From ancient times to the present, there have been many amazing wonders in human history, such as the Garden of the Sky in Babylon and the Sun God Statue in Rhode Island, all of which have shocked the world with their ingenious craftsmanship.
There are also mysterious ruins that exist only in legends and are not confirmed, like the Kingdom of Atlantis, hidden in the deep sea, in order to attract the curiosity of humans throughout the ages.
The same is true in China. In addition to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Qin, the discovery in 1992 of the world's largest ancient underground man-made structure to date, the Longyou Grottoes in Zhejiang, has attracted experts, scholars and tourists from home and abroad with its exquisite craftsmanship, mysterious uses and subtle structure.
So what is the mystery of this mysterious grotto, hidden deep beneath a pool of water and discovered unintentionally?
The mysterious palace under the water pool in the small mountain village
Longyou County is located in central Zhejiang Province and is a county with a long history. Its existence has been recorded in the Spring and Autumn Period, called "Guzi", more than 2,000 years ago, belonging to the ancient capital city.
Times have changed and the sea has changed. Ancient mankind has long since ceased to exist, and Longyou County has been annihilated under the wheels of the rapid advance of the times, silent and nameless. Like the precincts of the towering Phoenix Mountain foothills, beautiful scenery, but not known.
Time flies, and the 1950s have come and gone. There was a small mountain village called Shiyanback in the subordinate area of Longyou County, where the villagers had been living and working happily for generations, but they did not expect a flood to come, and the houses and fields were destroyed, and a vast amount of sewage was raging between the paths. The villagers had to abandon the land in tears.
Villagers dragged their families, the old and the young, step by step towards the rarely visited Phoenix Mountain. The few uninhabited Phoenix Mountain, in the villagers' efforts, into a new settlement, carrying a new life, a few decades.
In 1992, it was almost 50 years since the villagers went to the mountains. During these years, they got their food by cultivating the fields. As for clean drinking water, it comes from the village's large and small clear pools.
These small pools are bottomless and are called "bottomless ponds". The water is so clear that fish can often be caught. One day, the villagers caught a big fish weighing 37 pounds from the small pond, which amazed the whole village: there is such a big fish in the bottomless pond, will there be other treasures?
Among them, Wu Ah-nui and three young people are particularly curious. Not willing to just guess, they were eager to know what was under the water, so they bought a pumping machine, in a crowd of water pools, to find a minimum of about 20 square meters of water pools, began to pump water.
Water is constantly pumped out of the pool, twenty-four hours a day, and the level shows no visible signs of dropping. They waited patiently, who knew that until the fourth day, they were surprised to see the pool of water down, the pool in the middle of a line of steps!
This made several people excited, which means there must be a mystery hidden under the small pool. They hurriedly transported four more pumping machines, day and night to clatter pumping. On the ninth day, the water pool was pumped half, from which two huge fish ridged stone pillars were revealed.
By the seventeenth day, there was very little water left in the waterhole. A few people on the shore did not see the imaginary picture of fish on the ground. Presented in front of them, but an ancient mysterious huge stone room, peeping from the entrance to the interior, as if the legendary underwater dragon palace, majestic!
Amazingly low scale and majestic
Faced with such an unexpected joy, Wu Ah Niang and the three young people were momentarily stunned and could not return to their senses. For a long time, they decided to step on the ladder into the water pool to see what was inside.
They found a flashlight and walked down the steps toward the inside step by step. The entrance to the stone room was narrower, and because it was buried deep in the ground, the water vapor had not yet dried up completely, and the air was filled with a biting chill.
The group was bold and walked to the center in a short time. Under the weak light of the flashlight, they could hardly believe the sights they saw before them.
The location they are in is already very wide. The ground was flat and smooth, and looking around, one side was steep, and the opposite side had a slope of about 45 degree angle.
Several stone walls in the stone room are straight and vertical, with sharp angles. They are arranged with regular and orderly chisel marks, chisel lines neatly and smoothly. Width are in a foot or so, the accuracy is very high, inevitably let people think not from the hands but mechanical left.
The water surface to reveal the stone pillars at this time also see clearly, is standing in the center of the hall of two fishtail-shaped Prime stone pillars, about tens of meters high.
Looking back at the stone steps leading to the outside world, it is clear that they are jagged, with three meters between the jagged teeth, and about four meters from the bottom to the entrance of the cave. Such carefully polished stone steps, as if specially built for peers in general.
The four people's fears have subsided quite a bit, and after a cursory examination, they found that there were some clear traces of petroglyphs carved into the wall, and the content of the paintings was difficult to discern for a while. Four people in the stone room back and forth a week, then found that there is something wrong.
Yes, the spacious and empty stone room, the pool drained, there is nothing left, not to mention the exotic treasures, not even a fish. The smooth ground extends inward, and the slightest detail is visible.
This makes several people very strange, so deep pool of water, how the bottom is so clean? The four returned to the ground and told the villagers about the strange encounter at the small stone pool, which immediately aroused their curiosity. There are also many different opinions about what the stone room is.
Many elderly villagers swore that this must be the crystal palace of the Dragon King, complete with all the five organs, and hidden in the water. Once the water is finished, the fish and shrimp naturally fled.
The name of the palace in the water spreads among the villagers. Since a palace has been found under a rock pool, there must be others as well. The villagers, with high spirits, brought in the pumping machine and began to pump water to several adjacent water pools.
After a period of waiting, seven more waterholes revealed their true colors to the eyes of the crowd. Without exception, like the first palace discovered, underneath the water pools were similar stone chambers, varying in size, but extremely similar in internal structure.
And the stone rooms are tightly connected to each other, but on the surface they are not connected. The thickness of the adjacent walls is only 50 cm. From a high position, the seven stone pools are arranged in the shape of a spoon, like the "seven stars of the Big Dipper" in the sky.
Soon, the news of the appearance of the exquisite water palace in Shiyanbei Village spread, triggering the attention of the relevant authorities. With the support of the government, a group of experts immediately went to Shiyanbei Village for an inspection.
Once they arrived at Shiyanbei Village, the experts immediately went to the stone room that had been discovered to investigate, and once they entered the interior, even if they were knowledgeable experts, they were shocked by the spectacular scene they saw in front of them. Such a large scale, exquisite underground palace, almost comparable to the eight wonders of the world!
After carefully examining the interior of the seven stone chambers, experts speculate that similar and even more magnificent palaces must exist under other waterholes.
So, a new round of pumping action began, and more pumps were placed one by one at nearby water holes for sleepless pumping.
Sure enough, as the crowd's expectations of "water fall out". In a 0.38 square kilometer area of Phoenix Mountain, 24 stone chambers of various sizes were found regularly.
The stone chambers range in size from 1,000 to 3,000 square meters. The structure is similar and the number of huge "fishtail-shaped" stone pillars varies depending on the size of the chamber. But they have a similar majestic and fascinating appearance.
Since its discovery, the various subtleties of the stone chamber at Phoenix Hill have been reported by several news media, which in turn have attracted the attention of the archaeological and tourism communities and various parties. The chambers were officially named the Longyou Grottoes after the public attention.
About the unexplained mystery of the Grotto
After the Longyou Grottoes became famous, many experts, scholars and tourists came to visit the grottoes, none of them were shocked by the magnificence of the grottoes. What attracted them, however, was the mystery surrounding the grottoes, which were placed in front of their eyes one by one.
In this regard, some people joked: all the people who enter the cave are explorers, and all the people who leave the cave become guessers. One of the attractions of the Longyou Grottoes is precisely this. Through site visits, analysis of the local historical origins and geographical environment, we can determine three things: First, the Longyou Grottoes is not a naturally formed cave.
Central Zhejiang is a hilly area, and during the crustal movements of thousands of years, mountain building movements have occurred, which also produced underground caves such as Shuanglong Cave and Bingju Cave in Jinhua. However, the Longyou Grottoes are fundamentally different from known underground caves, both in terms of shape and stone quality, and are unique in existence.
Second, the Longyou Grottoes are not a product of modern technology. If the formation of the grottoes, derived from underground engineering, modern thinking is more inclined to excavate in a straight line, take shape and then reinforce the beautification, rather than excavate the prototype on the intersection, finishing.
Moreover, if it is a modern product, such a huge project would only be formed after the 18th century, but there is not the slightest mention of it in the centuries-old local records of Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
Third, the Long You Grotto will not be an ancient product either. There are only a handful of big projects in ancient China, each of which is famous in history. Low productivity made it impossible for the people to build large and heavy projects on their own, and only the monarch or local chief of the country at the time had the ability to organize the construction.
But the underground grottoes can not defend against foreign enemies, nor contribute to the livelihood of the people, in the history of no record, the meaning of its existence, really puzzled.
Excluding these three points, the rest may be unbelievable. Not nature, not the ancients, not the present. Is it then, as is the case with speculation about pyramids of all kinds, a relic left by aliens?
Examining the interior of each cave again, it is easy to see that both the huge fishtail-shaped stone pillars and the neatly chiseled, uniformly oriented and textured walls and roofs are full of incomprehensible contradictions.
After the grotto was opened to the public, the villagers artificially cut out a channel for the development of tourism. 21 century today, all kinds of instruments are available. But compared with the cave, the artificial chisel marks appear uneven and rough, completely unlike the smooth chisel marks inside the grotto.
