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Diving in Yonaguni Underwater Ruins
Explore a mysterious underwater monolith in Okinawa
Immersed in the sea off the southern tip of Okinawa’s Yonaguni Island lies a mysterious monolith, rising from a depth of 25 meters. It’s the Yonaguni Monument, a submerged rock formation discovered in 1986.
Debates about its origins still continue today — while some believe it is the remnants of an ancient sunken city, others say it’s naturally formed.
The monument is mostly composed of layers of sandstone and mudstone dating back 20 million years. More strikingly, it features giant steps with straight edges that look almost perfectly carved — making it easy to see why some think they were created by an ancient civilization.
Thanks to its location, Yonaguni Island has a pleasant tropical rainforest climate, and is one of Japan’s few year-round diving destinations. With its strong currents, however, only advanced divers should attempt to explore its waters.
Besides the Yonaguni Monument, divers from all over the world also visit the island for the schools of hammerhead sharks that gather here in the cooler winter months. January to March is the best period to see these fascinating creatures, which frequently appear as massive schools with over 100 sharks — truly a sight to behold.