The Underwater world

In Fuling, Chongqing in Southwest China, Baiheliang Underwater Museum, the world’s first of its kind, demonstrates how the Chinese made use of water resources.

About 1,300 years ago, the ancient Chinese would gather at Baiheliang, or the White Crane Ridge, in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River when it protruded from the water during the dry season, usually from December to March.

They then took picnics, flown the dances and played matches on the 1,600-meter long, 15-meter-wide natural ridge.


Divers conduct protection work at Baiheliang stone ridge in Chongqing’s Baiheliang Underwater Museum.[Photo provided to China Daily]

This place was called because there were white cranes. But local people also believed that a Taoist, who meditated on the ridge and finally became immortal, transformed into a crane and flew away.

The regular exposure of the stone ridge also provided the ancient people with the chance to observe and record water levels.

There are thus 18 carvings of fish on the enormous rock that serve as markers of the sea level and record 1,200 years of changing water rates of the Yangtze.

It also has more than 30 000 Chinese characters, which are mentioned in the Three Gorges region in the Yangtze River as one of four national treasures.

The ridge is believed to be the world’s most ancient hydrographic survey station.

Due to the Three Gorges Dam project, the huge rock was submerged in 2001. So, a special museum was built to preserve its history.

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