals and people engraved on the rocks, including a horse-like sign that he believes resembles a character from the Kaida script. Some have also interpreted a formation on the side of one of the monuments as a crude moai-like "face".

Supporters of artificial origin also argue that, while many of the features seen at Yonaguni are also seen in natural sandstone formations throughout the world, the concentration of so many peculiar formations in such a small area is highly unlikely. They also point out to the relative absence of loose blocks on the flat areas of the formation, which would be expected if they were formed solely by natural erosion and fracturing.

If any part of the Monument was deliberately constructed or modified, that must have happened during the last Ice Age, when the sea level was much lower than it is today (e.g. 39 m at 10,000 years BCE). During the Ice Age, the East China Sea was a narrow bay opening to the ocean at today's Tokara Gap. The Sea of Japan was an inland sea and there was no Yellow Sea; people and animals could walk into the Ryukyu peninsula from the continent. Therefore, Yonaguni was the southern end of a land bridge that connected it to Taiwan, Ryūkyū, Japan and Asia. This fact is underscored by a rock pillar in a now-submerged cave that has been interpreted as a fused stalactite-stalagmite pair, which could only form above water.

Prof. Masaaki Kimura first estimated that this must be at least 10,000 years old (8,000 BCE) dating it to a time when it would have been above water.  He later revised his estimate as a result of the remains of marine organisms attached to some parts of the Monument have been carbon-dated 6,000 years old, so that would be an upper limit to the date of its construction.  Human presence in the Ryukyu Islands is believed to date from over 16,000 years ago, as attested for example by the Yamashita-cho bones (Yamashita Cave Man) (carbon-14-dated 32,000 years ago) and the Minatogawa Man skeletons (dated 16,000 years ago).

The existence of an ancient stoneworking tradition at Yonaguni and other Ryukyu islands is demonstrated by some old tombs and several stone vessels of uncertain age.

The formation called "The Turtle"

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