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The enigma of the Longyou caves

The Longyou Caves were discovered by accident in 1992 and constitute an underground world that is listed as a wonder of the ancient world. It is one of the most monumental excavations carried out by human beings, and is believed to be more than 2,000 years old.

Even so, they represent a mystery to researchers from various areas of knowledge who have come into contact with them. It is completely unknown who built them, how they did it and what use they gave them.

The discovery of the Longyou caves

The Longyou Caves are a complex and magnificent underground cave system located in Zhejiang province, China. Its discovery happened by chance in 1992, when villager Wu Anai, a resident of Zhejiang, decided to drain a pond.

To his surprise, as he drew the water out, he began to notice a complex and intriguing structure emerge. This led him to continue draining the reservoir for 17 continuous days. At the end of his work, Wu Anai could not help but be amazed at what was revealed before his eyes.

There was a huge cave completely carved out it spread over more than 2000 square meters in area and reached about 30 meters in height. Wu Anai was still petrified several hours after seeing this wonder.

The discoverer became famous in his town and other villagers decided to follow his example, as there were many adjoining ponds in this area. This led to the discovery of four additional grottoes. To date, a total of 24 of them have been discovered.

What are the Longyou caves like?

Something that deeply called the attention of the discovery of this system of flooded caves is that they were very similar. This didn’t make much sense to the villagers and experts, because it was like mass-producing an object, but on a monumental scale and without a clear goal.

The internal surfaces of Longyou Caves, including pillars, walls, and ceilings, are detailed and almost identically chiseled. This creates a repeating series of parallel grooves arranged at a 60° angle.

About, several specialists agree that this type of pattern may obey a symbolic character. In the very interior of these spaces are arranged pillars and stairs sculpted in the same way. These structures are arranged in straight lines that fulfill the function of supporting the roofs so that the structures do not collapse.

Additionally, on the walls are carved in stone figures of animals such as birds, fish and horses. They are believed to symbolize the elements: air, water and earth.

too many questions

For the survey of the Longyou caves, it is estimated that it was necessary to extract more than one million cubic meters of rock. The fate of all this material is a real enigma.. In the investigations carried out so far, not the slightest trace has been found.

Nor has it been possible to find the whereabouts of the tools. used to dig, nor those used to sculpt the stone. Similarly, it is a mystery how they achieved such a degree of precision and symmetry in the Longyou caves.

It is also not clear how they achieved such a high level of similarity in the walls of the caves, which always turns out to be about 50 centimeters. The number of workers, as well as the time spent on construction, also represent a question mark, much more so if one takes into account the quality and thoroughness of the work carried out, which responds to the same employer.

Recent research concluded that, in order to carry out this work, careful planning and the use of very precise tools were essential to reach that degree of perfection.

Without records, but with hypotheses

Unfortunately, despite the size of the Longyou Caves, no records of its construction have yet been found. This is something that is especially strange considering China’s ancestral vocation for leaving records of its achievements.

In this regard, all kinds of hypotheses have arisen. For example, one states that the set of caves is part of the mausoleum of an emperor. However, there are no funerary objects or human remains to support this thesis.

It has also been said that the cave complex is part of an underground royal palace, but the seriality of the chambers does not suggest that it would have had this use. Additionally, No objects have been found that reinforce this idea or evidence that they have been inhabited..

Additional hypotheses and an open puzzle

An additional hypothesis indicates that the land could have been the exploitation of a mine. However, it makes no sense that such a place would have had such sophisticated carving. Nor have tools been found to develop this type of work, which means that the approach is dismissed.

Finally, it is stated that it was possibly the place where part of the emperor’s troops were stationed. This is unlikely, since they must have taken a long time to carry out an excavation of this magnitude, without counting the finished ones, which does not sound logical for a military installation.

For now, the only thing certain is that the Longyou caves are as fascinating as they are mysterious. This spectacular work of engineering has no records of any kind, but still offers a wonderful testimony of beauty and perfection.

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