Moreover, each cave dome and the connection of the stone wall, almost all can be found without chisel marks picking fracture, which is a huge power of machinery to leave the "picking", part of the stone wall also left S-shaped spiral knife marks. These are not artificial traces.
The remains of suspected extraterrestrial civilizations around the world, without exception, have fresco carvings of unknown meaning found on the buildings, and so do the Long You Grottoes.
According to statistics, a total of four petroglyphs were found in the various caves that were developed. The clearest of these, carved with murals resembling the three animals perceived as wild horses, primordial birds and turtle fish, has clear lines and a unique style.
By analyzing the style, some experts believe that it is from the Liangzhu culture period. Several other petroglyphs, the contents of which are difficult to decipher. This adds to the mystery of the Longyou Grottoes that is so fascinating.
Synthesizing these traces visible to the naked eye, many people cannot help but wonder if it is true that at an unknown time, an alien civilization with high technology stayed on Earth and excavated the underground grotto complex of Longyou on such a huge scale?
Various speculations that cannot be answered with science
While the speculation that the Grotto was built by an extraterrestrial civilization is certainly romantic and moving, there is also much historical and human-based speculation about its formation and use as one of the world's great wonders in the exploitation of underground space.
First of all, the quarry said. Experts believe that: Longyou Grottoes are abandoned caves left behind by ancient people collecting stone.
It's hard to justify. The stone in the grotto is a laterite cumulus, so there is no need to mine it. Even if mining, why not simple and convenient open-air mining, instead of digging towards the inside? Moreover, underground operations require excavation, lighting, handling equipment, long years of use, but the cave has no trace.
Secondly, because the grottoes are located at the foot of the Phoenix Mountains, the mountains are beautiful and off the beaten track. Look at the location and scale, indeed more in line. Some people then raised the question, could it be the ancient emperor's tomb?
Yet this claim is a slam dunk. In ancient times, the emperor's tomb, necessarily in accordance with the strict rules to be built, whether feng shui, or specifications, a great deal of care. Look at the grotto, the stone room single, even the frescoes are few, obviously too simple.
Moreover, the grotto was empty without any coffin or burial goods. No matter which emperor, the tomb room is never so shabby as this, this proof strongly excludes the speculation of the emperor's tomb room.
Further, some have proposed the cantonment theory based on speculation about the age and area where the grottoes were formed.
According to the test, the formation of the grotto dates back to 212 B.C., which was the period when King Goujian of Yue was lying in wait. The area of Jiangsu and Zhejiang also belonged to Goujian's territory, could it be that Goujian was bent on revenge and secretly built a place to train his troops in the mountains?
Again, this conjecture does not stand up to scrutiny. For one thing, the construction of the grotto is not an evening can be for, let alone consume the strength and time to complete the construction and then put into the cantonment.
Secondly, the common sense of the military, the cantonment must be a smooth road, easy access. But the grotto up and down a road, the spacing of three meters, so that the soldier is a big discount.
Three, practice place, always encounter swords and spears bump. However, dozens of grottoes, polished and flat, and no traces of sharp objects knocked.
After all three of these have been rejected, one common feature can be found in the speculation about the use of the grotto. That is, there are no traces of use in the grottoes, nor are there any objects left behind to support them, which makes all sorts of speculation unlikely.
In this premise, Dr. Chu Liangcai of Zhejiang University proposed "Longyou Grottoes is the warehouse" argument, more recognition.
As early as in the Western Han Dynasty, Emperor Xuan of Han Dynasty had issued an order that "all border counties should build warehouses" to reserve food, goods and war supplies. In the Sui Dynasty, there was also the "Northern Changping Warehouse" with the same function, which was listed as a "monument".
Dr. Chu Liangcai through fieldwork and review of historical materials, that the Longyou Grottoes is also one of them, and find similar two typical caves.
One is the Bumpy Cave not far upstream of Tongtan Mountain, and the other is the Shiyan Cave not far downstream. Both caves can be found with over a thousand years of recorded history and are similar to the Longyou Grotto, with a waterproof stone dike. It is a good proof of the possible use of the Longyou Grotto.
Various speculations have not allowed the mystery of the Longyou Grottoes to be solved one by one, but there is no doubt that the Longyou Grottoes are the world's largest ancient underground man-made structures discovered to date.
It integrates humanities, arts, culture and engineering technology, and can fully become a great witness of ancient human civilization.
Today, Longyou County is no longer a small, silent county because of the Longyou Grottoes. With the Grottoes being rated as a 4A tourist attraction by the relevant authorities, Longyou County is once again ushering in new life and attention.
The mystery and magnificence of the existence of the Long You Grottoes will continue to attract visitors from all over the world to come and see the real thing. Perhaps someday in the future, the secrets of the Longyou Grottoes will finally be revealed to the public.