Baiae was an ancient resort on the west coast of Italy that largely disappeared beneath the waves 1,700 years ago.
The town in Naples was the resort of choice for the Roman super-rich and became notorious for its sprawling mansions.
It was a place synonymous with luxury and wickedness, historians claim – a wine-soaked party town.
But as the centuries passed, much of it was lost to the sea as volcanic activity caused the coastline to retreat 400m inland.
Pen News/Antonio BusielloDISCOVERY: Divers have now been allowed to explore the ancient resort Baiae
Incredible images show ancient Roman city under the sea
Ancient Roman city lost for centuries below the sea found perfectly intact.
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Baiae was an ancient resort on the west coast of Italy that largely disappeared beneath the waves 1,700 years ago
Pen News/Antonio BusielloLUXURY: The town was the resort of choice for the super-rich
Pen News/Antonio BusielloHISTORY: The town disappeared 1,700 years ago
Now the site in modern-day Italy has been rediscovered and opened to divers – who found many treasures still intact.
Photographer Antonio Busiello, who lives in Naples, photographed the site and found that roads, walls, mosaics and even statues had survived the ravages of time.
The 45-year-old said: “The beautiful mosaics, and the villas and temples that have reemerged or are still underwater show the opulence and wealth of this area.
Atlantis FOUND? Ancient castle discovered under lake in Turkey
Turkey's Lake Van may have revealed its deepest secret
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Archaeologists searching Turkey's Lake Van may have discovered a lost city
“Looking at ancient Roman ruins underwater is something hard to describe”Diver
“It was considered one of the most important Roman cities for centuries.
“Pliny the Younger used to live here and from here, across the gulf, he witnessed and described the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum.”
He added: “Diving here is like a dive into history, looking at ancient Roman ruins underwater is something hard to describe, a beautiful experience indeed.”
The subaquatic wonder was first discovered in 1940 in an aerial photograph, and over the years more and more artefacts have been discovered at the dive site.
Pen News/Antonio BusielloREMAINS: The subaquatic wonder was first found in 1940
Pen News/Antonio BusielloDIVE: Over the years more artefacts have been discovered
Photographs of the site are reminiscent of scenes from blockbuster film, Waterworld, in which Kevin Costner's merman explores an abandoned city beneath the waves, or the mythical Greek city of Atlantis.
In its heyday, Baiae was frequented by famous Romans including Julius Caesar, Nero, Pompey the Great, Marius, and Hadrian – who died there.
Among the sights now visible are the Pisoni and Protiro villas, where intricate white mosaics as well as residential rooms can be seen.
Pen News/Antonio BusielloPRESERVED: Statues remain in place underwater
Incredible underwater cities
The idea that an entire city could just vanish beneath the waves is a terrifying thought – and while these lost underwater cities aren’t the mythical Atlantis, that’s exactly what happened to them.
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The city hidden 130 feet underwater, was once Shi Cheng in China
There’s also the Nymphaeum of Punta Epitaffio, where divers swim among the statues of Ulysses and his helmsman Baius, for whom Baiae was named.
Last month, boffins discovered the ruins of a 3,000-year old castle underwater.
Pen News/Antonio BusielloSTUNNING: Two divers visit the underwater city
Pen News/Antonio BusielloREVEALED: Divers swim among the statues of Ulysses and his helmsman Baius
Archaeologists who have been searching Lake Van – the second largest lake in Turkey – for decades have discovered what they believe is a lost city.
The castle is thought to be an Iron Age relic of the Urartu civilisation – also called the Kingdom of Van – which lived in the area from the 6th to the 9th century BC.
The remarkable discovery was made by archaeologists from the Van Yüzüncü Yıl University and a team of divers.Related articles
Grab your life vests, Shmoopers—there's a monster out there.
A mysterious beast is attacking ships the world over. The famous oceanographer, Pierre Aronnax, thinks that the beast is a gargantuan narwhale. You know, a marine animal with a freaking sword on its head. No big deal.
So, Aronnax is invited on a special mission by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy to board the USS Abraham Lincoln and begin hunting for this sea creature. After weeks of searching, the ship finally encounters the beast, but it's simply no match for it.
Aronnax is thrown overboard when the monster rams the ship, which leads his servant Conseil to go in after him. The two struggle to get back onboard the Lincoln, only to end up on the deck of some other vessel.
All is not well on the new ship. A bunch of men throw Aronnax, Conseil, and Ned Land, a Canadian harpooner, into a cell below deck. Soon after, they are visited by their crazy cap'n, who reveals that he can speak all of the languages that they speak—French, German, English, and Latin—even though he pretended not to at first. Weirdo.
So we know very little about this guy who calls himself Captain Nemo, but he says already knows who Aronnax and his men are… which is super creepy, considering this whole story takes place in those pre-Facebook days. How did he know?! Anyway, Nemo tells the guys that he has "broken with humanity" and lives a secret life under the sea. Spiffy, huh?
Not really. Nemo's break with normal people means that our three main dudes can never go back on land. Nemo says they'll have freedom onboard his vessel, the Nautilus, except for the fact that he might lock them up again at any time… which doesn't sound much like freedom to us.
Nemo then announces that he will be taking the Aronnax, Conseil, and Ned on a voyage through all the world's seas. And boy do they voyage. They hunt in the underwater forests of Crespo Island and visit Vanikoro, the site of two famous shipwrecks.
One of their expeditions gets interrupted by cannibals. They travel through the Indian Ocean and visit a bed of pearls, where Nemo saves a pearl diver from a shark, and then has to be saved himself—by Ned.
Next, the crew visits some wrecked Spanish galleons carrying tons of gold, where Nemo solves his cash flow problems. Nemo even takes Aronnax on an expedition to see the lost city of Atlantis before setting a course for the South Pole. After some struggling, Nemo miraculously manages to plant his own flag on the Pole. (Sort of like what Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would later do on the moon.)
And adventure, adventure, adventure, blah, blah, blah. Finally, while sailing north of England, Nemo himself becomes the target of revenge; he's attacked by an unknown ship. Aronnax is horrified when Nemo sinks this ship in order to get back at those people who Nemo says took away his family and his country.
Lastly, the Nautilus drifts aimlessly until it encounters… dun dun dun… the Maelstrom. Don't worry, it's just a gigantic deadly vortex of water. As the Nautilus is being pulled into this vortex, Aronnax, Ned, and Conseil manage to jump ship. They wake up in a cabin on a remote Norwegian island.
There, our first-person narrator Aronnax finishes recounting his wild and wacky voyage. But he hardly answers all of our questions. Or even most of them. He still doesn't know Nemo's home country or general backstory—or if he even survived the Maelstrom.
But, in trying to look on the bright side of life, Aronnax hopes that Nemo survived. And if Nemo did survive, he hopes that Nemo will be a changed man. Aronnax likes to imagine that Nemo will leave behind his vengeful ways and, you know, smile more.