Dinosaur footprint, WWII ship, Buddhist statue and a ‘Stonehenge’: see what emerged with the drying up of rivers and reservoirs; VIDEO | World

Weeks of drought across Europe, the United States and China have caused water levels in rivers and lakes to plummet to levels few remember, exposing long-sunken treasures and some unwelcome dangers.

  • Drought reveals century-old Buddhist statues in China; watch VIDEO
  • ‘Spanish Stonehenge’ emerges from drought-stricken dam

In Spain, which is suffering its worst drought in decades, archaeologists have been pleased by the appearance of a prehistoric stone circle dubbed the “Spanish Stonehenge”, which is often covered by water from a dam.

Officially known as the Guadalperal Dolmen, the stone circle is currently fully exposed in a corner of the Valdecanas reservoir in the central province of Cáceres, where officials say the water level has dropped to 28% of its capacity.

It was discovered by German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier in 1926, but the area was flooded in 1963 in a rural development project under the Francisco Franco dictatorship. Since then, it has only been visible in full four times.

Guadalperal dolmen emerges from the Taju River in Spain — Photo: Susana Vera/REUTERS

Hunger Stones in Germany

The memory of past droughts was also revived in Germany with the reappearance of the so-called “hunger stones” along the Rhine River. Many of these stones have become visible on the banks of the largest river in recent weeks.

With dates and people’s initials, its reappearance is seen by some as a warning of the hardships people faced during ancient droughts. The dates visible on the stones from Worms, south of Frankfurt, and from Rheindorf, near Leverkusen, include 1947, 1959, 2003, and 2018.

Inscription on Děčín’s hunger stone reads, in German: ‘Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine’ (If you see me, cry) — Photo: Bernd Gross/CC-BY-SA-3.0-DE

WWII ships in Serbia

Meanwhile, the Danube has sunk to one of its lowest levels in nearly a century as a result of the drought, exposing the remains of more than 20 German warships sunk during World War II near the Serbian port city of Prahovo.

The ships were among the hundreds of ships sunk along the Danube.

Wreckage of WWII German ships appears with the drought of the Danube River in Serbia — Photo: REUTERS/Fedja Grulovic

WWII bomb in Italy

Italy declared a state of emergency in areas near the Po River, and in late July, a 450-kilogram WWII bomb was discovered submerged in the shallows of the country’s longest river.

In Lake Garda, also in Italy, the rocky bottom became a new beach, a bed of rocks that emerged due to the lack of rain and the constant use of water to irrigate agricultural fields during the summer.

Dinosaur footprints in the USA

The drought also hit the United States. Rivers at Dinosaur Valley State Park in the state of Texas were hit. With the lowest level, it was possible to see that in the bed there are dinosaur footprints from about 113 million years old.

Dinosaur footprints on a riverbed in Texas, inside Dinosaur Valley State Park — Photo: Reproduction/Dinosaur Valley State Park Friends

Buddhist statues in China

A river drought in China has revealed a submerged island and three Buddhist statues that may have been built 600 years ago.

The water level in the Yangtze has been falling rapidly amid drought and a heat wave in the southwestern part of the country.

Some 66 rivers in Chongqing’s 34 counties have dried up, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Three Buddhist statues that were submerged appeared after a fall in the water level in the Yangtze River, in China (Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

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