In 1986, Kihachiro Aratake, a director of the Yonaguni-Cho Tourism Association, went searching for good spots to take his scuba diving tours. What he found went on to spark 20 years of international controversy.
Within the seabed, Aratake discovered what looked like the remains of architectural structures. Marine geologist Masaaki Kimura spent a decade analysing the site, and came to the conclusion that the structure, known as the Yonaguni Monument, was a ceremonial centre built on land by an ancient civilisation around 10,000 years ago. Case closed? Not in the slightest.
Many scholars strongly disagree, stating that the structure isn’t clean or chiselled enough to be man-made but is simply the result of natural forces. Natural or man-made, Aratake certainly achieved his mission of finding a spot to take tourists.