FOUND: An Underwater 16th Century Church - Atlas Obscura
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FOUND: An Underwater 16th Century Church

In 1966, when the Grijalba river in Chiapas, Mexico, was dammed up, a church that had been standing for 400 years, since 1564, was submerged under the water of the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir. But this year, a drought in the region caused the water levels of the reservoir to drop about 80 feet, and the church re-emerged from the water

For a few weeks now, the church has been accessible by boat, and local adventure-seekers have been ferrying out to explore the ruin. The church is about 200 feet long and its walls are 30 feet high, although the tower reaches about 48 feet. The building was abandoned in the 1770s, after the plague hit the area, the AP reports.

 

A photo posted by Marcelino (@marcelino_champo) on

 

 


 

A photo posted by Jacob García (@jacobgarciafoto) on

Shrinking reservoirs regularly reveal the crumbling buildings in once-inhabited valleys. This church was visible, as well, in 2002; another church, in Venezuela, re-appears from time to time. But in recent years, this phenomenon has been happening frequently all over North and South America as drought brings down the water level in reservoirs.

A shrinking reservoir (Image: NASA Earth Observatory/Dylan Thuras)

Bonus finds: Rare and poisonous sea snakea lost letter from Malcolm X about going to Mecca

Every day, we highlight one newly lost or found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something unusual or amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.