Yonaguni Monument

Yonaguni Monument

The Yonaguni Monument is a massive underwater rock formation off the coast of Yonaguni, the southernmost of the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. The site is also known in Japanese as the “Yonaguni (Island) Submarine Ruins” .


Professor Kimura first estimated that the monument must be at least 10,000 years old (8,000 BCE) but then in a report given to the 21st Pacific Science Congress in 2007, he dated it to around 5,000 years ago because the sea level then was close to current levels then further he said that the site may be a remnant of the mythical lost continent of Mu.


In the 1980s, local divers discovered a striking underwater rock formation off the southernmost point of the island. This so-called Yonaguni Pyramid has staircase-like terraces with flat sides and sharp corners.

Yonaguni Pyramid

In 1985, Kihachiro Aratake, a diver from Japan, discovered a man-made, terraced structure.

man-made terraced structure man-made terraced structure

In 1987, Kihachiro Aratake, a director of the Yonaguni-Cho Tourism Association, noticed some singular seabed formations resembling architectonic structures. Shortly there after, a group of scientists directed by Masaaki Kimura of the University of the Ryukyus visited the formations.


The flat parallel faces, sharp edges, and mostly right angles of the formation have led many people, including many of the underwater photographers and divers who have visited the site and some scholars to share the opinion that those features are man-made.
These people include Gary and Cecilia Hagland and Tom Holden, who went on underwater expeditions to study and photograph the site and the features that strengthen man-made theory are: –

A trench


The twin megaliths


Before Discovery

The existence of an ancient stone-working tradition at Yonaguni and other Ryukyu islands is demonstrated by some old tombs and several stone vessels of uncertain age. Small camps, pottery, stone tools and large fireplaces were found on Yonaguni possibly dating back to 2500 BCE.


Some of those who see the formations as being largely natural claim that they may have been modified by human hands.
Robert Schoch is among those people, observed that on the northeast coast of Yonaguni there are regular formations similar to those seen at the monument. Schoch also believes that the “drawings” identified by Kimura are natural scratches on the rocks and this is also the view of John Anthony West who suggests that walls are simply natural horizontal ‘platforms‘ which fell into a vertical position when rock below them eroded and the alleged roads are simply channels in the rock.

Drawings on Rocks Drawings on Rocks


Other examples of natural formations with flat faces and sharp, straight edges are the basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway and the natural staircase formation on Old Rag Mountain.


The island has an area of 28.88 km square and all islands are under jurisdiction of the town of Yonaguni, Yaeyama Gun.


During the last ice age, Yonaguni was part of the Chinese mainland.

In the 12th century, it was incorporated to the Ryukyu Kingdom.

In the 17th century, it was incorporated into the Japanese Han of Satsuma.

By 1879, the island was formally incorporated into Japan.

Until the early 20th century, Yonaguni was part of the larger Yaeyama village, which included the neighboring Yaeyama Islands.

In 1948, it became an independent village.


Could this be an extremely advanced ancient human culture attempting to repopulate the world after the ice age?
How they knew the geography of the earth so well, and how they were able to plot courses halfway around the world with the precision of a GPS?

Mysteries and Facts

No signs of human habitation like, burials, tools or animal bones were found.

At or near the sites there appears an alter or circular enclosure that could have been used for a ceremony.

Close to the pyramid structure, what is thought to be the carving of a human head has been discovered (several feet tall), along with numerous unknown hieroglyphs.

Human Head Human Head

On 5th April 1998, a massive earthquake (measured at 7.7 on the Richter scale) hit the area around the pyramids – whether the underwater structures were damage or not is not clear.

To this day experts still argue over whether the Yonaguni Monument which lies underwater just off the coast of Japan is man-made or simply a natural occurrence.

An underwater Sphinx is also found which resembles a Chinese or ancient Okinawan king.



The world’s largest recorded tsunami struck Yonaguni Jima in April 1771 with an estimated height of more than 131ft (40 meters), so such a fate might also have befallen the ancient civilization.


In total the ruins cover an area spanning 984ft by 492ft (300 meters by 150 meters).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *