After 10 years of searching, Turkish underwater diving team finally make a huge discovery.
Hidden beneath the waters of Turkey's Lake Van researchers found a 3,000-year-old castle. The leader of this long adventure is Tahsin Ceylan from Van Yüzüncü Yıl University who admits he was actually hunting for the mysterious Lake Van monster instead.
"There was a rumor that there might be something under the water but most archaeologists and museum officials told us that we won't find anything," Ceylan told the Daily Sabah. But he paid no heed to the neigh sayers, kept following his vision, and now made an even greater discovery than he dreamed. Arnold Schwartzenegger would call this kind of person a champion.
Lake Van is the largest body of water in Turkey and once belonged to the Urartu civilization that peaked about 2,600-2,900 years ago, corresponding to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat. There were many conflicts around here in the past and it's debatable that this castle was actually used as a fortress in ancient times.
It measures .6 miles long (1 km) and made of cut stones stacked up to 13 feet high. Despite being underwater for many years, it's still in good shape due to the alkaline water.
"Many civilizations and people had settled around Lake Van," Ceylan told Hurriyet Daily News. "They named the lake the 'upper sea' and believed it had many mysterious things. With this belief in mind, we are working to reveal the lake's 'secrets'."
Finding More Sunken Treasures
Besides this fortress castle, Ceylan's team has found other impressive treasures along their journey of discoveries. Last year they found 1.5 square miles of stalagmites they nicknamed "Underwater Fairy Chimneys" after Cappadocia's famous "Fairy Chimneys" that were supposedly built or inhabited by mountain fairies. Perhaps then these new ones built by mermaids? They also found thousands of years old gravestones and a Russian ship from 1948.
Ceylan is very excited to find such a large historically significant artifact and is eager for researchers to arrive so the world can learn more.
"It is a miracle to find this castle underwater. We now believe we have discovered a new area for archaeologists and historians to study. Archaeologists will come here to examine the castle's history and provide information on it," Ceylan said.
With an estimated 600,000 year history, this lake is set to contain many more remnants of our humankind's distant past. The only way to know for sure is to keep looking deeper like Ceylan and his team have been doing. So, sometimes you have to just trust yourself and ignore the skeptics to make true breakthroughs.
Keep exploring and go further. Let us know what you find.