The Longyou Grotto Caves are another marvel of ancient architecture. Up to this date, the researchers cannot explain how it was made.
One of the most mysterious underground sites ever discovered was found in the 1990’s near the village of Shiyan Beicun in Zhejiang province, China when farmers accidentally unveiled the long-hidden underground complex.
The Longyou rock caverns are a group of extremely large ancient underground caverns. According to researchers, they were carved by hand in pelitic siltstone in the Quxian Formation of Upper Cretaceous.
Upon extensive research, scientists concluded the following five characteristics defining the Longyou Grotto Caves: more than 2000 years old, man-caved, large spanned, near ground surface and medium to hard surrounding rock.
The mind-boggling underground complex was unearthed by local farmers in 1992. This discovery called the attention of many specialists from numerous countries around the globe including China, Japan, Poland, Singapore, and the USA.
One of the most fascinating and challenging enigmas is why the five caverns have been able to keep their integrity for a period of over 2000 years.
Initially, the complex was thought to have been a single cave. However, further investigation showed that the cave was in fact a network of a staggering 36 underground chambers hidden below the surface. All of them carved by hand.
This extensive and rare, ancient underground ‘world’ is considered in China as the ninth wonder of the world.
Well, in addition to its humongous site, there is not a single ancient text that describes the underground ‘city’ nor its creation. Even today, researchers have absolutely no idea who created the impressive underground complex, what its purpose was or when it was made.
But the greater mystery is the level of precision achieved in the underground complex which occupies a staggering 2,000 square meters with the tallest point of the underground complex exceeding 30 meters in height.
The caves are notable in several respects:
- The caves are very large considering their man-made origin: the average floor area of each cave is over a thousand square metres, with heights of up to 30 metres, and the total area covered is in excess of 30,000 square metres.
- The ceiling, wall and pillar surfaces are all finished in the same manner, as a series of parallel bands or courses about 60 cm wide containing parallel chiselling marks set at an angle of about 60° to the axis of the course.
- They have maintained their structural integrity and appear not to interconnect with each other.
So far, researchers have only been able to conclude that the Longyou Grotto Caves are magnificent and momentous, the careful and delicate design indicates that sophisticated construction systems were used by its unknown builders.
(Ancient-code.com, Cat.inist.fr, Chinaculture.org)