Science | August 28, 2022 5:46 am

Drought Makes Underwater Statues Near Chongqing Visible

They were submerged for centuries

Chongqing
Chongqing at night.
Jerry Wang/Unsplash

Countless locations across the globe are experiencing something similar this summer — drought conditions. From California to Sweden, local and national governments have had to contend with the impact that a lack of rainfall has had on the region. China is also experiencing drought conditions — and in this case, it’s had a massive impact on the Yangtze River — which has, in turn, affected parts of the country that rely upon the river for hydroelectric power.

There’s been one especially striking display of how affected the river has been by the drought. In the city of Chongqing, a group of statues that have been underwater for hundreds of years are once again visible.

An article at Hyperallergic has more details. The river is, apparently, at less than half of its usual level, which is how the statues came to be revealed. As a report from Reuters reveals, the statues were built on part of a reef that was — evidently — not underwater all those years ago.

Glimpses of old structures during times of drought can be unnerving for countless reasons. A number of towns in the Catskills were flooded decades ago to create the reservoir system used by New York City. During especially dry spells, parts of old structures can be seen. Like these statues half a world away, they stand as both a reminder of the region’s past and a signal that all is not well with the weather.