Extreme heat this year has caused forest fires, droughts and melting glaciers. Less anticipated, it has also revealed some of the strangest and darkest things from our past – shipwrecks, corpses, ghost towns, ornamental gardens and ancient cities. Let’s take a look at some of those inventions.
Roman Ruins: Italy’s famine has revealed World War II artefacts and glimpses into Nero’s life.
The Po River — Italy’s longest river — dropped to its lowest level in 70 years due to months without rain and an earlier-than-usual stoppage of runoff from melting snow in the Alps. The dried-up riverbed revealed previously hidden World War II relics such as German tanks and cargo ships.
In Rome, meanwhile, a drought caused the Tiber River to flood, unveiling a bridge built during the reign of Emperor Nero. Extremely hot and dry conditions this summer in Italy forced the government to declare a state of emergency in July.
Spanish Ghost Village: A city stuck in the early 1990s has re-emerged in Galicia, Spain.
The village of Aceredo, near Portugal’s border with Spain, was flooded in 1992 to make way for the Alto Lindoso reservoir. In February — nearly 30 years later — drought exposed the small town again. Soon, tourists started flocking to see the place frozen in time.
Scientists expect Galicia to continue to suffer from extremely dry spells. “Rain and drought patterns are always more complex, more difficult to predict scientifically,” said Joffrey Carnicer, a Barcelona-based climate researcher and author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment. “These areas will be at increased risk of drought in the coming decades.”
Critical Findings: Lake Mead uncovers a terrifying archive of desert history.
Some US reservoirs that should have had ice melt in the spring were instead bathtub rings of dry dirt, including Lake Mead. This year, the lake level dropped to a record low.
Lake Mead — the vast reservoir at the iconic Hoover Dam — has shrunk to a fraction of its former self and become a terrifying curiosity.
Guests have come from everything Bodies of sunken boats. “We can find a few more bodies from the missing jet ski,” said Michael Green, an associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “As the water recedes, we’ll find more.”
Human remains found at the site include a body in a barrel, according to the National Park Service. The cause of death is under investigation.
Officials with the Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department declined to comment further.
Shackleton’s Ruins: A scientific expedition led to a cold phenomenon in the Antarctic ice.
On February 25, Antarctic sea ice cover shrank to a record low in the satellite-era – which may have helped solve one of the biggest mysteries in marine history. Around the same time, a crew aboard a research vessel set off from South Africa to a remote part of the Antarctic coast, deep in the Weddell Sea, to locate, survey and film the remains of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance. The exact whereabouts of the famous explorer ship had long been unknown; It was trapped and crushed by thick Antarctic sea ice in 1915.
The 35-day mission was tough. The team had to navigate rough water and still somewhat frozen hazards despite below-average ice levels. Using an autonomous vehicle, the wreckage was found more than 3,000 meters (9,843 ft) underwater.
Secret Gardens: A UK heatwave has unearthed a 17th-century landscape.
Britain’s extreme summer heat has scorched the south lawn of a historic house in central England, revealing a hidden 17th-century garden. Elaborate, ornate specimens can be seen on the lawn of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.
Named the Great Parterre, the extensive garden dates from 1699 and was once full of flowerbeds and paths. By 1730, grass grew over the manicured landscape, and the new lawn had shorter roots and burned more quickly. On July 26, Chatsworth recorded a temperature of 38.1℃ (100.6℃)—the highest on record in more than 100 years, according to information on the historic house’s site.
Mesopotamian Treasures: Bronze-Age imperial urban centers have reappeared in Iraq.
This year, the remains of a sprawling, ancient city were unearthed from a dry stretch of Iraq’s Mosul Reservoir. A team of Kurdish and German archaeologists rushed to investigate the site of Kemune, an ancient city on the Tigris River that flourished under the Mitanni Empire in the Bronze Age from 1550 to 1350 BC.
The research team found ceramic vessels containing more than 100 cuneiform tablets. The find may provide more details about the end of the Mitanni-period city and the beginning of Assyrian rule in the region. “It is close to a miracle that cuneiform tablets made of fireless clay survived so many decades under water,” said Peter Fläsner, a University of Tübingen professor who was part of the rescue excavations at Chemune.
Hunting Remnants: Melting glaciers have unearthed millennia-old artifacts in Norway.
Among the strange artefacts uncovered in the Glacier Archeology Program by glacial archaeologist Lars Pillo and his team in the high mountains of Norway were an Iron Age woolen tunic as well as Roman-style shoes and a well-preserved arrow. 300 to 600 years. The arrow is the remains of a reindeer hunting site.
“As the high mountain snow continues to melt, we expect to see more sites and even older finds melting,” said Pillo, whose team has unearthed thousands of Iron Age and Medieval artefacts from ice sites in Norway over the years. 15 years. “We are melting in time, like the ice retreating.”
(With assistance from Ngai Yeung)