When we think of underwater worlds, we think of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, sunken ships filled with pirate booty, lost civilizations (maybe even Atlantis), of awesome sea creatures that have never before been discovered, treasure chests overflowing with gold coins and Poseidon (the Greek god of the sea) with his trident.
UNESCO’s Underwater Cultural Heritage Convention began 20 years ago, and its aim was (and is) to protect ancient historical sites that are submerged beneath the oceans. One of the main goals of this mission is to keep these amazing locations safe, to protect them from “treasure-hunting and pillaging.” Without the preservation of certain underwater monuments, we wouldn’t know about wars that have been fought, civilizations that have been conquered and lost, and important architecture that’s been washed away beneath the waves.
Spartan and the Green Egg’s Underwater Sites
Discover some of the world’s most fascinating underwater (and underground) places with Spartan and the Green Egg! Learn more about the world around you, get inspired to travel, and collect your explorer pins to prepare for adventure!
- Underwater Museum in Cancun, Mexico: “The Underwater Museum is devoted to showing the importance of conservation. Tourists have to visit numerous diving points in order to see all the sculptures that have been placed under water. The museum was made to help control where visitors go diving. This is very important because the natural reefs in the area were getting damaged by a surge of tourists and explorers.”
- Dragon’s Triangle: “The Dragon’s Triangle has many nicknames, including the Devil’s Sea as well as the Pacific Bermuda Triangle. It is located in a part of the Pacific Ocean, right near the Miyake Island in Tokyo. Dragon’s Triangle has very mysterious origins. There have been many instances of ships going missing. Between 1952 and 1954, Japan lost five different military vessels and over seven hundred crewmen. In response, they sent a research vessel to find out what happened, but that too went missing.”
- Skocjan Caves: “The Škocjan Caves are a network of underground caves and canyons that can be found in Slovenia. The Reka River runs through many of the underground caves, creating the largest underground wetlands in all of Europe. What makes the Škocjan Caves so impressive is that it was naturally created. Many in Europe consider it to be the European equivalent of the Grand Canyon in America.”
- Jacob’s Well, West Bank: “Jacob’s Well, also called Jacob’s Fountain and the Well of Sychar, has been associated with religious practices for around two millennia. Hewn from stone, the well is 135 feet deep and located in the city of Nablus in Israel. To access it, one must descend the stairs under the church at the Bir Ya’qub Monastery. Presently under Israeli occupation, the site is a source of contention between Jews and Christians.”
- Klein, Curacao: “Klein (or Little) Curacao is home to Curacao’s longest beach, which is popular for its beautiful white sand and clear water. It is also a diving hot spot famous for its underwater caves and coral reef systems. The island itself is uninhabited but does have a few structures, including an old lighthouse.” Located in the Dutch Caribbean, this beautiful (and untouched) island is also home to several wrecked ships, including the rusted remains of an old oil tanker. Little Curacao is also known as a breeding ground for green sea turtles that come back every year and lay their eggs.
- Deep-Sea Vents, Atlantic Ocean: “The Deep-Sea Vents are often referred to as hydrothermal vents. They are giant underwater structures shaped like chimneys. The vents release clouds of scalding water, which turn a black color because of all the minerals mixed in with it. The water can reach temperatures of 700 degrees. Despite the hot temperatures, there are still many underwater species that make their homes around the vents.”
To learn more about what UNESCO is doing to preserve our underwater cultural heritage, visit the link below for more information:
To learn more about the sites mentioned in this blog, visit Spartan and the Green Egg’s website along with the links below: